7 things to expect from this weekend’s X Factor live shows

Singers on voice rest, song changes and ukulele lessons, it's all been going on as the acts prepare for the second week of live shows...

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It’s X Factor live shows week two this Saturday night and the theme is reinvention. The acts are each picking a song and putting their own twist on it, so expect faster, slower, mashed-up and everything in between.

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Here’s what else is on the cards…

1. The theme

The acts have got to “take a classic song and reinvent it and make it your own,” judge Nick Grimshaw explained on Thursday night’s Xtra Factor. It’s the sort of theme Louis Walsh would have dreamed of: “You really made it your own…”

2. The song choices

From 4th Impact singing Girls Aloud’s Sound of the Underground (no pressure with former band member Cheryl as their mentor) and Monica Michael set to perform an even sexier version of Beyonce’s Crazy In Love, it’s going to be one heck of a night. See the full list here

3. The performances

Keep a beady eye on Mason Noise’s outfit as he may well be donning a piece from his own mentor Nick Grimshaw’s Topman range. Monica Michael has also been tempted out of her preferred colour black and will be sporting what she described to me as a “very bling” dress. “I’m used to boots!” she protested. 

Give an extra round of applause to Max Stone, too, as he’s been busy learning to play the ukulele this week for his cover of The Wizard of Oz track Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Just two days to learn an instrument – that’s pretty impressive, right? It comes after he ditched his original track Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic’ by The Police in favour of the new song, which he says helped get him into music in the first place.

4. The nerves

A lot of acts have been put on voice rest this week, including ‘belter’ Lauren Murray, which sees the contestants quite literally sporting a piece of paper around their neck letting those around them know they’re not allowed to speak. It also means less rehearsal time, which will no doubt be playing on their mind.

5. Another double elimination

Oh yes, two more acts will go this weekend. It puts Cheryl and Simon in a tricky situation as they could feasibly lose their entire categories by the end of week two as both have two acts left in the competition. But with Max Stone getting ready to belt out his The Wizard of Oz classic and Reggie n Bollie practising some serious moves (Cheryl’s been dancing around with them during rehearsals), it’s perhaps time for one of the other categories to get a bit of a shake-up. Watch this space.

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6. Guest singers

On Sunday night last year’s runner-up Fleur East will take to the stage to perform her debut Sax (yes, that super catchy tune from the Asda Christmas ad). Speaking about her return to the X Factor stage, Fleur said: “It feels amazing, I feel such a great sense of achievement to be able to be able to go back on the stage as a guest performer.

“Being on the show and seeing people come and perform on the stage, I was just in awe of them and I can’t believe I’m now one of them. It’s unbelievable but I’m so excited now. I was watching the show at the weekend and I was just itching to get on that stage. I can’t wait to perform.”

CeeLo Green will also take the stage to sing his track Music To My Soul.

7. No fifth judge

Louis Walsh, or anyone else for that matter, won’t be appearing alongside the main judging line-up this weekend. I’m told it’s being decided week-by-week whether an ‘impartial judge’ will offer their thoughts on the acts, but it doesn’t seem too likely it will become a reality during the series. 

The X Factor Saturday and Sunday at 8:00pm on ITV