The X Factor live shows Week Three – as it happens

It's Diva Week, but do the acts have the talent for some the greatest songs ever written?

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22.08 

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9.50 That’s all folks! See you next week! Until then, keep the dream alive! #BDforJLxmas

9.46 To be fair that could have been truly painful, and it wasn’t. Lucky the judges were there…

9.43 Saaro Aalto taking on Björk now. Not literally, of course. As everyone knows, Björk can only be harmed by slivers of the enchanted glacier that birthed her.

9.39 Personally, as an X Factor virgin who’s now very, very tired, Relley C has been far and away the most pleasant to listen to. Soothing. Then again, I am very, very tired.

9.34 I simply can’t work out what gets a standing ovation. “Yes! It’s over! It’s over!”

9.31 We’re in the final stretch, which is lucky because I’ve got one of those headaches I only get watching X Factor. (It’s very loud, isn’t it?) Hopefully it’s something nice and soothing next.

  • Four of Diamonds – Lady Marmalade and Bang Bang by Jessie J, Arianna and Nicki Minaj.

[Knocks back more Neurofen]

9.30

9.27

9.16 Emily and Ryan are about 6000% more adorable than any other Scottish couple. Trust me, I’m a Scotsman. And I’m deeply lonely.

9.13 Showing no signs of illness at all, rock solid performance here. It’s almost…suspicious. #reallyrelley?

9.10 Relley C breaking her vow of silence to deliver this very special message…

9.10 

9.03 

9.00 Yes, the main event! At last! Honey G!

20:54 This is where my X Factor n00bishness plays against me. Who’s winning here? Is anyone?

20:50 Can’t say I really enjoyed Matt’s falsetto, but my sinuses have never been so clear!

20:48 Matt Terry’s just moved in and can’t find the box with the lampshades.

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20:47 Prove us wrong Matt!

20:46 Early leader seems to be Lavery, followed by Gifty, then Lawrie and 5 After Midnight. Next up Matt Terry with I’ll Be There by Mariah Carey which…

[Sighs. Keeps sighing. Sighs until we turn inside out.] 

20:44 Asking the important questions

20:40 Nicole is the lone voice shouting into the wind here, suggesting that Lavery took on more than she could chew. Simon says she’s jealous, but spells out the word like he’s trying to hide that Nicole’s taking a trip to the vet later.

20:36 Her band seem to be standing on a chunk of Warhammer 40K scenery.

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20:35 Right, crank up the wind machine and open your shirt, it’s Sam Lavery with the Earth Song.

20:33 The judges are pretty unanimous – the boys did themselves no favours there. For Nicole, it reminded her of something…

20:32

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20:30 5 After Midnight tackling Valerie, which is brave, because even actual genius Amy Winehouse struggled to make it listenable.

20:29 Nicole voted Biggest Diva – ‘I’m so diva I sweat glitter’

20:26 Just to clear up Sharon’s continuing confusion. 

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20:24

20:22

Simon: “Louis, for you to talk about wigs…”

Dermot: “Well if anyone’s an expert in new hair.”

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20:21 Louis doesn’t like Gifty’s sci-fi hair.

20:20 Gifty gives more energy to Sam Smith’s Lay Me Down than Sam Smith does, dedicating it to her late mother.

20:14

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20:11 Sharon discovers Ryan is 20, not 17 (is she disappointed?) and goes back to safer ground: ‘Are you sure you’re not from Finland‘?

20:09 Ryan Lawrie playing a Bond-inflected version of Rolling in the Deep, because every Adele song is a Bond theme now. Still a better choice than the original – Faith by George Michael – which only fits the ‘diva’ theme if you’re a tabloid caption writer.

20:07 Fun Fact: when Andy Murray and Kim Sears are out of the country, Ryan Lawrie and Emily Middlemas are Scotland’s official First Couple.

20:06 Nicole mixing I’m Every Woman by Chaka Khan and RESPECT by Aretha Franklin in a shameless grab for this year’s Boots Christmas advert.

20:03 Dermot enters to the ultimate ‘I don’t know why I’m crying’ floor filler – I Wanna Dance With Somebody by Whitney Houston.

Emily Middlemas will be covering How Will I Know by Houston later. 

7.55 Right, pay the pizza boy and pour yourself a stiff one –not you, Sharon– it’s almost time.

7.50  Personally I think complaining that novelty acts make the X Factor a laughing stock is like whinging that clowns ruined your pie when they slapped it in your face.

Or that creepy clowns are ruining the circus.

7.45 

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I understand that Honey G’s continued presence on the show is controversial. She’s the Donald Trump of contestants – she started as a joke no one took seriously, until suddenly she had wiped out the competition and people didn’t find it funny anymore.

Now she’s kept afloat by a hard core of anti-establishment voters, who are sick of the ultra manufactured, identikit winners X Factor usually tosses up. 

The point is, even if she’s knocked out this week, she’ll probably have a career in America. Provided she concedes peacefully.

7.35

And finally, David Bowie’s estate reportedly banned Honey G from freestyle rapping over Ice, Ice Baby. This is despite the fact that Bowie allowed Vanilla Ice to sample Under Pressure in the first place.

Still, Honey–‘Two Kettles’–G will now have to stick to the classic lyrics.

Classic lyrics like…

Quick to the point, to the point no faking
I’m cooking MC’s like a pound of bacon

RESPECT OUR CULTURAL HERITAGE

7.30 Relley C had to wear a ‘voice rest’ sign around her neck, which told no-one to speak to her while she let her throat recover from a mystery illness.

Fun fact: I wore a similar sign at school, but it wasn’t a sign, it was my face.

7.25 

7.21 First, Sharon Osbourne denied she was drunk when she forgot her act Saara Alto’s name last week. (She forgot where she was from in the first live show.)

(It’s Finland.)

“Some people think you’re drunk,” asked Piers Morgan “have you been illicitly drinking?”

Sharon responded: “Oh my lord. Maybe if I did have a drink, I’d remember people’s names. I should try drinking!”

(To be clear, this was a joke: “I have seen too many careers and families destroyed by alcohol. This Mrs isn’t going there!”)

7.20 Some really excellent back stage nonsense this week … 

7.14 Oh, wait, Abba. Of course it’ll be Abba.

7.13

Personally, I’m looking forward to Earth Song (waht abaht elephunts?) and again am slightly discomfited that Saara Aalto is only allowed to sing generic Scandinavian fare. The Fin has already had Frozen (fictional Norway), now Bjork (Iceland), what next? 

7.07 So, first things first, here are the songs they’ll be murdering.

  • Matt Terry – I’ll Be There by Mariah Carey
  • Ryan Lawrie – Rolling In The Deep by Adele
  • Emily Middlemas – How Will I Know? by Whitney Houston
  • Sam Lavery – Earth Song by Michael Jackson
  • Gifty Louise – Lay Me Down by Sam Smith
  • Honey G – Under Pressure by Queen and Ice Ice Baby by Vanilla Ice
  • Relley C – Natural Woman by Aretha Franklin
  • Saara Aalto – Oh So Quiet by Bjork
  • 5 After Midnight – Valerie by Amy Winehouse
  • Four of Diamonds – Lady Marmalade and Bang Bang by Jessie J, Arianna and Nicki Minaj.

7.05 It’s Diva Week, which either means the acts are going to start demanding baskets of kittens in their dressing room, or they’re going to warble up and down on the high notes like they’re tuning a radio to contact dead people. I’m guessing the latter.

7.03 (Hint hint, commissioning editor Susanna Lazarus. Money please.)

7.02 (You could pay me to watch them, but Radio Times didn’t, so I didn’t.)

7.01 (Yes that means I skipped the results episodes after blogging the Saturday show.)

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7.00 Hello, I’m Jonathan Holmes and thanks for joining me for the third week of live shows. (Fun fact: this is the third X Factor episode I’ve ever watched. Ever.)

The X Factor Diva Week begins on ITV1 at 8pm.