Club Classics and Get Me To The Finals: A Very Thorough X Factor Performance Night Review (December 4)

We’re almost there! It’s the semi-finals of X Factor. Five acts remain–four will go on to the grand finale!

And now, we’re down to all four of MuuMuse’s favorites from the very beginning: Cher Lloyd, Rebecca Ferguson, Matt Cardle, and Mary Byrnes. Oh, and One Direction’s still going strong. THANKS A LOT, TEENS.

Tonight’s show has two themes: CLUB CLASSICS (perfect for MuuMuse!) and GET ME TO THE FINALS (desperation!).

And awayyyyy we go!

First up was Rebecca Ferguson, singing–OH MY SWEET MOTHER MERCY.


It’s Robin S‘ “Show Me Love”–one of my favorite songs OF ALL TIME! (WATCH)

The outfit, the neon lights, the voice, the dancers, the hair. Everything. The performance was literally 100% perfect. I was dying and moaning with delight, doing dances all over my room. Please do this forever and ever, Rebecca. Yes. Yes. YESSSSS.

Everyone loved it. Simon declared that he didn’t think she could pull it off when he first heard which song she was doing. (This is literally all he says anymore.) But, as he points out every single time he starts with that statement, SHE ENDED UP PULLING IT OFF. Amazing! “So cool, so controlled,” he noted. Exactly! And as for why she decided to go into full-on disco mode? “I just wanted to enjoy me-self,” she explained to Dermot.

My mind = Officially blown. Performance of the night by a MILE. (I suppose that’s a spoiler alert?)

Next was Tesco’s beloved Irish mother Angel, Mary Byrnes, performing Gloria Gaynor‘s rendition of “Never Can Say Goodbye.” (WATCH)

Mary worked her way through the track in yet another nearly all black ensemble. The delivery was a little bit too big (and kind of off-beat) for for what the track called for, and it all seemed a bit clumsy. Plus, the double dozen of dancers dressed in bright purple and disco platform shoes completely outshined her, making it seem like she accidentally wandered onto a Saturday Night Fever revival concert.

“That was the campest thing I’ve ever seen,” said Dannii Minogue, who’s entire career (and the giant chiffon poof on her shoulder) rendered the comment invalid. The rest of the judge’s responses were mixed (Simon and Louis mostly spent the time debating who listens to the most Gloria Gaynor in their bedroom–Tie! They actually share a bed).

Next up was Matt Cardle–who has tonsilitis! No!!! And he’s missed all of the rehearsals. NO!!!! In fact, we see that he’s returned back home in the video introduction as his mum comes worriedly into his room to bring some tea. Aww, boo boo!

But Matt Cardle is no quitter. And so, guitar in hand, Cardle pumped out “You’ve Got The Love” by The Source and Candi Station (recently popularized by Florence + The Machine‘s massive revival of the track.) (WATCH)

Despite the fact that he did sound a bit strained, the performance was MASSIVE. He nailed the vocals (and put a little of his own spin on the track), making this perhaps one of his best performances on the show yet.

He really didn’t look so hot immediately following the performance (aww!), but the judges all provided glowing reviews and the crowd roared and roared and ate him up anyway. Nice one.


The lovely and talented Cherylandria performed B.O.B.‘s “Nothin’ On You,” which–admittedly–is not even slightly considered a club classic. BUT NO MATTER. (WATCH)

She did a very good job, prancing about a giant neon triangle with much swagger and many male dancers, half-rapping, half-warbling the song’s major earworm of a chorus. It was very cute.

This wasn’t my favorite performance she’s ever done, but as Dannii so perfectly observed: “You’re so watchable, there’s something about you.” Exactly right, D!

Oh, and most importantly of all…this Cheryl Cole face ACTUALLY. HAPPENED.

Amazing. (Thanks, Patrickk!)

Next up? One Erection, singing–oh. OH. OH MY GOD.

This is truly real and happening: X Factor‘s only boy band performed Rihanna‘s “Only Girl (In The World).” It’s like the perfect joke that I just couldn’t make up. (WATCH)

Mr. Cowell truly went above and beyond this week in taking creative liberties with the song lyrics, flipping RiRi’s current smash hit on its head to make it ‘work’ for his bunch of boys: “I’m gonna make you feel like you’re the only girl in the world!” the Bieber boys screamed on top of each other, wooing the baby-ladies and gays in the crowd and making everyone else generally uncomfortable.

The judges all loved it or something, and then I rolled my eyes a lot. I can’t. I’m sorry–we already have The Wanted, and they’re sexy and grown. Who needs anything less than?

Matt returned for Billy Joel‘s “Always A Woman To Me.” on top of a smokey staircase. It was rull boring and safe. Luckily, he did not vomit. (WATCH)

“Everyone loves you. You are in the finals,” Louis over-excitedly announced. Cheryl pointed out that he looked really ill (fact), and Simon said it was his worst song and represented everything Matt is not. I absolutely agree.

“I think that’s what we call tactics,” Dannii wrongly fired back in defense at Simon. No, Dannii…it’s called reality.

Mary came back for the second half of the show–in all black yet again–to sing Barbra Streisand‘s “The Way We Were.” (WATCH)

God, this was a depressing. She sounded amazing, but then BAM!–she broke down in tears in the final moment, choked with emotion because of memories of her mother. The judges all encouraged her to think positively and assured her that she sounded amazing, but she knew all this–she was simply overcome.

“It’s not a sad tear, it’s a happy tear,” Mary sniffled. Immediately, Cheryl Cole shot up out of her chair and onto the stage, shouting “AY CAN RELAYTE, PET!” before launching into a rousing rendition of her Messy Little Raindrops album track, “Happy Tears.” Everyone in the crowd sang, swayed, and triumphantly cried warm, happy tears.


Cherradonna returned to perform Eminem and Rihanna’s major collaboration, “Love The Way You Lie,” alternating between Part 1 and Part 2 of the song for maximum sing and rap exposure. (WATCH)

It was v, v good, but the most amazing bit came toward the very end as she belted it out between four blazing flares of fire. SCORCHING.

Though, as Steve Anderson pointed out on Twitter–it’s just not easy to cover Rihanna! While so many people/part-time haters accuse her of being a radio clone, every single Rihanna cover I’ve heard seems to pale in comparison.

Still, Cher held her own because she is perfect, and the performance was thus a success.

Rebecca came back swinging with a classic: “Amazing Grace.” (WATCH)

Straightforward. Classy. Understated. Gorgeous. Flawless. Stunning. Incredible. She just…did the damn thing, and if she doesn’t go through to the finals everything is a sham and my life has no meaning.

One Direction closed out the show with a fairly solid rendition of Snow Patrol‘s “Chasing Cars,” which is just a gorgeous song to begin with. (WATCH)

But I don’t really care about One Direction, so that was that really.


In summary: I believe it’s Mary’s time to go, but ever since Cher’s freak bottom two incident a few weeks ago, I almost wouldn’t be shocked if Cher was somehow let go tonight. After all, Matt and Rebecca are both entirely deserving of a spot in the final round, and I’m nearly certain that One Direction will continue on because of the unstoppable tween voting block.

To be honest though, I’m not too worried about whether Cher Lloyd wins at this point. Diana Vickers came in fourth in her season of X Factor, and her record is fucking flawless and wonderful. Winning the title at this point would simply be gravy. Nonetheless, I’m rooting for the same Final Four as I have from the very beginning!

MuuMuse’s Final Four:

Cher Lloyd

Rebecca Ferguson

Matt Cardle

Mary Byrnes

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