After a week of feeling very poorly, Lauren Platt is lucky to be even singing. The strain of the week really showed, it was her worst vocal of the series to date. Mel B said, "I could feel you weren't into it" Simon said, "I could tell you were straining vocally."
Admittedly Stevi Ritchie was not the greatest voice to grace the live stage but he had something different up his sleeve each week and cut through the monotony of sincere performances of the other acts.
In the words of Len Goodman just SEVEN acts remain, after Jay James left the competition last week. So is your favourite still in the running for the X Factor crown?
According to the X Factor's premise, it is a 'television music competition to find new singing talent'. It has always been the case since it first hit our screens that if you wanted a sure-fire route to pop stardom, then a turn on the X Factor is what is required.
This week, the remaining eight acts will be pushed to their vocal limit. It's just them and a thirty piece big band. They need to show amazing stage presence. It's time to separate the weak from the strong. No pressure then.
Celebrity culture is not new to the digital age. One and a half thousand years ago, there were plenty of commentators who threw their hands in the air in bewilderment at the way that poseurs gained followings.
This week, let's hope there are more treats than tricks as our remaining 11 acts face their fears... So, 'witch' act will be a 'shining' star and who could be getting swallowed in the 'jaws' of defeat?
Last week, Lola underwent a makeover to boost her morale but although she looked stunning, she still faltered during her performance. Changing her hair and her outfit wasn't enough to build the resilience she needs. I know it because I've been there. Many have. It's about feeling that you're not good enough at a deep level.
In the media recently there has been, as their always is, people brandishing the 'public school' iron, tarnishing those of us who went to public school. The media is turning our education into a negative.
So what's gone so wrong? Has the public grown tired of The X Factor? Why hasn't the dream panel managed to revive the shows fortunes? More importantly, can it be saved before it's too late?
Saturday October 12 heralded the much trumpeted return of the X Factor live shows, which immediately raised one small question. One very very small question. Has Dermot got shorter since last year?
The former prison warden topped off a fabulous year when she won the X Factor, duetted with Michael Bolton, had a number one selling debut album, by introducing baby Miley into the world, a sibling for her eldest two Tommy and Brooke.
With no time at all to get over my judges houses jet lag, I'm back in the good old UK. For the remaining 16, I mean 12 acts, (hold your horses Dean) it really is time to face the music and for the first time in this series, the voting public.
Fancy a game of X Factor Live Show bingo? Here are 40 things that happen every time the billion or so hopefuls are whittled down to the final handful. Spot them! Tick them off! It might make the end come quicker! Although probably not!
Saturday night we were left waiting at Simon's LA home, (no, not a bad thing) just as his decision on his chosen three was about to be announced. Back home now, with no time to settle, here we go. The three acts Simon is taking to the live shows are Jay James, Fleur East and thankfully Team Midas' Ben Haenow. Well done all.
Welcome back to judges houses. Friday night, Louis picked his three groups and at Mel B's Mexico house we saw two of the boys perform for their place....right I have my iced water, I'm drenched in sun cream, let's go.