Last night’s sing-off between Angel Tupai and Samantha Jade on The X Factor was one of the best the show has seen.
With their future on the line both girls sang up a storm, making decisions impossible for the judges.
Their songs were even better than the numbers they had performed the night before.
But here’s the thing: they always are.
Why is it the contestants constantly choose better songs for themselves than some of the banal choices they get lumbered with by the judges?
How bizarre to be made to perform What’s Love Got To Do With It as a buoyant reggae song, when the lyrics are about loveless relationship (no judges picked up on this!).
Every week we see singers struggling with the material, many of which were hits before they were even born. When Jason Owen was asked about performing an Aerosmith song, he admitted he’d “never heard of him” before the show. Umm…
Shiane Hawke, who is doing remarkably for just 14, has conceded Beautiful by Christina Aguilera has been the only song she has known that she has performed. She is frequently given songs from the 1960s.
On top of the song choices, there is also over-production, sometimes swamping young singers. Eurovision often gets a run for its money.
When they sing to avoid elimination we can connect more without all the tricks, but by then it’s just too late.
X Factor judges could better serve their acts by listening to their song choices instead of the ones producers are pushing, and help the viewer connect with the act and style of the artists.