James puts own spin on old classics

Published Saturday, 24 November 2012
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X Factor fans will have been waiting curiously to see how the likes of edgy act James Arthur would cope with Abba/Motown week, but the guitar-toting singer seemed to pull off his two classic tracks in the eighth live show.

James puts own spin on old classics
James Arthur sings S.O.S by Abba (© Rex Features)

With each of the hopefuls tackling two songs in the quarter-finals, they had to first perform an Abba song and James opted for SOS.

True to style, he managed to inject some angst into his version as he took to the stage in black leather and armed with his trusty guitar.

"You James Arthur-ed it all the way," Tulisa declared afterwards, before going on to predict that the singer would sell more records than anyone else - whether he won the show or not.

"Amazing to see you in the bottom two last week and I'm so disappointed for you," Gary Barlow added. "But it will not be happening this week, I'm sure."

With a Motown track still required, James returned to deliver Marvin's Gaye's Let's Get It On - minus the guitar and all scrubbed up in a suit and tie.

"Only you could get away with singing that song," Tulisa smiled, resulting in much teasing from Louis Walsh about his fellow judge being spoken for already.

James's mentor Nicole also loved the performance and predicted a baby boom as a result!

I do not want to see James Arthur again in the bottom two - he doesn't deserve it.

Nicole Scherzinger

Meanwhile, Rylan Clark was loving the week's theme - opening the show with his take on Abba's Mamma Mia and following it up with a Supremes medley.

"I'm never going to buy the record," Gary said, in a bid to bury the hatchet with his nemesis.

"But it's week eight, you're still here - I have to respect you for that, coming back every week and putting on this show."

The last remaining group, Union J, were out to impress with Abba's Winner Takes It All and The Jackson 5's I'll Be There.

The judges were impressed with the vocal performances, but - given last week's shock result - their mentor Louis was on a serious push for votes.

"I want them here next week - I want them in the semi-finals," he said.

"First we had JLS, then we had One Direction ... I think the next big boyband is on stage."

Jahmene Douglas opted for Abba's I Have A Dream and Smokey Robinson's Tracks Of My Tears as his two songs for the night.

His mentor Nicole backed the other judges in praising the shy supermarket worker, branding his first effort "the performance" of the night.

"It was like you were saying a prayer and you included all of us," she added.

After Christopher Maloney's first track - Abba's Fernando - it fell to him to close the show with his Motown track.

His up-beat rendition of Lionel Ritchie's Dancing On The Ceiling saw positive comments from the judges about his vocals and energy, but - apart from mentor Gary - they still didn't seem convinced.

"When you're singing, I don't always believe what you're singing," Tulisa said, again referring to Christopher's performance as "dated".

Gary hit back on his act's behalf, stating: "I'm started to feel slightly uncomfortable with the criticism you're getting ... You've done really well tonight.

"I don't think people appreciate how much you've come on during the competition."

Find out who ends up in the sing-off and who has to leave the X Factor in Sunday's results show on UTV at 8pm.

Live Blog: X Factor’s Quarter-Finals Week
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And that's your lot!

Two more acts will find themselves in the bottom two tomorrow night, but who will that be?!

If you think you know, let us know! :)

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Gary's grumpy ...

The comments aren't exactly setting the world alight and Gary's distinctly unimpressed on behalf of his act. What's new?

Poor Chris has taken a lot of flak lately though - do you want to see him stay in the competition?

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Chris, take two!

Christopher's branching out from the ballads with an up-tempo number - Lionel Ritchie's Dancing On The Ceiling.

Has his dancing improved since his last effort though ...?

(Download the track here)

Chris, take two! (©Rex Features)
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More big predictions ...

Louis's more convinced that ever that Jahmene will be in the final, but Tulisa says it wasn't her favourite performance - shock!

Louis's a little bit outraged, but Tulisa's argues that doesn't mean it wasn't still flawless.

And a big compliment from Nicole - she says it's like Smokey wrote the song for Jahmene!

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No tears ...

Jahmene's back for his second song and he's singing a big hit by a big motown act - Tracks Of My Tears by Smokey Robinson.

But will there be tears tomorrow night or is Jahmene safe? After growing up with motown, this is definitely more Jahmene's comfort zone ...

(Download the track here)

No tears ... (©Rex Features)
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Real person, real talent ...

Louis says James is a class act and Tulisa says only he could get away with singing that song ...

What a vocal performance, says Gary. No comparisons from Mr Barlow, he says James is a great artist in his own right.

Nicole ... Nicole's getting carried away again. She's predicting that butter-melting performance will cause a baby boom! O_o

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The REAL James Arthur ...

No really this time - it is James and he's singing Marvin Gaye's Let's Get It On. No really.

No guitar and all scrubbed up in a suit and tie, this is new for James - he's also schmoozing with the girls in the front row of the audience ... Well, that's one way to get votes!

And Nicole's out of her seat - watch out, James, she'll be on that stage in a minute!

(Dowload the track here)

The REAL James Arthur ... (©Rex Features)
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Motown Rylan-style ...

Louis thought he saw Nicki Minaj as a backing singer - he's obviously seeing things, so that's not a great sign. And he doesn't think Rylan-style is suited to motown ...

Eurovisiony, says Gary. He's not loving having two performances from Rylan.

And we weren't imagining it - Nicole did introduce the wrong act! Whew, it wasn't just us then!

And according to Nicole, everyone is just well jel of Rylan!

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Supreme ...

Rylan - not James - in a rather .. ahem ... fetching gold suit is embracing all things Supreme with a medley - Baby Love, Stop In The Name Of Love, You Keep me Hanging On ...

Mottown madness!

(Download the track here)

Supreme ... (©Rex Features)
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Nicole just totally introduced James Arthur and now we're being treated to more of Rylan's week ... NICOLE BROKE THE X FACTOR!!

Let's just see who appears on stage. Ooh, we quite like this added layer of mystery.

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Amazing - twice over ...

Tulisa's been impressed twice tonight by Union J and their vocals.

But Gary says motown was the birth of boybands and this should have been a massive opportunity to be a bit more creative. But he says it was "nice". Nice? That's barely even a compliment. He might as well have called them boring ...

Nicole seems most impressed by her own ability to remember all their names - George, Jaymi, Josh and JJ. See, we know them too! ;p

Louis has mostly resorted to shouting: "They're amazing. They're amazing. They're amazing." He's about a second away from stamping his feet like a stroppy five-year-old!

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4 become 5 - Jackson 5!

Here we go again and this time it's motown ...

Union J are singing The Jackson 5's I'll Be There - can they compete with one of the biggest boybands of their time?

Judging by the squeals in the audience, they did all right ...

(Download the track here)

4 become 5 - Jackson 5! (©Rex Features)
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So there!
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Good vocalist, but ...

Louis appears to have been distracted by what was going on around Christopher and Tulisa didn't get it either, finding it almost funny. Uh-oh, the half-nekkid people aren't looking like a good idea ...

But they do admit Chris's vocals were pretty good, so that's good!

Gary's annoyed that the other judges aren't commenting enough on Chris's vocals. Oh what, like those comments about Rylan's staging in previous weeks, hmmm Mr Barlow?

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Chris is fighting back!

After taking a lot of flak in the wake of Ella's exit, Chris is tackling Abba's Fernando with a slowed down version.

Do we like?

(Download the track here)

Chris is fighting back! (©Rex Features)
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We hear ya, Louis!

Louis never thought angst and Abba would work so well!

Tulisa says he "James Arthur-ed it all the way" and makes a big prediction - that he'll sell more records than anyone else, whether he wins or loses the X Factor.

Gary says he's James's biggest fan and that he's certain he won't be back in the bottom two this week. Wow, talk about tempting fate!

Kinda ridiculous, according to Nicole - she thinks he takes everyone's songs and makes them better!

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Heeeere's James!

After ending up in the bottom two last week, James was delighted to stay but upset that Ella had to leave.

So he's tackling Abba's SOS on his guitar, looking mean and moody in black leather. This is the most angsty version of an ABBA song we've ever heard.

Makes sense though, SOS is a distress signal after all ...

Quirky, rocky spin on the classic ... What did you make of it?

(Download the track here)

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Beautiful ...

Louis wants Jahmene in the final, while Tulisa says she's running out of ways to kiss up to him!

Gary says lots of lovely things but, in super critical mode, felt it might have been a little rushed. But he's got high hopes for the next song ...

"The performance," says an emotional Nicole. "It was like you were saying a prayer and you included all of us."

Wow, that was actually pretty deep and unlike your usual zany self, Ms Scherzinger!

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Jahmene's dream ...

Jahmene spent his week taking his mummy to be pampered before they both went to a swanky award ceremony. All together now - awwwww!

He's singing Abba's I Have A Dream and keeping it simple, with one of those stripped back performances we hear so much about. Lighters out, people ...

(Download the track here)

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All about the vocals ...

Tulisa's loving Union J's simple staging and their focus on the singing and Gary reckons they're sounding great ...

Everyone's being all positive about the boys, but Louis's still on a recruitment drive for votes - last week's result seems to have made the judges very nervous that people aren't voting for the contestants they THINK are already safe ...

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The last of the groups - Union J!

The boys were gutted to lose 'little sister' Ella last week, but they're back and giving it their all with Abba's Winner Takes It All - but can they win the competition??

Let us know if you think they could be just the second group, after Little Mix, to ever win the X Factor!

(Download the track here)

The last of the groups - Union J! (©Rex Features)
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It's like Christmas Day!

No, Louis. It's not. Don't you start that Christmas nonsense when we're not even into December yet! Grrr.

Tulisa reckons it's cheesy, but her kind of cheese.

And Gary's trying to bury the hatchet. Not literally, thankfully. After a bit of a Twitter rant by Rylan this week, Gary thinks it's time to respect each other's differences and just be friends.

Do we believe him??

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First up ... Rylan!

Rylan's revelling in taking on Abba's Mamma Mia, with his checkerboard suit going with the chessboard staging and dancers - y'know, with that whole Abba and chess connection? No, we don't get it either ...

But he's enjoying himself, bless, and there's lots of sparkle. So that's good!

(Download the track here)

First up ... Rylan! (©Rex Features)
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Evening, all!

Abba and Motown delights await this evening, after the shock exit last week - ooh, controversial!

Still, the more drama the merrier - for us anyway. Bring it on! ;)

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© UTV News
Comments Comments
Sean in Portadown wrote (797 days ago):
Go for a walk, ring a friend, read a book, tell someone a joke, please folks avoid this utter drivel. The viewing figures are plummeting the quicker we avoid it the quicker ITV decide to put some decent TV on without premium call charges.
Cindy in Northern Ireland wrote (798 days ago):
I LOVE Rylan he puts on a good show and performance every week and he gets better every week I would like to ask the judges why they keep giving Rylan a hard time he is only giving out a really good show and he makes me feel happy watching him perform i LOVE him so much and he makes a change from other x factor artists and I think its about time we had a change this year on x factor. RYLAN I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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