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16 April, 2015 11:29 AM
Published by Kevin Mc Stravock
So after three weeks of
pointless live knockouts, we're at the quarter-final stage of the competition. The remaining twelve contestants will battle it out in their teams for the public votes. The act with the most votes on each team will proceed through to the semi-finals and each coach will then decide which of the remaining two on their team to take through and who to send home.
Recap and videos after the JUMP...
Paddy Kennedy - 7/10 - 'Pencil Full Of Lead' by Paolo Nutini
Security guard Paddy impressed coach Rachel last week with his rendition of a Sam Smith song so this week he's taking on Paolo Nutini. Again. I'm not sure why he's doing a song by an artist he has already covered, it does seem a bit of a lazy choice but anyway. This song is very quick and pacing is everything, I think he's maybe slightly off timing at points but it's a relatively solid vocal. That said, I'm not a big fan of his voice on this song, I know Paolo also has that raspy quality to his voice but there's something very bluesy about Paolo's voice on the original and that is missing from Paddy's rendition of the song. It's a decent cover but I'm just not so sure that it totally worked for his voice.
Kieran McKillop - 8/10 - 'Mirrors' by Justin Timberlake
Kieran has impressed me a lot since the live shows began. I didn't really rate him in the initial audition but his voice has improved a lot, again this is a really strong vocal, I don't enjoy it just as much as the last performance just because I don't think it was a very distinctive original performance but it was a very strong rendition of the song. My only concern with Kieran is that I'm not totally sure that his voice is particularly unique but I can't fault his vocals.
Sarah McTernan - 8/10 - 'What I Did For Love' by David Guetta feat. Emeli Sandé
First of all, this is so much stronger than the last two performances she has given, which haven't suited her particularly well. I'm still waiting for her to do something as amazing as her audition but this was a good performance, I loved Sarah's tone on this song and vocally, there wasn't an awful lot wrong with the performance. Again, something I mentioned last week is creeping up again but the backing singers didn't sound right on this performance at all. When it kicked into the chorus they actually drowned Sarah out so someone needs to turn their mics down a little and again, their voices just didn't blend together particularly well.
Kieran McKillop tops the votes for Team Rachel, she picks Sarah McTernan to go through to the semi-final meaning that we lose Paddy Kennedy tonight. Based on tonight's performances, I have to agree with the decision Rachel made. Paddy has progressed in the competition but I feel like Sarah and Kieran are that bit stronger.
Kayleigh Cullinan - 7.5/10 - 'Freewheel' by Duke Special
I think I've made my opinion quite clear on some of the song choices Bressie has made for his female contestants this year. In fairness, I prefer this to her U2 song choice in the knockouts but I still wish he had just allowed her to go for something more natural for her voice. The arrangement of this song is a little monotone at the start but I quite like it, that being said, the higher parts of song still aren't high enough for her voice and she ends up sounding quite squeaky on these notes. I love Kayleigh's voice, she's a really good singer but I don't think forcing her into these kinds of songs has benefitted her really. All the same, for the most part it was a solid performance.
Emma Humber - 8.5/10 - 'Play Dead' by Bjork
Emma's performance in the knockout rounds was up there with the best live show performances from all four seasons in my opinion. This isn't quite as strong, but then again, she did set the bar very high for herself. That being said, I still really like this song, I love the atmosphere the track creates, it's very tense and gothic and Emma once again captures the emotion of the song perfectly. Vocally, I really enjoy it too, the song isn't the most exciting in the world though so it's a step down from her last performance. All the same, I fully expect that she'll be here in the semi-finals as she's a brilliant singer.
Denise Morgan - 9.5/10 - 'These Words' by Natasha Bedingfield
This is an absolutely brilliant song choice, when I first saw what she was covering, I thought Bressie had went mad. Thankfully it's actually a very clever jazzy cover of the song. I've never heard this song being covered like this before but Denise's amazing bluesy tone makes this a breath of fresh air. I love the atmosphere the song creates, it has such a retro 1920's feel to it, it's also the first time I'm seeing how massive Denise's range is. She goes for notes that I didn't think she had it in her to hit, some of her runs remind me a little bit of Jessie J's voice actually. This was a brilliant performance, the runs, the bluesiness in her voice and her commitment to the performance all really impressed me.
Emma Humber wins the public vote and Denise Morgan is her coach's choice to go through to the semi-finals. Kayleigh had a great voice but Emma has been so consistent and Denise was absolutely incredible tonight so again, the right call from their coach.
Patrick Donoghue - 9/10 - 'Only Love Can Hurt Like This' by Paloma Faith
I think it would feel weird giving Patrick anything less than an 8 or 8.5 because he's so consistent vocally. I don't think he knows how to sing out of tune, all of his performances have been pitch perfect. I know it feels hypocritical me saying this when I didn't like Bressie pushing Kayleigh out of her comfort zone but I do sort of wish Una would surprise us with something a bit less predictable. It's not that I have an issue with Patrick singing these songs as he's amazing at them, and it does at least give us an idea of what his album would sound like but I worry that because he's so bloody consistent, people might get bored. I'm not saying give him Black Sabbath, but I would be interested to see him singing something by someone other than a powerhouse female. All the same, that's his place in the semis booked.
John Sheehy - 8/10 - 'Hold Back The River' by James Bay
John had a breakthrough moment last week with 'Firework', it was his best performance by far. This wasn't as good, it's not that he isn't a good singer, he, like Patrick has a really big range but if you're going to sing a song like this, I think you need a little bit of grit. Vocally, this was fine but I think there were a few too many vocal acrobatics, it lacked the authenticity of the original, I didn't really feel a connection with John during the performance. Vocally, it was very impressive but I would have preferred for him to hold back (no pun intended) a little on the song. All the same, he's a really strong singer.
Niall O'Halloran - 7/10 - 'Love You Like I Can' by Sam Smith
Again with using the same artist that Niall has already covered, it does seem a little unimaginative. Niall's voice is huge, much like his competitors but he has a bit of a habit of oversinging, he throws too many runs and too much power into the song. If he waited and did it just in the higher notes, it would be phenomenal but he has a habit of oversinging most of the song. I preferred this to his Ellie Goulding cover and the latter half of the song was very good but overall, I feel like his habit of oversinging adversely affects the way he connects with the songs he sings.
Unsurprisingly, Patrick Donoghue is the public's choice to go through to the semi-finals. Una decides to give John Sheehy the second place in next week's show, meaning that Niall O'Halloran is heading home. Unfortunately, I think Niall and Patrick appealed to similar audiences and Patrick had a stronger performance tonight.
Fionn Gardner - 6.5/10 - 'Up' by Olly Murs feat. Demi Lovato
Fionn is one of the artists I don't feel has benefited from his coach's song choices, his first audition was brilliant but since then I feel like the choices have been too poppy and have lacked that slight edge his first audition had. I really didn't like this song choice for him, for starters it doesn't sound right with just one singer on it considering that it was originally a duet. Vocally, he is a little wobbly, particularly on the high notes. I'm also not keen on the arrangement of the song, there's something just a little off about the way the song is arranged and I personally just didn't feel that it suited Fionn's voice particularly well. If he had been given something like James Vincent McMorrow, Passenger, even something by the likes of Two Door Cinema Club, I think he could have been really good tonight.
Helena Bradley-Bates - 7.5/10 - 'River Deep, Mountain High' by Tina & Ike Turner
Why is Kian incapable of giving her modern songs? Helena has a fantastic voice but I'm getting a bit bored of hearing her singing classic songs we've heard covered loads of times. Vocally, this is probably my favourite performance of hers since the blind auditions and she looks a lot more confident on stage than she has in previous weeks but I do think she could do with singing something a little more contemporary just to take her out of her comfort zone a little bit.
John Bonham - 9/10 - 'Stand By Me' by Ben E. King
When the song first started, I wasn't sure that I was going to like it but as it kicked into the chorus, I was blown away. This is a fantastic song choice, nice to see John doing something different and putting his own spin on a song we wouldn't expect to hear him singing. He nailed the notes, it didn't have quite the same wow factor as last week's performance, mainly because it was a much more stripped back song but all the same, John definitely deserves to make the semi-final, if not the final.
John Bonham tops the votes, whilst it's Helena Bradley-Bates who gets Kian's vote to take her into the semi-finals. So Fionn Gardner leaves Team Kian tonight.