Well, before we get a glimpse of the winner, let’s take a look at the performances of the night. The top 12 did some Take That, which was kind of meh. The celebrities lineup was also kinda lacklustre but I guess they already blew their budget with the Gagas and the Mariahs throughout the season.
Leona performed a dramatic Oasis piece (and remarkably went flat on several notes but still managed to out-belt anyone else on the show) and Alexandra did a medley with JLS. Has her singing always been this good? I don’t remember it being that solid. Guess she is more than just a Leona-lite like I thought last season (just with faster songs and more stage presence).
George Michael also did his new Christmas single (like Wham’s Last Christmas isn’t still hogging and destroying every Christmas songlist up till now) and Paul McCartney randomly performed (two songs too!).
Plus, of course, the two finalists performed two songs each.
Twist and Shout (perhaps in homage to Sir McCartney in da house?): Classic Olly and he slammed it out of the park. These kinds of old-school boogie-woogies are totally his niche and here he did fantastically. Singing was great and appropriately shouty and the mastery over the stage was complete. A+
The Climb (original: Miley Cyrus): When I saw the winner’s single, I thought Joe had this in the bag since it’s much more his thing and ballads have never been Olly’s strong point. But, just like Cheryl and Dannii, I was pleasantly surprised by Olly’s performance here. While it wasn’t a perfect vocal, he definitely sang much better than I’ve ever seen him, hit the requisite big notes and actually felt earnest. Plus, compared to Joe’s polished technical perfection, Olly’s rougher timbre added an edgier tone to the song that I actually thought suited it better. Strange as it is to say this, I actually preferred Olly’s performance of this song and it’s my fave performance by him all season. A+ (and boo to the instrumental flub in one of the key notes)
Don’t Stop Believing (original: Journey): I actually thought Joe’s first performance of this was just okay. At that point, while his vocals were already indisputably amongst the best, he didn’t seem to know what to do on stage except over-rehearsed cheesy camp movements. Fast forward to the present and his new confidence and swagger on stage is much more apparent. While it was still a tad cheesy (although some might argue any cover of this song has to be), he was definitely much more comfortable on stage and in control. A
The Climb (original: Miley Cyrus): Joe has always been king of the emo ballads and here it shows. His vocals were pretty much spot-on and his delivery was heartfelt and personable. While I might prefer Olly’s more raw performance of this, there’s no doubt that Joe’s version was fantastic as well and incredibly well-sung and he totally knocked it out at the end (and, of course, both are better than Miley’s version). A+
And, having seen both performers put up great performances tonight, it’s time to take a look at the winner of this year’s competition (with the bookies’ favourite being Joe):
You know, up till this moment I still thought it would be Olly by a hair’s breath, in a repeat of the David vs. David finals in American Idol 7 (the edgier, older rocker vs. the cherubic balladeer with the great voice). Plus, at least to me, Olly actually did better tonight (although Joe’s been the best for weeks). Still, I guess Joe’s rapidly growing fanbase pulled through and gave the show its expected winner. I’m really happy with the result too.
And, in case you didn’t see his first performance of this, here’s his (understandably emotional) performing of “The Climb” after the win:
Y’know, I have to say that I was really quite surprised by this show. I’ve always thought the X Factor to be a lousier version of the Idol franchise and when Aaron first intro-ed this season to me and I started watching, the quality wasn’t admittedly that great yet. But, as the weeks went on and I continued to watch, I found myself more and more invested in the show and loving it more and more.
While the contestants might not all have big voices like in Idol, they’re much better at performing and have much better stage presence and some, like Joe, can sing as well as the best of them. Plus, the production value is so high, each performance is so elaborated and it really is quite entertaining. Here’s looking forward to an even better X Factor 2010 and I’ll leave you with the most hilarious picture of the season – Jamie Archer attempting to swallow Leona Lewis: