I know I might not have blogged much about this year’s X Factor UK (especially compared to the word diarrhoea that was last year’s competition) but I have still been following the series avidly, as those on my Twitter feed would have realised.
So, the season has ended and the winner is…
Matt Cardle (i.e. my favourite!)!
From the first time I heard him in the audition rounds, he was one of the ones I marked out to follow, although I never expected that he would go so far (my early audition faves often don’t even make it to the public voting stages, or do but then fizzle out anti-climatically).
Although he might not be the most amazing contestant to have ever appeared on a singing competition, or even the X Factor, he’s definitely had great performance after great performance and has been the most consistent this entire season. He did have a few not-so-great songs (although even those are of decent quality) and there are times when he gets a little wavery and pitchy in the lower ranges (although that upper register of his is just insane), but those were pretty few and far between (he actually had his worst performances vocally, to me, in the last two weeks, because of laryngitis or bronchitis or one of those serious illnesses singers get).
The thing I like most about Matt (other than his glorious voice when he goes for the big notes) is that he always finds a way to make the song his own as well as his unpredictability in choosing songs. Although he appears to fit the scruffy, alt-pop, alt-rock, singer-songwriter-musician male artiste mould perfectly, he often performs songs outside of that style and switches it up (the few times he does stick to that genre are the ones that were less memorable).
For those who’ve not heard him but want to get a taste of what Matt can do, here are some of his select performances:
This is not only my favourite performance from him, but my favourite performance this entire season. It encapsulates everything about what I said about him not shoe-horning himself into a certain genre/style/choice of song and his unpredictability and his ability to make songs out of his style his own perfectly. This is the type of song that I would pay for.
This is the song that got him a tongue-bath from the judges and that shot him to frontrunner status. I actually thought he started off a little wobbly but once he got into the climax, it was beautiful.
Another example of choosing a random girl’s song and changing it up to make it awesome in a totally different way. Plus, you have to check out the violin ensemble.
I love how Rihanna (who, apparently, is transforming into Whitney circa 1990) was getting all up in his face and he was just ignoring her and trying his best to outsing her. Plus, he sang in her range, which was freaky yet awesome.