GIVEN all the ramped-up hysteria and emotion associated with The X Factor, its live incarnation was a curiously lacklustre affair, eliciting only dutiful screams from the willing audience.
X Factor Live
The Hydro, Glasgow
* * * The failure to invest in a live band was a mistake, leaving mostly inexperienced performers struggling to spark off a backing track while ostensibly making all the right moves.
Demonstrating again how the classiest singers often lose the X Factor popularity poll, the soulful Hannah Barrett generated little heat in the crowd despite wiping the floor with her vocal competition.
Eager teenager Nicholas McDonald was out of his depth but buoyed up by his home crowd, R&B trio Rough Copy were a man down with no explanation and had to work hard to maintain the energy levels while vanilla Sam Callahan, the whipping boy of the contest, appeared utterly bereft of vocal talent and stage presence.
There were a couple of glimpses of potential in the two-hour show: Tamera Foster, the show’s wannabe Beyoncé, gave a convincing rendition of Ain’t Nobody, while likeable Luke Friend, the most appealing all-rounder of the group, delivered Bon Iver’s Skinny Love with a rare ring of authenticity.
Winner Sam Bailey possesses some powerful pipes which she let loose on a succession of old-fashioned power ballads, including the ridiculously ostentatious And I Am Telling You, with all the aplomb of a holiday camp hostess. But whose issue is that? With The X Factor, the audience get what they voted for.