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X Factor 2014 Big Band RECAP: Nip slips, champagne glasses and the worst performance EVER

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Syco / Thames / Corbis

Tears: Andrea Faustini has made Scary Spice cry. More than once  

Andrea Faustini left the judges open mouthed as he belted out Jackson 5’s Who’s Loving You in his room audition.

We were expecting a quirky audition when the Italian walked in with his plastic Mel B doll and his pug jumper but, as Cheryl said, he is real proof that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.

"“I just want to sing my heart out, show everyone who I really am, and give everything I have," said Andrea on getting through to the live shows.

"I think this is the greatest chance I’ve ever had in my life. I still can’t believe it right now.”

And he’s already planned what he will do if he wins.

“I would buy a car, maybe. I’m not very good at driving so just a small one, to start with.”

How can you not fall in love with him?

See Andrea Faustini’s X Factor story so far in videos and pictures here.

8:24 pm

Someone’s had some microdermabraison this week. It wasn’t all tea and crumpets with Mel B on a bus.

A bus that I’m going to henceforth refer to as the Spice Girls: The Movie bus because it was red and old enough and that’s good enough for me.

Now can we all just please accept that Andrea’s turning into Leona Lewis? He’s literally not having a bad week and while that’s all very nice for him, it’s a bit samey.

Maybe singing in the dreaded first spot will shake that all up?

8:27 pm

What did you make of Andrea Faustini’s performance?


Andrea Faustini  

Simon: "I didn’t think that was amazeballs actually. It lacked that gritty passion."

Cheryl: "You absolutely brought that to life. One word: Amazeballs."

Mel B: "Simon is so wrong."

Louis: "You are the people’s diva, I absolutely love it. He’s like a little Paravoti."

That’s what the judges thought but what about you? What do you make of Andrea’s performance?

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8:32 pm

Lauren Platt’s up!

Syco / Thames / Corbis

Forever young: Lauren Platt is the baby of Cheryl’s category  

Lauren Platt is the baby of Cheryl’s category but she’s more than ready for the live shows as she moves  to the next stage of the X Factor.

Lauren has breezed through the competition so far , receiving four yeses in her room audition and after impressing the judges with her rendition of Queen Latifah’s I Know Where I Have Been, a song from the musical Hairspray.

But the 16-year-old, from Essex, had to convince her mentor that she could cope with the pressure of the weekly Saturday night performances, after  Cheryl admitted she was concerned about Lauren’s age.

"I’m looking forward to the performances," said Lauren.

"Getting out there and singing in front of ten million people! That sounds insane. I’ll have nerves but if I didn’t, that would be really strange. I’ll just go out there and give everything I’ve got."

She is also looking forward to her  pre-live show makeover  and admitted she’s open to anything.

"I’d do whatever they wanted me to, within reason! Maybe not shaving my head. But I’m happy to experiment."

See Lauren Platt’s X Factor story so far in videos and pictures here.

8:34 pm

I know they’ve paid for the big band and everything but are we going to have them doing a little ditty every two bloody minutes?

Because that’s going to get OLD. I’m already dreaming of crushing a load of trombones in a car salvage yard while a few hundred musicians weep, unable to do anything about it.

Lauren says she’s never had a 30-piece orchestra behind her. Well, yeah, it doesn’t tend to happen all that often in the real world.

And she’s off.

8:36 pm

I’m firmly of the belief that no-one should smile while singing this song.

It’s pretty self-explanatory and unless you’re showing off some shiny new dental work, there’s not really much point and it’ll just come across as fake.

Lauren may be singing this incredibly well but all I can think of is her smile – it’s looking very affected.

Still, girl’s got stage presence which just about overcomes that. Just.

And she’s also probably got a coupon for 50% teeth whitening somewhere too.

8:39 pm

What did you make of Lauren Platt’s performance?


Lauren Platt is that you?  

Simon: "I thought it was good, I thought the end was the best part. It was a bit boring, the performance, I felt in the middle. It was like someone needed to give the seat a push. It was good, it wasn’t fantastic."

Cheryl: "You have to be so proud of yourself for that."

Mel B: "First off, you look absolutely stunning. Your technique vocally is flawless."

Louis: "It was like you were born to do this."

That’s what the judges thought but what about you? What do you make of Lauren’s performance?

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8:42 pm

Another break. ANOTHER BREAK. I know it pays the bills and everything but come on – we’re barely 30 minutes in!

Oh well, it’ll give me enough time to wade through all the Twitter comments about this delightful evening.

And it doesn’t look like Big Bang week is super popular with that social network.

Big Band Week is the only week my mum likes on #xfactor.

— Paul Lang (@rudemrlang) November 15, 2014

8:44 pm

Who wore it better?


Cheryl Fernandez-Versini wows this week  

Both judges made sure they were dressed to the nines as they stepped out tonight for Big Band Week.

Cheryl channels Big Band glam this week in a gorgeous Naeem Khan dress with gorgeous detailing.

Opting for a 1920s style, the singer shows off her cleavage with a low cut neckline decorated with plenty of bling and finishes the look with a fluffy skirt.

Mel B opted for a shorter style, choosing a pink J. Mendel dress with a pair of two tone Christian Louboutin stilettos.

But who are we to decide? Judge for yourselves, and don’t forget to take a look back at the X Factor live shows so far and decide who wore it best.

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8:45 pm

Jay James is singing for his supper now!

Syco / Thames / Corbis

Lucky: Despite his disappointing Judges’ Houses performance Jay James has made it through  

Ex-navy soldier Jay James found a new passion in singing after injuring his knee and it’s paid off as he makes it to the live shows of The X Factor 2014.

Despite judge Simon Cowell complaining his Overs category wasn’t good enough he still chose Jay James to go through to the live finals.

Jay sailed through the audition stages singing A Great Big World, Coldplay’s Fix You and REM’s Everybody Hurts, and even made Mel B tear up.

After being on sick leave from the Navy, Jay bought himself a guitar and took up singing and spoke about this being his last chance: "I’ve dedicated my last few years to this and I’ve worked hard.

"I’ve not achieved what I want to achieve yet. If I don’t do that now, I kind of need to move on and be a provider for my family. And get a day job.”

See Jay James’s X Factor story so far in videos and pictures here.

8:49 pm

What? How? Who? HUH?

I don’t remember this song starting with whale sounds. Seriously, what version is this? Sinatra’s duet with Keiko the Orca?

Jay wants to be more careful with that suit.

Why is that woman in a champagne glass? Is this the 70s and are we in some seedy nightclub in Slough? Because no-one has ever looked at a woman in a champagne glass and thought ‘class’.

Oh that’s ruined this performance for me now. Well, more so.

8:53 pm

What did you make of Jay James’ performance?

Jay James  

Simon: "You’re the one who played with the band."

Cheryl: "I have to give you a bit of credit for that."

Mel B: "I don’t love Simon today because I think he did you a disservice. Vocally that wasn’t on point."

Louis: "The Frank Sinatra felt it was kind of karaoke."

That’s what the judges thought but what about you? What do you make of Jay’s performance?

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8:59 pm

Stereo Kicks are up!

Syco / Thames / Corbis

They’ve got a name: New Boy Band have renamed themselves Stereo Kicks  

The hottest thing since Simon Cowell created One Direction, these eight young boys make up Stereo Kicks and are through to the live shows of The X Factor 2014.

After finally finding a fresh new name, the boys made up of Barclay, Chris, Casey, Jake, James, Tom, Charlie and Reece all auditioned separately during the room and arena auditions but deemed too good to let go by the judges.

They were given only a few hours to put a performance together and incredibly impressed the judges with their rendition of Leona Lewis’ cover of Run and were put straight through.

The boys were over the moon to get through but were most worried about what the show bosses had planned for their hair: "Looking forward to it, until they say hair! They know what they’re doing though. They’re going to make us look handsome… hopefully!"

See Stereo Kicks’ X Factor story so far in videos and pictures here.

9:02 pm

It’s like baby’s first wedding, isn’t it?

Lots of suits available in Baby Gap apparently.

At least Jake’s not attempting to rap – that’s all I’ve got to be thankful for tonight.


9:05 pm

What did you make of Stereo Kicks’ performance?


Stereo Kicks

Simon: "I think Cruella DeVile has got this wrong. Reallly great, great vocals. It’s hard being in an eight piece band."

Cheryl: "I feel like each week you’re coming up against a problem but I have to applaud you."

Mel B: "I think you look great. Now this is my problem – you all need to be identifiable and I don’t think the public knows enough."

Louis: "They’re going places!"

That’s what the judges thought but what about you? What do you make of Stereo Kicks’ performance?

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9:07 pm

Ben Haenow’s up and he’s representing London apparently

Syco / Thames / Corbis

Rockstar: Simon Cowell loves Ben Haenow’s unique vocals  

Ben Haenow brings his rocky vocal every time he steps up in front of the judges, and was one of the only acts to impress Simon Cowell at the Judges’ Houses.

He was criticised for his ‘dance moves’ in the first audition – with the judges preferring him to keep still, but despite his apparent confidence, Ben admitted that his nerves did get to him.

"I can’t believe it. I wasn’t happy with my performance and everyone else was so good," he said of his Judges’ Houses performance.

"To be the last one to be sent through, as well. It felt like I was waiting for a year.”

And he hopes that he will go far enough in the live shows to end his career as a van driver – although it may not be the end of his van.

"I might buy one for leisure purposes!"

See Ben Haenow’s X Factor story so far in videos and pictures here.

9:09 pm

Ironic that Ben’s singing Cry Me a River after that sob-story light VT just happened.

Remember when it used to be all about dead dads and disease.

Now it’s about driving a van and not bringing your mum to the X Factor every Saturday.

Oh well, he can sing I suppose.

9:12 pm

What did you make of Ben Haenow’s performance?


Ben Haenow  

Simon: "It was honest, it was cool and it made you show that you are a versatile artist. It was a fantastic performance."

Cheryl: "You’ve been so versatile through each week but tonight just wasn’t your week. You’re cooler than this."

Mel B: "I know how much this means to you. It was a good performance and a good delivery."

Louis: "You were really good and very consistent."

That’s what the judges thought but what about you? What do you make of Ben’s performance?

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9:18 pm

Only The Young are up now!

Syco / Thames / Corbis

Best friends: Only The Young have the edge that Louis wants  

Only The Young have made it to the live shows on this year’s X Factor.

The four-piece singing group are finalists of X Factor 2014 and they couldn’t be more thrilled. Made up of 19-year-old Mikey Bromley 17-year-old Charlie George, 20-year-old Parisa Tarhomani and 18-year-old Betsy-Blue English, the foursome live together in Parisa’s parents’ home.

Hailing from as far afield as Kent, Carlisle and Brighton, they describe themselves as a modern-day Von Trap family and their bubbly and energetic performances have won them a legion of fans – not least, groups mentor Louis Walsh who picked them to be in his final three.

Their auditions all went well, especially the arena round where show boss Simon Cowell said that they could win the entire show.

They revealed that they’ve not quite taken in just how big the show is, explaining: "It’s such a big opportunity and a big deal, it won’t hit us until we sing on the first week."

They added: "I think we’re most looking forward to showing people what we’re about – bringing a twist to the show hopefully. We want to show both the show audience and the audience at home what Only the Young is all about."

See Only The Young’s X Factor story so far in videos and pictures here.

9:19 pm

Is it bring your parents to work week or something?

Seriously, EVERYONE’S families have been bussed or Skyped in to take part.

It’s not Mother’s/Father’s Day so CALM DOWN.

9:21 pm

Just so we’re all aware – they’re swaying and not swinging. K? GOOD.

Now that was some CBBC drama worthy acting was that. They’re a bit like S Club 7 only you know, not.

And Yvonne Atkins hasn’t joined to sing lead vocals.

Not their best performance.

My god, they’re getting their money’s worth out of this band, aren’t they?

9:24 pm

What did you make of Only The Young’s performance?


Will this weekend spell the end for Only The Young?  

Simon: "You are fun, you’re unique, you’re not taking yourself too seriously. I really hope people keep you in because I love you guys."

Cheryl: "You bring the fun into the X Factor. That was so much fun."

Mel B: "I liked that. You know what you’re doing and you do it really well."

Louis: "You’re fun, you’re high-energy. PLEASE VOTE."

That’s what the judges thought but what about you? What do you make of Only The Young’s performance?

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9:25 pm

Stevi Ritchie’s dedicating his song to Mel, no idea why


Stevi Ritchie looks a VERY different now  

Stevi Ritchie has made us laugh harder than any other contestant, and his charming nature has won over millions of X Factor viewers.

But after he made it all the way to Judges’ Houses, Stevi found his hopes were shattered when Simon told him he wouldn’t be going through to the live shows.

Despite the dad-of-one believing it was all over, he has been handed a lifeline by Cheryl Fernandez-Versini as she was given the chance to pick a wildcard for Simon Cowell’s Over 25 category.

And now the 34-year-old is set to grace our screens on the live shows, and we’re sure that we’ll be in for plenty of energetic dance moves and audience participation in true Stevi style.

See Stevi Ritchie’s X Factor story so far in videos and pictures here.

9:28 pm

Stevi’s apparently performing as Glenn Miller. Now, not then. *cough*

Oh HONESTLY. He looks like the world’s most annoying bingo caller.

And what’s with all the scantily clad dancers? I’ll start a march for equal rights if Fleur isn’t surrounded by gyrating  semi-naked men.

It’s only fair.

I just can’t with Stevi anymore.

I keep hoping one of those fire blasts will take his mic out.

9:32 pm

What did you make of Stevi Ritchie’s performance?


Stevi Ritchie  

Simon: "It was one of the worst performances we’ve ever had on this show

Cheryl: "It didn’t feel as energetic to me. I was very distracted. I actually don’t remember the vocal.

Mel B: "I don’t get it. i just don’t get it."

Louis: "You’re still in the competition. For some reason the public like you and they’re voting for you."

That’s what the judges thought but what about you? What do you make of Stevi’s performance?

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9:37 pm

Fleur East is closing the show!

Syco / Thames / Corbis

Surprise star: Fleur East was the dark horse of the competition after her amazing Judges’ Houses performance  

Fleur East has made it to the live shows on this year’s X Factor.

The 26-year-old vocalist blew Simon Cowell away with her Judges’ Houses performance, putting her safely into his top three and securing her place in the live shows of the ITV talent show.

After doing okay but not spectacularly in her auditions, Fleur found herself being the surprise of the competition at the Judges Houses stage when her performance of Jessie J’s Bang Bang blew Simon and Sinitta away.

"I had to do something special," she explained. "I knew I couldn’t afford to be complacent. I knew I hadn’t done enough enough up until this point.

"I’d had a few good comments, but I wasn’t up there. I had to go in all guns blazing and that’s what I did. I really didn’t know what Simon was thinking.

"Up until this point I’ve thought, ‘I must not be good enough, because I’ve had so many knock backs and if I was good enough, it would have happened by now’."

See Fleur East’s X Factor story so far in videos and pictures here.

9:41 pm

I don’t understand what’s happening.

Fleur’s amazing but she’s not Beyonce. She’s not even Solange.

Let’s not have a repeat of Alexandra Burke and Beyonce’s duet – it didn’t go well for Alexandra and I like Fleur more so I don’t want her to be embarrassed.

9:44 pm

What did you make of Fleur East’s performance?


Fleur East  

Simon: "This is the first time I’ve believed, sincerely that you could win this competition. By any standard this was a fantastic performance."

Cheryl: "You’re an all-rounded, you can do it all. You sang, you rapped, you danced."

Mel B: "You are always a surprise to me, you bring it every single week. That was a great performance."

Louis: "We saved the best until last. We’re looking for a star and Fleur you are a star."

That’s what the judges thought but what about you? What do you make of Fleur’s performance?

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9:48 pm

Relive Dermot’s cringeworthy dad dance

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Dermot O’Leary’s dance moves are starting to become a regular little slot on the X Factor – and we’re still not sure.

The lovable presenter is great at keeping the judges in order, but we can’t help but think he should stick to the day job.

But of course, he couldn’t pass up the Big Band week opportunity, but sorry Dermot, Michael Buble you are not.

Last week, Dermot treated the X Factor audience to his best dance moves as he strutted his stuff, flanked by a group of sexy dancers.

The presenter came out all guns blazing for Queen vs Michael Jackson week and attempted to show his own boogie skills.

But it was more Please Stop Now than Don’t Stop Me Know as Dermot strutted to the front of the stage in a strange little shuffle – complete with fist movements.

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If we’re honest, he should probably stick to the day job.

And while it might have brought a tiny, tiny smile to our faces –  we’re not entirely sure we would want to watch it again.

But we’ve put the video in for you anyway, just in case you missed it.


9:59 pm

After tonight’s performance, Jay James is the bookies favourite for the axe

So after tonight’s performances it looks like Jay James could be on his way home tomorrow night after his lacklustre performance of New York, New York.

The former soldier is 10/11 to be the next contestant eliminated from the X Factor this week followed by Stevie Ritchie at 7/4 according to bookmaker William Hill.

“Jay was in the bottom two last week and he even admitted that he needed to bring it this week, but unfortunately, it looks as though his time could be up,” said William Hill spokesman Joe Crilly.

X Factor next elimination:

Jay James 10/11

Stevi Ritchie 7/4

Stereo Kicks 5/1

Only the Young 10/1

Lauren Platt 20/1

Fleur East 50/1

Andrea Faustini 66/1

Ben Haenow 66/1

10:00 pm

Is Lauren Platt turning into Cheryl Fernandez-Versini?

We had to do a double take this week when Lauren Platt stepped up to the stage.

Because it seems the only remaining act in Cheryl’s category is BECOMING the judge herself.

In a sleek glitzy dress Lauren channelled her mentor’s style as she performed her version of Nat King Cole’s Smile.


Cheryl’s the one on the left – in case you got confused  

Just check out the picture above – we can barely tell them apart.

It’s like Cher Lloyd all over again.

Lauren has been impressing the judges week after week – and she’s now one of the favourites to win the competition.

Last week, Lauren received yet more praise for her performance of Jackson 5’s I’ll Be There, despite having tonsillitis.

"I thought the track was good, I thought the last twenty seconds was fantastic. I think you’re better than even you know," said Simon.

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"It just shows how much of a professional you are at your age to deliver a performance like that," added Cheryl.

Mel B said: "You performed that song like you’ve been performing your entire life."

Lauren has been on top of her game from the word go – even managing to impress global superstar Pharrell Williams during the first week of live shows.

Pharrell admitted that she had done a great version of his number one hit song Happy – praise indeed.

10:02 pm

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Jay James’s performance didn’t receive rave reviews from the judges this week – in fact we were all more concerned with that dancer in the champagne glass.

And we were right to be keeping our eye on her too, after the poor girl suffered an embarrassing nip slip during Jay’s rendition of Empire State Of Mind/New York New York medley.

To be fair she was wearing a very low cut glittery dress with only two thin straps to hold the outfit together and protect her modesty.

But it didn’t go unnoticed by Twitter, and we’ve put the best reaction together for you below.

Perhaps if Jay’s performance had been a little better, no one would have noticed the fleeting wardrobe malfunction.


Jay had to fight for his place in the competition last week after finding himself in the sing-off against fellow contestant Paul Akister.

The 31-year-old was saved by the public after Louis Walsh sent the vote to deadlock.

Jay has admitted that the X Factor is his last shot at a singing career – and if it doesn’t work out this time, the ex-navy soldier will leave his dream behind him for the sake of his family.

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"I’ve dedicated the last few years of my life to this and I’ve worked hard.

"I’ve not achieved what I want to achieve yet. If I don’t do that now, I kind of need to move on and be a provider for my family. And get a day job."

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Last week, Jay took to the stage to sing his version of Queen’s The Show Must Go On, after admitting he had been ill during the week.

"The look on your face on the end said it all – you knew you were struggling," said Simon.

Cheryl added: "I felt for you tonight Jay because we’re performers and we know what it’s like when we’re poorly and you have to get up and still give a show."

"I wasn’t feeling it. I could see you were uncomfortable and stressed out," said Mel.







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