X Factor Live, Leeds Arena
Graham Clark, Features Writer
Whether any of tonight's acts can be as big and popular as One Direction or Olly Murs is open to debate.
At least the organisers had given the 8 finalists a huge arena production: fireworks, a huge stage with a catwalk that lead to another small stage, confetti canons, 12 dancers and even Honey G Dollar notes showered over the mainly female audience.
Honey G makes her entrance walking through the audience. Whilst she might not have the natural fluid moves of some of the more well known rappers she is at least entertaining and seems a true fan of the genre. Naturally she has a new single to perform to us. Whether she is a long term prospect or this year's Jedward who can tell.
Emily Middlemas seemed to get overshadowed by the other acts performing during the night, whilst Sam Lavery had the better voice.
Sam's rendering of James Arthur's Impossible might have lacked the emotion of the version by Arthur but she did a credible job nonetheless.
Ryan Lawrie jumped around the stage with youthful Abandon, though he started his first set by sitting down next to a member of the audience.
Four of Diamonds might fancy themselves as the next Little Mix, but somehow they don't really bond together and although a group they don't look it.
The real stars of the night were 5 After Midnight - they can dance and sing and are probably the successors to the place left in pop by JLS.
They even do a duet with Four of Diamonds on the Spice Girls' hit Say You'll Be There.
I'm sure 5 After Midnight will still be around when some of tonight's other performers have long been forgotten.
Saara Aalto plays up to her OTT performances as she floats above the audience with balloons tied behind her.
At another point she rises above the audience again as she performs the Tears for Fears track, Everybody Wants To Rule The World.
Her future could be in musicals rather than on a pop stage. It will not be the last we hear of her.
|Also by Graham Clark...|
|Review: Rick Astley, Victoria Theatre, Halifax|
|Bat Out Of Hell - The Musical, Opera House, Manchester|
|Cock And Crown Inn, Wakefield|
|Hotel Indigo, York|
|The Full Monty, Bradford|
His versions of I Put A Spell on You and Purple Rain were commendable.
A mixed night, it had been like a huge live version of the popular TV show.
X Factor Live, Leeds Arena, 16th March 2017, 19:14 PM