X Factor Live Tour - Leeds Arena
Graham Clark, Features Writer
Whether you like the X Factor or not, it cannot be denied that the TV series has brought to pop music artists such as Leona Lewis, One Direction and Olly Murs, making pop music a brighter place than it otherwise might have been.
Over the last few years the winner from the finals do not seem to have been as successful as in the earlier years of the show. Last year they had a re-think and changed the format of the programme with acts being able to perform their own tracks.
The Leeds show felt like being part of the TV show: the big stage performances were there and this year Becca Dudley from the on-line digital version of the programme compared the gig and even mingled with the audience to ask them who was their favourite act. It made the show flow better and the interaction worked well.
In keeping with the TV show there was a winning act depending on who got the loudest cheer, predictably it was Rak-Su, the winners of last year's series who got the loudest cheers.
It was a mixed affair with some acts looking like they will still be around this time next year, whilst others seemed to bask in their 15 minutes of fame.
Kevin Davy White complete with his guitar did a storming version of the Led Zeppelin track Whole Lotta Love and The Beatles, Come Together. Whether they try to package him as a pop artist or not he probably would be best going down a rockier route like Lenny Kravitz.
Grace Davies has bags of confidence and her track, Let Me Love You showed that she might be around for a while yet. She shared that her first concert was seeing the X Factor Live, 10 years ago. Making a big entrance when she rose up in the stage with her piano, it showed how far the show has gone from the last series.
Lloyd Macey has a good voice and his future probably would be in musicals, though his version of the Sam Smith track, Lay Me Down was note prefect and his version of Fix You by Coldplay was sung passionately.
Matt Linen vocally reminds me of James Arthur but seems to be missing that star quality that would endure a successful career.
The Cutkelvins have lots of energy and their version of the Pink hit, What About Us was a success.
Irish duo Sean and Conor Price drew large cheers from the audience, like Journey South they seemed thankful for being given a shot of success.
The winners though in every sense were 4 piece Rak-Su. The Watford lads have their own songs such as Mona Lisa, Dimelo and Mamacita which shone. If ever there was a group to take over from JLS then it would be these lads.
The joint performances worked well too especially on Live and Let Die and the finale when all the acts came together to perform Justin Timberlake's Can't Stop The Feeling.
There were at least 3 acts tonight who given the right breaks could have a career and who will still be remembered when the other acts have faded into obscurity. On tonight's showing it looks though like the X Factor formula still has a powerful edge.
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X Factor Live Tour - Leeds Arena, 4th March 2018, 20:00 PM