Three acts with links to Eurovision have been competing in the fourteenth series of the UK version of the X-Factor. Slavko Kalezic (Montenegro), Berget Lewis (The Netherlands) and Jon Lillygreen (Cyprus) all competed in the Six Chair Challenge this weekend in Nicole Scherzinger’s Overs category in a bid to make it to the Judges’ Houses next weekend.
Montenegrin singer Slavko Kalezic impressed the X-Factor judges in his first audition with his trademark plait and an impressive rendition of Beyonce’s ‘End of Time’. He returned to our screens on Saturday evening when he took part in the Boot Camp stage of the competition.
Slavko Kalezic came to international prominence when he performed ‘Space’ at Eurovision 2017 for Montenegro. The singer became an instant stand out for his bizarre lyrics (Linen is covered with feathers, Wet dreams, Wild nightmares, I surrender…) and his trademark plait whipping dance moves. Although he failed to progress to the live Final, Louis Walsh (who was in Kiev as part of the Irish delegation) convinced him to appear on the UK version of the X-Factor.
In the same week that Finland have announced the 10 contenders for UMK 2017, one of last year’s participants and runner up Saara Aalto has really managed to turn things around for herself on X-Factor UK. The Finnish singer has been competing in the UK’s X-Factor Series 13 and this week she advanced to the Top Five.
The thirteenth series of the X-Factor UK has been all over the place. From ridiculous selections and reshuffling for ‘entertainment’ purposes during the Six Chair Challenge, to bringing back a number of eliminated contestants who hadn’t previously got through at Judges’ Houses. Then there’s the vague themes the acts are given each week for the live shows that are not particularly subscribed to. For example how is Vanilla Ice a Diva? Unlikely star Honey G has gained a cult following, despite accusations of racial appropriation when the white female singer from London performs hits in the style of black male rappers like Tupac, Coolio and Notorious BIG. There was of course the controversy surrounding the Brooks’ ejection from the show for one of the brothers allegedly beating his girlfriend. While more recently the show has come under scrutiny for vote rigging. X-Factor continues to be very transparent, predictable, exploitative and has surely had its day. One ray of hope however was this week’s performance from UMK runner up Saara Aalto.
Singer Saara Aalto, who finished second in the Finnish Eurovision selection show UMK last year, has progressed to the Boot Camp stage of X-Factor UK following her performance of Sia’s ‘Chandelier’ in Sunday night’s show.
We take a look at what you have to look forward to ahead of Cyprus’ national selection final on Sunday night (1st February). In a selection process akin to Sweden’s Melodifestivalen, Cyprus have aired their show ‘Eurovision Song Project’ since the beginning of December to choose an act for Vienna. The judging panel is full of Cypriot Eurovision royalty including their 2013 entry Despina Olympiou, their 1991 entry Elena Patroklou, and double time representative in both 1995 and 2000 Alex Panagi and some other guy called Tagos Tryfonos. Nope I didn’t recognise any of their names either. The six finalists