Review and Photo Copyright © Graham Finney.
Back in 2004 a TV show hit our screens that was to change entertainment culture forever – the X-Factor. Roll the clocks forward to 2018 and while the show may not have the pull it once had, a packed arena in Leeds shows that Britain still can’t get enough of Simon Cowell’s pop circus.
So what of this year’s crop then? Do any of them really have the X-Factor? Will we still be talking about Rak-Su in five or even two years time? The answer is probably not but the seven acts taking part in the tour this year are having the time of their lives.
Kevin Davy White kicks things off with “Whole Lotta Love” complete with a firework firing guitar and scantily-clad dancers. It’s over the top, it’s big and it is cheesy. It is everything that the X-Factor has become. With all long-running ideas though comes the need to stop the original idea becoming stale and, while some of the show changes over the years have resulted in a drop in viewing figures, this year’s idea of having a live vote at each stop on the tour seems to be a winner with the crowd.
As for the acts well, from Grace Davies flawless piano rendition of “Roots” to The Cutkelvins to solo artists Matt Linnen and Lloyd Macey, X-Factor seemed to have all bases covered. Sean & Conor, the youngest act on the tour were a hit with the younger members of the crowd while series winners Rak-Su had the entire arena up on their feet from the moment they burst up through the stage.
Sure, the winners may come and go with very few having any real longevity but, as tonight showed, X-Factor still had the fun factor and, as long as it does, Simon Cowell’s entertainment machine will keep on rolling.