Notes On The X Factor Final

Alexandra Burke is a worthy and unexpected winner, but Beyonce completely shits on her:


That aside, Burke will now undoubtedly disappear (after her inevitable Christmas no.1 and some minor activity) until her album is complete. The album will probably be a tremendous disappointment that doesn’t use her voice in the right way at all, in a similar vein to Leona Lewis‘ misfiring (but still impressive) Spirit. So what should the album really sound like?

Constant comparison to Leona Lewis so far in Burke’s career really won’t help her at all, just encourage her supposed musical influences to become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Instead, a heavy focus on her strengths could potentially make for an excellent debut album. Think back to the more energetic moments across her X Factor tenure – these are what people want to hear over the ballads. Candyman, Toxic (though it was by no means a song demanding enough for her consideration), On The Radio and Relight My Fire were all successes, while the likes of Without You in Mariah Carey week were somewhat over-cooked. And Silent Night was a complete shambles. Trying to convince Burke that she was comfortable on the notes in the upper registers was unfair.

That’s not to say that she should avoid slower numbers altogether, but for God’s sake strike a balance. Listen (performed in the final by Burke and Beyonce Knowles, but earlier in the series by Burke alone) is, by and large, the perfect for her. Stately enough whereby her vocals can really warm up, but emotional and plain noisy enough for a surprising amount of honest connection with an audience, the sheer drive and volume of the song suits her just fine. This has been mistaken many times across the series for an ability to consistently deliver ballads; if anything, her attitude is all wrong for them. Burke is far more closely aligned with the likes of Beyonce than she is with Mariah, and an album full of slow-burners won’t sell nearly half as well as a more sprightly effort. 

Elsewhere in the final, the first seconds of this performance sealed Eoghan Quigg‘s defeat. Silly 90s poppet.


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