The X Factor UK 2015 Finale – Live Blog and Recap – Who Was Eliminated In Third Place? (VIDEO)
The X Factor UK 2015 finale is here! We’re down to just three acts, with every judge but Simon Cowell represented! Rita Ora leads Louisa Johnson into battle, while Nick Grimshaw prepares Che Chesterman for the final! And, of course, there’s Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, who’s looking to score the biggest upset in X Factor history with her sole remaining act, Reggie N Bollie!
Each contestant will perform three songs tonight, and one act will be eliminated at the end of the night! Check out the song spoilers below:
Louisa Johnson will perform “I Believe I Can Fly” by R. Kelly, “Fighter” by Christina Aguilera, and a special duet with judge Rita Ora.
Che Chesterman will perform “Valerie” by Mark Ronson and Amy Winehouse (originally by The Zutons), “In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins, and a special duet with Rod Stewart.
Reggie N Bollie will perform a mashup of “Spice Up Your Life” by the Spice Girls and “Boom Boom Boom” by Outhere Brothers, “Jump” by Kriss Kross, and a special duet with Craig David.
This is looking like it’s going to be a hell of a show! Videos will be coming soon below, so keep on refreshing. But for now, stick around as we recap the big happenings of the finale:
Let’s get this show on the road!
-Hosts Olly Murs and Caroline Flack are on-hand, introducing the judges after a downright lovely video package detailing each finalists’ journey, and noting how badly each of them wants to win. The judges are intro’d to a pretty cool remix of “Paparazzi” by Lady Gaga, before seguing into individual songs for each judge, such as “Bootylicious” for Cheryl. Hilariously, Simon gets to come out to the Imperial March from Star Wars. I love the sense of humor this show has about itself. We then learn that the finale will feature performances from Pentatonix, Fleur East, Ben Haenow, Leona Lewis, Little Mix, One Direction, freaking ADELE, and many more, including The X Factor finalists!
Speaking of which, we get intros for each of the finalists, set to the theme from The Avengers, before we get each of the finalists entering the arena through the crowd, singing their first song choice for the evening. Che enters singing “In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins, Louisa Johnson enters singing “Fighter” by Christina Aguilera, and Reggie N Bollie perform “Jump!” by Kris Kross. This is seriously awesome, and such a cool way to kick off the show, although if they’re going to be performing these songs later, I’d have had them come out singing an encore from their time on the show. (EDIT: Nevermind.) But I digress, as the vote is now open!
CHE CHESTERMAN, “VALERIE”
-We get a pretty cool video package showing Che’s return to his hometown in his Battle Bus to drum up support. Che has always come across as a cool guy, but these types of packages help open us up to his personality more, in my opinion, as we see how this experience has changed him. In particular, his return to his old school and his performance at Royal Albert Hall show just how far he’s progressed as a live performer since the live shows started. I actually wish we could have heard a full take of the Royal Albert Hall version of “Try A Little Tenderness”, because that sounded even better than the last time he did it. Seriously, that falsetto!
-Che performs the Mark Ronson/Amy Winehouse version of “Valerie” by The Zutons, and I’m immediately struck by how cool the huge diner set is. Wembley is massive, so this was probably the only place they could have made such a large, garish set work. Seriously, there are GIANT HAMBURGERS on the stage! I’m absolutely in love with this stage. Oh yeah, the performance. I felt Che overdid it, at points, with his falsetto. But I really can’t front on his vocal ability. He sang the HELL out of this, delivering some of his most confident, passionate runs of the competition. I also love that we’re getting to see him do something a little more current, since the first current song he did in the lives was “Tears Dry On Their Own”, which was mashed up with an oldie in “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”, and one of his more recent current songs was an outright disaster, as he blew it with Adele’s “Hello”. But this was a nice return to form. Good stuff from Che.
-Rita thinks Che’s voice is flawless, and she’s really happy for him. Cheryl has loved to watch Che’s growth, and agrees with a comment Che’s dad made in the video, noting that his voice is “God-given”. Simon gets booed out of the arena when he tells Che he’s the underdog right now, and that there was too much of a production behind him. I don’t disagree, necessarily, but I thought the corny stage setup was part of the performance’s charm. I do have to disagree with Simon, though, when he notes that Che was a bundle of nerves up there. I thought Che looked more confident up there than he has in a while, which is surprising since this is far more people than he usually performs in front of during the live shows. Nick, naturally, disagrees with Simon completely, stating that this is really impressive for what is basically only Che’s seventh live gig. Good point.
REGGIE N BOLLIE, “SPICE UP YOUR LIFE” / “BOOM BOOM BOOM”
-Reggie N Bollie tour in their Battle Bus, and man, these guys are just so freaking likable. They seem genuinely touched by the reception they get when they return home for their performance, doing their version of “I Like To Move It” in front of a PACKED crowd. Could these guys actually win?! They have a ton of support, and it’s really impressive, especially since they’ve never been in the Bottom 2. They meet up with Cheryl and participate in a parade before coming home to their families, who recall how Reggie N Bollie wanted to break up because they never thought they’d make it. But now they’re here, and they have no words to describe the feeling. I can’t help but root for them to win, even though they’re easily the weakest singers in the competition, and among the weakest overall singers to ever make the finals. I just think they could be huge, with the right management backing them.
-From a vocal standpoint, this was terrible. They were off-key, and were swallowed by the music for the most part. But DAMN, this was such a fun performance. They looked like total stars up there, and worked the stage like two guys who’ve been filling arenas for years. They got an entire arena on their feet in one of the most colorful, vibrant, and energetic routines in the history of the show, rubbing elbows with some really great dancers, and managing not to get swallowed up by the largess of the production itself. This was just so great, and so far removed from what we normally see in an X Factor final.
-Simon called it one of the strangest mashups ever, like having a strawberry and liver milkshake. But he loved the second half, and couldn’t be happier that they’re here. That said, he thinks they need to watch it on the second song, since they’re shouting more than singing. But, ultimately, he feels they could actually win this show. Nick says he’s been in this room, watching some of the biggest artists in the world, and they don’t get the kind of reaction Reggie n Bollie just got. He loves them. Rita does too, but she has to be honest, saying it was a “cruise ship” performance. She didn’t feel the guys needed all this, calling it “a shouting competition”. Cheryl says she wants to go to whichever cruise ship Rita is going on. I think the producers want Louisa to win, but I can’t pretend Reggie n Bollie aren’t a big threat to take the title.
LOUISA JOHNSON, “I BELIEVE I CAN FLY”
-Louisa goes touring in her Battle Bus, and this is easily the most adorable video of the three. She not only gets interviewed by her school newspaper, she also gets mobbed by children who are absolutely beside themselves when they see her. She even performs “FourFiveSeconds” for them! Rita then gets the crowd even more riled up for Louisa, getting them all to promise to vote for her this weekend, as if they even needed the encouragement. Louisa really felt like a frontrunner after this video, and I maintain that the producers behind the scenes would prefer that she be the winner, despite Reggie n Bollie picking up steam and proving popular, and Che being a favorite male vocalist throughout the season. Sure, Simon says he could see RnB winning, but I think the powers-that-be probably feel it’s in the show’s best interest to have a proper singer win. This is all guess on my part though, so I suppose we’ll see.
-Louisa sings “I Believe I Can Fly” by R. Kelly, and while it’s a terrific vocal, I’m actually kind of disappointed by how uninspired this song choice was. It just felt like the expected choice for the finale of a singing show. There were also some iffy moments where her voice strained
-Cheryl believes Louisa can fly, and loves that Louisa now believes she can win. Simon thinks Louisa is an angel who’s just come to Wembley and sang the roof off. He thought the second half was way better than the first, but he can’t put it any other way: “You. CAN. Sing.” Nick called it astonishing, and thinks her drive and ambition is great to see in someone so young. “This is the start of huge, huge things for you,” he adds. Rita thinks Louisa is everything this competition is, going from a trembling auditioner to a floating finalist. “Wait until you see what’s coming up, guys!” Rita warns the crowd. Olly talks with Louisa afterwards, and she says she wanted to put as much emotion into the performance as possible. She’s really happy with how it went, adding that it’s crazy how she’s right back where it all started, since she auditioned here in Wembley.
-Back from break as Caroline announces that each contestant only has one song left to earn your vote, which I guess means those snippets of their first song choice that opened the show actually WAS their first song choice. Shame. I wanted to hear a full version of Reggie N Bollie doing “Jump Jump”.
BEN HAENOW AND LEONA LEWIS, “SLAMMING DOORS” / “RUN”
-Ben performs his new song, “Slamming Doors”, and it’s a really cool, smoky ballad about heartbreak. Leona Lewis joins him to turn it into a duet, and I suddenly have the urge to go out and download this, even knowing that it isn’t going to be a duet like this is. However, the song then transitions into Leona’s version of “Run” by Snow Patrol, and I hate saying this, but this was a disaster for Ben, who just completely sings himself raw, to the point where he just can’t stay in key anymore. Ben is a great singer, but that last song did him no favors whatsoever. That said, I think they’re both genuinely talented, and I like both performers. And this has nothing to do with anything, but I think it’s insane how good-looking these people are as well. Seriously.
-We then get a charity video package about Simon’s love of Christmas jumpers, which is kind of humorous, all things considered.
CHE CHESTERMAN AND ROD STEWART, “THE FIRST CUT IS THE DEEPEST”
-In a pre-performance video, Nick recalls Che’s audition, saying he looked around to see everyone else’s faces. He says a couple months ago, he and Che didn’t even know each other, but now they talk every day, and feels they’re genuinely pals. Che agrees, saying it’s been a joy to work with Nick. Che’s father declares that he’s the proudest dad in Britain, while Nick states he couldn’t ask for a better finalist to be here with him, adding that the best is yet to come. How charming, this package was.
-Che sings “The First Cut Is the Deepest”, and it’s one of his most subdued vocals of the entire competition. Don’t get me wrong, he’s still giving it a proper go, but he’s not digging into it with the crazy runs. Perhaps it’s to keep it in one gear so his duet partner can keep up? Not that Rod Stewart necessarily needs the help. Che intros Mr. Stewart, and I feel like it doesn’t get said nearly enough, but Rod Stewart is STILL an amazing freaking singer. Granted, this is kind of an anemic song choice, but his tone is iconic, so I couldn’t front on this at all. And the guys get a well-deserved standing ovation at the end of it.
REGGIE N BOLLIE AND CRAIG DAVID, “Dangerous Love”/”Re-Rewind (The Crowd Say Bo Selecta)”
-We get a video package in which Cheryl recalls how memorable Reggie n Bollie’s audition was, and notes how proud she is to have had them in her category. She gets teary-eyed when the two return the favor. We then get a heartwarming segment in which Reggie’s wife talks about how close he came to giving up on music altogether in order to become a family man. But he kept with it, and now he and Bollie are in The X Factor finale. It’s a genuinely touching video that reminds us that while Reggie and Bollie are two fun-loving guys, they’re deeply committed to family.
-Reggie N Bollie perform “Dangerous Love”/”Re-Rewind (The Crowd Say Bo Selecta)” with Craig David, and while I’m worried these guys (and the show, in general) might be overdoing it with all the mashups, I thought this was a cool little performance. For one, we can actually hear Reggie and Bollie, who aren’t swallowed by the music, for once. Craig also brings the vocal prowess that, frankly, the other two are missing. I really enjoyed this, and I loved the post-performance bit even more, as Reggie seems downright giddy to have shared a stage with Craig David. In a classy moment, Craig thanks Cheryl for finding these two. And yeah, actually, Cheryl deserves a lot of credit for taking a chance on Reggie n Bollie, since they were not an obvious choice, by any means. Ultimately, I feel this season was a whole hell of a lot better for having them around.
LOUISA JOHNSON AND RITA ORA, “AND I’M TELLING YOU I’M NOT GOING”
-Rita recalls Louisa’s audition, stating that she felt they should have called an end to the season once she auditioned, since they’d already found their star. Rita declares that she truly loves Louisa and thinks she’s a star, and we hear the same from her family members, who couldn’t be any more proud of their girl. And that’s three-for-three on the heartwarming video packages. Man, these made me want to root for everyone! I’m aware that I’m being manipulated, but I couldn’t care less!
-Louisa sings “And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going” because of course she is. This was already an incredible vocal, but Rita joins her on the second verse, and immediately elevates this into the stratosphere. It’s amazing how Louisa is already going neck-and-neck with Rita onstage, like she’s been performing for loaded arenas for years. This was exactly as awesome as you’d expect it to be, as both Louisa and Rita poured their all into this. They get a standing ovation from the other three judges at the end, and why the hell wouldn’t they? Just incredible stuff.
-In an utterly ridiculous moment, Olly and Caroline throw to a video recap with voting information for each contestant…only for Louisa and Rita’s duet to play over the entire thing. This was an embarrassing technical snafu that took way too long to correct, as we heard the audience start to boo and Caroline ask the production truck what they were going to do next. Back live, Caroline apologizes to the audience at home, and states they’ll come back to the vote recap after their next performance (of course, by then, the vote will only be open for another ten minutes or so, potentially screwing over the contestants. But I guess it’s not too hard to find out the proper info by just logging onto Twitter). Still, this was a pretty silly mistake.
LITTLE MIX AND FLEUR EAST, “BLACK MAGIC” / “SAX”
-Didn’t both these acts perform their respective singles during the regular season? I guess it’s different now because they’re dueting with each other, and because it’s more of a proper mashup this time. For what it’s worth, I like both songs, so I won’t complain about hearing them again, particularly in mashup form with both artists performing them. Seriously, this was an awesome performance. I wouldn’t mind seeing them do this more often, because they meshed together really well. Afterwards, Fleur talks about how awesome it was to be up here with Little Mix, while Little Mix root for Reggie N Bollie to make the Groups category proud.
-And NOW, we get the proper voting recap video, sans technical difficulties. Hopefully, it’s not too late, since someone WILL be going home tonight in third place. FIVE MINUTE WARNING! And then the vote is frozen.
ROD STEWART, “PLEASE”
-Rod sings “Please”, a song that sounds exactly as old-fashioned as you’d expect a Rod Stewart song to sound. But he sings the absolutely hell out of it, nailing that smoky falsetto on the chorus. The man is just such a consummate performer, and I’ll never not be impressed by just how great he still sounds. His rooting for Che is charming too, although it does kind of seem like he just wants to get off the stage already, and would rather not have to answer any of Caroline or Olly’s questions.
-Time to find out who’s finishing in third place! The contestants are out with their judges, and Caroline and Olly have the results in hand. First, we’ll be finding out which act is the first through to tomorrow’s final. According to the votes…
LOUISA JOHNSON ADVANCES TO THE X FACTOR FINAL!
One spot left. The votes are in…
REGGIE N BOLLIE ADVANCE TO THE X FACTOR FINAL!
CHE CHESTERMAN IS ELIMINATED FROM THE X FACTOR UK 2015!
-Che is all smiles. While he didn’t win, finishing in third place is no small feat. Che says he knows he and Nick will be friends after this, while Nick asserts that Che has one of his favorite voices in the world. He knows a lot of people say this, but he genuinely feels Che will go on to accomplish big things. All in all, Nick is blessed to have met someone like Che in just his first year.
-We then get a brief chat with our X Factor UK 2015 finalists. Louisa can’t believe she’s here, while Reggie simply wants to thank everyone who voted. I might be going crazy, but I kind of want Reggie N Bollie to win. That said, I wouldn’t be mad in the least if Louisa wins. She’s truly one of the best singers this show has ever had, and she’d be an absolutely worthy winner.
What did you think of tonight’s final and result? Sound off in the comments!
Until tomorrow night, thank you for reading!