It’s been going for quite a few years now, but the X Factor and it’s ever-popular live tour shows no signs of flagging, writes Daniel Bailey.
It was an extra special night in Nottingham on Thursday with this year’s show officially kicking off the 2017 tour at the city’s Motorpoint Arena.
The popular 5 After Midnight were first to the stage, opening the night with Uptown Funk, setting the tone brilliantly with their energetic dance moves and smooth harmonies.
And there were some big cheers from the crowd too thanks to one talented band member and his links to Nottingham.
Great renditions from Ryan Lawrie, Emily Middlemas and rock chick Sam Lavery quickly had the crowd onside with performances as sparkling as some of the girl’s dresses.
You could tell each act was reveling in the occasion – and with thousands of fans screaming their names, why wouldn’t they?
The hilarious Honey G, who’s left me in stitches on more than one occasion, was always going to be the best bet to get the crowd bouncing – and she did just that!
Whether you’re a fan or not, you simply can’t watch her perform without a smile on your face and the enthusiasm for what she does seems to rub off on everyone.
Stunning girl group Four of Diamonds showed off their superb vocals with Lorde’s Royal before teaming up with the 5 After Midnight boys to perform a mash-up of Say You’ll Be There and Beyonce’s Crazy In Love.
One of my favourites from last year was flamboyant Saara Alto, who was always going to make a mark with her flawless vocals and animated choreography.
Her cover of Bjork’s Oh So Quiet was a joy to watch as she floated from the stage attached to several giant balloons, before her moving version of Winner Takes It All simply lit up the arena.
The tempo was slowed as phones glowed for Emily Middlemas’s Closer before the young Scot returned for some crowd interaction during One Direction’s What Makes You Beautiful.
For me, worthy winner Matt Terry was the pick of the bunch and only a performer with his kind of talent could do justice to Prince’s classic Purple Rain.
It remains to be seen how successful he will become, but on this evidence there’s no doubt he has the ability to follow in the footsteps of Louisa Johnson, James Arthur and Leona Lewis.
They simply went wild for likeable Matt, as he put on an flawless mini-set of songs including I Put A Spell on You and Sam Smith’s brilliant Bond track Writing’s On The Wall.
It was a fitting end to a great show which ended far too soon, but fear not, I’m certain there’ll be a whole set of new hungry acts ready to repeat the feat next year.
Photos credit: Music Promotions Photography