It is very easy to be negative about the crop of contestants that come from TV talent shows. We can argue that they are manufactured to become the idols for the “tweenage.” What rarely seems to be questioned is ‘Why is this a bad thing?’ No one can deny the success of some of the stars that have come from The X Factor family and whilst you may want to believe that it is all mogul manipulation you also have to take into account that some of the contestants have real talent. It is with that view that I went to The X Factor Live tour and in all honesty I was pretty damn impressed.

Eight acts from the last series performed in Liverpool’s Echo Arena to a pretty packed audience with a shocking variation in age range and an almost equal balance of male and female audience members. The first half of the show was a mixture of the seven finalists who didn’t take the top prize. They flitted from act to act who all sang songs that they performed on The X Factor; it would have been nice to see the singers perform different songs than what we had already seen them do however, I can assume it was due to licensing rights of the songs which meant that they had to perform them.

The set did seem a little disjointed with the acts switching at a dizzying rate. It would have been more palatable if they had the acts perform a few songs per group before changing. This made for longer gaps between songs due to set changes.

However, the performers have to be congratulated on giving nearly three hours of entertainment. Highlights included Stereo Kicks (extra kudos to James who’s voice is beyond powerful and stunning), Andreas, who performed power ballads like the greatest of divas and Steve Ritchie who’s enthusiasm is delightfully charming.

The two stars of the show were Fleur East and 2014 winner Ben Heanow. Ben did not join the other contestants for the earlier half of the show but came to do his own mini set towards the end of the concert. It was a very stripped back affair in comparison to the previous performances. He relied on his voice to sell him rather than the bells and whistles we had seen earlier.

However, in my opinion the whole show was tailored to highlight the talent of Fleur East. That girl has talent by the bucket load. She performed her songs with gusto showing herself to be every bit the pop star. With her performances of All About the Bass and Uptown Funk, Fleur East stole the show.

I don’t know what I was expecting when I went to The X Factor Live Tour but I had a damn good time and despite the negativity surrounding stars of talent shows we all should show respect when we see and hear obvious talent – which you do on this tour.

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