X Factor review 2014: Mel B shows a little tenderness as boys are cut down to size

Scary Spice left her acerbic tongue back in Leeds this week

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The Independent Culture

Tonight the boys’ category was whittled down to the final three by Mel B and Emma Bunton.

After all the verbal assaults in the previous rounds, who would have thought that Mel B had a softer side?  

The choice themselves: Paul Akister, Jake Quickenden and Andrea Faustini were all a little too predictable. We have seen so much of this trio that we all secretly knew they would be put through.

Meet the 12 X Factor finalists

There would have been uproar if Paul and Jake had not been selected. The pair had to endure the whole process again and to fall at the final hurdle would have been too cruel.

Again, X Factor appears to have developed some sort of conscience. It’s a refreshing change that should be lauded.


From Mexico it was then over to the over-25s. Looking like a convincing Bond villain, SiCo delivered an ominous Skype message to the group telling them that they were off to LA.

When they touched down, Simon's hopefuls were "treated" to a One Direction concert in the city. He's so generous.

Finally, we got to Simon's house. Still looking like a Bond villain with his over-sized sunglasses, he introduced his right-hand woman. Cue Sinitta bursting out in a bikini, some furry-looking grass and a huge native American headdress. She definitely out-did Simon's entrance.

But judges to one side, it’s safe to say that the over-25s category group is the weakest of the lot this year. They were all rather average, even Lizzy, the sister of Twilight star Robert Pattinson, failed to amaze.

What is going on? Clearly, the six-chair challenge is not only a psychological nightmare for the hopefuls but for the judges too.

Simon seems to have made some terrible choices, which is saying something about the seasoned media mogul.

Only Fleur East had any sort of star quality. Perhaps Simon should just take her through – she has a far better chance than the rest of her group. It’s still a wonder how she was knocked off the show by Chico.

Tune in tomorrow to find who will make it through to his final three but it probably won't be terribly exciting.