The X Factor best themes

Halloween week, FTW

X Factor judges

by Polly Foreman |
Published on




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Halloween week is always a banger. From Jedward singing Ghostbusters to that time Louis Walsh went trick or treating with ONLY THE YOUNG – it's delivered some of the show's most memorable moments. Here are our highlights.


No phrase gets us quite so excited as "Simon Cowell announces shock twist" – he seems to do that a lot.

This particular twist was that the act with the lowest votes would be booted off on the Saturday rather the Sunday show (so they had to pull their socks up basically.)

And pull their socks up they did – most particularly Stevi Ritchie, who sang a shockingly kinda great version of Music of the Night (from Phantom of The Opera).

Another highlight was Andrea Faustini dressed as a gold Christmas candle singing Relight My Fire for a reason that we're still trying to work out. The X Factor is so weird.

Jedward - GHOSTBUSTERS (2008)

Around the time they'd got a diss from Gordon Brown (Prime Minister at the time) and the name Jedward was being coined by the press, John and Edward performed probably their most memorable song of the entire competition / their weird career.

One Direction – Total Eclipse of the Heart (2010)

Their rendition of the Bonnie Tyler classic wasn't scary at all, but they had RED EYES AND LOOKED FANTASTIC. And they sang well, obv.

No. 1's week

There's a reason why No.1's are No.1's – BECAUSE THEY'RE BANGERS. So this week always delivers some absolute TUNES. Here is our highlight:

Our fave moment was in 2012 when James Arthur (DO YOU REMEMBER JAMES ARTHUR?) sang No Doubt's Don't Speak. We've got to admit he sounds pretty good. We wonder what became of him…

Queen v Michael Jackson (2014)

This was a pretty out there theme, and unlike most on the list it hadn't actually been done before. But whoever's mad idea it was, it definitely worked – and it gave us some of the most memorable performances of the season.

Andrea Faustini – Somebody To Love (Queen)

Ben Haenow – Man In The Mirror (Michael Jackson)

Is it just us or is there something kinda AMAZINGLY WEIRD about watching One Direction back in their X Factor days?

Big Band

We kinda have a love / hate relationship with big band week. On the one hand it's super classy and extravagant. On the other it can be pretty boring (and there is absolutely no scope for Ghostbusters). BUT it's an X Factor tradition, so we always get excited really.

Andrea Faustini's (bae) rendition of Ella Fitzgerald's Summertime (2014) was prob our fave Big Band ever.

Ben Haenow - Cry Me A River (2014). Absolutely nailed it.

80s week

80s week is probably the funnest of the themes, and contestants generally seem to absolutely nail it or absolutely fail it. Which is exciting. Mostly they tend to sound like bad karaoke, but below are two people who NAILED IT.

Lauren Platt – What A Feeling, Irene Cara (2014)

Simon said of this: "Hands down the best performance tonight. It was in a different league. I'm really, really impressed, congratulations."

Ben Haenow – Jealous Guy, John Lennon (2014)

This was the week Mel B told him to "man up" after he had a cold (rude), but Ben Haenow was always just perfect in our eyes <3

Beatles week

This was a controversial week, given that The Beatles are just so many worlds apart from what The X Factor represents – but putting aside our musical snobbery, this week delivered some absolute corkers.

One Direction singing All You Need Is Love (2010) was hailed as their best performance in the whole series (and don't they look CUTE?!)

Matt Cardle singing Come Together (2010) in a really weird voice doing a really weird dance while dressed in a really weird vest was also fantastic. We miss Matt Cardle.

Simon Cowell said after that it: "looks like you were dragged from the loo onto the stage to do a performance." Lol.

Songs to get me to the final week

This theme has been branded the worst ever by many in the press, and we can see why – surely getting them to the final is a fundamental purpose of every song they do? It's basically another name for "It's week 10 and we're tired of thinking of themes now so JUST DO WHATEVER."

But it nevertheless delivered some of the best performances of the series – some even DID get a few contestants to the final. SHOCKER.

Louisa Johnson – This Is A Man's World (2015) was obv our highlight. She was always a highlight.

Best of British week

When could the songs of Eric Clapton and the Spice Girls stand comfortably beside each other? In Best of British week, of course.

Rylan Clark-Neal singing a Spice Girls medley (2012) was a highlight of our life, never mind of the theme

Jahmene - Angels (2012) was just Jahmazing

No.1 Bae Luke Friend singing Your Song (2012) BROUGHT A TEAR TO OUR EYES

Jukebox week

Each week in each series will without fail feature at least one contestant whose mentor well and truly f*cked up their song choice. This is why jukebox week is essential – it allows the public to choose the song.

Reggie 'N' Bollie singing Whip… Watch them Nae Nae (2015) was another life highlight.

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