One step closer for Dalton Harris

Observer senior reporter

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Dalton Harris

Despite the turbulence of the past week, Jamaican Dalton Harris gave another of his strong signature showings during yesterday’s semi-finals of the televised talent show X Factor UK, to secure a spot into today’s elimations which will determine this season’s finalists

The 24-year-old Clarendon native seemed to have shaken off the firestorm of criticism which swirled around since midweek following the release of a photograph which appeared on the Internet showing him sitting on the leg of fellow contestant, Brendan Murray.

Harris delivered a powerful rendition of the talent show favourite Feeling Good, a song written by English composers Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse for the musical The Roar of the Greasepaint – The Smell of the Crowd over 50 years ago. The track was made popular by American High Priestess of Soul Nina Simone, who recorded it in 1965.

Harris put his own spin on the classic, thanks to his signature runs and clean falsetto, culminating with a sustained note which only sent the cheers and chanting louder inside the London venue.

The comments from the judges only confirmed his favourite status.

Robbie Williams referred to the Jamaican as a “rhinestone Bublé,” making references to his western-inspired fringed shirt and likening him to crooner Michael Bublé, as he heaped on the praises.

“Yeah Dalton, you blew that away mate. You are not only a star, I think you could be an absolute mega star.”

“Dalton that’s what we call a game-changer,” noted lead judge and the show’s co-creator Simon Cowell.

“ A few years ago Michael Bublé came on that stage and he sang a version of Cry Me A River, I remember that moment vividly, thinking it was one of the best guest performances we’ve ever had. This was as good in my opinion. This one shows to me your range, what you’ll be like in the real world… the whole idea of this show is to give people an opportunity to show what you’re capable of…,” he added.

Harris’s mentor Louis Tomlinson commented on the pressure brought to bear on his charge during the competition.

“Honestly lad, I am so, so proud of you every week. You’ve been through a lot on this competition personally, different things and I think you have come out fighting every week. You’ve got better and better and better. You are a star and you deserve to be in the final and you can win this,” Tomlinson remarked.

Harris used the opportunity to thank his surpporters.

“I feel like it’s overwhelming that I’ve gotten support so far away from home and I thank you guys so much because without any of you in this room and the people who are watching and voting, I could not be standing here, so thank you so much.”

In a twist in the format of the weekly performance show, two contestants, Danny Tetley and Brandan Murray, were voted off. At the end of today’s show another of the remaining contestants will leave the show. In addition to Harris, the other contestants vying for a spot in the December 1 finals are Scarlette Lee, Accacia & Aaliya and Anthony Russell.

Yesterdays’s show also featured a tribute to the 70s pop band ABBA. Harris performed the group’s 1975 hit SOS infront of original band member Björn Ulvaeus.

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