“Where is She who has been born Queen of the Popstars? For we have seen Her star in the East and have come to worship Her.” —Grace’s Gospel, 2:2
Okay, so I pretty much wanted to make Shakespearian and Biblical references, and that’s the whole point of this post, but oh my god can we talk about Fleur?
I have been gunning for her to win The X Factor since the live shows began, admittedly because, like most things I initially like, she was the hottest contestant and had great abs and hair. But as the competition progressed it became more and more clear that she was the only person to take the stage each week who knew even a little bit about what it means to be a popstar.
There was this performance of one of the worst pop songs of the year, ‘All About That Bass’ within the first week, which was made somehow bearable by Fleur’s easy confidence and sass.
Then there was ‘Thriller’ in week four, a Michael Jackson classic performed with A HEAD MIC, and it doesn’t hurt that Fleur is kinda Janet in the face.
Then there was ‘Bang Bang’, a big band rework of her Judge’s House’s performance, and which up until now I had considered Fleur’s “Alexandra Burke moment”, ie. the game changer performance where everyone realises that her win is a foregone conclusion so they may as well buckle up and ride it out with their hands in their air.
But then there was tonight.
Fleur’s ‘Uptown Funk’ performance was the first and only real showcase of the actual “X factor” as that untangible quality that screams STAR! STAR! THIS PERSON IS A POPSTAR! that The X Factor as a TV show has ever seen. She sang. She danced. She owned the stage. She performed with her voice and her body and her face. It was everything. You would never ever know that she was a mere talent show contestant at this point. She has IT in abundance. She sleighed.
I’m looking forward to Fleur being in the finals. I’m keeping everything tightly crossed for that #EastMeetsWest duet performance with Kanye on ‘American Boy’ that I’ve been praying for since week 5, but should Kanye be unavailable, I wouldn’t be opposed to Jessie J and Nicki Minaj backing her up on another reprise of ‘Bang Bang’ (and yes, I said Jessie not Nicki because Ariana is a terribly unfluid live performer, and Jessie is better paced to keep up with Fleur’s energy). Or maybe Janet could come out of her Dubai exile for them to do ‘Scream’ together? I would S-C-R-E-A-M.
Whatever happens, I feel excited knowing that next year we will have one more really good popstar in the world. I’m gonna stan so hard.
And lo, just before Christmas, a star was born and the star’s name was Fleur East and it is foretold by me that she will save mankind from its pop music sins. Amen.