Christopher Maloney has defied all of his critics, and got through to the final of X Factor, making him the third Scouser in three years to do so, after runners-up Marcus Collins and Rebecca Ferguson.
Maloney first appeared on our screens back in September, where, accompanied by his 76-year-old nan Pat, he auditioned with Bette Midler’s ‘The Rose’ in front of judges, Tulisa, Gary Barlow, Louis Walsh and guest panelist Geri Halliwell, who all gave him a standing ovation, and sent him through to boot camp at the Echo Arena.
At the time, his lack of self-confidence meant he was shaking so much he could barely hold the microphone, having waited five years before getting the courage to audition due to people telling him he wasn’t good enough to appear on the show.
After singing Take That’s ‘A Million Love Songs’ at boot camp, the Liverpool Mutual Homes Worker was put in to Gary’s over-28s group and sent through to judges’ houses, where he performed Air Supply’s ‘I’m All Out of Love’ in front of Cheryl Cole and his mentor.
At this stage, Christopher was chosen as the wild card for the over-28s group, which meant that he would battle it out against the last-chance acts from the other three groups; the girls, boys and the groups.
In the first week of the live shows, Christopher was chosen as the wild card by the public, and, has been kept in by his fans week on week, despite constant criticism from the judges and the media, having been branded a “cheesy”, “a diva”, and negative stories about how was voting for himself.
Last night, the 34-year-old from Kirkdale started the semi-final with his rendition of Josh Groban’s ‘You Raise Me Up’, dedicating the song to his loyal nan in the audience, which the judges described as one of his best performances to date.
Nicole praised the Liverpudian, and said: “That’s a very hard song to sing and, after that performance, you’ve proved you have earned your place in this semi-final. You sounded better than you’ve ever sounded. It was amazing. You tackled a major song, so good job.”
Louis agreed with the former Pussycat Doll. He said: “You did such a good job. When I close my eyes, I see you in the West End. You’re definitely not going to go back to your day job.”
Tulisa, who usually criticises Christopher, said: “That was a perfect song choice. It was very you. It was a good vocal performance. No buts.”
Gary, amazed at the positive comments, said: “Wow, how did we manage that? You sang great and I’m glad you’ve finally got the acknowledgement for your singing.”
For his second number, Christopher chose to sing Michael Bublé’s ‘Haven’t Met You Yet’, which was his most current song to date, having been criticised for singing 70s and 80s power ballads every week.
The judges weren’t as complimentary about this delivery as his first.
Nicole said: “It is the semi-finals and that wasn’t your strongest performance. You did the best you could, but why did you give him that song, Gary? I see your album as sounding like Josh Groban.”
Louis said: “I loved your first song but that was like karaoke for me. I don’t think your album will be like Michael Bublé. You’re good at doing the old songs.”
Tulisa agreed with Louis, saying: “That wasn’t your strongest performance, but you have a very strong fan base, and, hopefully, they’ll pick up the phone and vote based on your first performance.”
Christopher responded, telling the judges: “I think I just wanted to do ‘up-tempo’ and get people clapping along.”
Gary added: “I’ll take the blame for the song choice.”
After finding out that he was through to the final, Christopher said: “I’m so grateful to everyone that’s picked up the phone and voted for me, and kept me in the competition. Thank you very much.”
Christopher will be heading back to Liverpool during the week, launching his bid to win, and will perform with Gary Barlow in the final in Manchester next week, taking on Jahmene Douglas and James Arthur for the X Factor 2012 title.