It’s British Invasion Week on The X Factor, which seems odd because I thought X Factor was already a British Invasion. Anyway, one of the contestants took on “This Woman’s Work,” which was originally sung by Kate Bush and later re-released by Maxwell.
And as soon as they revealed that this song would be performed, I immediately had flashbacks to a very memorable moment from season 9 of American Idol, so I’m going to start from there.
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“This Woman’s Work” is a very raw and emotional song that Bush wrote for the movie She’s Having a Baby. In that film, Jake’s wife is giving birth and the song plays during a scene when he finds out there might be some complications that could affect both his wife and baby. The lyrics of the song truly reflect this part of the storyline.
I first heard this song when Michael Lynche performed it during the Top 16 of Idol season 9. His wife gave birth during Hollywood Week, and that was a big part of his story that we all fell in love with. So when Big Mike covered “This Woman’s Work,” we all knew why he chose it. I was hooked in right from the start with the falsetto.
But that wasn’t the only memorable moment connected to the singer that night. Judge Kara DioGuardi was so moved by his performance that she was visibly crying afterwards. She said, “I’ve never cried after hearing something like that. It’s amazing. You were amazing. And it’s so relevant for you and I can feel it. It’s your life right now. It’s your respect for your wife, what you’ve gone through. And as a woman who doesn’t have a child, I can relate to it so much and it brought me to tears.”
But Big Mike wasn’t the only one on American Idol to take on “This Woman’s Work.” In Season 11, DeAndre Brackensick also covered the Kate Bush/Maxwell hit, but he performed it in Vegas when it really counted because it propelled him into the Top 24.
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If you think Mike’s falsettos were fantastic, listen to DeAndre’s — that’s one of the things I’ve always loved about his voice. I just wish we got to hear more of the song.
And now we come to this week on The X Factor with Lillie McCloud. She had a misstep with her performance last week, but she regained herself here, taking on “This Woman’s Work” with ease. Her vocals were exceptional, as they usually are — nothing wrong in that department.
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But the main difference between hers and the guys above is connecting with the song. I didn’t get that emotional connection to the song with Lillie as I did with Mike, and once you add in the exceptional falsettos of both Mike and DeAndre, the guys win out. But again, that’s not to take away from how great her voice is because she had one of the best performances of the night.
Lillie hasn’t been as on top of things lately, and there’s a chance she could be in danger of elimination this week. In some way, I wouldn’t be surprised, but if we go on talent alone, she should stay.
It’s one thing to sing beautifully and have perfect vocals, but having the added bonus of connecting to the song and showcasing that emotional side is what makes Michael Lynche’s rendition stand out from the pack, and so for me, he wins this week’s music battle.
Do you have a favorite cover of Kate Bush and Maxwell’s “This Woman’s Work”? Vote in the poll below and let us know your thoughts in the comments.
The X Factor airs Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8pm on FOX.
(Images courtesy of FOX)