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So anyway,
Because what the Net really needs is another person sharing his uninformed views
The Gay Panic Factor 
13th-Nov-2011 09:38 pm
Last week on The X Factor, a boyband who’ve had more members than the Sugababes got kicked out, and the producers thought a double elimination would be a good idea, meaning we lost Johnny Bedsit as well. Then in the week Arsetat bragged about snorting loads of great big lines of something called Golden Rule and had to be kicked out so they’ve actually ended up one contestant short. What to do? Why, get the audience to spend more money voting of course. Leftover contestants JAMES SOMEBODY OR OTHER, 2SHOES WUZ ROBBED, OMGSOLDIER!!!!¡¡!! and MAYBE PINK HAIR WILL MAKE ME INTERESTING will compete to get the spare slot, and the audience will be expected to remember who they were from five weeks ago, when it’s hard enough to remember most X Factor contestants overnight.

Meanwhile Gary only has two acts left, both of whom are openly gay, so will he now remember to make slightly fewer jokes at the expense of the community who kick-started his career? I WONDER. As usual I wasn’t actually watching the show from the start because I was watching Merlin instead. Definitely a good idea this week as apparently there was a “power cut in London” (cue a million conspiracy theories about what actually happened) and the start of the show was delayed. Audition footage was shown instead. So, basically the audience were tortured. I’m taping the ITV2 repeat though so there’s none of that hell, we just get a sanitised version of the whole Frankie Cokesniffer thing and Gary saying one judge could be left with no acts this week but it won’t be him. Don’t be so sure, Barlow; you’ve already had one act who’d rather be drugged up to the eyeballs than put up with you any longer, Marcus and Adelroy could be planning their escape routes this very minute. “Paparazzi” plays because this theme is the greatest challenge so far to the new regime: Can they take Queen and Lady Gaga, two of the most theatrical pop acts ever, and make them sufficiently boring to be acceptable to Barlow? You know they can. Dermot O’Deirdre enters accompanied by female dancers again, is this a thing now? Do we need to start calling him HETEROSEXUAL Dermot? Because I thought everyone had given up on those rumours years ago, there’s no need to protest so much any more. We get a quick reminder of who the four acts trying to get back onto the show are, and HETEROSEXUAL Dermot asks the judges who it should be. Even staring the possibility of being left with no acts in the face isn’t enough to make Louis say OMGSOLDIER!!!!¡¡!! Instead he, like everyone else in the country, has heard the spoiler so tells us it’s going to be Amelia Lily.

Last week KITTY LITTER just about survived, and to give her the best possible chance she’s been put in, er, the sacrificial opening slot this week. She’s very excited about Gaga Week, but the VT makes it very clear that nobody gives a shit what Louis or Kitty wants and “Born This Way” has been earmarked for Misha. Still, there’s plenty of other Gaga songs but... oh, no, she’s going to have to do Queen instead. She’s a cyborg charioteer singing “Don’t Stop Me Now” (you’d think what with the IRONY OVERLOAD she’d keep that one for the survival song) and although this is the closest we’re going to get to an interesting, mental staging all night her usually strong vocals are not great tonight. Toula CONTOSTAVLOU identifies a Queen song as possibly being “a bit camp.” These insights Toula, these are why you’re paid the big bucks. Now, try to control your shock here, but Barlow thinks that maybe Kitty would do better if she was more boring, maybe she could give that a go next week? (Take That concerts have in the past featured a life-size robot elephant. Anyone get the feeling he lets someone else handle the staging? I bet he wishes he’d been in Westlife, spending the whole gig sitting completely still on a stool, preferably facing away from the audience.) HETEROSEXUAL Dermot tries to get the judges to praise the staging and the “prancing leather horses.” Kelly Row-land (who is dressed for a gymkhana) says they were “really nice.” She says this in the style of a woman doing the washing-up, whose 5-year-old has just presented her with the morning’s fifteenth crayon drawing of a doggy, and is demanding her opinion of it.

“Fasten your seatbelts, it’s Craig Colton.” I have to pause the recording at this point until the hysterical laughter has abated. Please tell me this is a deliberate joke Gary. EVEN YOU can’t seriously think there’s any risk of something exciting happening in the next three minutes. In his VT, ADELROY reminds us that Dance Week was the best fun he’s had on this show, so Gary quickly chips in to say thank god that’s all over and he can go back to the proper popstar life of hating every tedious second he spends on stage. In rehearsals, Gary appears to have a doctor with him watching Craig’s routine, possibly to make sure it’s not so exciting as to cause heart attacks nationwide. I don’t need to tell you that Adelroy’s version of “Paparazzi” is slowed down so much it sounds like a vinyl record played at the wrong speed, but his utter lack of enthusiasm is a new low. Maybe the reason he doesn’t give a shit is that the lyrics have been changed to “I won’t stop until the girl is mine.” I can understand Craig not wanting to be defined by his sexuality but actually changing the gender in the lyrics to one that’s less appropriate to the singer is pretty offensive. So The X Factor’s levels of Gay Panic have now got so high they don’t want to risk an openly gay singer appearing gay. *slow handclap* Adelroy also has his recently-waxed chest on show. I know it’s waxed because it looks bright red and sore.

OATIBIX start doing a slowed-down “Radio GaGa” which quickly turns into “Telephone.” Actually their vocals are a lot better than they’ve been in the past, but to counteract this and the fact that they’re doing this at the correct speed, they’ve been stuck on top of the Perspex Boxes of Doom to make sure they can’t move around too much and accidentally look a bit interesting. Some dancers and fireworks appear right at the end but it’s too little, too late. Barlow, now officially a caricature of himself, complains that they did another pop/r&b song. ON QUEEN/GAGA WEEK! You know that if he had his way every single act would do “Who Wants To Live Forever.” But slowed down a bit. He tries to get Oatibix to agree that Toula CONTOSTAVLOU has been suppressing their desire to be more tedious, and they don’t know how to respond. Poor girls, stuck between clearly being quite happy with the songs they’re doing, and the official diktat that everyone must agree with Head Judge Barlow at all times. Eventually HETEROSEXUAL Dermot pressures them into saying they’ll do a ballid next week, so that everyone can tell them they’ve lost their identity.

Speaking of which, here’s LUNA LOVEGOOD, who last week did something a bit different (apparently; not that I could tell) and was told to do exactly the same thing she always does. In her VT, Kelly Row-land (wearing a dead Saint Bernard) tells her to do exactly the same thing she always does. So she does, she stands completely still and gives the super-slow Broken Victorian Music Box treatment to “Somebody To Love.” Apparently it includes the lyric “I take a look in the mivva and cry.” What the fuck’s a mivva? Having been criticised for straying from her usual style last week, Luna is criticised this week for not straying from it enough. There is literally no way to get the identity/variety balance right as far as the X Factor judges are concerned. It’s like a woman being the correct weight to please the Daily Mail, it’s never going to happen. Toula CONTOSTAVLOU says she’d have to be in the right mood to listen to Janet’s album. Suicidal, presumably.

PROFESSIONAL SCOUSER MARCUS thinks he’s really found his identity as a performer. OH I WONDER WHAT WILL HAPPEN! His new big band/Bruno Mars/Seaweed from Hairspray identity performs “Another One Bites The Dust” and is dancey and smiley and entertaining and basically what everyone else is steadfastly refusing to be IN GAGA WEEK. I’m glad he’s upped his game vocally in the last few weeks as well because however lovely and smiley and charismatic he is it was hard to defend him when he was vocally shaky. Who’s going to weigh in this time and tell him that having a particular performance style is a bad thing? It’s Toula CONTOSTAVLOU! Kelly Row-land will also chip in to say that Marcus “came so strong last week” (*fnar*) but she could see him trying to work out singing and dance moves. FFS Row-land, don’t take one of the few people who can sing and move at the same time and tell him it’s a bad thing!

I mean, just imagine if one of the only lively, entertaining acts on the show succumbed to the Laws of Barlow and does a painfully slowed-down ballad? Oh god, it’s HUMBLE MISHA. They’ve broken her! It’s “Born This Way,” which is ironic, because Misha wasn’t born this way, she was born interesting. I mean the vocal’s still belting but this is the first time one of her performances doesn’t sound like a single. Even her hair’s not that interesting this week. Louis switches on his Random Black Person Name Generator” and compares Misha to “a little Chaka Khan.” Or possibly “a little Jackie Chan,” I’m not entirely clear on this. Misha also has to continue being HUMBLE AND GRATEFUL FOR THE OPPORTUNITY in her post-performance interview. Poor Misha, if she’s there much longer she’ll be completely transformed into a Stepford Wife.

So who’s the replacement act? Could it be 2Shoes? Or James Somebod... Oh fuck it, we all know it’s MAYBE PINK HAIR WILL MAKE ME INTERESTING. After a brief reminder of how she’s quite dull and 2Shoes wuz robbed (again,) and how the papers had already announced she’d be the one to come back, Amelia stands on The Perspex Box Of Standing Still and belts out “The Show Must Go On” (unfortunately.) Strong shouty vocal, boring, etc. The judges go on about how she’s up there with the other acts despite not having had all these weeks’ practice they’ve had. Of course, she’s also not had all these weeks’ being told to change her identity then change it back again, either, so she probably still remembers who the fuck she is, even if I don’t. People on “the internet” joke about how she’ll be voted in on Saturday and voted out on Sunday. DON’T BE SO SURE, “THE INTERNET!” I mean it’s not like there’s ever been a mid-series replacement on a talent show who went on to win the whole thing, has there?

It’s the frigging results show! Please try to give a shit! Dermot comes on and he’s not accompanied by his bitches and/or hos – but how are we supposed to know he’s HETEROSEXUAL? He tells us we’re going to need ear plugs because Wand Erection are back, and I suspect he didn’t mean it quite the way it comes out. Now for the group song, in which the X Factor contestants somehow contrive to suck all the joy out of “Walking on Sunshine.”

Recap, ad break then it’s WAND! ERECTION! I have to join the crowd and rename Liam Resentful Erection because he no longer looks like Newt from Hollyoaks with his new hair. In fact he looks suspiciously like Curly Erection, aka the one who stole his thunder in the first place. Blond Erection has been given earpieces, as if he’s actually going to be allowed to sing. As ever, he mainly has to concern himself with trying not to wander off the stage mid-song. He just about manages this. Olly Erection has graduated from Tuneless Echo to Tuneless Middle Eight, while Miniature Nicholas Hoult Erection nearly chokes on some bunting, like the ending of Britain’s Got The Pop Factor. How come he had his mouth open long enough for bunting to fall in it is anyone’s guess, as obviously he didn’t need to open it for any singing-related purposes. HETEROSEXUAL Dermot asks them which act they support and they say Oatibix, in order to start rumours of them pairing up. Of course, there’s not quite enough Oatibixes to go round, but given the way Blond Erection humped Justin Bieber’s leg last year this may not be a problem for him.

After another break, the proper guest act, Baroness Gaga of Cheam. According to her VT she’s sold a gazillion singles, is the most downloaded act evarz, has won Grammies etc etc – ah but what are her views on YouTube like? Worried to compete with Cher Lloyd on that one, are you Gaga? For “Marry The Night” Dame Gaga starts out crouching in a mausoleum before finally coming on dressed as a decapitated corpse holding her head in her hands. I really wish we’d get to hear Gary’s commentary on her performance. “Oh Stefani, you really don’t need to hide behind those gimmicks, next week why not do a nice ballad while standing completely still?” Dermot attempts to interview Gaga, who refuses to acknowledge his existence. He asks if she’s heard of Kitty and she’s like “yeah that’s the drag queen who dresses as me, isn’t it?”

Resultses! Through to next week are ADELROY! LUNA LOVEGOOD! PROFESSIONAL SCOUSER MARCUS! MAYBE PINK HAIR WILL MAKE ME INTERESTING obviously! And OATIBIX! Which means it’s a particularly despondent sing-off between KITTY LITTER, doing “Over The Rainbow” (a song that on this show might as well be called “I’ve Given Up, Just Let Me Die With Dignity”) and HUMBLE MISHA, who it turns out wasn’t quite humble enough despite basically wearing sackcloth and ashes for the last couple of weeks, and who will be unenthusiastically doing Jessie J’s “Nobody’s Perfect.” Louis saves Kitty, pretty much admitting it’s only ‘cause she’s his act. Toula CONTOSTAVLOU continues to waste the most time before saving Misha, as does Kelly. So Gary actually has to do his job for a change this week, or will he cop out and go to deadlock? No, he sends home Kitty and that’s that, she’s been put out of her misery. She says she has one last thing to tell the nation, and I worry she's going to collapse and say "I'M DYING!!!!11!!" but she just wants to do a couple of lines of "Born This Way," the song she wasn't allowed to do yesterday. Not even a dirty protest, I mean really.

So one annoying but entertaining act goes home, another properly entertaining act has had her spirit broken and won’t be around much longer, and sweet zombie Jesus, last year’s show just keeps shitting out more people with record deals: Professional Scouser Rebecca will be back next week for what promises to be a moving performance. Without any actual moving, obviously. Hey, on the plus side, Louis has no acts of his own any more, which means from next week on he really doesn’t give a flying fuck what he says. That’s always entertaining.
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