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So anyway,
Because what the Net really needs is another person sharing his uninformed views
The Muppet Factor 
29th-Nov-2011 02:52 pm
Previously on The X Factor, Gary found out that some people don’t find crushing tedium the best fun evarz, and found himself minus an Adelroy. This week: HETEROSEXUAL Dermot’s HETEROSEXUAL entrance surrounded by his wimminz involves him pretending to box to the accompaniment of “Holding Out For a Hero.” Then he tells his wimminz to “begone!” which isn’t going to do the HETEROSEXUALITY any good. Shouldn’t he be trying to make them stick around for a sexing? There’s two songs per act tonight, that’s right, two bloody songs each. Which means two themes, both of which are “songs.” Well, one of the themes is allegedly “heroes” so the judges enter to the Superman theme. Gary, obviously, looks like he kinda believes this to be a personal, and highly accurate, comment on him. Toula CONTOSTAVLOU has been told not to do her tattooed arm salute because it’s allegedly product placement for her perfume, Scent of an N’Dub. Except instead of not doing it she still shows the tattoo, but she also shows the one on her left arm as well. If you look closely it says “Eat At Joe’s.”

DING DING! Round one: “Guilty Pleasures.” Traditionally the most misnamed X Factor theme, even by their standards, as it will feature nothing particularly guilty, and certainly no pleasure.

“We wint a wint a wunt a lund” says one of the Geordie OATIBIXes, which I think translates as “we went to Winter Wonderland,” Toula CONTOSTAVLOU having taken them to an XmasTM-themed amusement park as a mentor-group activity. She was going to have them round for dinner again but they asked for something that wouldn’t given them DIARRHOEA this time. Their performance is a mash-up of Justin Bieber’s “Baby” and The Supremes’ “Where Did Our Love Go?” Really, The Supremes are a guilty pleasure now? The Wand Erection Memorial Backing Singers take too long to kick in meaning we have to listen to Oatibix’s actual singing voices for much of the song. The horror! Louis criticises them, which Toula calls “sabotage,” having forgotten (a) that Louis has no acts of his own any more so doesn’t have a reason to sabotage them and (b) that people in glass houses shouldn’t throw “Misha is a bully”-shaped stones. One of Oatibix says it’s fine because they had so much fun on stage. Dear The X Factor, will you please finally tell your acts that this does not excuse all manner of egregious performances, and it’d be nice if the audience had fun as well?

Next up apparently Kelly Row-land has “all three acts still in the competition.” Well, yes and no. Sophie HABIBIS would complain about being retconned out of the competition, but nobody would notice. This week LUNA LOVEGOOD was flown (by Easyjet) back to Ireland to turn on her local Christmas lights, despite the fact that she’s “not a Christmas person.” Oh fuck off you appalling hipster try-hard. Her guilty pleasure is Hanson’s “Mmmbop,” a song she likes so much she immediately forgets the words, does so again later in the song and keeps coming in at the wrong time, and performs entirely joylessly. As soon as Louis starts to point out that these aren’t good things, Luna goes into auto-sympathy mode, interrupting with “I’m not well! I’m gonna throw up!” We still get a caption telling us to download her performance in iTunes, presumably for people who quite like “Mmmbop” but would prefer it without quite so many words.

HUMBLE MISHA will be attempting to turn herself back into the much-missed MISS MISHA B with “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” with added drumbeats and Nicki Minge-style rap interlude that informs us of Misha's firmly-held opinions about crisps. It’s actually entertaining, which is a fucking relief after weeks and weeks of HUMBLE tedium, if not quite as mental so some of her more Gagaesque early performances. Gary basically says that Misha’s been told she won’t get to the final but will get a record deal anyway. As is only right, but you’re not usually meant to actually say so on telly, Barlow. Misha accidentally refers to herself in the third person again before remembering she’s supposed to be HUMBLE and correcting herself.

“Get well soon, George Michael, and paying tribute to you here’s Marcus Collins.” Well, you say “tribute” but it’s still the “guilty pleasures” section so... yay? Gary took PROFESSIONAL SCOUSER MARCUS to his own recording studio this week, because having assumed Adelroy was his “main” act he’s suddenly had to pay some attention to the one he’s got left. It’s “I’m Your Man” which is as usual lots of fun although at times Marcus' vocals go a bit wobbly like they used to earlier on in the competition. Gary waves at the audience to cheer louder and louder while the other judges give their comments, then tells them to be quiet when it’s his turn. What. A. Cunt.

The members of T’Pau have spent the last 25 years explaining to people that it’s about the crockery, not the country. Yes, it’s “China In Your Hand” and MAYBE PINK HAIR WILL MAKE ME INTERESTING will be half-heartedly singing the quiet bits before barking the loud bits, or at least some approximation of what the actual lyrics of the loud bits are. Louis says he’s so glad the judges saved her, forgetting that they actually didn’t, and it went to deadlock. Everyone lies that it was good, Kelly Row-land admits never having heard the song before (but presumably choosing it anyway, as it’s totally the judges who pick the songs, right?) and Gary unnecessarily slates the original version by saying this was the first time he’d heard the song in tune. (Well it was sung to a tune, just not that of the actual song, is that what you meant?) It turns out Carol Decker is watching the show and is not impressed on her Twitter feed, where she grumbles about having to take her kids to a Take That concert and getting abuse in return. The next day Gary has to apologise because you don’t mess with the Decker. But he apologises off-screen, obviously, because only conflict should be aired in front of a live audience, not its resolution.

Hooray, they’ve all performed, it’s all over OH FUCKING SHITBALLS! They’re all going to come back and do more aren’t they? DING DING! Round two: “Musical heroes.”

It seems they won’t be taking the opportunity to change the order of performance (I guess it’s REALLY IMPORTANT that Amelia Lily continue to get the Pimp Slot) so OATIBIX are up first. Because they are so humble and represent insecure women everywhere they will be doing Christina Aqualung’s “Beautiful.” They also go on Radio One so Lion-O can be inspirational about how some people said she was ugly but she wasn’t. They and the Wand Erection Memorial Backing Singers do the song, rather dressed-down in jeans and white vests (have they been getting styling tips from Matt CARDIGAN?) and sitting on chairs before standing up for the key change – well, that’s the only way Louis’ ever going to get an erection while watching Oatibix. The secret behind a group’s success is friendship says Gary, the lead singer of a group whose heyday was characterised by the undisguised hatred between him and Fat Bob.

LUNA LOVEGOOD’s musical heroes are the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, who I’m sure are thrilled. They’re also apparently quite obscure according to Janet. Of course they are. She doesn’t want to ruin a song she loves so much, although songs other people love have been fair game for her to ruin so far. For a brief moment I think “Under the Bridge” might just survive Janetisation but no, yelpy squeaky yelpsqueak. She doesn’t actively miss out huge chunks of lyrics but there is a big section of the song that mainly consists of shushing noises. Gary congratulates her on ignoring his earlier advice.

Miss Misha B returned a bit earlier but it’s more HUMBLE MISHA who does “Killing Me Softly,” improving after a very shaky opening vocal, but frankly killing softly any chance she had, it’s just dull. There isn’t even a snack-based rap interlude.

Oh dear, this “musical heroes” thing isn’t going well at all, poor PROFESSIONAL SCOUSER MARCUS is completely defeated by Stevie Wonder’s "Lately." Only Kelly particularly broaches this but Toula CONTOSTAVLOU inexplicably goes on about Marcus not going after the sympathy vote but having had a hard life what with his dad WHO IS ABSENT or whatever it is. Maybe she's trying to goad him into trying for the sympathy vote after all, and then have a go at him for doing so. Who knows what goes on in this woman's head?

Kelly says Amelia “needs all her Lilies” to vote for her. This thing of trying to give the contestants’ supposed fanbases a nickname, can we stop it please? Nobody’s buying it. MAYBE PINK HAIR WILL MAKE ME INTERESTING says her musical hero is Kelly Clarkson, who went through something similar to her on American Idol. Well, not that similar – as far as I’m aware she was there for the whole show, not parachuted in near the end to make up the numbers. But you know. She starts “Since You’ve Been Gone” by sitting at the edge of the stage and singing to a bequiffed plant in the audience, before wandering around in a vaguely disinterested fashion and ending up on stage again. As per, the quiet bits are out of tune, the loud bits are barked. Kelly tells us Amelia Lily hits those notes in her sleep. She certainly appeared to be, yes.

Results show! HETEROSEXUAL Dermot enters doing some golf mimes with his microphone to prove his masculinity. I’m reminded of the bit in Miranda where she wonders why women don’t similarly mime hoovering to prove their femininity. When the judges enter Toula CONTOSTAVLOU is wearing long sleeves so can’t do any advertising, although I’ve heard next week she’s going to have the Starbucks logo tattooed on her face.

The X Factor has an annoying tendency to do the jokes for you, and it happens again here as the words “Olly FUCKING Murs” and “Muppet” appear in the same sentence. Introduced by a completely wrong-sounding, wrong-looking (is he meant to have legs?) Fozzie Bear, Olly sings “Dance With Me Tonight” to Miss Piggy who, having some standards, decides not to dance with Olly FUCKING Murs. She also sounds wrong. Animal sounds right at least. And at one point we cut away to the judges’ table where Louis and Gary have been replaced by Statler and Waldorf. Although I don’t recall Waldorf ever complaining that the show wasn’t boring enough, so he’s not that accurate a Gary replacement. And speaking of muppets, Jessie J is the second turn tonight. Actually I like the one about the money, money, money, but “Nobody’s Perfect” is a pretty shit song at the best of times, let alone this tuneless caterwauling she’s doing tonight. Maybe she’s trying to make it sound different to when Misha B pipped her to the post and did the same song on the show two weeks ago, something Ms J was apparently none too thrilled about. Well it sounds different, I’ll give her that. Different to... anything you might actually want to hear, anyway.

After the ad break there’s a very sad little clip about kids with muscular dystrophy, (and at least it's not ALL SOLDIERS ARE HEROESES, BUY THE SUN this year for a change) which serves to introduce the X Factor charity single, a cover of “Wishing on a Star” (or you could just donate straight to the charity; just saying.) Misha, Janet, Marcus and Sophie SomeoneOrOther get solo bits, then Adelroy has already been relegated to just sharing a line with Johnny Bedsit; I’m convinced they’re miming each other’s lines instead of their own. Amelia Lily does get a solo, presumably because nobody could be found to harmonise with the sound of barking. Oh hey, I only just noticed her hair isn’t pink any more. She’s still not interesting. Oatibix featuring Kitty Litter are next, then everyone else joins in and there’s some more singing And That, while The Risk and Nu Vibe have been chucked together in a random collection of bodies, which is what they are. Realising that this year’s lot aren’t even interesting enough to sell a charity single, someone’s decided to have JLS and Wand Erection turn up at the end and stand at the front, basically relegating this year’s entire X Factor crop to JLS/Wand Erection backing singers.

Actual Results! Through to next week entirely on merit and not because of the usual Bottom Two comeback that happens almost every week is MAYBE PINK BLEACHED HAIR WILL MAKE ME INTERESTING! To be joined by PROFESSIONAL SCOUSER MARCUS! And OATIBIX! Meaning the bottom two are HUMBLE MISHA and someone I’ve long been terrified might actually win this fucking thing, LUNA LOVEGOOD. She will be yelping and whimpering her way through “Chasing Cars” by Snow Patrol, another obscure band only Janet has heard of presumably. Misha obviously sings her off the stage, and is wearing non-matching earrings and her hair piled on top of her head like a pom-pom. It may not be the glory days of her styling it like a rhino horn or a Cornish pasty but it’s something. Given that this is Misha’s third time in the bottom two and Luna’s first you’d think they would take that into consideration (who would have thought Misha of all people would inherit Hatey’s dubious crown of “person the judges save despite repeated assurances the viewers don’t want her there?”) But there does seem to have been some “send Janet home” plan this week so both Louis and Toula CONTOSTAVLOU vote to ditch her. Dermot explains the maths to Kelly Row-land, who snaps back “I hear you, Dermot, I hear you.” Well she can’t hear him too well, because she claims not to want to choose between them and abstains. Except with two votes already against Luna, an abstention basically counts as one as well, meaning Luna is gone and Gary once again doesn’t have to vote. If Kelly really didn’t want to choose she’s have sent home Misha and left the final decision to either Gary or Deadlock. (By the way I totally don’t get why the voting this year insists on going in order along the table. If there’s one thing this inept show is usually good at it’s creating fake tension, in which case leaving the “Sophie’s Choice” judge to last is the way to go. This also means that more often than not Gary has got away with not voting, instead getting to just confirm after the fact that he would have sent home whoever’s already been voted out, meaning he doesn’t have to face someone he voted against next week. Which is particularly odd because you’d have thought out of all the current judging panel, Gary would be the one who’d most enjoy crushing someone’s dreams.) Anyway Janet is this week’s reject and as Twitter points out, her “best bits” montage mercifully features almost no actual singing from her.

As far as conspiracy theories about Janet wanting to be kicked out go, they did get a bit of credence once she was out of the show and shooting her mouth off about how she’s too CREDIBLE to sing other people’s songs. The thing is, she may be young but that means The X Factor has been on TV for half her lifetime. And if she was going to get stroppy about being made to sing karaoke, maybe she shouldn’t have applied for what she knew damn well was a karaoke competition. CREDIBLE! (Of course, young people or those with short memories could argue that there should be a TV talent show in which the contestants are singer-songwriters; those people would be forgetting Fame Academy, and just how CREDIBLY that show is now remembered.)

Next week it’s the semi final. No mention of tonight’s show being the last time the judges get a say in the vote before handing over to the public so presumably the door’s being left open for a repeat of last year’s shenanigans?
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