Last week on The X Factor
, stuff went daaaaaahn that meant Gary and Louis can’t look each other in the face or talk to each other anymore. No, not the most horrific sexual pairing you could conceive of, just a schadenfreude-tastic end to Carolynne off Fame Academy
’s latest attempt to convince the British public they give two shits about her either way. This week, Toula CONTOSTAVLOU expects LITERALLY anything to happen, so if Margaret Thatcher invades the stage dressed in Lady Gaga’s meat dress and bites the head off a live badger I expect her to take it in her stride. And Nicole Shitsinger attempts to get back in the nation’s good books by referring to Gary as “Gary Borelow” in the opening VT, just like everyone at home does.
This week instead of Awkward Dermot Dance we have Awkward Dermot Sports Mime. Nice to shake things up a bit. Speaking of which, what could shake things up more than a week themed “Love and Heartbreak?” Almost nobody’s ever written a song about love, after all, so this should really stretch them into coming up with some incredibly obscure tunes to sing, I’m sure.
Shitsinger, who’s come dressed as an oven-ready chicken, introduces LIVE TELEVISED NERVOUS BREAKDOWN WAITING TO HAPPEN
, who in his VT reveals he’s never been in love or had a proper girlfriend. It’s not for me to point fingers but d’you think this lack of interest from the ladeez could be because he’s kind of a little bit/a lot creepy? He sounds wobbly to me in the opening lines of an Amy Winehouse song that then mashes up into an unenthusiastic “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.” Toula CONTOSTAVLOU tells him “It’s all about The Voice
. The Voice
is amazing from the first audition.” True, it’s after
the first audition once the gimmick of the revolving chairs is over that it turns to shit, because then it’s more like The X Factor
. So maybe talk about this show instead, eh Toula? As the judges verbally rim him, Jahmene does the EVER SO ‘UMBLE Prayer Hands at them. Then Dermot says he heard that Yoko Ono tweeted him after last week’s show. He says it like he’s heard a rumour going round, rather than something that was, oh I don’t know, IN THE VT SHOWN A COUPLE OF MINUTES AGO.
Gary doesn’t want THE CURIOUS ORANGE
to change anything because he’s great as he is, i.e. the same/only advice he gives anyone. Mentoring is well fucking easy if you’re Gary Barlow, isn’t it? Do absolutely nothing at all and that’s your job done. In an attempt to be less
cheesy, Christopher Jane McDonalds his way through Heart’s “Alone.” When Louis calls it “cruise ship” he gets booed, which I suppose is fair enough since it’s not precisely
cruise ship, as NotLouis’s staging made very clear it’s more “VIP section in questionable nightclub in Northampton.” To accusations that Christopher needs to be more “current,” Gary repeats that he’s perfect the way he is. Because god knows, paying no attention whatsoever to what people currently want to listen to is the best way to make it in the charts. Take That’s music certainly hasn’t changed and adapted to popular tastes over the years, EH GARY? I know all the judges are guilty, from time to time, of giving the acts advice they wouldn’t dream of following themselves, but Gary can barely open his mouth without doing it. Then Dermot calls Christopher “an aphrodisiac” and a nation projectile vomits.TWO DIRECTION
meet Wand Erection to ask them how to replace them in the charts and Wand Erection are like LOL you won’t. They sing Leona Lewis’ “Bleeding Muff” and after last week’s debacle Random George has been excused from solo singing duties, so they’re down to The Gay One On The End and The Gareth Gatesy One. And then The Gay One On The End has wobbly vocals as well so next week it might be down to Gareth on his own. But the judges’ comments are good this time and Toula tells them they have a Strong Female Following, which I take to mean Nicola Adams has been stalking them. Gary tries to shoehorn in a plug for one of his own acts but I’m afraid whoever he mentioned failed to make any kind of impact on my brain. And Shitsinger tells them they’ll be “selling out the O2 someday,” because she’s not quite got a handle on UK slang yet and thinks that means “working in a phone shop.”THE 16-YEAR-OLD WHO IS 16 YEARS OLD
has never been in love which is apparently a meme this year, they’re all so YOUNG AND INNOCENT and definitely haven’t been fingered behind the bike sheds. Then the VT spends a lot of time denying that Ella has been having a go on Random George from Two Direction because the show would quite like to start that rumour, thanks. Anything
to get people talking about the show, please, someone start rumours about us. Ella’s got a beehive and those mascara flick things off Dragon’s Den
and is singing “Loving You,” mainly because everyone knows that if you can hit That Note in that song, nobody will notice all the other notes that you miss.BEA ARTHUR
takes Nicole Shitsinger round his local, and then because he’s doing a Mary J Blige song and he’s allegedly such a fan, Shitsinger surprises him by getting Mary J Blige to give him a pep talk over the phone. Naturally Bea does both these things with the enthusiasm of a man who’s been told he has to do an extra unpaid shift at the abattoir. PRESENCE! CHARISMA! “No More Drama” at least seems to contain more notes he can actually hit, although obviously he does some grunting and straining too, just because.BEAT ME ON THE BOTTOM WITH A WOMAN’S WEEKLY
has had a bad week which actually would count as a bad week to anyone, not just within X Factor
sob story parameters, in that her nan died. Instead of an original song this week she cheers herself up with a fun speeded up version of “Gold Digger.” Which is another song that’s got a guaranteed good reaction as the entire audience sighs with relief “well, it’s better than Mr Shoe’s version.” She’s surrounded by female dancers and Shitsinger makes a little comment about Lucy really enjoying that, which Lucy agrees with. Then there’s an ad break during which Toula CONTOSTAVLOU presumably beats the shit out of Shitsinger (except that would just make her “Nicole Singer”) for bringing up The Whole Lesbian Thing about her act, and as we know you just don’t do that if an act has any chance of winning.THE TRIBUTES FROM DISTRICT 3
wanted to do Wand Erection’s “More Than This” but Louis was all panicky and “no, you don’t want to be compared to Wand Erection!” Mainly because he’s decided being compared to Wand Erection is going to be Two Direction’s whole shtick, and people are having enough trouble telling his two boybands apart without them muddying the waters even further. Then there’s a bit of “ooh we can’t get it right in rehearsals and we’re arguing” false jeopardy (or, given these acts’ singing abilities, entirely accurate jeopardy) and then in the tech rehearsal they all have A4-sized name tags when talking to Louis which I think speaks for itself. They want to make the song they have
ended up with less cheesy, which given that it’s
All4One’s “I Swear” isn’t going to happen. Especially on a revolve, with red petals in the background and added “woo wooh oh yeahs.” And that thunking final note isn’t going to help matters either. Toula CONTOSTAVLOU says she liked it, Gary says he didn’t, and Shitsinger says they’re a bit too apple pie and someone needs to smear them with ice cream and tabasco and baby oil, and we’re back to the “Do What You Like” video again. (The Tributes’ reaction to this is so nonplussed I’d suggest “sexy” isn’t really on their radar, let alone in their repertoire.)
Next up, says Toula CONTOSTAVLOU, is the “very beautiful” (yeesh, it’s Week 2 and you’ve already run out of things to say about her actual singing?) SINGLE MOTHER GOOSE 2: THE BLOODENING
. Another Winehouse song, “Love Is A Losing Game.” The judges all say good things, and again seem to forget to say the word “nasal.” Weird.
Last of the groups is THE REMAINING 66.6%
. The VT is mainly concerned with telling us that Louis is not, in fact, a disastrous mentor for them, and he’s really into his soul and rap And That. The results are not entirely convincing, even (/especially) when the duo stick a baseball cap and shades on him and call him “Uncle Louis” – because as we all know, MK1 are only really
happy if they’ve got a creepy third member to the group. Uncle Louis then proves his streetwise credentials by giving them the Jackson Five’s “I Want You Back” to sing, because presumably anything originally sung by a black person qualifies as “urban.” I hope there’s a hip-hop week, so he can give the groups wall-to-wall Shirley Bassey numbers. The thing is, this lot are growing on me, because they come out and alternate lyrics, Female 33.3% singing hers, Male 33.3% rapping his, there’s another big colourful silly NotLouis production going on which the act themselves are totally getting involved in, and god help us, it’s actually fun. I mean, I suspected it was fun but thought I might be imagining it, but then Gary didn’t like it so that confirmed it. He thought it was a bit too Glee
, which god knows is something to be avoided in many ways, but in the context of this particular banality-fest is something we could do with a lot more of. Shitsinger also wishes they had a bit more of an edge to them, which means next week they’ll be expected to “respond” to these criticisms and be boring and get knocked out. Sigh. Anyway I don’t get why a hip-hop act shouldn’t be allowed to be fun and poppy, it’s such a stereotype that they need to be “edgy.” Let them have fun for fuck’s sake. Oh wait, I forgot – fun is the enemy.THE OTHER ONE
is next.RYLAN OFFICE SUPPLIES
was at the middle of last year’s manufactured controversy, when supposedly “the public” were all up in arms about him getting through when if they’d been paying the slightest bit of attention (although I can understand why they wouldn’t want to) they’d know it was “the public” who voted for him more than they did for Carolynne and so on and etc. Rylan can’t believe what NotLouis has done for him this week – yeesh, keep those things to the bedroom boys, that’s another image I didn’t need. His performance starts with him pretending he’s going to sing “Back For Good” just to see the look on Gary’s face, then it turns into a medley of “Groove Is In The Heart,” “Pump Up The Jam” and “Gangnam Style.” The performance is a camp load of catwalk strutting featuring “fashion pandas” that would have been full of ridiculous surprises if the VT we’d just seen hadn’t SHOWN NOTLOUIS DESCRIBING EVERY LAST DETAIL meaning the whole onslaught of daft lost its impact so congratuwelldone there, editors. Everyone except Gary says comparatively nice things, Gary obviously is physically unable to so just says nasty things with a smile on his face.
Nearly there, come on, we can make it, what’s left? LOUD HIPPIE MUM
has had a weirdly sinister-looking makeover and will be shouting/heavy breathing/odd sexual grunting her way through “Never Tear Us Apart.” NotLouis has gone for a bit of a Bond Credits theme behind her, with lots of billowing red curtains (filth!) and silhouetted dancers. I mean I can’t really say anything against it but the whole “I can sing very loud/big/difficult notes” thing mainly makes me want to clap politely and say “yes, yes you can hit those notes, you are correct” rather than Rock Out or whatever it is the young people do to music these days.
Results show! I’m not sure what kind of sport Dermot’s miming this time, maybe it’s the final pose at the end of an ice dance? I mean now he’s got married to an actual lady he probably doesn’t feel the need to establish his HETEROSEXUALITY at the start of every show to the same extent. The judges come on, then the remaining acts for the, still non-autotuned, group song, which is an Ibeefa-ized version of the Gotye one. The first four people to sing are The Other One, The Curious Orange, Rylan Office Supplies and The Gareth Gatesy One From Off Of Two Direction, and I would challenge anyone who’d never seen the show before to tell you which of these people has been lambasted non-stop for his inability to sing in tune. No, seriously, three of these four are regularly told they can do singing, by alleged experts. I know.
In the recap of last night’s show, Gary suggests the other judges have no right to criticise The Curious Orange because he’s “the people’s vote.” That would be the same people who voted for Rylan over Carolynne last week causing him to storm off and complain for the rest of the week? Well it’s good to know Gary takes the people’s vote seriously and will respect any decision they might happen to make tonight. *creepy Jahmene-esque giggle*
Then the first guest act is the return of the original Single Mother Goose, Rebecca Ferguson, to do a song that actually involves her moving around the stage slightly, and I’m so incapacitated by shock at this that I can’t say much else about it. When pushed to name a favourite contestant from this year, Rebecca struggles to remember the name of one of them since she’s not actually been watching, and attempts to support Ella. Except it comes out more like “I like Allah” and I’m not sure Sunday teatime entertainment is the place to discuss religion, really. Then ad break during which Rebecca and Jade fight over a piece of bread someone’s chucked in their pond.
Then the phone lines close and while the producers count
the votes we have Taylor Swift doing her song about how she’s never, ever, ever getting back together with Jake Gyllenhoolihay. Including the talky bit, during which Dermot interrupts her to say “I’ma let you finish, but the Rah Band had one of the best talky bits of all time, of all time.” Then she plugs her new album, which I think is called Bread
, and I hope it’s a concept album about Ma Boswell. But then I’m informed by twitter that I misheard and it’s actually called Red
. I’m less interested in a concept album about menstruation, but if that’s what she wants to do with her life.
Actual results! Through are BEA ARTHUR! BEAT ME ON THE BOTTOM WITH A WOMAN’S WEEKLY
! (I realise when Dermot shouts out “Lucy!” that Avenue Q
has so deeply affected me that I mentally filled in “…the Slut!”) TWO DIRECTION! THE 16-YEAR-OLD WHO IS 16 YEARS OLD! LIVE TELEVISED NERVOUS BREAKDOWN WAITING TO HAPPEN! THE CURIOUS ORANGE! (He goes off to join the other saved acts and attempts to hug Two Direction. They don’t seem too keen.) THE REMAINING 66.6%! SINGLE MOTHER GOOSE 2: THE BLOODENING! RYLAN OFFICE SUPPLIES! And THE OTHER ONE! Which means THE TRIBUTES FROM DISTRICT 3
are up against LOUD HIPPIE MUM
, proving again that the “first to perform, first to be kicked out” rule goes completely out the window when you open the votes right from the start.
Oh well the Tributes are fucked then aren’t they, I mean after Louis got painted as the villain all week surely this is payback for him and the “story” demands he lose an act. Look, even as they sing the background seems to be gobbets of blood oozing up the walls, blood that wouldn’t have been split if they’d got to the Cornucopia quick enough to grab some of the decent weapons. Anyway the song is “Everything I Do (I Do It For You)” (HIP! CURRENT! NOW!) so even if they were singing it well (LOL) we wouldn’t want to listen to this. Then Loud Hippie Mum does “Stay With Me Baby” which turns out to start with a couple of notes that don’t involve SHOUTING, so for the first few lines she’s wobblier than usual.
Judges’ votes, and obviously Louis saves the Tributes from District 3 and the audience boos him WHY? Why do people boo the judges for saving their own acts? Have they never seen the show before? Then Toula CONTOSTAVLOU actually does something interesting for once in her life and instead of giving Gary the Louis smackdown he thinks he deserves, also saves the Tributes. Then Gary obviously saves his own act, and Shitsinger agrees. So Shitsinger sends it to DEADLOCK and hmm, she doesn’t seem to be being pilloried for it. Weird. I thought that’s just what happened. Back to the people’s vote, which obviously is something Gary has the utmost respect for so he’ll just have to suck it up and respect their decision not to vote for… Melanie. Yes, turns out the public doesn’t want to be shouted at week after week. Everyone’s happy, except her husband Forbes Masson, because she’ll come home and shout at him now. Yes, everyone
’s happy, which definitely includes Gary who’s gone from having one more act that everyone else to having one less in the course of a fortnight, and it’s all down to the all-important people’s vote. Actually I’m not even being sarcastic, Gary should bloody love the voting public, they’re the only reason he’s not down to one act now that 2/3 of the acts he personally chose have gone. Praise his legendary musical expertise! *snigger*