Running behind with the TV reviews this week after I ended up seeing more theatre than expected on Saturday night
then was out most of Sunday. So I ended up watching the X Factor
results show before I’d actually caught up with the performance show, and the recap sections became a sort of terrifying harbinger of terrors yet to come. Well, here goes.
Last week, Gary Barlow continued to bring dignity to the Over 28s by losing another one of them in the public vote, meaning his category now consists of an orange man who falls over at the merest hint of emotion (as long as there’s a camera around) and, um, it'll come to me I'm sure. This week Dermot’s Dance Of Heterosexuality is a pre-recorded one where he does that LOLARIOUS thing of being replaced by a professional dancer who does some flips and splits before the camera cuts back to Dermot pretending to be out of breath. The X Factor
, bringing you the freshest material right from the start, to prepare you for what’s coming up next. It’s Club Classics night, and for the umpteenth year in a row I hope someone does “If you want a lot of chocolate on your biscuit join our Club.” I think I might be disappointed for the umpteenth year in a row as well.
Here are the judges, and Jesus Toula CONTOSTAVLOU can’t even be arsed to react when her name’s announced any more. Keep earning that paycheck, Toula! Dermot asks Gary about losing two acts in two weeks, and he proves how he’s totally moved on by bringing up the deadlock thing in Week 1 AGAIN. And strangely continuing to forget that this means it was “the public’s vote” wot done both his acts in. Then Dermot and Shitsinger just gibber at each other. When pushed, Toula grudgingly deigns to comment that Club Classics will in some way be well easy for her category. So she won’t have needed to do much work with her acts this week. AHAHAHAHAHA CAUSE NORMALLY SHE DOES SO MUCH!
This week we’re getting The Curious Orange out of the way first and his VT’s all about how there’s some dancing in his routine and Gary wants to cut it out because obviously. It also transpired that he’s 34, which worryingly makes him three years younger than me. I guess it’s not all sob stories and some of them really have led hard lives: Just because you look suspiciously like Gloria Hunniford doesn’t mean you’re actually 72. And on that whim I’m going to rename Christopher GLORIA HUNNIFORD
. The song he’ll be karaokerising tonight is “Waiting For A Star To Fall,” and the much-trumpeted dancing is modelled on that in those gay chatline adverts you used to get on late-night Channel 4. Shitsinger calls him cheesy but in a… good way? Toula CONTOSTAVLOU calls him cheesy in a bad way, and Gary brings out the old “Gloria’s the people’s choice” line again. Yes, we’ve not even had an ad break since the people’s choice to get rid of his acts was an abomination, and already we’re back to how the people’s choice to keep his act in is a sacred stamp of approval that cannot, must not, be criticised. Oh Gary, never change. No really, despite all the things you might have read me saying about Gary on this blog, I don’t want him to change. I just want him to GO AWAY.
Last week I said THE REMAINING 66.6%
were growing on me and would therefore probably be goners this time around. I wonder what’ll happen? They do Crystal Waters’ “Gypsy Woman” which then segues into Tinie Tempah’s “Pass Out.” Toula CONTOSTAVLOU, who has no ulterior motive what with her announcing the other week that N’Dubz will be back and would rather not have any competition in the charts, thank you, slags them off. I’m impressed she managed to have an opinion, considering the camera cut to her during the show and she was paying about as much attention as you would expect at this point. Gary doesn’t agree with mashups because they come dangerously close to being entertaining. Shitsinger thinks it was shamazing. Shanks for that, Shitsinger!
I think we can probably also retire the name Live Televised Nervous Breakdown Waiting To Happen since it’s obviously not
going to happen; almost as if Jahmene was already a confident singer the producers had spotted on YouTube and given an unconvincing “panic attack” storyline to make him seem interesting BUT THAT ARE VERAH, VERAH UNLIKELY! Instead his VT is something about the papers discovering his family’s difficult!past! and he says that’s why he laughs after everything he says. That still sounds like the origin story for a Batman
villain to me, so THE SINISTER GIGGLER
it is. He mangles “Say A Little Prayer” (he gets a bit better as it goes on) with a bit of a dance beat under it which presumably turns it into a club classic. I for one know back when I still used to go to Popstarz it was all Aretha, all the time. Anyway we occasionally cut to Shitsinger bopping like my nan, as she is wont to, and Gary slowly nodding out of beat. These shots of the judges looking bored are a real selling point, well done whoever thought that would convince us we’re watching something entertaining. Obviously it’s sob story week so the judges won’t say anything bad – Toula believes strongly in fate and thinks it was Jahmene’s fate to be standing on the stage tonight. *Obligatory “presumably she also believes fate put her face in a position where some bloke’s cock could slap around it” joke* Gary takes the opportunity to mention that there was an attempt at moving around the stage and that must be stopped before any entertainment gets through. Then we get some stuff about how Giggler is a very private person who wants the stuff in the papers to be forgotten, which is why his entire VT revolved around it this week.
Toula wants that sympathy vote for one of her own acts thankyouverymuch, so WITCH NASAL
has had the WORST WEEK EVAH! (Trans: Sore throat. Had to rest it a couple of days. Not even sure how she managed to damage her throat when she does all her singing out of her nose.) She does an indifferent take on Ultra Naté’s “Free.”
Bea Arthur’s had a bad week. It’s almost as if there’s a theme developing. One of these days someone’s relative is going to die, and the producers will go round the country taking pot-shots at someone from each contestant’s family, to make sure every VT has an equal level of angst. And speaking of angst, Bea’s bad week was as a result of him being JUST SUCH A GENUINE ARTIST that he LITERALLY* (*not literally) sang his heart out and gave himself an anxiety attack, so this week he’s just going to have some “fun.” He’s doing LMFAO’s “Sexy And I Know It.” Well no, he’s not, obviously. He’s doing the lyrics
from LMFAO’s “Sexy And I Know It” to some maudlin Paulo Nutini tune of his own devising. Yes, he’s PAOLO NUTELLA
. I mean I’m no fan of the song myself but it’s suddenly sounding a lot better compared to this version, at least it sounds like a bit of silly fun rather than… I don’t know, I’m getting images of murdered prostitutes from James’ rendition and I’d like to scrub my mind out please. Obviously Gary is uncontrollably aroused by the whole thing, since it’s the very definition of what he likes best, sucking the fun out of something. He pours utter contempt on the song and the band for writing it, which like I say, I don’t like it either but a lot of people watching this show clearly bought it. Again, the public’s opinion is only sacred and inviolable when it conforms with Barlow’s. This
version of “Sexy And I Know It” makes you want to kill yourself. Barlow thinks it’s the performance of the series. Obviously.TWO DIRECTION
have had girls throwing themselves at them all week (as evidenced by a shot of roughly three girls being mildly pleased to see them in a back alley.) So… they didn’t have their Worst Week Ever? Why on earth would anyone vote for them if they didn’t? I guess The Gay One On The End probably wasn’t too pleased at all those vaginas being flung at him, I wouldn’t be; but not sure it’s enough to constitute a proper sob story. They do “When Love Takes Over.” The Gay One On The End’s vocals seem better again this week. Random George’s also sound better, because they’ve been completely drowned out by the Wand Erection Memorial Backing Singers.RYLAN OFFICE SUPPLIES
IN GINGER SHOCKA! Frankly who knows what colour any of Rylan originally was, so the revelation isn’t hugely relevant to anything. Rylan’s Worst Week Ever (I’m assuming; it was everyone else’s so why not) involved getting his beard shaved off while Lucy (who occupies the Venn diagram section for lesbian/faghag crossover) held his hand. His new look turns him into the bastard lovechild of Freddie Mercury and Grace Jones, and halfway between his J-Lo/Rihanna mashup he stops and says “I’m so sorry for my behaviour.” Which is all very well, but they’re saving that
story for Lucy’s VT, so it’s just a tad out of context. Louis calls it “a Brian Friedman production featuring Rylan” and the camera cuts to NotLouis wearing a cape over his head. Amazing. Then the usual argument with Gary over whether Rylan should be allowed to provide entertainment when there’s people who can sing who’ll go out every week he stays in. Yes, but… they weren’t going to win anyway, were they? It’s only Week 3, it’s not like there’s any chance of his being in the final, let us at least have something ridiculous to look at for a few weeks until at least the shows get shorter. Then again Rylan says goodbye to NotLouis who’s apparently leaving this week, so the ridiculousness is likely to go with him *sadface*
Now we belatedly get the story behind Rylan’s apology, BEAT ME ON THE BOTTOM WITH A WOMAN’S WEEKLY
’s VT informing us that the two of them went out and got obnoxiously drunk and were (temporarily) chucked out of the X Factor
hotel as a result. But, as she points out, they put her through on the basis of a song about her being hungover, so they shouldn’t be too surprised. She does the verses from one of her own songs mashed up with the chorus of “Titanium” in a sort of reggaeish arrangement. It’s all right, but I’m baffled as to why “Titanium” has become a singing contest staple since its entire purpose seems to be to show up the big high note nobody can hit. Gary just about manages to stop himself slagging off the original song again. Toula, meanwhile, isn’t quite awake enough to notice that Louis has been gradually digging a hole for her as “the mentor who goes out and gets drunk a lot” as opposed to “the mentor who anyone even pretends knows anything about music any more.”
And then THE OTHER ONE
Because Louis is dressed as Simon Cowell again, he makes sure we know the difference by listing the names of THE TRIBUTES FROM DISTRICT 3
. Well someone has to know them I guess. After their bottom two placing last week, their VT is concerned with convincing us THAT THEY DEFINITELY HAVE PERSONALITIES! Guess how well it works. Then the song is a “Beggin’”/”Turn Up The Music” mashup during which one of the brunette ones does a backflip. Which is actually a pretty good ploy, as I’m given to understand that JLS’ success was largely built on backflips. Then one of the dancers lifts up the same brunette Tribute’s shirt (pretty decent abs) which presumably cements him as The Main One. Which is also not a bad idea, because every boyband needs a Main One, just like Take That had Oh God Please Anyone But Gary Barlow.
“It’s always difficult closing the show.” Well it is now
Dermot, that the phones lines are open throughout and the Pimp Slot has become meaningless. It’s THE 16-YEAR-OLD WHO IS 16 YEARS OLD
, who last week got a tweet of support from Adele. It’s nice to know that while Adele was pushing a human being out of her vagina the noises she made reminded her of Ella. This week Ella will be doing some dance moves to “U Got The Love.” She’ll be doing them incredibly stiffly and self-consciously but she’ll be doing them. I think The Tributes did a slightly better job of convincing that they had personalities, even without the baby oil. Gary then slams all over her dancing, saying it was moves Steps made in the 1990s (your point being?) and that in order to be an entertaining singer she must stand absolutely still at all times and sing directly ahead of her. Perhaps restraints of some kind could be used. He tells her all this after a VT entirely about how she’s really excited to be doing something fun for a change. But no! She must become Adele! Do it now, go eat a cake, then find a man to fuck you and dump you, and then write a song about it. Do it, Ella! Be miserable! The other three judges then back Ella up on how this is what the X factor is (it’s certainly the closest I’ve come to enjoying one of her performances) but obviously next week we can expect to see Ella back to Rebecca Ferguson-esque immobility, because Gary’s the only one whose opinions are listened to. Despite the story of his category so far.
Results show! And I know Dermot’s ill-fitting suits are a running joke on a better X Factor blog than mine
but I can’t let this one go without comment. It’s about six sizes too big and
he’s left the hanger in the jacket. And possibly in the trousers too, given the awkwardness in his step. Oh it’s HETEROSEXUAL sports move’s turn again tonight – I don’t know, he’s miming hitting a baseball or something? Toula CONTOSTAVLOU manages to do her little wink on entry, I assume that’ll have tired her out for the rest of the night. But first the 11 remaining acts’ group song, and when Dermot announces “singing live” I now assume this is a warning to turn the sound down because the autotuning in the last couple of series might have been controversial, but it was better than… this. It’s “Ain’t Nobody,” and it’s still hard on the evidence of this song alone to pick out Rylan as the one who’s officially the comically bad one.
Recap, then the first guest performance, which is Labrinth and he’s collaborated with another act on a new track. Who could it be? Oh, before I answer that question, for no reason whatsoever I just suddenly got the image of a parent force-feeding a child its vegetables. “I don’t care how many times you say you don’t want it, I’m going to keep shoving this down your throat until you bloody well like it!” Ladies and gentlemen, Miss Emeli Sandé! Apparently this is the first time Labrinth and Emeli have performed together. Judging by the sound they make, I take it this is meant literally, and they’ve never actually met before, let alone rehearsed.
Phone lines close, and to waste some time Dermot talks to the judges, asking them who they think might go tonight. Toula CONTOSTAVLOU can’t be bothered to answer. No, she really won’t be giving us a name. It’s far too much to ask of her. All over Twitter, people who aren’t paid to do so are managing to hazard a wild guess, but asking her to spout a meaningless pleasantry which she’s handsomely paid to do is far too much to ask of Toula. And now JLS have a single to plug, before popping backstage to have a word with The Tributes about how backflips are their thing, dammit!
Actual results! Voted back in are TWO DIRECTION! THE 16-YEAR-OLD WHO IS 16 YEARS OLD! PAOLO NUTELLA! RYLAN OFFICE SUPPLIES! GLORIA HUNNIFORD! THE SINISTER GIGGLER! THE TRIBUTES FROM DISTRICT 3! BEAT ME ON THE BOTTOM WITH A WOMAN’S WEEKLY
! WITCH NASAL! Which means the sing-off is between THE REMAINING 66.6%
and THE OTHER ONE
. The Remaining 66.6% sing something by The Script, so at least they’re making it easier for me to see them go. And then the other one.
Judges’ votes – Louis sends the other one home obvs, is booed as usual for saving his own act because if the audience don’t make a noise how do they know they exist? Gary saves his own act and is also booed because apparently saving any
act is an abomination. Actually that sounds fine by me, let’s just eliminate all of them and get on with our lives. Shitsinger says she likes the remaining 66.6% but she’s going to send them home. And Toula CONTOSTAVLOU sends the other one home because she has to stick up for her urban roots. Of course the other week she was barking at them that they weren’t allowed to compete with N’Dubz, which doesn’t sound much like solidarity to me – maybe she’s had her urban roots done in the meantime. So it’s DEADLOCK and how much fun would it be if Gary lost all
his original acts to the public vote in the first three weeks? Restoring dignity to the Overs! But no, it’s The Remaining 66.6% who are going home, meaning another week safe for… no, I’m sorry, it’s escaped me completely. Somebody or other is still in the competition. He or she sang something a couple of minutes ago. Someone, somewhere, perhaps remembers who the hell it was.
Next week, Dermot promises us “Take That’s other
main man, Robbie Williams.” Somewhere in TV-land, Mark Owen is having a crywank into his Pot Noodle. (Howard and Jason are fine; they accepted their place in the food chain years ago.)