Last week on The X Factor
: People twiddled knobs and walked through corridors and counted down! There was also some singing but frankly the less said about that the better so let’s look at the production crew instead! This week! The term “Best of British” will be misappropriated! I for one am excited to see whether the theme is missed by the usual miles and miles, with “British” hits from American, Australian and Martian artists, or the more subtle brand of missing the point, like choosing songs from the Irish Republic and offending as many people as possible. Or will it just be the word “best” that’s wildly misused?
Britishness begins with “Soul Bossa Nova” by Quincy Jones (American,) a piece of music most associated with Austin Powers, as created by Mike Myers (Canadian.) But hey, at least the character is (the American stereotype of) a British man. Someone sneaks behind the judges’ table, which I thought was going to be some LOLarious joke connected to Dermot’s Dance of Heterosexuality, but turns out to be, er, someone sneaking behind the judges’ table. You’d think this would be an excuse for Dermot to dance in surrounded by fembots to remind us how HETEROSEXUAL he is but no, it’s just the nonspecific sports mime again. Judges come in, Toula CONTOSTAVLOU is dressed as a snake, Nicole Shitsinger as a lesbian. Dermot asks Louis if there’s any rivalry between the two boybands; oh Dermot, they can barely remember who’s in which group, let alone get round to having a rivalry.
“Our own Team GB, Gary Barlow,” says Dermot – thanks Dermot, you’ve just RUINED the memory of the ‘lympics forever, are you proud of yourself? Are you? All just so Gary can introduce GLORIA HUNNIFORD
. Once again the VT is about how the papers have been MEAN TO HIM! by bringing up the fact that all the other contestants hate him. They don’t mention the stories about Christopher having twice as many phone votes as everyone else and being a lock to win, funnily enough. Much as I hate the idea of the curious orange shrieking and simpering the whole rest of the series, I do love the increasing possibility of the show ending up with the least marketable winner even by its own standards. Restoring! Dignity! To the Overs! Speaking of Barlow, he lies that if you said “great British artist” to him Elton John would be number 1. Obviously Gary would choose himself first, and then look confused at the idea that anyone else could possibly be in contention. For purposes of ironic self-commentary, the song is “I’m Still Standing,” which we see Gary desperately trying to coach Christopher into making less cruise ship. It’s about as successful as you’d expect. At least NotNotLouis has sort of made an effort, doing a literal representation of the theme by having the dancers dressed as bowling pins. Sadly the dance itself doesn’t get any odder than that, but the glitterball bowling pins on the back screens are nicely camp. Shitsinger tells him not to confuse confidence with cockiness – that’s quality work Shitsinger, reminding us that under the quivering front is arrogance. See, CONTOSTAVLOU, that’s how it’s done, not “I’ve heard you’re a bully Misha B, hur hur.” (I bet you wish you hadn’t used that one up last year, don’t you Toula? Could have come in real handy about now.)
Shitsinger introduces THE SINISTER GIGGLER
as “my little lamb chop.” Is that one of the things he got you to discount at ASDA last week? We’re back to the “Giggler doesn’t believe in himself” storyline, as we find out that “the only person who doesn’t think Jahmene was good last week, is Jahmene.” Um, I beg to differ, the viewers had quite strong feelings on the matter as well. In the latest edition of Nicole Shitsinger Phones Her Celebrity Friends
, we get Jennifer Hudson on speakerphone to tell Jahmene he’s a special snowflake. The song is Fat Bob’s “Angels” which, obviously, has been slowed down so much it’s practically going backwards. But I’m going to take it as a deliberate burn to Gary, and on that basis say well played, Shitsinger. Best! Of! British! At judges’ comments Shitsinger says “you stir me!” and when the audience wolf-whistles she goes “oh my god not like that, eeeeewwwwwwwwwww!” or similar. And then Dermot incorrectly uses the word “eulogy” to describe what Shitsinger just said. Settle down Dermot, I don’t like Giggler either but I’m not demanding his death.THE TRIBUTES FROM DISTRICT 3
’s VT it all about how they were told to change their act, and then when they did they were told they’d lost their identity. Shh, Tributes, you’re giving away how this show works! Anyway, when they were doing boring harmonies the judges liked it but the audience didn’t respond, so they’re going to go back to doing that. I WONDER HOW THAT MIGHT PAN OUT? They pretend that the acts and judges sit around picking their own songs as opposed to being given a shortlist of three by the producers, and we find out they think the Beatles had a song called “Buy Me Love.” But they’re going to go for a “stripped-back” version of Eric Clapton’s “Tears In Heaven” because apparently someone’s desperate for this lot to go home this week. Blond Tribute says “if we go another week with bad comments I think we’re out of it,” proving he has a very basic misunderstanding of how the show works. Oh god, Blond Tribute and Backflip Tribute are on stools. Stools, Louis? And Abs Tribute is behind a piano, how the hell is anyone supposed to see his abs from there? The whole thing is as bland as you’d expect and surely the last we’ll see of them? Toula CONTOSTAVLOU says Louis stripped them back to basics. *insert Louis molesting boyband joke here* Shitsinger says it brought a tear to her eye. Although judging from the shot where she wiped her eye, it also made her burp straight afterwards.
After the break, the rest of them! Cut to everyone standing in the green room, except for James Arthur who’s sitting in the corner like Jabba.THE 16-YEAR-OLD WHO IS 16 YEARS OLD
is the last remaining vagina in the competition. Except for Gary AHAHAHAHAHAHA. She’ll be doing Tinie Tempah’s “Written In The Stars” except nobody’s ever heard it done like this, apparently. What, really boringly? True. Someone on Twitter described Ella as “Adele’s maternity cover," at which point I might as well give up 'cause I'm not going to come up with a gag better than that. Gary says Ella’s going nowhere – wow, what a kiss of death! Louis didn’t like the song choice but Toula CONTOSTAVLOU says there’s a generation out there who really liked that. Yep, the generation born in the 1940s.
Another ad break already.
“The best of Essex,” promises Nicole Shitsinger. Of course, if the image of the county perpetuated by TV is accurate, RYLAN OFFICE SUPPLIES
about as good as Essex can do. Rylan’s doing The Spice Girls because he’s loved them ever since he was “a six-year-old girl.” <3 <3 <3 He was that kid in the playground who was always Geri. Ginger pride! Nicole Shitsinger goes one better than getting Geraldine Halliwell on speakerphone, she turns up at the rehearsal room. Let’s face it, was else did she have to do that day other than pick her feet? If Rylan and Geraldine Halliwell became BFFs he would die. So Geraldine being friendly with him? That’s attempted murder that is! Rylan talks about the Spice Girls at the ‘lympics, but seems to have got confused because his performance opens with him doing an impression of the Queen at the opening ceremony and jumping out of a plane, then arriving on stage dangling from parachute cords. Shamazing! Obviously he’s doing a Spice Girls medley, featuring women in giant cocktail glasses and the male dancers topless with sparkly Union Jack body paint. Oh NotNotLouis, it’s nice when you wake up for a bit every couple of weeks. Oh and Louis correctly identifies it as a medley, not a mash-up, so points there.
ad break!TWO DIRECTION
also dragged their way out of the bottom two last week, so they will also be “stripping back” their performance – does Louis want both acts in the sing-off or something? Oh wait, it’s OK, they’re going to be shamelessly pandering to the Sun
-reading demographic for Remembrance Sunday by dedicating their performance to the armed forces, because soldiers are heroeses! The Gay One On The End has relatives in the RAF, The Gareth Gatesy One has relatives in the Navy, and Random George’s brother is in Afghanistan. The One On The Other End apparently doesn’t have any heroic relatives, shame on him! Oh for crying out loud, it’s “Fix You.” What, even, is the connection to soldiers? The harmonies are a mess but it’ll still get more votes than the Tributes because heroeses! Barlow says it’s one of his favourite songs – of course it is.
More flipping ads!
Shitsinger introduces “a wickedly talented bloke,” PAOLO NUTELLA
. That time in the pub has really rubbed off on her hasn’t it? Speaking of rubbing off, James says he doesn’t know how to respond to positive comments so just goes off and has a little celebration privately. It’s called a wank, James. He’ll be doing Adele’s “Hometown Glory,” which prompts a VT flashback to photos of James with a mullet. Well, that’s made tonight’s hell a bit more hilariously bearable. Meanwhile Shitsinger demonstrates the law of diminishing returns, having roped in Jennifer Hudson, then Geraldine Halliwell, and now it’s a surprise appearance from… James’ sister. “Seeing my sister really reminds me of home.” He forgets to add “and how I don’t want to go back there.” The performance itself is so Paolo Nutini he even seems to have picked up the Scottish accent. Louis praises James to the rafters, except James doesn’t appear to be paying much attention. Speaking of people who aren’t paying attention, Toula remembers watching this show before she became a judge. Too bad she stopped watching when she actually did
become one. Barlow says Adele is so brilliant nobody should ever cover her songs. WELL IT’S A BIT BLOODY LATE TELLING US THIS NOW! They’ve covered the arse off her on this show in the last couple of years! Then he says all the acts are works in progress except for James – well why d’you keep telling everyone they’re already perfect and not to change a thing then?
The guest performers are usually saved until the Sunday show but with Lucy’s departure this show is looking shorter than it was supposed to and they need some padding. It’s Best of British night and they don’t come any more British, apparently, than a group that’s 1/5 Irish, Wand Erection! It’s the godawful pandering song Ed Sheeran wrote for them about how Wand Erection will have sex with girls even if they think they’re a bit ugly. To be fair, everything we know about Wand Erection suggests this to be the case. Wait, Miniature Nicholas Hoult Erection and Blond Erection are getting solo bits? That’ll be a first in this studio.
Results show; Dermot’s sports gesture is now well on its way to incorporating a full pirouette at the end – FFS Dermot, I thought this was supposed to be asserting your raging heterosexuality? Judges arrive, and we finally find out what it takes to make the group song sound good: They’re doing “Beautiful Day” so at least there’s the glorious relief that it isn’t actually
Bono singing it. Jahmene is wearing his granddad’s cardigan, so that’s a thing. Is this still being counted as part of “Best of British” week? I hope so, because it’s not a proper X Factor
theme week without them getting confused about which bit of Ireland’s in Britain.
Recap of last night’s shenanigans and then, rather later in the series than we’re used to, it’s the return of last year’s winner to do a turn. Yes, it’s Oatibix, and they’re wearing matching black and gold costumes, which means Jesy hasn’t been put in ill-fitting floral print jeggings. But… how will he know she has body image issues and feel sorry for her? I’m so confused. The vocals are, erm… Look, this lot got here through liberal use of the Wand Erection Memorial Backing Singers, why haven’t they been utilised here? Moving on. Dermot wants to know if Toula is proud of her Little Muffins. She’s all, oh yeah, I was their mentor last year wasn’t I?
Lines close which means time for meaningless pleasantries from the judges, followed by second guest performer Ed Sheeran. He’s wearing the only clothes he owns and singing another minor variation of the only song he knows. At least this one isn’t about a miscarriage, like the one he did on The Voice
. Or it probably isn’t, anyway, I can’t swear to having actually paid enough attention to know for sure. Dermot attempts a burn about how this is Sheeran’s sixth single from the same album. It’s about as effective as Dermot’s burns ever are, and Sheeran responds by mumbling something meaningless about singles and albums. Apparently Sheeran’s favourite act this year is James Arthur WELL KNOCK ME DOWN WITH A FEATHER and etc.
Ad break. This year’s John Lewis advert that people have been sobbing buckets over. OH COME ON, PEOPLE!
Actual results! Through to next week are PAOLO NUTELLA! RYLAN OFFICE SUPPLIES! THE SINISTER GIGGLER! THE 16-YEAR-OLD WHO IS 16 YEARS OLD! And then an ad-break for tension, that might have worked if we didn’t know how the voting was going so it’s inevitably GLORIA HUNNIFORD! Meaning it’s both Louis’ boybands against each other, THE TRIBUTES FROM DISTRICT 3
and TWO DIRECTION
- almost as if both boybands ditching the style that the phone voters liked in favour of what the judges liked has backfired with the voters. Who could have predicted that? Apart from everybody? Meanwhile Shitsinger now has as many acts left as all the other judges put together. LOL, as they say on the internet. The Tributes do a shaky harmony of Bruno Mars’ creepy obsessive boyfriend anthem “Just The Way You Are,” and Two Direction follow it up with Adele’s “Set Fire To The Rain.”
Dermot goes to Louis first for added “drama” except obviously he already knows Louis is going to refuse to vote because he just dismisses it with “there’s precedent” rather than pressing and grumbling that they’re running late. So it’s down to the other three judges’ majority vote and Gary and Shitsinger both tease that they’ll save The Tributes only to save Two Direction. Really Gary? But Two Direction sang an Adele song and nobody except James Arthur (and presumably Adele?) should be allowed to do so. Weird. Anyway that’s already decided things so Toula CONTOSTAVLOU’s half-hearted attempts to make herself relevant as she votes to save The Tributes (something something urban roots) are wasted. Too late with that package on a silver parachute, Toula! Frankly, Two Direction should have gone home if only for pandering to the "soldiers are heroeses" crowd and still
ending up in the bottom two, but that genetically engineered mutt that got sent after The Tributes From District 3 caught up with them at last.