Coming up: 21 acts are whittled down to 12. We know. Then, unbelievably, we get a ‘previously.’ Yes. To tell us what happened an HOUR ago. Scott says ‘just in case you’d forgotten, goldfish!’ and then makes little cheek-popping fish noises. Massive Attack’s ‘Unfinished Sympathy’ plays, quickly followed by their ‘Angel,’ Stop with the Massive Attack! Then we get another section of ‘coming up.’ Then the Nokia competition. The adverts. They managed to give us five minutes of the programme before the adverts this time. But it was all stuff that had been on an hour before. It’s just ridiculous. [Can you say filler? – Steve]
We get ‘Rock Star’ playing again, and it still amuses me. Heifer and Twoby are all excited. Maria says that she made a lot of sacrifices to get there, but is proud of getting so far out of 75,000 people. As she should be. As they all should be. Andy won’t comprehend it if he goes through. Joanne can’t stand not knowing. Brenda’s always wanted to be a popstar and says that her life is ‘in Sharon’s hands’. Not literally though. I maintain that’s how they should do these shows – you win, or you die. That would discourage the freaks and losers. Or given that it’s a singing competition, you win, or you have your vocal cords severed. The music in the background is, to quote Alison Graham from the Radio Times a few weeks ago, ‘that debased piece of schmaltz, Angels by Robbie Williams’. [God, I love Alison Graham. – Steve] Fucking Chico comes to see Sharon. She says ‘[Fucking] Chico, you know that you’ve got the weakest vocal out of the seven.’ She’s been campaigning to keep him and she’s sick of it. So, ‘[Fucking] Chico, you’re going home…and being part of my four!!’. Yes. Fucking Chico is in the final four. Which is just absurd. She just SAID he was the weakest vocalist. I mean, it does require more than just a singing voice, but it does require at least a singing voice, which he simply does not have. [You could be entirely mute and get up there and do what Fucking Chico did earlier. Fuck off, Chico. Also, anyone who votes for him next week is banned. From what, I don’t know, but you will be BANNED. – Steve] She says to Twoby, ‘are you a soloist or do you belong in a band?’ Apparently he belongs in a band, because he’s going home. Heifer’s performance was good, but her vocal didn’t cut it. Go home, Heifer! hahahahaha! Good. In a surprise to no-one at all, Andy is through. Again, I say good. Sharon says to Maria, ‘I know you made a lot of sacrifices to be here.’ Maria agrees that she did, but says ‘I wanna be put through on merit.’ (Another admirable sentiment. Joel 4 Maria 4eva.). Sharon says ‘I’m sorry, Maria…you have to put up with us for another three months, you’re through!’ YAY! I no longer care about the rest of the places, because Maria is through. It comes down to Brenda and Joanne. I didn’t take many notes on the Joanne conversation, and ITV seem suddenly loath to repeat this show, bizarrely. I want to get this posted, so I don’t want to wait for the repeat this evening. Point is, Joanne goes home. Sharon says to a sobbing Brenda that she doesn’t have the best voice, and she doesn’t look like a pop star. ‘Brenda, did you think you’d be in my final four?’
‘Well you are!!’ Brenda’s eyes bulge and she doesn’t quite understand for a moment, but yay, she’s through.
Given that Sharon put Andy, Maria and Brenda through, I can kind of forgive her for Fucking Chico. Because those three are head and shoulders above the rest of their age group, and probably above the rest of the whole competition, so whoever she put through for her fourth is kind of a moot point. And at least Fucking Chico is noticeable and will probably attract the horny menopause vote. Heifer, Twoby and Joanne are all pretty nothingy and probably would have gone out in the first week. All in all, bravo Sharon!
Then we have a big section that I really don’t like, of all the contestants telling their families. Heifer says ‘I’m absolutely gutted.’ ‘Good!’ says Scott. Coldplay’s ‘Fix You’ plays. Because it goes ‘when you try your best but you don’t succeed.’ Do you get it? Do you understand the subtle poignancy? I’m not going to recap this in any detail, because it’s horrible. Joanne goes into the house and picks up her kiddy, and tells her family it’s a no. Look, you can all imagine this. Some people are happy and excited, some are totally devastated. It’s like the snuff movie version of Trisha and it’s completely unnecessary. I mean, we don’t need to see people breaking down in tears in the arms of their family to know they’re disappointed. Notable things are that Brenda walks round the corner into her back garden, where her family are waiting, all downcast, and then just screams, as she is wont to do. One of Andy’s children talks to the camera and I said ‘whatever sex that child is, it’s beautiful’. Which sounds odd, but Scott agreed with me, and it does make sense if you saw it. I think she’s a she. [I thought it was a he. – Steve]
Adverts. Spain. Egoiste! This then becomes Craig Armstrong’s music from the Plunkett and MacLeane soudntrack. 4tune came together with a love of music, and this is the most important day of their lives. The Brothers are so excited that they don’t know where they are. The Conway Sisters have faced so many of their biggest fears (which makes me imagine them having to cross a room full of spiders and snakes, to audition in front of the Child Catcher, but that might just be me) and one says ‘I don’t think we’ll ever get this close again.’ Wow, awareness from a reality show contestant. Will wonders never cease? Journey South say stuff that I don’t care about. Eskimo Blonde say other stuff, and all I notice is that one of them has a little pink crochet cardigan on, that she was also wearing in the clip we see of their first audition. Addictive (I don’t care, I’m spelling it properly) Ladies says that they started badly, picked it up, and then let themselves down. 4th Bafivee hope that Simon will look at their whole time in the show, not just yesterday when they forgot the words. Well quite. It’s important that Simon also considers that time in bootcamp where you forgot the words.
Mariah Carey sings ‘Hero’ in the background. Which is to say the track plays. Though how great would it be if she was stalking about Simon’s villa with a wireless mic, singing in people’s ears as they tried to hear Simon’s verdict? Journey South are up. Simon loves them as guys, but says they weren’t as good as at bootcamp. However, they have ‘sailed through to the next round.’ Eskimo Blonde are told that the lead girl is ‘terrific’ but was let down by the other two. They’re not through, and I’m genuinely surprised because Simon seemed to love them. The Brothers, when asked how they thought they did, say they thought they were average. Simon agrees, and they’re not through. I’m reminded of Steve’s comments about their matching-but-not-matching outfits, as two of them are wearing different-coloured t-shirts with chains and dog tags printed on them. No way is that coincidence. The Conway Sisters are told ‘when you’re on it, you’re terrific. On the live parts of the show it could sound all over the place.’ They are, however, through. Obviously. Because we’ve just seen two groups get axed, and there would be no ‘who will it be?’ if three went out in a row. They are completely incapable of editing this show that it has any sort of tension at all. 4tune are also through, and I repeat my above argument, adding that they were a dead cert because Simon called Louis an idiot for not putting them through last year and will want to prove Louis wrong. So it’s down to 4th Bafivee and Addictive Ladies. We cut between them, with Simon saying stuff like I like you, you mess up, blah blah blah. Finally, 4th Bafivee aren’t through. One of them says ‘back to the drawing board, eh fellas?’ and it’s kind of sad. But I don’t care, because that means that Simon says ‘I need my brains testing, you’re through!’ to Addictive Ladies. They scream and mob him.
Solid, unsurprising choices from Simon. It was obvious 4tune would go through, because of the whole ‘suck it, Louis,’ aspect. I would have thought it would be Eskimo Blonde over the Conway Sisters, but other than that, it’s what I thought. One boyband, a ‘rocky’ duo, a traditional girlband and an urban girlband. Simon is totally hedging his bets, and it’s pretty smart. [I’m a bit thrown by some of his choices. Addictive Ladies over Eskimo Blonde? Journey South over…anyone? They suck, and whither the elusive X factor? I could go to a tavern in Vauxhall and see five Journey Souths in the same night if I wanted to. I don’t, obviously. Also, at the request of avid reader Bridget, Simon: please sort out your contractions. Don’t say “but we’ve made a decision” as a complete sentence, especially after listing a bunch of positive attributes. It’s weird and unnatural. – Steve]
More horrible emotional snuff-porn. Addictive Ladies meet their families at the airport and do the big ‘we’re sad’ fakeout. Celine Dion sings ‘Because You Loved Me.’ One of Eskimo Blonde says ‘I can’t bear to be the bearer of bad news.’ The one with the pink crochet cardi is still wearing it, and cries in (what I presume is) her mother’s lap. One of 4th Bafivee’s grans says ‘I love him to bits.’ [The ugly one got a lot of screentime this episode. Well, the uglier one. – Steve] 4tune do the same fakeout thing. Some brunette women with babies say that Journey South deserve it.
Adverts. Dublin. Shayne wants it ‘the biggest I’ve ever wanted anything.’ Philip would love to be overconfident and say he knows he’s going through, but he can’t. Good lad. Arrogance will get you nowhere, Michelle. Alexandra says she’s confident because ‘God knows what he’s doing.’ [Yup, he sure knew what he was doing when his Mysterious Ways booted Scott Savol out of American Idol. Haw haw. – Steve] Shut up, Alexanrda. James says ‘you feel lost’, waiting and not knowing. Trevor says ‘I’ve wanted this for ages but I never thought I could sing.’ Chenai wants it because her little brothers are stuck where they are, and she wants something to take ‘me and my family out of…’ poverty? incest? Wigan? She starts to cry because she wants the opportunity to help her family. My heart cracks a little bit. ‘Your Song’ plays.
Louis says that James is great, but he doesn’t think that a 16-year old will cope and sends him home. James says to Kate ‘I tried.’ And for a kid that young to be that stoic is incredible. Shayne is through, and he says ‘it’s the best thing I’ve ever done.’ Louis tells Trevor he has an image problem, and he isn’t sure that Trevor’s ready for it. And yes, Trevor looks a bit funny with his glasses and his fringe. But as his first audition showed, take off his glasses and spike his hair up and he looks a hundred times better. And also? A tiny little scared schoolboy with the voice of Michael Ball? Will sell MILLIONS of records to middle-aged ladies. Nonetheless, Louis sends Trevor home. Because Louis is a fucking idiot with no idea what he’s doing. [Yeah. I actually thought Trevor was going to win. – Steve] Philip’s up next, and Louis is all ‘I have to disappoint three people’ but there is NO tension, because we know only one girl is going through, meaning there are two spaces left, and two boys to fill them. So Philip’s through, as is Nicholas. We then get a big ‘ooh, which girl is it?’ section. Blah blah blah. Much deliberation. Alexandra goes home, Chenai is through. YAY! At least Louis got one right. Never mind Alexandra, it’s God’s plan.
Seriously though. Louis is a fucking idiot. Nicholas should be through, definitely, and I do like Chenai a lot. But James, Trevor and Alexandra all deserve the remaining spaces more than Shayne and Philip. Much as Alexandra was annoying me with her ‘God this, God that’ and her warbling, her voice is awesome. Trevor is just a scarily complete singer at such a young age. And James is, without the short bus connotations of it, just so special. He’s brilliant and adorable and fantastic. And you know what? They’re all 16. Louis sent home all the youngsters. Despite them being within the age limits of the contest, he was apparently all ‘kids won’t cope.’ Fucking moron. [Absolutely. I think Chenai is Louis’s best hope for this competition, and I still think she won’t win. He’s blown it. – Steve]
The worst of all the emotional snuff films are coming up. Alexandra goes into her house, enters the living room and just starts bawling her eyes out and hurls herself at her family without saying a word. James goes into his house and just says ‘not this time’, in a completely calm, matter of fact voice. He is amazing. Trevor goes into his house and picks up his little sister. He tells his family he’s not through. They all hug him. Much crying. This all takes place to the accompaniment of ‘Let it be.’ All three of those were just horrible to see. It’s really, really not necessary to show us the further devastated reactions of the losers. It seems like they’re going to trail ‘Xtra Factor, with unseen emotional trauma!’ Just. Not. Right. [But they’ll all be back next year, and Simon will totally put them through. – Steve]
I’m very glad this is over.
Next week onward: live shows!