Performance Show 5: 11th November 2006
LAST WEEK! Louis disobeyed Simon and sent Ashley home. Simon claimed it was personal. Sharon and Louis bitched back. No one actually believed any of this pantomime bollocks. Lots of contestants cried, because that's what the audience loves. Your Saturday night starts here, apparently. Shame it's Sunday morning when I'm watching this, then. Or does that mean I've developed the ability to project myself back in time? Because that would be kind of cool.
There are judges. Simon is not wearing a suit this week. There are contestants. Simon has three acts left, Sharon and Louis have two each. The MacDougall Brothers and Ray are both still here, for reasons I can't figure out. Kate's hair is in a similar manner to last week's 50s bouffant, and still looks good. Her dress is a demure black number with long sleeves that completely covers her cleavage, and she has a giant poppy tucked in the top. It's all very modest, and she doesn't look even remotely like some kind of confectionary. Are we in bizarro-world or something? Kate tells us that the seven remaining finalists will be singing "some of the greatest love songs ever written for your votes." People write love songs for our votes? Now there's a TV competition that could be interesting. Or perhaps Kate needs to learn how to use her voice to punctuate her sentences properly. Tonight's special guest is that staple of the modern pop industry, Julio Iglesias.
We're starting with Sharon this week, and for some reason all of the shots of the judges are weirdly bleached out, like someone screwed up the lighting or something. Ben is first to perform, and says that last week didn't go well for him, what with Simon hating his performance and everything. Sharon says that it wasn't his best week, and knows that he needs to step up. Simon: "When he's great, he's great. When he's terrible, he's dreadful." Okay, last week's performance wasn't that bad. Seriously, Simon, when you gave us Ray's swing version of 'Waterloo', you need to be very careful re: stones and glass houses. Ben went home this week to se his family. His mum seems lovely, and hugs him a lot. Sharon reminds us that Ben erects marquees (snerk) for a living. Ben starts to cry and says that he had a great time doing that, but he wants to be a proper musician. Sharon tells us that Ben's tried every avenue and had doors slammed in his face. So, you're trying to encourage us to support Ben by telling us that he's a loser? Interesting strategy. Ben takes to the stage, and it's his turn to carry the Journey South Memorial Guitar of Irrelevance this week. He'll be singing Aerosmith's 'I Don't Want To Miss A Thing', a song I really hate. His attempt at making it his own seems to be just...singing...it...really...slowly. That said, I can't deny that he does have a lovely voice when he really lets it loose and stops all that gravelly affectation, and he does sound lovely on the choruses. He puts the guitar on the floor at the beginning of the second verse, by the way, because as we established earlier, it's completely irrelevant. I think there's a wind machine at work here, as well. He goes up to a girl in the audience and basically starts groping her, and I really hope that's his real-life girlfriend or something, because otherwise he's kind of a sex pest. Seriously - there's such a thing as flirting with the audience as part of your performance, and there's basically unzipping and sticking your cock in their mouth, which is what Ben was veering dangerously close to there. Louis tells Ben that he was a little worried at the beginning because Ben seemed unsure of himself, but he got it back and it was a great ending. He still thinks Ben will be in the final. Simon tells Ben he needed that after last week, and he says his only criticism is that the film clip was corny, and singing to the girl was corny, and the wind machine was corny. He tells Ben that he doesn't need all those props (interestingly, he neglects to mention that Ben doesn't need the Journey South Memorial Guitar of Irrelevance either, since that was just as corny as the rest of it), because he's one of the best singers they've ever had. He also tells Ben not to diss building marquees. Sharon calls Simon "Darth Vader" for some reason, and tells Ben that she too was worried about him at the beginning, but it was a great performance. She tells Ben that Simon has to go for the low blow and can't just be nice, and well, isn't that his job? If we wanted someone whose entire job was to be nice, we'd get Paula Abdul back. There's no point in having judges if they don't point out things that don't work, Sharon. Stop stirring. The judges bicker pointlessly, and Kate cuts them off. Ben says this was the first time he's opened the show, and it was nerve-wracking for him. He panicked when the fan came on, apparently. He says "these are emotional times", somewhat portentously. Kate closes the segment with "Not afraid to be emotional: it's Ben." Hee. Can we call him Gentle Ben from now on? Yes? Good.
After the ad break, we're back with Louis and the groups, two boys from Scotland who are "fighting, fighting, fighting to stay in the competition." They're called the MacDougall Brothers, right? He also adds: "Simon owes them an apology." No he doesn't; you owe us an apology for inflicting them on us, you idiotic little smarmpot. Flashback to Simon telling the boys they cannot win. Blonde MacDougall tells us that Simon wants them gone, but the audience keep voting for them. Simon: "Ashley goes, the MacDougalls stay in, it's like the world's gone completely mad." Yep, I can't understand why it wasn't Ray who went home either, but let's not let that distract us, shall we? (Note to self: never pause video on a freeze-frame of Louis Walsh again. It's really not good for my stress levels.) Louis blathers about the public making the decision and that's what counts. The MacDougalls go back to the hotel where they used to be wedding singers (presumably they will soon be making this journey on a more permanent basis) and comment on how small it is. Simon thinks Scotland is watching the show with the volume turned down. Renate, the hotel manager, tells us that if Simon Cowell turned up on the doorstep of their hotel, he'd be murdered. That's true, that area did look rough as arseholes from what we saw. Mother MacDougall tells us how hard it is listening to Simon ripping into her boys. Simon refuses to believe that they're still in this show because they're good singers. No, they're in the show because you hate them, and the audience love being contrary. When are you going to learn that and damn them with some faint praise already? Simon thinks they can just stand on stage and bark and they'll still stay in. Hee. The audience boos this part of the VT. Sharon says that she wants some "ooomph" from them, but no one complains about Sharon not liking them because she's The Nice One. The MacDougalls say they came in feeling like wedding singers, but now they feel like pop stars. Well, I'm glad two people are convinced, at least. They're singing 'She's The One'. On stools. Betcha couldn't guess Louis Walsh is their mentor, could you? It's possibly just my recording of the show, but the backing seems to keep going out of tune. Oh, and they get up off the stools! I didn't see that coming AT ALL. The singing's okay (nothing to write home about), but it's still so incredibly dull. Although I haven't spotted any creepy incest vibes this week, so I'm grateful for small mercies. Even if they do insist on gazing meaningfully into each others' eyes all the time. There's no conviction, no stage presence, and I don't understand why they're still here, at all. I'd still rather be rid of Ray, of course, but that doesn't excuse their continued presence when Dionne's at home watching this in her curlers. The audience whoops for them big time at the end, drowning Sharon out (thank you, audience!). Sharon says that she prays that they win, "because Darth Vader here has to pay £1 million for you guys if you win." Urgh. Shut up, Sharon. You're just being a fucking idiot now, not that I ought to be surprised by that. Attempting to say at least one thing of relevance, she says that Mark has said the same thing every week: if the show gave out a purple heart for bravery, they'd win it. Oh, whatever. All this MacDougalls vs The World stuff is pissing me right off now. It's not bravery, it's famewhorism. And yes, I'm aware that isn't a real world. It doesn't make it any less true. Sharon says this is their best "song" so far. Note: not best "performance". Simon's comments: "It wasn't horrible. I'm not saying it's the best vocal I've ever heard in my life, because it's not." He tells Sharon that her comment was stupid, which: duh. But still good to have someone point it out, anyway. He seems remarkably confident they're not going to win, so I just hope he has access to the voting tallies and knows they're getting closer to the bottom or something. Please, God. Simon tells them that the problem is there are better singers than them in the competition (some of the audience clap at this, which is hilarious, especially as there are some confused boos in there as well. Nobody told the monkeys how to respond to that one!). He tells them that unless they raise their game, they will go back to being wedding singers, "albeit at a slightly larger wedding." Hee. Louis tells them it's their best performance yet, and yammers on about how Simon owes them an apology, which: still no. Simon, in this week's cul-de-sac of WTF?, puts his hand up and tells us all he's 25% Scottish. Er, that's nice. Louis makes some joke about that being Simon's head, which falls flat, because Louis isn't funny or clever. Kate gives out the voting numbers, and says "high praise indeed tonight!" Yep, "you were marginally less shit" is very high praise.
Next up is Ray. He says that last week's performance was a risk, because no one's ever done a swing version of 'Waterloo'. Of course, it's not as much of a risk as NOT DOING A FUCKING SWING SONG FOR THE NINETY MILLIONTH TIME would have been, but whatever. Louis says Ray has to do something different this week and prove he's not a one-trick pony. I can't believe I'm saying this, but: word, Louis. Simon doesn't care what Louis thinks, because everyone on this show is a moron, of course. Ray goes home, and his mum says how much he loves performing on a stage. "The bigger the audience, the better he gets." Wow, they must have some deceptively small audiences on this show. Interestingly, Ray's dad is also called Ray, and is the one to blame for turning Ray into Croonsy McSwingpants. He blathers some irritating stuff about how swing is "longevity, never mind that other stuff". Yeah, never mind all those operas that have been around since the 17th century, swing music is the proof of timelessness. Whatever, Ray Senior. Ray's proud of himself for sticking to what he loves. Yes, because diversity of taste is a terrible, terrible thing. Ray goes back to school, where his mum was Bernie Nolan and he was being bullied by a girl called Imelda, whom he then killed. He talks about being on stage at school dressed as a chicken and realising that was where he wants to be. In a barn? Simon calls Ray "a born entertainer" (yuck), and Ray says "it's just put that little seed in me" (EW) "and I want this tree to keep on growing, baby." Okay, I need to clean out my brain with about 12 pints of Domestos. Ray will be singing 'Crazy Little Thing Called Love', in a swing style, because he's such a versatile artist. He appears to also be doing some kind of crude Elvis impersonation at the same time, which is bizarre. It's like watching some kind of cringeworthy school talent show, where you want to smother the irritating parents who enabled this behaviour in their child. Also: this would appear to be another example of Ray obeying the letter of the theme, if not the spirit. This should have been an opportunity for Ray to show some subtlety, if not some diversity. Yuck. He even tries to be sexy at the end of the song, and it's so disgusting that I can't even tell you. Ray applauds himself at the end, of course. Sharon tells Ray that he's a natural. Some of the audience start chanting "Ray! Ray! Ray!" and Sharon tells them to shut up. I would have chloroformed them, but that's just me. Sharon tells Ray that he's very polished at what he does, that he's definitely got a future in this industry (like Steve Brookstein, you mean?) but she doesn't know if he's an album seller. She says that Simon's playing it safe every week. Yep, because God forbid Ray should take any responsibility for his own crappy performance or anything. Louis agrees with Sharon: Ray does the same thing every week, and he wants something new next week. You wanted something new this week, Louis, and you didn't get it. Can't you be a bit more forceful. Simon: "If you buy a chocolate digestive, you don't want a Jaffa Cake." Oh, Simon. I always want a Jaffa Cake. Bad example. He says his job is to bring out the best in Ray, and that they're going to continue to do what Ray does best. He predicts that Ray might make the final. Yes, and I might have a coronary.
Kate reminds us that "the last two girls in the competition", Nikitta and Leona, are still to come. I wonder why she chooses this week to remind us of that; was Ashley considered one of the girls? Adverts. Andy Abraham has a new album out. If you buy it, I will kill you.
We're back with Simon, and Nikitta. Rihanna's 'Unfaithful' plays, and Nikitta gets upset about last week. Apparently she's cross because her mentor told her she was out of tune. Please, Nikitta, do not go all Conway Sisters on us. I assure you it will not end well. Louis and Sharon say that Simon doesn't know what he's doing with Nikitta. Simon says he's got it wrong almost every week, and this week he has to get it right. You're going to send Ray home? Good choice! Oh, fine: let's just hope he's finally giving Nikitta a ballad, for fuck's sake. Nikitta goes home to the place where she used to dream about being a pop star. She talks about going home to the empty house. You know, because Her Mother Is Dead. And they'd been doing so well, too. A good couple of weeks, and nary a mention of Nikitta's Mother, Who Is Dead. I guess they're pulling out all the stops for her this week. We see Katie there giving Nikitta a hug (and later reduced to "Nikitta's auntie" on a caption - that's gotta smart), and Nikitta's Nana Pearl. Auntie Karen talks about Nikitta's Dead Mother some more, just in case we weren't up to speed on that yet. Nikitta doesn't want to be just sitting around the house, thinking about "could've beens". So, is she going to bring it this week? She looks lovely in a red wraparound dress, so that's a start. Nikitta will be singing Donna Summer's 'Last Dance'. It's not quite a ballad, but it'll do for now, I guess. On stage are some dancers, of the variety of gimmick that Simon claims a good artist does not need. Hmmm. Also: is it really a good idea to give Nikitta a song with the line "when I'm bad, I'm so, so bad"? Again, this isn't necessarily a song I'd call a love song, but it's closer than Ray's, at least. It does appear to be an incredibly loose theme week, anyway. Nikitta's performance, you say? It's okay. At least there's something for her to get her chops around on this song, but it's still not really that good a fit for her. The last note is, unfortunately, really off, and that's a shame. Louis tells her that was so much better than last week - for the first time in the competition she looked great and sounded great and looked happy. He also says that it's very hard to sing a Donna Summer song that well. And I'm sure Louis has tried it when he's boogying in the disco with his top off. The Bitch Factor holds no responsibility for any mental trauma caused by that image. Nikitta thanks Louis gleefully. Sharon tells Nikitta she was definitely in her comfort zone tonight, and she looks gorgeous. Simon agrees with the others: he tells her it was much better, she looked like she was having fun. Nikitta thanks the judges, and says it feels amazing to have all three of them say something good. Kate asks Nikitta what it would mean for her to make the final, and Nikitta gets the giggles. She says it would mean the world, and thanks everyone for supporting her, including Scotland. See, Simon doesn't hate Scotland! He likes Nikitta, and he's 25% Scottish!
Another ad break? Bloody hell. Can we have some programme to go with our adverts please?
It's time for Eton Road. They loved last week. Louis says they have the full package. Simon says that last week was the week they emerged as possible winners. There's a clip of Anthony's mum Henrietta, who looks awesome, and tells us that her son is "lovely". Awww. We see the Eaton Road Dance School where they met, and they admit they changed the spelling to look a little bit more funky. And also: more Berkshire, less Merseyside. What? Don't tell me you weren't thinking it too. There are some hilarious pictures of them as kids. There's a freeze frame of them walking across the road, Abbey Road-style, as they tell us that Louis has picked a Beatles song for them. Because that's probably the biggest mental stretch he can make when asked to choose a song for four boys from Liverpool. James's parents (okay, James is the blond one - this helps!) say they're excited from them to be doing a Beatles song. David's dad (and David is the one with the spiky brown hair, whom I might fancy a little bit) says the emotions will be sky high. We don't see the other one's parents, but at least now I can go on the website and do a process of elimination (the other one's Daniel, I now know). Knowing my luck, now that I know which one's which, they'll get eliminated. They'll be singing 'From Me, To You'. They keep singing to each other in that really gay way that the boybands on this show seem to have. It's kind of cute, though. There's a bit of choreography, although it's kind of cheesy. They sound okay, if not amazing, but there's just something incredibly cute about them as a package that makes it really hard for me to dislike them. They include a bit in the middle for Anthony to do a falsetto, which sounds odd and kind of weird and I think they'd have been better off leaving that out and just allowing him to harmonise with the melody, but what do I know? I have to admit, despite myself, I enjoyed that. Simon's comment? "What was that bit in the middle? I just didn't get that." Told you so. Simon thought it was a bad choice of song, "and it looked like Louis had sent you back to boyband school in 1986. The routine was lazy, there was no real attempt to share the vocals, the choreography was fifteen years out of date, the track sounded dated, you can't do a Beatles sound justice, the bit in the middle was just weird. I thought you were really good last week, and you were completely and utterly average tonight. Sorry. You're better than that." Ouch. But look at David's lovely smile! Sharon calls them "her darlings" and says they can do no wrong for her. She does admit that the choreography was dated, but that it wasn't their fault, and says they made the song their own. "No they didn't," interjects Simon, and not for the first time this evening, Sharon morphs into Nikki Grahame and bawls "I LIKED IT, IF YOU DON'T MIND!" Louis agrees with Sharon. He thinks Simon is jealous because they're trying something different, UNLIKE SOME OF HIS ACTS (oh good, we're pulling each other's hair now), and says that it's good for Anthony to show off his amazing vocal range. Not like that, it isn't. I like Anthony and all, but there's a time and a place. Daniel says that it's impossible to do a Beatles song, but they tried to make it their own. Anthony says that he really respects Simon, and they've had a hard week because he's had a chest infection for the past four days, not that he's making excuses, "and I haven't even told me family about me throat because I don't wanna upset me nan." HA! That's brilliant. Louis starts yelling and drowning out the rest of Anthony's comments, because this show doesn't give a shit about the contestants.
Leona says that last week was incredible. Simon reminds us that we've never had a girl win The X Factor (to which I say, dude, it's only on its third series. It's not like saying you've never had a woman win a Nobel Prize), and he thinks Leona could change that. I hope so. Louis says that Leona has done really well so far, "but the only way you can go from the top is down." God, he is such a cunt. I'm sorry, but he is. Leona goes home to see her family, and her mum says that Leona's wanted to be a singer all her life. Leona's father (and again, both of her parents seem pretty cool) says that he's incredibly proud of her. Leona wells up again on VT. Leona's older brother Bradley (who's kind of hot) says that he's proud of his little sister, and she's just doing better and better. Leona goes back to where she used to work as a receptionist, and her old boss says that he advertised her job after he saw her on the programme because he knew she wouldn't be coming back, and that it was the happiest cause he's ever had to advertise a job. Hee. Leona says that she used to wear a headset for work, and when no one was looking she used to pretend she was singing at her own concert. Ha! I totally used to do that too, when I worked in the Gap. I suspect my attempts were less impressive than Leona's, mind. Leona says her life has changed, but at any time it could be here today and gone tomorrow - she could be back at her desk, daydreaming again. And while I applaud her sensible attitude here, she did hear that they've advertised her job, right? How galling would it be to be eliminated and unemployed in one fell swoop? Leona sings 'Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word', and her hair's been kind of straightened on top and curled at the end, and looks lovely. It's another effortless performance from Leona, and I'm biased because I really like her, but she absolutely knocks everyone else onto this show into a cocked hat. Which means, she'll probably be eliminated any day now, because this show does not like its contestants to actually be talented. Admittedly, it is still a bit like listening to Christina Aguilera, and it'd be nice to have a week where I didn't have to say that about Leona, but name me another British singer her age who can do this, because I can't think of any right now. She does a run at the end (a vocal run, not a literal run across the stage), which threatens to get away from her, but she keeps it under control because she's awesome. Simon gives her a standing ovation. Sharon tells her it was a very emotional performance, that she told the story of the song, and it was beautifully sung. Louis tells Leona that she delivers every week without gimmicks ("no sax players, no silly dancers" - heh). He calls her a class act, and says for the third week running "I think you could be the first winner. Female. Of X Factor." That's a sentiment. Lovely. To hear. Leona gushes her thanks. Simon tells her: "Honestly, that was world-class." He talks about her overcoming her shyness, reminds us again that we've never had a female winner, and says that she's a role model for every little girl in an office who dreams of being a popstar. Um, shouldn't the "little girls" be in, you know, school? Do we need some kind of exposé on the exploitation of minors in British offices? Kate tells Leona that every week her comments get bigger and better. Leona thanks the judges, and says that they inspire her to get better, and thanks everyone for supporting her. Awww. I love Leona.
Back from what is hopefully the final ad break, and we're closing with Sharon and Robert. Sharon claims she's "saved the best for last". Oh, please. Robert whines about being in the bottom two twice, and the public not thinking he's as good as he'd like to believe he is. I break out the world's tiniest violin. We go back to Homerton Hospital, where Robert used to change the beds and do the lunches, and occasionally sing to his captive audience. I bet that made them want to get better a hell of a lot faster. Going back was "bittersweet", because he doesn't want to go back there, and doesn't feel it's where he belongs. Yep, because attending to the sick is such a worthless vocation in comparison to reality TV. Shut up, Robert. He says he'll be honouring them with the song he'll be singing tonight. He sang it at his sister's funeral (oh good! A new sob story!) and it means a lot to him. I hope he'll be honouring his family with his presence permanently after this week. Sharon says that it's hard for a man to stand up and let his emotions run the way Robert has. Robert's mum (who continues to follow the trend by looking awesome) says she's proud of him, and Robert says he's going to sing and show his soul and show people what real love is all about. Robert's singing a song that I think is called 'Always And Forever', and it's one of those low-key performances without the stupid ad libs that he usually throws in, which means he's probably here to annoy me for another week. Snore. And I could do without him looking so constipated on the high notes. He throws in some of that stupid grinning bouncy shit at the end, because he can't not, and what little goodwill I have prompty vanishes. Simon says he wants to judge Robert purely as a singer, leaving his story aside: "That was your best vocal by a mile." He tells Robert he's just put himself back in the race. Louis tells Robert he doesn't know why he was in the bottom two last week. Because he was shit? He says he's glad he saved Robert, and Robert has a lot of soul. Sharon says Robert gave her goosebumps, and that he nailed it. Robert says he's glad to have had the chance to show off what he can do, and there's a lot more that he can do. Kate asks him if it was a hard song to sing, and he says it wasn't, he just had to keep his emotions in check. Kate says it was really fitting and beautiful. Kate asks Robert what he would like to say to the voting public. Robert: "It's better to spend 70p than £32 for a ticket." Oh, as if you'll ever be worth that, you tool. Seriously, shut up. But the sob story and the above average performance means he's bound to still be here next week, I'm sure of it.
Performance recap: Gentle Ben bored his way through Aerosmith, the MacDougall Brothers were slightly less shit than usual, Ray was obnoxious as ever, Nikitta reminded us that this was her last chance, Eton Road were cute but slightly dull, Leona was head and shoulders above the rest, and Robert sang for his sister. Who Is Dead. At this rate, we'll have to rename the show The Death Factor. Kate asks the judges who they loved as a standout performance tonight. Simon's was Leona. Sharon's was Robert. Louis's was Robert and Eton Road. Kate reminds us to tune in for Julio Iglesias and the results. Thornton: out.
Tonight! People sang for your votes, although the clips are all from previous weeks as far as I can tell. Suxx0rs. Kate tells us that tonight's vote was the biggest and closest of the series, and for the first time actually says that "a million votes have been cast". Interesting that it's so low, considering the show gets six million viewers and most of the people who vote probably vote more than once. Performance recap, as we've seen. Kate finally gets around to introducing Julio Iglesias, "the undisputed king of romance". Easy on the hyperbole there, Thornton. Apparently every 30 seconds, one of his records is played somewhere in the world. That's kind of scary. He's also the highest-selling male Latin artist ever. Julio sings 'I Want To Know What Love Is', and as non-PC as this may sound, I giggle when his accent leads him to sing that he has to "read between the lions". Hehehe. Anyway, we know what this is like, so let's skip ahead. Interestingly, Julio is not invited to talk to Kate or give his opinion on the contestants. I'm kind of glad they've dispensed with that, to be honest.
Back from the ads, and Kate claims that "more than a million of you" have voted. Hmm. I'm not sure all of those votes came from different people, as I said above. Anyway, Kate gives the one-minute warning and welcomes back the judges and contestants. Kate wishes the contestants luck and we get the results, as ever, in no particular order (with lots of people screaming for Leona): Robert, Leona, Eton Road, Gentle Ben and...the MacDougall Brothers. I am lost for words. But hooray! Ray is in the bottom two! I mean, Nikitta's clearly the one who's going home, but hooray all the same! Simon is utterly and literally lost for words at what happened tonight. Kate asks Nikitta how she feels, and she says she'll do her best. Ray claims he was ready to be in the bottom two (bullfish). Kate throws to Sharon and Louis, who both have all their acts coming back, and asks them what they're looking for. Sharon, drinking leisurely from a glass of water with her feet on the desk: "Ooh, I don't know yet!" Okay, I'll admit: I laughed at that. Simon shoots them both a stink-eye. Kate: "Well, Simon, look on the bright side: only one act has to go tonight." Hee. Ray delivers a carbon copy of his earlier performance, so I shall be skipping through it. Kate introduces Nikitta, singing for what could be her final time, blah blah blah. Obviously her song takes on a whole new meaning in this context. I actually think she's slightly better the second time around. She moves about as gracefully as, well, Dionne, though. I think Nikitta's performance is both the better and the more improved of the two, but unless Sharon and Louis vote tactically in her favour (i.e. if they don't give Simon the casting vote), she's so going home.
Sharon gets the first vote, and she's suddenly all business, telling them that just now when she had her feet up, she was laughing at Simon not at them. Yeah, it's a bit too late to suddenly pretend to respect them now, isn't it Sharon? Sharon tells Ray that he owns what he does, his confidence with everything he does, "even though everything you do is very swingy." Hee! Sharon tells Nikitta that the second time she sang she was fighting, and she wished she'd seen that before because it really made a difference. Sharon votes to send home Nikitta. Louis tells Nikitta she was great tonight and she nailed it, and he thinks Ray's great too. Louis votes to send Ray home, so the vote is with Simon, unsurprisingly. Bet pounds to pennies he sends Nikitta home. Simon says he thought he'd made up his mind until the final performance. He says it's difficult because he put Nikitta in ahead of Ray initially, and she was much better in the auditions and boot camps than Ray was. And turning to Ray, he says: "Maybe we've got it wrong. Maybe the audience are bored of you, I'm not sure." The audience yells emphatically that they are NOT bored of Ray. I would like to know how they managed to get the only people in the entire country who aren't sick of Ray into the same room on the same night. Simon says this is his problem, and appears to be really deep in thought. The audience shouts, and it's kind of a mess, so you can't really hear who they're rooting for. Simon says he's changed his mind, and sends Nikitta home. Yeah, like that wasn't his plan ALL ALONG. Gah. Oh well, at least we were close. And hopefully this means Ray won't win. Ray kisses Nikitta's hand, and Nikitta kisses...the back of his neck? Okay, that was weird. The audience gives Nikitta a standing ovation, and we see her journey on the show. She was great in the auditions, and kind of ropey in a lot of the live shows. Simon tells Nikitta he's sorry, and Nikitta thanks Simon for taking a chance on her, and says that if it wasn't for the songs he'd given her, she wouldn't have been there at all. That doesn't make a lot of sense, but is a nice sentiment all the same. Kate asks Simon why he sent Nikitta home, and Simon dodges the question by saying that neither Ray nor Nikitta should have been in the bottom two, and that he feels he let her down, and he's sorry, but it's been a pleasure to work with her. Awww. Okay, that got me a little bit. What? Shut up. Go away.