Saturday, October 27, 2007

Knock me down, Buttercup

Top 11 Perform: 27th October 2007


Tonight! Live!! It’s!!! The!!!! X-Factor!!!!! This show’s sense of its own importance is unbelievable. The house band play Puff Daddy’s ‘Come With Me’ as Dermot enters. [I like when he has the drumbeat to strut on to. It's like Sharpay demanding rhythm from the drummer in High School Musical 2. - Carrie] His suit is a bit shiny and doesn’t really fit. [It's an improvement on last week's effort, but Dermot needs to fire his tailor. He's got a good body; I refuse to believe there aren't suits that will show it off. - Steve] I think I miss Kate Thornton dressed in emerald-green empire-waist dresses with big black ribbons on. Dermot says ZOMG SHARON LEFT some more. We get shots of newspapers and, Sharon going on about how upset she was. It’s not about you, you awful woman. It’s about the contestants you screwed over by a) giving them such dreadful songs and b) abandoning them all week to have interviews on daytime TV about how upset you were, meaning, judging by the show, that they got the work experience boy to choose their songs. Simon says, in short, ‘major sulk, two artists in the bottom two, didn’t like it. Get over it’. Go Simon. Flashes of Eamonn Holmes and Paul O’Grady telling Sharon that if she doesn’t go back to The X-Factor the moon will become as blood, the rivers will cease to flow and dogs will walk on their hind legs, imitating the ways of man. She has the fucking GALL to say to camera. ‘It’s not about me, it’s about Emily and Alisha’. Perhaps you could have thought about that, ooh, a week ago, you withered old hag.

HERE ARE THE JUDEGES!!! MUSIC!!! LIGHTS!!! BOOOM!!! Dermot counts the judges and says there are four. FUN-EE! Dannii looks foxy. The rest look a mess. [And Louis and Sharon are holding hands. - Carrie] [Louis is probably doing that to stop her running off again. Also, the audience's cheer for Sharon was sickening. They should've booed her attention-seeking ass right off the set. - Steve] It’s songs from the movies! Wapow! Are you excited! Woot! ZOMG! Leona’s going to be number one!! Celine Dion will be here! The ridiculous rapid-fire excitement is such a joke.

I have never heard the audience so excited as in this episode. They’re frantic. It’s terrifying. It’s like they’ve been whipped into some frenzy like a Nazi rally or are baying for blood in the Coliseum.

Oh, poor Hope have the first slot. Charlie is a full time mum and she’s never been away from her son. Boo hoo. Don’t enter the fucking competition, then. Get a job and shut up, like most people. [As soon as she mentioned the motherhood thing, I knew Joel would point out what was wrong with the picture. - Carrie] They get to see Celine. She bellows and honks and shouts and bugs her eyes out. She reassures Phoebe it’s okay to forget the words but doesn’t really demonstrate how to fix it – she’s like, ‘when I forget the words I do this:’ and then proceeds to sing something with the words all seemingly perfectly in place. Maybe I missed a step. Hope are singing Lady Marmalade. Of course. [But with the verb "coucher" rather than "chanter", as performed by Leona last year. - Carrie] Phoebe is so good. They’re really dressed like whores again. Corsets and hotpants. I know that’s part of the whole Moulin Rouge look, but I wish they’d gone for the Labelle version and dressed in, like, silver space suits. Phoebe fucks up the words a bit. Weird choreography based around a park bench. Charlie stands on the bench. This blonde who I totally don’t recognise looks absolutely terrified. I do really like Hope, and thought this was a pretty decent performance, but somehow when the Pussycat Dolls or Pink, Mya, Christina and Lil Kim do this sort of thing, it’s fine, but when British girls do it it’s just grubby and distasteful. [I genuinely thought the whole song was rather mediocre. And I'm sure most of the decent harmonies were coming from the backing singers, not Hope. - Carrie] [I thought they sounded off throughout the whole song, personally. It looked like a St Trinian's end of year revue. - Steve]

Louis says the girls ‘got your act together’, are like they’ve ‘been doing it for years’ and are ‘fantastic’. Sharon says to forget the ‘Pussydoll Cats or whatever’ it’s all about you! That’s a nice way to show respect to Nicole Scherzinger, whose opinion you apparently value so highly that you invited her to your (not actual) home and got to her judge with you who should go through to the live shows, you toxic bitch. Dannii says that she doesn’t even need to speak as the audience reaction says it all. Simon says they’ve seen lots of dreadful groups over the years on this show, but they’re the best group we’ve ever had on the X Factor. I really like them.

Dannii says ‘Leon, singing Home, from The Wedding’….what? I didn’t catch what she said, and this song is shit, so I don’t know where it comes from. Guys? [The Wedding Date. - Carrie] [No, you both misheard. Dannii actually said "'Home', from the Westlife." Because if Simon and/or Louis didn't have a had in this song "choice", I'm a cocker spaniel. - Steve] Dannii says ‘how dare Simon say Leon doesn’t deserve the place [in the show]? He ain’t going anywhere!’ We’re told that ‘It’s about stripping everything away and stripping it back to the singing’. Celine says he’s unbelievable and that when he sang ‘he became tall and beautiful and strong’ . Scott yells, ‘Put him up your pussy then!’ Hmmm. Green velvet military jackets are not a good look. Especially not with cream trousers and black shoes. It’s a very simple rule: dark clothes – black shoes. Lighter clothes – brown shoes. It makes me want to cry when I see otherwise. He’s still shaking all over the place. Phillip’s back! A couple of really off notes and this song is shit and he’s just trying to do a Michael Bublé impression. But it’s not as bad as last week. But then bubonic plague isn’t as bad as last week. [Bublonic plague, perhaps? - Steve] This is so fucking boring. Stupid crooning bastard. He wanders about a bit. This really is dreadful. Louis says ‘you’ve got a very good voice but you’ve got no personality and no charisma.’ HA! Totally true. Except for the bit about the good voice. Louis mentions that Westlife are about to release that song. Shut up, Louis. [I can't even believe he did that. I expect a certain amount of product placement for Westlife from this show, but that was beyond the pale. I'll be complaining to ITV, and they will be ignoring me. Same as it ever was. - Steve] Sharon says Leon has ‘great vulnerability’. Well I’d be vulnerable if I was SHIT. Simon says ‘You’ve got the look of someone who’s been invited for a quiet chat in Louis’s dressing room!’ HA! Louis tries to fight back with something about the girls coming out of Simon’s room in fishnets but as usual, ‘you’re a really virile man who has sex with lots of attractive women’ isn’t a very good comeback to ‘you’re a predatory closet homosexual who preys on young men who are desperate for fame’. Simon says, ‘you’re so afraid you’re making the audience afraid’. Said audience boos frantically. Dannii says ‘you brought it home!’ and points to the audience support as if that bunch of braying gibbons supporting you means anything. Start making some actual comments, Dannii. Pointing to the audience and supporting this wanker are not helping your course, and I do love you. There’s a smiling woman behind Simon not partaking in all the shit. Leon tried to sing ‘with as much passion as he could’. Well, that’s worrying. The audience keep going ‘off off off!’ whenever anyone makes a bad comment, presumably in a response to Sharon’s hissy fit last week.

Dermot toes the company line some more. He tells us what’s coming up and says that ‘Andy does Travolta!’ which isn’t the case, as he’s singing Staying Alive. Stupid Dermot. Stupid show.


Beverley is doing ‘I Have Nothing’. Oh fuck. She’s no Whitney. She’s no Leona. She’s no Lakisha. She’s no Vonzell. Her VT has Leona playing over top. She wants to go out with her short hair because she saw Leona being herself and being the winner and wants to be herself too. Scott: ‘she’s skinny and beautiful and you’re a fat chav who eats chicken nuggets’. Plus the fake hair last week was actually gorgeous and really suited her. Celine loves her but that doesn’t say much because Celine is a total yes-man the whole episode. This is going to suck badgers. Oh dear. Raspberry velvet and a massive belt that looks like a surgical support isn’t a good move. Anita Baker wants her look back. [This is a terrible, terrible dress. Also, a big huge belt tied tightly round one's middle, thus restricting one's stomach, lungs and diaphragm, isn't a good idea for someone planning to, ooh, I don't know, SING. - Carrie] The performance isn’t awful but she just chickens out of it totally – she’s hitting the notes but this is a song where you really have to go for it. [Yep. I quite like this song when sung by someone "older", rather than teenagers in auditions, but this is just meh. - Carrie] The backing singers help her. Oh, here we go. She comes back around for another run at it and does the keychange and volume boost, and just fucking yells. When she goes for power she totally loses control. She cries and stuff. Sharon says ‘the contest is made for someone like you’ and that the show will make her dream come true. Yeah, if her dream is finishing 7th and going back to teaching. Dannii says the diva was unleashed. Beverley is an ‘inspiration to women’. Oh hush. [I'm a woman. Beverley does not in fact inspire me. Well, apart from being inspired to go and get out my best of Whitney CD and listen to her version of the song instead. - Carrie] Simon says ‘after the disaster last week it was amazing’. Not the best Whitney version he’s ever heard but her emotion made it special. He finishes by saying, ‘good for you!’ Louis says it was great and she’s lovely. Beverley says ‘I have to do something. This is for all the girls out there!’ and hugs Dermot. Well, that was a let down. At least have a grab at his cock. He hugs them all the time anyway so she’s not gaining much.

Sharon is up. We have more shit about her going. She wishes Kelly a happy birthday. Alisha is doing ‘I Say A Little Prayer’. Oh mother fucker. The only thing worse to attempt than Whitney is Aretha. She does the normal shit about ‘I want to be someone’ and not just sing at weddings. Celine is an inspiration, she says. Celine had chills when Alisha sang. Celine tells us that the trouble of being bottom two last week is ‘behind her already’ and winks at the camera. So odd. Hmm, Alisha is wearing a pink dress and a big pink bow. She looks like a cracked-up Lindy-Hopper. But sadly there is no poodle made of sequins on the skirt. What the fuck is up with Wardrobe this week? It’s not very good, again. She’s better than last week but still kind of nasally up in her nasal. She sings ‘I think of my us dear’. She ends better than she begins. She looks really happy at the end. Louis says he ‘definitely made the right decision’ keeping her and that she’s ‘back in the race but must work harder’. Dannii says congratulations, you did really well, but we haven’t seen the best of you. BOOOOO!!!! go the audience, because anything other than ecstatic praise is obviously hateful. Simon says that she looks cute, it was pleasant, but asks ‘is it good enough to win?’ The audience goes BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! before he even says no. He says it was good but not individual.

Sharon – it took a lot for us both to get back up here. And, just no. How dare you. It’s not about you, you egomaniacal monster. Don’t even attempt to compare you getting over your little tantrum with Alisha getting back on stage after being saved by the skin of her teeth and having to work all week without the woman that was supposed to mentor her. Jesus. She finally says Alisha was good.

Dermot talks to Leon’s mum. ‘I’m SINGLE!’ she cries. We meet Phoebe from Hope’s dad. ‘Did you like how we dressed your barely-legal daughter like a slut?’ Dermot asks.

Simon says that The Happy Incest Twins (I know, they’re not twins, and they’re not committing incest, but I just love the name too much. I suppose I can deal with calling them HIT) are singing Breaking Free from High School Musical, pointedly directing the comment to Louis. Louis goes on to camera some more about them being shit as if he’s the arbiter of good taste, whose record collection is just Patti Smith, Nick Drake and unsigned zither-players from Uzbekistan. Twat. They’re so excited to meet Celine. [Sean especially. His reaction was hilarious, bless him. He did the Gay Gasp (TM Kathy Griffin) and everything. - Steve] Celine says ‘happy people have to share the happiness’. They’re dressed like Americans. The boy has a letterman jacket with ‘SD’ on, which is super cute. They actually have very good voices. Slightly awkward to have love songs between siblings but such is life. They’re like ‘Hooray For Everything’ from the Simpsons. Scott: ‘they’d do anything without asking’ and it’s true – Simon could be like, ‘this week I want you to sing ‘Bring Your Daughter To The Slaughter’ and they’d just nod and smile and do their best. Louis says the song is better but they’re weird like wind up Ken and Barbie and are like Eastern European Eurovision acts from the 1970s. Except for the fact that there weren’t really any Eastern European acts in Eurovision in the 1970s, as far as I’m aware. Sharon loves them and says the girl is like Olivia Newton John. Dannii says they make everyone smile, even Simon, and that she hopes they can act because they should have a movie made where they sing and dance. Best. Idea. Ever. (Yes! And Sarah can wear a skirt made of ties! - Steve] Simon says they chose the perfect song and nailed it. Simon says they’ll be in the final and Louis says ‘if they’re sitting in the audience!’ I cannot physically cope with the hypocrisy of Louis Walsh criticising things for being cheesy and dated. It’s creating some sort of tear in the fabric of reality for so much loathsome pompousness to be multiplied by so much hypocrisy and lack of self-awareness in one person. (Also, "dated"? High School Musical came out in 2006, you cretin. Finger on the pulse as ever, Walsh. - Steve]

Daniel is singing Build Me Up Buttercup [because as Dermot points out, we're back with the over-25s with the over-65 Louis Walsh - Carrie]. Oh for God’s sake. Louis says ‘Simon said Daniel was forgettable!’ as though it was unimaginable that this was the case, despite the fact that I’d forgotten what he sang and, despite the clip we saw, have forgotten again as I write this. [I'd forgotten who Daniel was. - Carrie] Simon and Dannii are like, ‘Louis is fucking mental.’ Louis is like, ‘it’s a great song.’ Daniel is like, ‘I’m nervous because this fucking atrocious piece of shit music is completely going to hamstring me in this competition’. Celine loves him too. She’s going to buy tickets to his concert. ARAGH! I’m at the student union. This song was played there practically on rotation. Bleurgh. Build Me Up Buttercup is not a song you sing to show off your vocals. It has about four notes. This is a fucking terrible song, performed terribly. He’s doing really weird dancing. [BAD NotLouis, whose creative direction has sucked this week. - Carrie] [Seriously. I fail to see creativity or direction. I sense a second firing from this show in your future, NotLouis. - Steve] Louis looks very pleased, because he’s a moron. He comes and sings the ‘I need you!’ to the judges. Simon is like WTF? Dannii barely indulges him. Sharon and Louis lap it up. That tells you all you need to know about the judges, really. Daniel does that twatty chest thump heartbeat thing when he finishes singing. [Also a grunt or two. Ew. - Carrie] Twat. Good thing you’re pretty, Daniel. Sharon says he belongs in a boyband and she doesn’t see him as a solo artist. He has no direction. The audience boo half-heartedly. Dannii says he wants Daniel to choose his own song. ‘LOUIS!! What was that song?’ Louis says everyone loves it. I don’t. It’s shit. The audience cheers. Dannii says ‘do you love it?’ about a hundred times to Daniel. He can’t say yes, saying it’s a good song, but refusing to say he loves it, which is pretty telling. Simon says ‘Fire Louis’. The song was a joke and the performance was awful. Louis says it was great so nyerh! basically. Louis is a fucking moron.

Really disturbing ad bumper with a six year old girl singing about being a love machine.

Rhyd is singing Phantom Of The Opera. God, I hope he wears a half face-mask. Dannii cltuches he hands to her chest with love and says Rhyd nailed it last week. Simon says ‘god only knows’ what his ego will be like now. Rhyd sings for Celine Dion and she is completely speechless for like 15 seconds. It’s hilarious. She says he’s great. There is red carpet everywhere, and flames in dishes. He’s wearing a reddish velvet jacket and lying in the dry ice. He’s like Gary Oldman in Dracula this week. Phantom Of The Opera is a duet, strictly speaking. This is so fucking amazing. I can’t quite believe it’s happening, even while I’m watching it. Oh, they’re just not doing the soprano bits. There are some invisible backing singers though. He ends the song crouched down with his face shielded from the light. I have been fully converted and now love Rhyd. [Me too. Him and HIT are the only things keeping me from going absolutely insane this series. - Steve] The extraordinary campness is something to behold. I don’t think he realises it, I think he means it. Susan Sontag said that camp is basically things that are aiming to be high art and failing and therefore Rhyd = camp personified. I love him. [Hooray! Told you he was good. - Carrie] He’d make a fantastic villain in a film. He’d be terrifying. Louis says he’s head and shoulders above most people in the competition. Sharon says he’s a bigger drama queen than she is, but a drama queen with a great voice. Simon says he’s potentially world class. Dannii reminds us that this is his second stage performance ever, that he’s in the boys' category and isn’t very old. And that she got Andrew Lloyd-Webber to arrange it solo for him (!) (or his permission – it wasn’t totally clear) so Andrew Lloyd-Webber must love him too. That explains the non-duet-ness. Rhyd’s going on about how amazing it’s all been. He’s actually really sweet. He gives a big wave to camera as he goes.

The Zombie Child is next. We rehash how fucking appalling she was last week. She’s doing her schoolwork in the morning so she has less time to work than the others. Boo-pissing-hoo. Simon basically says ‘it’s one and a half minutes, not a two-hour musical we’re asking you to prepare, so shut the hell up.’ Celine was reminded of a young her. Celine gives some advice about looking up and performing better and stuff. God, if Celine the happy praise-bot is giving constructive criticism, she must suck. The Zombie is singing ‘I’m Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman, I AM SHE WHO IS AGAIN RISEN’. She’s got a big purple beret with a button on it and a waistcoat with badges on. [What is WITH the badges? - Carrie] As I asked above, what the fuck is up with Wardrobe this week? We know she’s young, you don’t have to dress her like the bastard offspring of a Greenham Common Woman and Penny Crayon to prove the point. [I was thinking Rudy Huxtable, myself. - Steve] She’s fucking awful, again. She was good at audition but srsly this is terrible. She gets better toward the end but she’s really not good at all. She has one strong moment, but is drony drony bleurgh. [Also, she can't pitch properly, and sticks in some vibrato to hide the tuning issues, except it's really wobbly-bottom-lip-tremble, not actual vibrato. - Carrie] [She's this year's Nikitta. There's a good voice in there somewhere, but nobody has a clue what to do with her. Probably because they can't get close to her for fear she'll eat their BRAIIIIIIIIIIIIINS. - Steve]

Louis says ‘you had a hard job following Rhydian’ and this gets booed horribly even though it’s totally true. Huge overblown theatrical thing with fire and velvet and dry ice and awesomeness is difficult to follow. It’s not in itself a criticism of her. He also says he thinks she’s vulnerable to go home. Which: no. Being undead will keep her safe for a while yet. Dannii says she’s adorable, pointedly avoiding saying anything about the vocals. Simon says it was flat [and that is utterly true - Carrie]. Emily asks ‘my singing or the performance’, which I can sort of understand. Simon says the singing. Sharon goes ‘like the top of his head! and Louis cackles and Simon is like ‘yes, like the top of my head, it is what it is’. Oh, poor Sharon. Her attempted pwnage slipped right off when Simon embraced it and turned it on to the Zombie. Sharon says it was amazing because she wasn’t there all the week so the least she can do is fake her feel better with some lies. The Zombie goes off on this bizarre rant, all ‘I like to sing powerfully but this song relates to lots of girls like me who are between being a girl and a woman like me and I wanted to put this across and express it for them and that’s what this performance did, Simon, IT DID!’ Total lack of grace, right there.

Kelly Rowland is in the audience!! She says ‘there’s some real talent here tonight’. Scott’s like ‘yeah, if you count Kelly Rowland.’ [Oh, Kelly Rowland. Has it really come to this? - Steve] Dermot asks Simon how the fab four are. Erm. There are five in Futureproof. [Maybe one is going to get dramatically arrested during the show for failure to complete community service? - Carrie] Simon is going to kick them up the arse this week, because apparently the retcon says they were shit last week, even though they were perfectly servicable. Celine touches up the little frog-faced one. ‘Is there a place for them? I don’t know, I don’t know. But do they have talent? That I know. And they do.’ You’re strange, Celine. They sing If You Don’t Know Me By Now, which was apparently from My Girl. They’re really good, actually. Not shocking or particularly extreme, but vocally very good. The levels are shit though and the music is too loud. But they’re good. Hmm…what with them and Hope, maybe forming a band out of talented solo people is a good idea. Louis says it was better than last week but Simon’s working harder on the girls than the boys. Sharon loves them. Dannii says they’re great and the first boy band where everyone sings in tune. Suck it, Louis. Simon says that this was great. Timing out a couple of times but ‘vocally on the money’.

We’re told some more that Asbestos Andy is fit. He’ll be singing ‘Stayin’ Alive’ Simon says that if it was a big eye competition Andy would win. Dannii says we’ll see a very different Andy. NERD’s ‘Rockstar’ plays and I suddenly wish he was singing that. He’s not. [In unrelated news, I want to know who I have to sleep with to get one of those Team Minogue t-shirts Andy was wearing. - Steve] Celine says it’s a very difficult song to sing solo. Louis says it’ll be a carcrash. Possibly. But at least it will be a car crash from doing some exciting stunt driving rather than just falling asleep and veering into the central reservation, like Daniel’s was. Andy starts on the audience outcrop bit. He sticks his hand out but no-one grabs it. He does some little dancing. His vocals are incredibly mushy. The notes aren’t bad but they’re not going for the nigh notes and his phrasing awful. ENUNCIATE, BOY. Simon is grinning. Andy is wearing black jeans, a grey hoodie and a black leather jacket. I wanted a medallion and frilly shirt. I suddenly realised toward the end that we’ve just seen his sexface. It was disturbing. Even though you only see his face you just know his hips are thrusting at you. It’s not entirely unpleasant. Louis says it was a big big mistake and that Dannii is wrong. ‘Off off off!’ go the audience. Louis says it was karaoke. Sharon says he did his best, it was a little bit weak but it was his best. Simon says he loved the dancers. ‘THEY WEREN’T AT THE AUDITION, SIMON!’ says Louis, in perhaps his best non-sequitur yet. ‘What’s the matter with you, Louis?’ mutters Simon. And goes on to say it was karaoke and Louis’s like ‘thank you!’ For fuck’s sake. Dannii says the audience loved it. That means nothing, darling. Dermot toes the line some more – isn’t it good to be different? and Simon’s like, not when it’s shit.

Niki is singing My Heart Will Go on [from 'The Titanic', according to Louis - Carrie]. She loved performing last week. They show Simon saying it was great and gloss over him saying ‘so shut the fuck up about your dad’. She’s good, but she’s no Celine. Celine has bitchface as she sings. Niki says ‘I have to sing a Celine Dion song in front of Celine Dion.’ No you don’t, love. Unless she’s hiding under a blanket or something, she’s not in the audience. Niki is showing a lot of tit. [That dress is too small for her, that's why. - Carrie] The audience cheer after the first line, like Stars In Their Eyes. Oh dear. Wrong show. Like Beverley, she’s perfectly adequate within the parameters she’s set herself, but it’s so half hearted. And when she does up the volume it is Not Good. Certain words are just croaky and off and not good. She’s almost crying. Whatevs. The audience are going fucking mental. Sharon says she’s so brave to sing it in front of Celine and it was brilliant. Performance of the night. [Fucking rubbish. I've been bored of this show tonight since Rhyd finished, and this was dull and out of tune, for goodness sake. - Carrie] Dannii says she’s going to be in the competition for a long time and blows her a kiss. Simon says he warned her but she pulled it off and tells her, ‘remember this night as the night you believed in yourself’. He thanks Celine for her hard work [although Niki appears to think he's thanking her for being a star and being on the show, and thanks him in return - Carrie] [Yes! That was hilarious. Lack of confidence, my eye. - Steve]. Louis says ‘I gave you the challenge and you won’ and tells her she’ll be in the final. Her boys are in the audience. She misses them. And also her dad. WHO IS DEAD. Although he hasn’t been mentioned at all this week, astonishingly.

Dermot is like numbers vote etc. blah. Hope being sluts but great. Leon being gross and appalling. Beverley shouting. Alisha being passable. Same Difference being the second best thing ever. Daniel singing a shit song, shitly. Rhydian being the first best thing ever. Emily being just atrocious. Futureproof being really good. Andy being bizarre. Niki being good but not as good as everyone says she is. [Word - am with you with all of this, apart from Hope being great; I think they're just a bit slutty. - Carrie]


Recap of the performances. [It was at this point that I decided to switch off and catch up with who got kicked out later. I couldn't bear watching the recap or sitting through the manufactured tension. Apologies for the laxness in my duties this week. - Carrie]

Dermot gives us some clips of Celine. She’s sold 185 million records. Has won 1,096 awards. 2 0scars. (I wonder if they’re in addition to or separate from the 1,096.) 42 number ones. Four years of sell-out Vegas shows. This is accompanied by a weird combination of Celine music and gothic chanting ‘SANCTUS! DOMINUS!’ type music.

God, they’re really determined to show up the contestants, aren’t they? First Leona, now this. Her new song is Taking Chances. She’s gone all Sheryl Crow on us. It’s not a horrible song. I can actually bear to listen to it. God. This isn’t a good song. I don’t particularly like Celine Dion. But Jesus Christ she’s so far away from the contestants of this show it’s hilarious.

Dermot’s so short! He asks Celine who was good. She says, ‘I’m happy to be back in the UK.’ She likes them all, it would be hard to be a judge, they’re all great and special. She thinks Leon was great. EW?!?? She loves Rhydian and thinks he’s in a different league. Dannii looks thrilled. Rhyd can be on Broadway. [Next stop Les Mis for Rhyd? - Carrie] Dermot’s like, yeah, hurry up stop talking. He’s no Ryan Seacrest, in terms of hurrying things along smoothly. She also loves Beverley and Niki.


Carmina Burana plays as the judges and contestants come in. AHAHA!! There’s a sign behind Dermot saying ‘Alicia to win’ [sic]. I love you so much I can’t spell your name! Safe is: Emily. Same Difference. Beverley. She points at God and is dead to me. Andy. Rhyd gives him a hug. Niki. Futureproof. Rhyd. He and Leon hug. Leon. Dermot’s like, all three safe, congratulations Dannii. Hope are safe.

That means Daniel and Alisha in the bottom. Poor girl. Sharon’s fault. Dermot asks if Sharon has any words for Alisha. Rather than apologising like she should, for choosing appalling songs and abandoning her contestants, she says, ‘Fight!’ Helpful, Sharon. Dermot says there were lots of doubts about the song, but any advice? Louis says ‘do your best’. Also helpful. [But srsly, can anything more constructive really be hoped for from Louis and Sharon? - Carrie]

Dermot tells us about Alisha: Louis saved her. Dannii said it was a big improvement. Simon said it was good but not good enough. Poor thing. Even desperate panic votes you normally get after being in the bottom two couldn’t save her. She’s a lot better this time round. Confident and strong and her voice sounds interesting and quirky rather than just off key. We see Dannii clapping excitedly because her three are through. Not appropriate, Dannii. Pretty fucking classless. You’re testing me. Alisha was so much better this time around. Actually really good. Dermot says she was singing her little heart out.

Oh dear, Daniel is shit. If they’re voting on these performances alone they have to save Alisha. Because ZOMG this is bad. He tries to do sexy waist dancing but it doesn’t work. Dannii looks grossed out. when he dances with the judges. Louis is bobbing his smug little head side to side because he likes this song and has forgotten that someone’s place in the competition is at stake. Twat.

Dermot asks Alisha how hard it was to sing again. She says it was really hard, but she wants it and hopes people feel her eventually. Daniel says maybe the song was the wrong choice but he gave it his best shot.

Votes time. Louis says Alisha is going home. Dermot - ‘no surprises there, you’re Daniel’s mentor’. I love how this show can’t even pretend its own lies are suspenseful. Sharon is sending home Daniel. Someone goes ‘hooray!’ [Maybe me? - Carrie] Dermot reiterates how totally unsurprising this is. Dannii: ‘Do I have to, or can I run away?’ Dermot prompts her. Who are you sending home? People yell ‘Daniel!’ Ha. Dannii says Daniel. Woohoo! Simon says Alisha, it was her second time in the bottom. He still likes her but she hasn’t been given the right song. Daniel was given a ridiculous song and he didn’t like. I have to decide who I think could improve the most. Simon sends home: Daniel!! HOORAY!!

Poor Daniel, really. I mean. Build Me Up Buttercup. Srsly. Poor Alisha. I think my fondness for her is still largely based on being foxy with amazing hair, but she was actually good for the first time. I want her to sing ‘One Thing’ by Amerie. She’d rock that. [Oh my fucksy, yes. But it's not like Sharon's ever heard of that song, so I think our dreams shall remain unfulfilled. - Steve] I want to like you, Alisha, but you really need to raise your damn game. We see Daniel’s montage. He looks totally stunned in the corner. He puts his arm on Dermot’s shoulder. Hot. Final word from Louis is: ‘I thought he had a lot more to give the competition.' He still doesn’t apologise for the despicable song choice that doomed Daniel. Daniel had a chance to sing for millions of people and really wants to thank them.

Next week: it’s Big Band night and Boyz II Men are in. Are they even still about? And I am suddenly hugely glad I won’t be doing the recap. [Oh, for fuck's sake. Big band? Really? And it's my turn? Truly, I have displeased the gods. - Carrie]

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Dyeing is easy, Komedy is hard

Top 12 Perform: 20th October 2007

Previously on The X Factor: some total bastard at ITV decided, at some point after the Radio Times had gone to press, that it would be a jolly wheeze to move the start time of the show from 5:45pm to 5:30pm, thus causing those of us who consider the humble listings magazine to still having any meaning in the technological utopia that is the digital age, to miss the beginning of the show and switch on to set our humble, antiquated video recorders just as Komedy Kimberley was getting her feedback from Simon. Cunts. It's almost like you don't want people to watch this show. And I mean, I can see how it would be an embarrassment to you; if I were in any way responsible for this show, I'd try to steer people away from it too. Perhaps you were just trying to make it harder for me to recap it? Well, I've got news for you, buddy: unless the quality of the show drops any further (which seems hard to imagine), my recapping life could not possibly get any harder, so you're on a hiding to nothing with that one, whatever time you start. And besides, I've pledged to keep recapping and pointing out all of this show's flaws until there are no flaws left to point out, so I think it's safe to say I'm not disappearing any time soon. My ever-understanding mother, whom I'm staying with this weekend since there's a family birthday, offered to let me tape it off ITV2 in the wee small hours, except that ITV decided to bugger with that schedule too and just air the results, which was the only part of the show I'd actually seen. Cue a panicked phone call to The Bitch Factor's eternally put-upon flatmate, who selflessly agreed to tape the ITV1 Sunday repeat which was on while we were catching the train home. Dear ITV Schedulers: no cookie for you. Bad schedulers! Bad! [I have the wonders of Sky+, which managed to cope with the early start for the first show, but didn't pick up the first ten minutes of the results. It was OK, though, because ITV helpfully air the occasional repeat. - Carrie]

Anyway, last week: there was no X Factor, only rugby. This week, there is both, and it seems eminently possible that both will prove embarrassing for England. [Burn! - Carrie] Pompous voiceover attempts to build suspense as the contestants prepare to sing live tonight. "The battle starts now," says Dannii. "I'm ready to fight, because I'm going to win," says Sharon. She'll have changed her tune by the end of the night - oops, spoiler! "I'm going to reclaim my crown from Simon Cowell this year," says Louis. A crown fit for a queen, no doubt. "I won last year, and I fully expect to win again," says Simon. "Um, didn't I win last year?" asks Leona Lewis, from backstage. Possibly. Glamour shot of all the Top 12. It's time to face the "music". I hope you brought your earplugs.

Studio looks much the same as last year. Maybe a little bluer. Dermot, it pains me to say, is not one of life's natural suit-wearers. Possibly it's just a bad suit for him - I suspect a severely-tailored suit in a slightly more daring colour would look absolutely killer on him, but this drab black number makes him look like a small boy playing dress-up. Give Ryan Seacrest a call, Dermot; he's got loads, he's bound to be able to lend you one. Dermot is far more excited about the live shows than I am, as he has apparently been taking lessons in needless shouting from Davina McCall. The judges are brought on in typically bombastic fashion. Everyone is in black, except for Dannii who is a vision in red. [She looks gorgeous. Well done, Dannii. - Carrie]

The theme for this week is UK No.1 hits, which is stretching the idea of theme weeks almost to breaking point, and we're only in week one. So it's essentially pick a song from whatever genre you're most comfortable with, as long as it got to No.1. Damn, this means no one's going to do 'Potential Breakup Song' by Aly and AJ, or 'I Said Never Again (But Here We Are)' by Rachel Stevens. I was probably only deluding myself in hoping for those, mind. And joining us later will be lovely Leona, with an exclusive performance of her second single in 10 months. I know they wanted to take their time with her and all, but they're taking a lot on faith, aren't they? Unless it was all cynically timed so that she could preview it on the show that launched her, which is probably the case. Sigh. Although it will be nice to see her turn up and hand these talentless buffoons their asses on a well-sung platter. (Although I know I didn't fully start appreciating Leona until about the third live show last year, so perhaps there's time for someone to win me round yet. Just don't hold your breath.)

Sharon and the girls (not her breasts, just to clarify) are starting, and Komedy Kimberley is up first. The VT shows KK meeting Brian "NotLouis" Friedman, whom Sharon pronounces "fabulous". Funny how she didn't feel that way at all in the first episode, isn't it? Komedy Kimberley has hot male dancers, so I think we can all guess what sort of song she'll be doing. [How many more times do we have to see the weaker vocalists being given gimmicks, just to distract us from the fact that they're not very good? - Carrie] NotLouis instructs the hot dancers to grope KK, who is quite pleased with this turn of events, but less pleased with the concept of being lifted up into the air like Kylie or similar. Shots of it all going horribly wrong in rehearsals. NotLouis tells us that he wouldn't have given her the move if he didn't think she could do it (ya rly), but one false move and it's a komedy faceplant for Komedy Kimberley. So, no pressure then. Obligatory sexy slow-motion shots.

Komedy Kimberley will be singing 'It's Raining Men', of course. Because what better song to give the girl who came here from the karaoke stage than one of the most infamously karaoke songs ever? Way to hobble the girl before she's even sung a note, Sharon. Speaking of singing notes, KK utterly blows the first three or four lines (too low for her, I think) [yep, much, much too low, which is weird because I don't think it's much lower than an A below middle C, but hey ho. If they'd transposed it up, she'd have been screeching away on the high notes like she did with One Moment In Time. - Carrie] , which is not the best start. I think it's safe to say that poor Komedy Kimberley has received something of a disastrous makeover. Her hair is now platinum blonde and styled in a pale imitation of Gwen Stefani's barnet circa 1997, and she's wearing this bizarre sort of dress-tabard hybrid that makes her look like either a Thunderbird, or the hostess of an airline-themed gay burlesque show. Also, stuck to the front of her dress is what appears to be a glittery cardboard cut-out of a lipstick, or possibly a small vibrator. Folks, let me explain this to you: Komedy Kimberley's charming Brummie brassiness was all part of her appeal, and you would have done well to incorporate that into her makeover, as opposed to attempting to eradicate it. But far be it from me to criticise. Oh, wait: that's my job. In which case, I shall just say: makeover? YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG. Anyway, once the Hi-NRG backing kicks in (she's doing the Geri Halliwell version, by the way), she's able to belt it out and acquits herself fairly well, under the circumstances. And she doesn't fuck up the lift, so no broken bones for Komedy Kimberley. Hooray! (This was the most amazing way to open the show ever, and gave a good lead-up to just how astonishingly gay the whole episode would be.-Joel)

Louis guffaws like an idiot, and tells her she brings the "fun factor". He tells her she's not the best singer in the world, and is booed even before he can add a "but who cares?" to the end. Hee. Dannii thinks KK has a fantastic voice, but thinks she needs to be careful not to overdo it, which I think is fairly sound advice. Dannii thinks there's more to be seen from Komedy Kimberley. Simon says it was fine, "if you like karaoke on a big budget", and of course he's bang on the money, because that's exactly what this was, and it's all it ever could have been, and Sharon is the worst manager ever. No amount of booing from the audience can make Simon wrong here, and he's actually being fairly amiable about the whole thing. Even Komedy Kimberley doesn't look especially offended. He says it was "fun" and had "lots of personality", although it was also "shrieky". Sharon tells KK she has the toughest gig in opening the show (true), and that she did just fine. Komedy Kimberley tells Dermot she feels alive. When asked for her response to the judges, she tells Simon: "that's fine, but I still fancy ya." Hee. I heart Komedy Kimberley, even though she's utterly, utterly doomed, the poor thing. Oh, and just for the record, Simon clarifies that what he said to her was a compliment. Hmmm.

Dermot informs us it's Dannii's birthday today. Happy birthday, Dannii! The audience (and Dermot) sing 'Happy Birthday' tunelessly, and are all promptly voted off by the viewers. It's Andy first out of the boys, and Dannii thinks his appeal lies in the fact that he's fit, but doesn't know it. I've got to hand it to her: considering she's a rookie, Dannii has an excellent grasp of what will get you far on this show. In VT, Andy meets NotLouis and will sadly not be groped by fit male dancers this evening, and will be giving a "stripped-down" performance. With clothes, before you get excited. Andy frets about his lack of a safety net and Simon says that Andy can't get by just being cute and sweet any more. Andy doesn't want to go home, which I'm sure is a huge surprise to everyone watching. Andy will be singing one of my favourite songs, 'I Don't Want To Talk About It', in a weirdly mannered way that sounds a bit Val Doonican to me. But then, the definitive performance of this song on one of these shows for me was Susanne Manning's on Pop Idol 2. Andy could do with being a bit more lively onstage, because he looks like he's about to fall asleep. And he needs a vocal coach to get rid of that horrid crooning tendency, if you ask me. Maybe it's all the asbestos on his lungs. [I think he's pretty, but this was tedium. - Carrie]

Louis calls the performance "understated" and predicts Andy will go a long way. Sharon gets her lech on, and tells Andy he has a beautiful voice. Simon likens Andy to a "singing puppy", which again he claims is a compliment, and says that Andy's very good at doing the big eyes down the camera thing, but that the performance was "a bit wet". Again: bingo. He adds that it was "safe", but "good enough for the first show". Dannii loved seeing him "in [his] comfort zone", and adds that we have so much more to see from him, which is essentially what she said to Komedy Kimberley. Andy is a bit flustered talking to Dermot, but seems fairly happy with the comments. From certain angles, Andy looks like a hobbit. Dermot vamps to the crowd for a bit and we go to the adverts. Thank fuck for that; I need vodka.

Next up is our first group from Simon: Futureproof. Simon claims they were his easiest decision, and that they're not dissimilar to when he first saw Westlife. Well, that's me hating Futureproof, then. Sorry lads - blame Simon. Futureproof meets NotLouis, who tells them they need to make every girl in the country fall in love with them, and then makes them stare in the mirror to see what they look like on stage. Sean has problems doing this because he's never felt attractive, despite being probably the fittest member of the group. [Fucking pathetic attempt at a sob-story. Fuck off. - Carrie] Comedy shot of them in rehearsals singing into non-existent microphones. Shot of a pep talk from Simon during the dress rehearsal. They're singing 'She's The One', but they get the Westlife thing all wrong by standing up well before the key change. [This utterly bewildered me. If you're going to do the Westlife thing, at least do it right. - Carrie] The solos are a little bit ropey, but the harmonies aren't too bad. They do rather lumber about the stage like a group of knife-wielding teenagers at a bus stop, mind. Good to see NotLouis, Master Choreographer, earning his salary. [They look like a rabble forced into shiny suits, like children going through their dads' respective wardrobes. - Carrie]

Louis tells them they did really well, but calls it a safe performance for the first night. He tells them they have lots of potential. Sharon tells them they've worked very hard and it's paid off, and she can't wait to see what they'll be like in another couple of weeks. Dannii is excited that they're good, but also scared. She cites a few tuning problems, but says that they look great and does an exaggerated wink at Sean. Hee. Simon claims to share Sean's issue with looking in the mirror, and everyone laughs at this obvious joke. Simon thought they did really well for a first performance, and that it sounded like they'd been together for a long time, and he thinks they've got a good group here. [It does worry me that Hope and Futureproof are the best group talent in the country, bearing in mind they had a whole 48 hours of rehearsal. - Carrie] Dermot approaches and gropes a few of them under the pretence of admiring their silver fashions, and asks Sean about his self-esteem, WHICH IS DEAD. Sean is now all cured, thanks to Dannii, so that's lovely. Next up: Dannii revives Niki's father!

Over-25s next, and Louis introduces "the schoolteacher from Luton", Beverley. [From Luton! Come on, people from Luton, vote for her! Sorry, Louis, I didn't. Will they take my passport away and obliterate the birthplace from it because I do not have the requisite sense of regional pride? - Carrie] Beverley is very excited, as one might expect. Beverley meets NotLouis, and her dancing troupe. He tells her that she needs to have a diva attitude to pull the song off. Beverley's going to be singing 'I Will Survive', because nobody has learnt that clichéd karaoke songs do nobody any favours on this show. [Look! She is a woman! She is over the age of 16! She is black! Why, let's give her a Gloria Gaynor song! - Carrie] Beverley sings the first note a couple of beats too early, but covers it as best she can. I will say this: she's quite restrained by Beverley standards, but the whole performance is very end-of-the-pier. Not necessarily her fault, but there it is. "Who knew? A schoolteacher?" says a flabbergasted Sharon, who thinks Beverley has a great soul voice. Dannii calls it an "amazing transformation". In possibly the most egregious example of mob culture audience stupidity yet, Dannii mentions a couple of bum notes which she thinks were due to nerves, and is promptly booed. Because anything less than 100% positive feedback is TEH EV0L, as we all know. "God, you've transformed, haven't you?" says Simon. He says that the performance was very Stars in their Eyes (yep), and says that it was fun and will be popular, but throws in as an aside that Beverley can't dance, and is booed, of course. And here's the money shot: "What you can't do every week is sing Louis Walsh's record collection." Hee. Louis says that Beverley may not be a great dancer, but she's a great singer, and he hopes everybody votes for her (drink!). Dermot gushes over Beverley's fake hair (which is, admittedly, lovely), and asks Beverley what she wants to say to her class, and Beverley, in something of a non-sequitur, thanks the hair and make-up people. (Her hair was lovely, but the whole thing was 'see how close to Gloria Gaynor I can be', even the look. Simon's comment was spot on.-Joel)

Back from the ads, and it's time for ZombiEmily, "the youngest girl in this contest". Sharon tells us in VT that ZombiEmily is the best 14-year-old in the history of forever, and singlehandedly justifies the lowering of the age limit. NotLouis complains that when they were working together, she gave him nothing. "There's no energy there," says NotLouis. Well, duh - she's a zombie. They're sluggish by nature. He basically tells her to pull her socks up, as well he should. ZombiEmily will be singing 'I Knew You Were Waiting For Me', and is wearing the night's worst outfit yet - a stripey purple blazer covered in badges, and a black-shirt, with a tuxedo print on it, and a necklace saying "Emily". [What the HELL were the stylists doing? I mean, what? This outfit would have looked weird circa 1984 on Cyndi Lauper, let alone a zombie teenager in 2007. - Carrie] She is either sharp or flat at any given moment during the song, as well, though obviously not at the same time. I'm bored by her, she has no stage presence. Perhaps that was the one part of her that actually did die? Louis tells her that she has a great raw talent, and is ZOMG ONLY 15 YEARS OLD!!!!1111!! (apparently Emily had a birthday in between the recording of the VT and her actual performance), but also says that he didn't think the song suited her and he would love to see her do a big ballad. Dannii liked the playfulness of the song, but thought the execution didn't follow through. She would also like to hear ZombiEmily sing a ballad. Simon tells her that he likes her, but that he's going to say what he thinks everyone at home wouldn't been saying, which is that the vocals were a bit flat in the middle. Well, they were also sharp in places, and the start and end weren't great either, but otherwise I'm on board with that. He didn't think it was a great vocal, this being a singing competition and everything. Sharon tells ZombiEmily that they've all heard far worse, which: not the point. But there was dancing, and it was hard! And she's a ballad singer! And she has homework to do! What the fuck ever. (This was fucking dreadful. The Zombie's appeal, such as it is, lies in the smoky voice and 'older than her years'ness. So let's give her a not very good up tempo song and draw comparisons with Aretha Franklin, who, with the best will in the world, Emily ain't.-Joel) Dermot asks ZombiEmily for feedback. "Braaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiinnnnnns," replies ZombiEmily. Dermot tries to rally her cause by saying that we're asking a lot of her, at such a young age, to be able to do everything that's required. THEN DON'T LOWER THE FUCKING AGE RANGE. I hate it when Dermot is a corporate puppet. [Srsly, Dermot has really disappointed me over the past two years. I fell into the trap of watching The Xtra Factor for a while before Fearne annoyed me too much, and Dermot is such an apologist for The Man. I thought he'd treat this show with a modicum of irony, but he's not, and such is his line-toeing I'm beginning to miss Kate. And I didn't ever think I'd say that. - Carrie] Simon doesn't believe in patronising people. "I don't either, but she can't put in the same amount of time as everybody else," says Sharon, somewhat patronisingly. "Then she shouldn't have entered the competition," says Simon, entirely correctly. "Rubbish, you shouldn't have lowered the age," says Sharon, losing the argument and missing the point all in one fell swoop.

Next up is Leon, who has the most pressure on his shoulders, according to Dannii, because he's doing it for himself and also for his mum, WHO IS SINGLE. Oh, you have got to be kidding me with that shit. [According to last weekend's tabloids, Leon's dad, from whom HE WAS ESTRANGED, is also DEAD now. Why not play that card? Or are there only so many DEAD DADS this show can take? - Carrie] NotLouis has comely female dancers for Leon, who has tucked his tracksuit bottoms into his socks. Instant fail, I'm afraid. NotLouis thinks Leon might go out on stage and freeze. Simon says that if rehearsals are anything to go by, it's going to be a trainwreck. Dannii has confidence in him. Leon will be singing a horribly bastardised swing version of 'Money Can't Buy Me Love', and it's possibly the most aurally offensive experience of the night so far. So I guess he's this year's Ray, then. Expect to see him in the finals, folks. Or, y'know, learn from your mistakes last year, whatever you prefer. God, this is dreadful. I actually muted the last 30 seconds of it because I couldn't take any more. [I believe my text to Steve at this point read "OH MY GOD WHAT IS LEON DOING?", which remains my overriding thought on the matter 24 hours later. - Carrie] (Just so bad. Arrangement. Vocals. And to be blunt, the dancing made it look like he had Parkinson's.-Joel) Louis thought Leon was an amazing talent with a great voice at his audience, but he came out tonight and lost the melody. He adds that it was a dreadful arrangement (true) with awful choreography (also true). He asks Leon who picked the song; Leon says it was a mutual thing between him and Dannii. Louis says the song let him down. Sharon, who you'll remember doesn't believe in patronising people, greets Leon with "hi, sweet boy." She tells him he has a likeable personality, but that the song and arrangement were too frantic - it wasn't good, but she knows he can do better, and she knows he'll be here next week. Simon calls it "a complete and utter nightmare" - terrible arrangement, timing all off, a complete mess, and then he delivers this zinger: "I think you've taken the place of somebody else who should be in the show." Ooooh, ouch. That's gotta hurt. Simon declares it not good enough, and tells Dannii her song choice and arrangement (yeah, like Dannii arranged the song) were "insane". Dannii tells Leon he only lost it in the middle (lie), that he had the hardest song (lie), and that he's passionate about music and that's why they chose that song. Dermot hugs Leon, who thanks the judges for their comments in the blandest way possible. Dermot goes Corporate Puppet again, pointing out that some contestants are derided for being too safe, while someone like Leon who tries to do something different is also shot down. That would have held more water as an argument if Leon hadn't been so utterly appalling, but nice try all the same, Dermot. (It's true that the judges are always all 'Get out your box!' 'Bad dog, back in your box!' but the problem was not the difference so much as the mindbending awfulness. But at least Leon looks like he's off the crack.-Joel)Dermot earns himself a few points back by asking Simon if he just went too far with that, and Simon gigglingly agrees that perhaps he did. Dermot points out that Leon's mother, WHO IS SINGLE, is in the audience, presumably in case any unattached older gentlemen are watching.

Adverts, and then back for more bollocks. Dermot shouts a bit more, and talks to a random audience member who likes Futureproof. Well, that was airtime well utilised. We're back with Simon and the groups, and the Happy Incest Twins. And since they're not actually twins, and hopefully not actually committing incest, I'll be renaming them during the course of this recap. Simon likens them to two wind-up toys, which is funny because it's true. Sarah says that they've had their critics, namely Louis Walsh. "The thing about Same Difference is that they're so cheesy," says Louis Walsh, the man who brought you Boyzone, Westlife and, of course, Bellefire. The HITman and Her work with NotLouis, who gives them an elaborate routine because he thinks they can pull it off. "I don't think they're what we're looking for in the show," says Louis Walsh, the man who thought we were looking for The MacDougall Brothers. The HITman says they've been preparing for this night all their lives. They're kind of dressed like they're auditioning for the parts of Patty Simcox and Eugene in Grease [now THAT might make me go and see the new West End production of it - Carrie], and they're singing 'Tragedy'. Cut to Louis looking horrified, but there are some quite nice Abba-esque harmonies on display. This is possibly the only part of the evening where this show was gayer than Strictly Come Dancing, by the way, but it's also the most enjoyable performance since Komedy Kimberley opened the evening. Because really, if you can't be good (although I actually think these two are better than they're generally given credit for), you can just be really really camp, and in many ways that's better. [I actually really liked this. She's better than him, but they can both sing in tune and in harmony, and it was fun, and as you say, the most enjoyable performance for at least 40 minutes. - Carrie] (So fucking awesome. I was in delighted hysterics the whole time. Again - SO gay.-Joel)

Louis tells them that they're both nice people, and their family loves them, which is more patronising than anything to have come out of Sharon's mouth tonight, and lets rip with: "The song was called 'Tragedy'; I think it should've been called 'Disaster'." Isn't a disaster generally considered to be less bad than a tragedy? I'm not sure. Louis tells them they haven't got a chance in hell, before invoking the MacDougall Brothers, who he claims look like Lennon and McCartney next to these two. If he means "boring, tedious and overrated", I'm right there with him, but I suspect he doesn't. Louis pronounces it "awful", and gets a cheap dig in at Simon, and is justly booed. [Louis can fuck right off. I never particularly hated the MacDonalds, but these two are better than them in all possible ways. - Carrie] Sharon tells them they are cheesy, "double cheeseburger with bacon", in fact, but points out that she loves cheeseburgers. Sharon delivers a sort of backhanded compliment by saying that while lots of arty people in New York are trying to be retro, these two actually are. I think that was genuinely well-intentioned, however clumsy, so I'll let it slide. Louis can't shut up, of course, and asks who would buy their record. I'll tell you something for nothing: if it would shut Louis Walsh the fuck up once and for all, I'd be first in the queue to buy it and there'd be a long line behind me, so cram it, tubby. Dannii thinks there is a market for these two (because Dannii knows the gays), and tells them to be careful with the vocals, but that she liked it. Simon says that he wishes he could be them for an hour a day so he could be happy, which is why he put them in the competition. Simon also points out to Louis that the biggest group in the world right now is High School Musical, which isn't so much a group as a brand, but the point he makes is clear: they'd appeal to the same market. It's a notoriously fickle market, though. Simon tells Louis he's made himself sound like a miserable old man. Louis attempts to argue back and invoke the MacDougalls again, but is thankfully shouted down by Simon. Dermot asks them for their feedback, and Her's response is kind of brilliant, in that rather than saying they'll try to be less cheesy, she just says that they'll be equally cheesy next week because they know Louis loves it really. Heh.

Back to Louis, with "a lady from Birmingham - she's a real singer". Except it's Niki, who isn't a real singer, because if she was she wouldn't be on this show in the first place. We get a recap of the ballad of Niki's father, WHO IS DEAD, lest we forget why we're supposed to be voting for her. [And if we're from Birmingham, we thus have TWO reasons to vote for her, thanks to Louis's helpful reminder. - Carrie] Niki tells us that the song she's going to be singing is beautiful, and "all about emotions". Well, I don't think we need to compile a shortlist for this evening's Most Vacuous Comment award. Louis hopes she doesn't get too emotional on stage, what with HER FATHER BEING DEAD and everything. Niki weeps a bit in her VT for good measure. Niki will be singing 'Nothing Compares 2 U', but has sadly not shaved her head. She looks disarmingly like Amanda Redman while she's singing. It's probably one of the better vocals of the night (not that that's saying much), but the overwrought melodramatic hand-wringing and squintyface during the performance absolutely wreck it for me, personally. [You heartless bastard. Didn't you hear? HER DAD IS DEAD. - Carrie] Sharon tells Niki that she's in a class of her own. Sharon says that she didn't think Louis was too happy when he got this category (really? Gosh, he just kept that bottled up inside, didn't he?), but that Simon said there was a winner there, and she thinks it might be Niki. Niki gets all misty-eyed. Dannii says that Niki is a real singer (lie), even if she hasn't grasped that yet, and it's so endearing (aha, so she's getting the Leona edit this year), and that Niki's looked after all the other kids in the competition since they all moved in together. Simon reminds us about Niki's father, WHO IS DEAD, and tells Niki she's fantastic. He tells her to lift her shoulders and believe that she can win (in other words, stop being such a fucking crybaby), (Word. She's good enough on her own merits to stop talking about her Dad, WHO IS DEAD.-Joel) and also, awesomely, calls Louis out for his "unbelievably disrespectful" attitude towards his group, and tells Louis that he owes Niki and the rest of her group an apology. Awesome, and yet because this came from Simon, Louis is a twat about it and says that he's happy to be working with Niki (at which point Beverley and Daniel do not pelt him with stones, even though they should). Simon insists that Louis apologises, and Louis snits "I'm not apologising to you!", which is not what Simon asked, and Louis is a horrid, horrid, unprofessional, disrespectful little man and they need to fire him again and they need to make it stick this time, because he makes me embarrassed to be a human being, knowing that I share a species with Louis Walsh. Niki, because she doesn't possess a spine, tells Louis that she loves him, and Louis smugs "thank you, thank you, thank you". Ugh. Now I hate her almost as much as I hate him. Anyway, performance of the night, blah blah, you nailed it, blah blah blarney. Dermot reminds us that Niki's mum, WHO IS NOT DEAD BUT IS A WIDOW WHICH IS ALSO QUITE SAD IN ITS OWN WAY, is in the audience and off Niki goes.

Back from the adverts, and it's the last girl: Alisha. [Ooh, kids, I went to the gym yesterday and all the Virgin Active staff are wearing VOTE FOR ALISHA t-shirts. So I guess she works there. - Carrie] (She does. I learnt that in my sister's Now! magazine.-Joel) Sharon says that when Alisha turned up at the audition, they thought she had everything. Except a compelling sob story, which is presumably why we didn't even learn her name until two weeks ago. She choreographs a stunning entrance with NotLouis, who tells her that her challenge is walking downstairs in a stiletto. Well, sure, if you've only got one it is going to be difficult. Alisha is fearing falling down the stairs, and NotLouis thinks that she's at risk of making it happen by worrying about it, but Alisha VTs that if she falls, she'll just get up and the show will go on, which is precisely the right attitude. Not right, however, is the fact that she's singing Gabrielle's 'Dreams', which is not right for her voice at all. [Would it be wrong to accuse her mentor of horrendous racial stereotyping here? She's a young black woman, so she should sing a song originally performed by a young black woman? - Carrie] Also, Alisha is entirely static in a giant picture frame for the entire first verse, which is kind of boring to watch. I think Alisha suits songs which have a bit more va-va-voom than this one; her voice just sounds scratchy here. I'm really disappointed, because I liked Alisha at the auditions, even though I knew she was doomed. (It was really bad. I'm starting to think that I only like Alisha because she's hot and has awesome hair. I hope she proves me wrong.-Joel) Louis loved the performance, and says that she reminds him of "one of the American divas", though I suppose we should be grateful he didn't say Gladys Knight or something equally outdated. [Billie Holliday? - Carrie] He wasn't crazy about the song, though. Dannii congratulates her for getting down the stairs in her heels, and warns her about the scratchy notes. Dannii's feedback is actually reasonably good, tonight. She also advises Alisha to make more of a connection with the camera. Simon says that he likes Alisha, but that he didn't think it was the right song for her, because the song "does that", accompanied by a hand gesture which I think is intended to imply that it doesn't really go anywhere, and he thinks she'll be vulnerable tonight because we haven't seen her fun and quirkiness. Sharon does a mea culpa on the song choice, which is to her credit, and suggests we get rid of her, not Alisha. Don't tempt us, Sharon. Alisha is gracious in her response and says that if she's here next week she'll do better.

Time for Dannii, and Rhydian Ultra. Dannii claims the whole country is talking about him, which I think is rather an exaggeration. In the VT, Sharon shudders and says "puke", which is kind of funny. Dannii basically tells Sharon that the game is on. NotLouis thinks Rhydian Ultra is brilliant, because he already knows all the moves, and it's just a case of perfecting his craft. I originally heard that as "perfecting his crap", which I prefer. Rhydian's hair is white blonde and spiked right up, making him look like the unholy lovechild of Billy Idol and Draco Malfoy. (For me it was a cross between a Eurovision entrant from Belarus (the shiny dinner jacket) and Rutger Haur playing a villain in a 1980s Jean-Claude van Damme movie (the hair, of course).-Joel) He's singing 'I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)', which is a great choice for him at least in terms of high drama and bombast. It sounds exactly like you would think it sounds, basically. Louis doesn't know what to say, but tries to make a clumsy dig at Simon, and fucks it up as per. Sharon calls Rhydian "darling" through clenched teeth, and "sweet boy", before moving on to "strange boy" and "weird boy" and "Mama doesn't know what to make of you", and just when I thought it couldn't get skeevier she asks to see his (surprisingly hairy-Joel)chest. Rhydian Ultra promises to do it "a few weeks down the line, but not yet". "Oh, are we still going to be here a few weeks down the line?" asks Sharon, sounding like Hyacinth Bucket. Rhydian quickly turns this into a "vote for me and see my chest" ploy, obviously, and Sharon eventually settles on calling him "barking, in a good way" and dismissing him with a sunny "goodbye". [She can talk about 'barking', with her fucking stupid insane crap all through this bit. She can't be gracious or constructive simply because she doesn't like him, so she talks "eccentric" bollocks and makes it all about her instead. Stupid cow. - Carrie] Simon calls it the best performance of the night by far, and that he's an antidote to all the boring singers they've seen tonight (hee). He adds that a good classical singer needs to be pompous, and that he'll look forward to seeing Rhyd week after week. Dannii calls the performance "genius" and says that she can't wait to see what else he has to offer. Simon then randomly asks to say something else, and says that in light of all the press Rhydian's had, whenever he's met him backstage he found him to be a very nice and polite young man. That was weird, but nice. [It was a lovely touch - again, the tabloids last weekend were full of "Rhyd's not as bad as Simon Cowell's making him out to be" crap, so good of Cowell to correct his previous "he's the most arrogant and conceited person I've ever met" schtick. - Carrie] Asked for his comments, Rhydian Ultra gets a bit weird and rabbit-in-the-headlights and blabbers on about wanting to take on board what was said, and wishing happy birthday to Dannii, and not wanting people to think he's an arrogant arse, and that he thinks he can do better and will try to do so if he makes it through tonight.

Next up is Daniel, who has the voice and the looks, according to VT Louis. NotLouis says that Daniel has to convey emotion while walking, which is apparently difficult. Daniel is scared he won't pull it off. Louis says that it will be a hard song for Daniel, because it's the song that reminds him the most of his parents, WHO ARE PRESUMABLY DEAD, BECAUSE WE ARE SHOWN A FADED BLACK AND WHITE PHOTOGRAPH OF THEM. Daniel says the song is very poignant, and wells up a bit. Pussy. For one amazing moment in the intro I thought he was going to sing Kate Bush's 'Wuthering Heights', which would've been the best thing ever, but it turns out to be Bryan Adams's 'Heaven'. Because Heaven is where DEAD PEOPLE ARE, obviously. His vocal is nothing special - not bad, not great. Karaoke, I guess. I'm not really caring at this stage, at all. There's a bit of brief "banter" with Sharon, who asks "what's the matter?", as if we didn't bloody know. Sharon pronounces the performance "nice", so she's obviously as tuned out by this point as I am. Dannii tells him he's improved a lot since the rehearsal, but thought he was robotic with the movements, and blames nerves, as she is wont to do. Simon thought it was okay, but boring. He says that Daniel is not a rock singer, and that the production shows him up. He says that he doesn't know who Daniel is, and he's none the wiser after that performance. Louis says it wasn't the best performance of the night, but he knows Daniel's capable of better. Dermot asks Daniel if he thinks it was the right song, and Daniel thinks yes, absolutely definitely. Daniel's kid is in the audience, looking like he's about to burst into tears. Like father like son, I guess. [I presume the kid is sitting with the mother? The mother who sold her story to the papers and pointed out that Daniel is not actually a single dad because she has full custody? - Carrie]

Final act of the night, and we're over to Simon to introduce his last act, H0re. Um, I mean "Hope". Or do I? Nah, I prefer H0re, so we'll go with that. Simon's very excited about them. [I bet. - Carrie] They can't believe they're in the live finals. There is no mention of fallen comrade SiSi, of course. She is now to this group what Shannen Doherty was to Charmed, post-season four. NotLouis tells them that their routine is all about being sultry, which is obviously a huge surprise to all of us. Phoebe says their performance is quite sexy, and they basically slink and pose about the screen for a few hours. Phoebe is worried that her parents will be watching from the audience and seeing her all dressed up like a hooker, as well she might be. NotLouis warns them that if they don't walk like ladies, they will look like men in drag. More so than they already do, anyway. Simon says it will either be fantastic or a car crash. H0re will be singing 'Umbrella', all slowed down to a snail's pace. [They look like prostitutes, and I am actually quite shocked. I'm not easily shocked, but I cannot believe - well, I can, but I wish I couldn't - they are dressing 16-year-olds up in such a fashion. - Carrie] Raquelle's breasts are doing far more work than her vocal chords in the first few lines. The harmonies are quite nice, but I don't like what they've done to the song; it's too much the school of "slow = meaningful", which is utter bollocks. Also, given the plethora of covers of this song that are working around the internet as you read this, you really need to do something brilliant with it to make it stand out. Unfortunately, Mandy Moore and Tegan and Sara have already cornered the market on ballady, winsome versions of this song, and while their versions still managed to be moving, H0re's rendition is leaving me cold. But not as cold as they must be in those outfits. Rimshot! I'm checked out of this performance now; they've drained every last bit of energy out of this song and left it as bland as one of Louis's comebacks. (I really liked it. I liked that they did descants and stuff and actually made use of having lots of voices rather than just singing the same thing at the same time. Plus the majority of viewers won't have been trawling the internet for ballad versions of Umbrella and this probably would be quite exciting to them.-Joel)

Louis tells them that they look like they've been doing it for years, that they did their homework, and that - wait for it - they look like the UK version of the Pussycat Dolls. What a total coincidence! I bet that so wasn't what they were aiming for at all. He claims they put a lot of established girl groups to shame, which: no. Sharon tells them she has a problem: they're good-looking, sexy, they can sing, and she hates them. Ha ha. She tells them they're great, of course, and says they can sing, as though this is something to be surprised by. Dannii thanks Louis for "his" "idea" to create groups out of the off-cuts, and Louis laps it up like the shameless adulation whore that he is. Simon tells the girls that he agrees with Louis in that it was as good as anything you hear in the charts, and singles out Phoebe for praise because she is sixteen. Phoebe says that they didn't expect such good feedback, and Dermot asks her how she feels about her outfit after performing. Phoebe says her parents will still kill her for showing too much flesh, even though it's only really her belly button that's on display - it's not like she's got her norks or her vag out or anything. (Not like Raquel, whose nipples are veering dangerously close to being exposed, all the better to distract us from the fact that she can't sing. - Carrie]

Dermot reminds us that the two acts with the lowest tally of votes will perform again in the showdown, and we get the obligatory recap: Komedy Kimberley doing big budget karaoke, Andy being dull but as cute as a button, Futureproof training to be the new Westlife, Beverley not being able to dance, ZombiEmily in one of her rare in-tune moments, Leon being the worst thing ever, The HITman and Her being camp and adorable, Niki rehearsing for the next series of New Tricks, Alisha being scratchy and not fierce, Rhydian Ultra being melodramatic as usual, Daniel being wet and whiny, and H0re sucking all the fun out of 'Umbrella'. Dermot implores us all to vote, and reminds us to check back in for some actual talent from Leona later, and we're out. My God, that went on for ever.


Earlier tonight! People sang! Most of them were shit! Now! One act must leave the competition! And not before time!

Dermot welcomes us back, and reminds us that the contestants are all desperate to end the night on a high. They air the same recap we saw earlier, so I won't repeat myself.

And now: Leona! We get a black-and-white recap of Leona's X Factor journey from last year [drink! - Carrie], and she's better in a three-second clip than all of this year's contestants were in an entire song. Shots of Kate Thornton are, of course, kept to a minimum. And then Leona takes to the stage to sing her new single 'Bleeding Love', which is apparently not about menstruation or miscarriages, and sounds a bit wobbly as she ad libs the intro, but is much better on the verses. I shouldn't like this song, but I really do - is that wrong? Perhaps it's just that I appreciate a bit of professionalism from Leona after the shitshow that was this evening's performances. There are points where I thought she was lip-synching, but I think she's just unusually well in pitch with her backing track, which may still have the recorded vocals on it. (I was confused by how she suddenly wasn't singing the chorus at the end, when she started doing her waily bits over the top. Stil she just embarrassed the rest of them.-Joel) I wouldn't be surprised if it did. There are certainly no backing singers in sight, but their voices are coming from somewhere, so my guess would be the record. Whatever: if we find a winner this year who's half as good as Leona, I'll be shocked.

After the performance, Leona makes to wander off, but Dermot calls her back to speak to the judges. Leona says she's glad to not be judged at this stage, but that the finalists have all been doing really well (lie), Simon tells her she was incredible and asks her if she wants to come back. Dermot: "She can't win it twice!" Simon: "Yes, she can!" And I'm going to take that as an awesome burn on this year's batch of rubbish contestants, thank you for asking. [Yeah, he's right, but...a bit harsh on the contestants. They're shit, yes, but he didn't have to put them on the telly and make us watch them. - Carrie] He tells her he's very proud of her, and that the performance was "stunning". Dermot plugs Leona's new single, and we cut to the ads in anticipation of the results.

Dermot welcomes back the judges and the contestants. You already know who they are, and I just want to get to the end of this, so let's carry on. Dermot has the results in his hand, and in no particular order the first act returning next week is...Leon, who gets hugged by Dannii immediately. Joining him are Daniel (who hugs Beverley and Niki), ZombiEmily (shot of The HITman and Her looking nervous), Futureproof (five-way man hug), Andy (hugs Dannii and Rhydian Ultra, shot of Komedy Kimberley looking nervous), Niki (almost cries, hugs Beverley and Louis), H0re (squealing and hugging of Simon), Beverley (looks surprised, Louis looks happy that all his acts are safe), Rhydian Ultra (hugs Dannii, who also has all of her acts safe [and he keeps shouting 'Happy birthday!' in her ear - Carrie]), and finally...The HITman and Her (Sarah claps her hands, Sean looks like he's going to be sick). So, Komedy Kimberley and Alisha are in the bottom two. Sharon is not allowed to say how she feels because it is not suitable for television. Dermot asks her if she has any advice, and Sharon, always thinking of her students, says that she can't give them any advice because clearly everything she's done for them so far has been useless and she's going home now. No, seriously, that's what she says. Sharon: worst manager EVER, and not just because she managed to get two acts in the bottom two on the first week. [I am disgusted by this. Obviously I should be used to this by now, but - these are two teenage girls. They clearly - for reasons unknown to us - love Sharon and see her as the maternal figure she's always trying to present to us. It's their first-ever time on live television, and one of them is about to have their dreams of pre-packaged fame and fortune crushed. And what does Sharon do? She takes her shoes off, puts on her insane voice again, and makes it all about her AGAIN, rather than saying something a little bit supportive, like, oh, I don't know - "I'm shocked that Alisha and Kimberley are in the bottom two, and I take full responsibility for it because as we've found out tonight my song choices weren't up to scratch. They're both lovely girls, and I'm very proud of them whatever happens, even though I'm angry and disappointed that one of them will have to leave the competition tonight. I just want to tell them both to go out there and enjoy themselves." How difficult would that have been? - Carrie]

Anyway, Komedy Kimberley takes to the stage again and is so choked with emotion that she can't even sing the first line. [To be fair, she couldn't anyway, so I think the emotion was a convenient excuse. - Carrie] She gets it back again when the tempo kicks in, and gives it a bit of welly. (I think she really turned it around by the end.-Joel) There's an unfortunately-timed shot of the judges where Dannii is whispering something to Louis and he has his fingers in his ears to block out KK's singing so he can hear Dannii. [What was it? "Simon will vote to send Kimberley home, so I'll vote for Alisha so you can have the casting vote?" - Carrie] Hmmm. When it's all over, you can clearly see Komedy Kimberley mouthing "thank fuck", and a very hard-working sound engineer has obviously cut her mic off just in time. [Hee! I'm glad I wasn't the only one to notice! - Carrie] Alisha takes to the stage again and is no better or worse than the first time, although she doesn't have her giant picture frame this time. [She looks very pissed off and sulky, though. - Carrie] I'm kind of disappointed that this is the best she can do when her place in the contest is at stake, but perhaps it is just the song hobbling her. We'll find out soon enough, I suppose. But I would say that vocally, on the basis of these two performances, Alisha deserves to go home.

Dermot returns to the stage, and his eyes are red and puffy. You guys? Dermot has so been crying offstage during the singoff. Bless. Ice queen Kate Thornton never cared this much. Dermot tells us that Sharon has decided to leave the panel for tonight. "I'm leaving the show!" shouts Sharon from the audience. Good riddance. Also: way to make it all about you, and excellent behaviour from a 55-year-old woman. Based on it being a singing competition, Simon votes to send Komedy Kimberley home. Dannii doesn't want to vote and wants to sit in the audience with Sharon, but eventually votes to send Alisha home. Dermot informs Sharon that she has officially lost her vote and goes to Louis (Way to set a precedent Sharon. And Dermot. And show.-Joel), who says that it's the fun factor versus the talent factor (hmmm), and eventually votes to send Komedy Kimberley home. Alisha gives KK a big hug and kisses Dermot on the lips before going home. Dermot asks her how she's feeling, and KK says that it was a fair decision, but it was hard because she and Alisha are total BFFs. Shot of Komedy Kimberley's X Factor journey, with obligatory shot of KK in the corner weeping in the present day. Awww. I mean, she was never going to win, but she didn't deserve to go out ahead of fucking Leon, for fuck's sake. Back on the live show, KK is crying and tells Dermot that her memorable experience was meeting Ozzy. Dermot consoles her and tells her that she nailed it, which, in fairness, she did. She did the best she could with the millstone that Sharon gave her. I don't think we should worry about Komedy Kimberley anyway; she can do that number round gay bars across the land for a couple of years and support herself adequately on the proceeds, I reckon. Kimberley is a gay icon of the future, you mark my words.

Next week: the theme is the movies, and we'll be joined by Celine Dion. [For FUCK's sake. Will she sing My Heart Will Go On? Or will somebody else, and then she'll tell them that they made the song their own? - Carrie] And hopefully someone else will recap, because I need a week off.Stop looking at me.-Joel

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

That's the best you've got?

Top 12 revealed: 7th October 2007

There’s a recap for, ooh, three or four years about stuff we saw yesterday. Carmina Burana plays, of course. ZOMG what’s going to happen? I can’t take the excitement. I am very nearly dead from increased heart rate. Tonight, some of Hope get some sort of shock. Someone sponge my brow!


Dermot is in Hollywood. He tells us what we watched yesterday. And then we see them all sing again. Well, some of them. And we see them crying and stuff. Dear god. Show some show, Show!

Now we’re in Ibeefer. Dannii slept on it. Now she has decided. She and Dermot paddle in the infinity pool. I love infinity pools. [I love Dermot. - Carrie] Asbestos Andy cries. Dominic goes ‘blah’. He doesn’t want to let his family down. Crack-head Leon talks about his mum Who Is Single. Rid can own the stage but hasn’t show it, or so he claims. Luke ‘was only a 14 year old schoolboy’. You still are, sweetie. Charlie would be back to square one if he didn’t go through. God, they all talk in cliché.

Dannii’s on a nice cream sofa on a patio. Charlie goes home for lack of confidence. Gets a hug from Dermot. [A slight consolation. - Carrie] Crack-head Leon goes through. FFS Dannii! She says, ‘Your mum is going to be so proud.’ The quality of sob-stories has really dropped this year if having a single mum counts. Not even widowed, just single. Asbestos Andy is going through. Dannii warns him about confidence. Dominic is going home because he’s ‘vocally not ready’. [Absolute rubbish. Booo, Dannii. - Carrie] Obviously because there’d be no tension if we saw all three successful people. This damn show.

Dannii says Luke is too nervous but the audience won’t ‘get’ Rid. [Get Rid! AHAHAHAHAHHA! - Carrie] Eventually, Luke goes home, because of the whole being young thing. [And the fact that he's a wet dishrag. He'd never make it through the live shows. It'd be rabbit in the headlights. - Carrie] He cries. Dannii cries on the sofa. He gets a manly hug from Dermot, so that’s something. I want a manly hug from Dermot. [The queue starts behind me. - Steve]

Which means that Rid is through. He’s all ‘Yeah! Woo! We’re going to win this! Yeah!’ I can’t believe that Sharon is the only judge that realises that even though he can sing, Rid is an insufferable prick. I really don’t think people will vote for him. [Hmm, I think I will. I like him. I think he's a bit panto-villain, and also I have a weakness for twattish men who can sing. He won't win, but I think he'll make a decent career. Possibly in panto, as a villain. - Carrie] Sigh. I had such high hopes for Dannii as a judge and she has dashed them. DASHED THEM!

Grief porn time! Charlie says it’s the ‘end of the world’. His mum knows it will be good news. Except not. He says he didn’t get through and his family swamp him in hugs. Asbestos Andy has his family explode in excitement. Some woman has a big clip in her hair like from a hairdresser putting your hair out the way to get to the bits underneath. But she’s just accessorising. Luke finds it hard to take. He just cries. He’s going to do his GCSEs then focus on singing. Oh, sweetheart, you’ll be fine. Poor wee thing. [It's kind of terrifying that the only person in the history of the show ever to have a rational response to that news was a 14-year-old. - Steve] Dominic thought there was a place on the stage for him but obviously not. Big hugs. ‘You’re my star son. You always will be and you always have been and I’ll love you forever.’ says his Gran? Mum? Some relative anyway. It’s very sweet. Rid’s family jump up and down and say he’s going to win. And see above re: insufferable prick Fucking Crackhead Leon. His mum’s about 20. His mum’s happy. Blah.

Now we’re at Sharon’s house. Hee. I nearly typed ‘Sauron’.

Komedy Kimberly doesn’t want to go back pulling points. [Possibly she means 'pints'. It's hard to tell. - Carrie] [Leave my typos alone!-Joel] [Sorry, didn't think it was a typo, thought it was an approximation of her Brummie accent! - Carrie] Little Victoria goes ‘blah blah honk’. She says nothing of import. Kim does the same. ‘Blah blah blah.’ Who the fuck ARE you? Alisha just wants the chance to do what she loves. ZombiEmily cries about how her family believe in her and she doesn’t want to go home. Oh whatever sweetheart, you rose from the dead, you’re going nowhere.

They play Leona over the top, thereby highlighting the shitness of the contestants this year. Good move, Show.

Sharon tells Shrill Steph that she has been standing out for all the judges. And that she is great. But that she is going home. Thank god. She’s shit. Sharon tells Alisha she’s old, again, all ‘you’re too old for my age group,’ which, no, shut up Sharon. Sharon says ‘you’re going to hate me’ and then puts her through to the live shows. Boring non-existent Kim goes home and Sharon says ‘I really really want to thank you’. Sharon tells ZombiEmily that the judges were really blown away at first but she hasn’t been as good since. True. ZombiEmily cries. Sharon’s like ‘look at me! I’ve got something to tell you. LOOK AT ME!!!’ [And ZombiEmily throws a fucking mental fit, whining, "I don't want to hear it!" For fuck's sake, child, grow up. - Carrie] [Word. This really made me hate ZombiEmily. She's indestructible, she ought to have grown a spine by now. - Steve] ZombiEmily is, of course, going through. She’s like ‘shut up!’, which is quite sweet.

Victoria is going home. I have nothing to add to that. Sharon wants to know why Komedy Kimberly has shown no emotion. She’s ‘covering it up with smiles’ and says ’I just want it so much!’ Sharon says, ‘You’ve got it. You’re in.’ Kimberly screeches and says her mum will wet herself. Heh. [I love Komedy Kimberley. I really, really do. - Steve]

FUCK ME!! Sharon got it totally right. Those are absolutely the people I would have put through. Well, I would have put AnnaLisa through, but given that that isn’t an option... [I know! If Sharon's not careful, she might even win this year. - Steve]

Steph says she didn’t get it. Her family hug her. I don’t care cos she’s shit. Her dad’s proud of her and then he kisses her on the mouth a tiny bit too long. [Still not as creepy as Ray's dad dry-humping him last year. - Steve] Alisha’s family bombard her with screams and hugs. (She’s great and gorgeous but I still think she’s doomed...Leona kind of broke the pattern of black women on these shows but she’s a) amazing and b) pretty white-looking and I think Alisha will join the Maria and Dionne School of Talented Black Women Who Left Too Soon.) [Oh God, yes. I love Alisha and want her to win, but I think an early exit is far more likely. - Steve] Victoria’s family meet her at the airport and hug her. Kimberly’s family mob her in the pub, all screams and excitement.
Kim says that she didn’t make it. Most of her family don’t hug her. [They look at her blankly. Bad family. Bad unsupportive family. Perhaps she can try again next year with the sob story, 'my family Who Don't Share My Dream'? - Carrie] Harsh. We are told by some relative that ZombiEmily is special. Yes, we know, She Is Again Risen! Shut up. Emily’s mum loves her Zombie Daughter. Good. She’s through, whatever, from the second we heard she was a Zombie there was no doubt about that. Emily is good anyway. She doesn’t need to have the constant ‘I rose from the dead! Vote for me! Braaiins!’ nonsense.

Simon has the groups. Simon is a sad panda because he has to tell people he likes they’re not through.

W4 girl says that no matter how strong they are, if they get a no, they’ll never have this chance again. I think I prefer that to the ‘You haven’t heard the last of me! Rahhhh!’ *shaking fist* thing. Ghostt (wherefore two ‘t’s?) go on about stuff. ‘Blah blah blah,’ they say. Probably something about children.

All the groups say boring shit of no consequence.

Ghostt are in matching different colour polo shirts like the chipmunks. They’re going home. Good job Simon – he learned that r’n’b boy bands fail in this show and axed them early. [But...but...I need my token earnest urban R&B group. Who will invoke God's assistance now? - Carrie] The Happy Incest Twins are two of the nicest people Simon’s ever met but he acknowledges they’re a love it or hate it act. They’re through. I love the Happy Incest Twins! [The bit where the camera did a close-up of Sean crossing his fingers was one of the cutest things I've ever seen. He's adorable. - Steve] I Sette Cantanti haven’t made it. Simon didn’t think they were enjoying it. They did seem a bit mopey but then they’re teenage outcasts, of course they did. One of them is hot. Futureproof are through. It comes down to W4 versus Hope. Simon thinks their arrangement was great but they have to be a gang, not just a group. We don’t know who he’s talking to. We finally see that W4 aren’t through and Hope are. They mob Simon. He got girls all over him. He’s happy. It was probably his only aim. Poor W4. They were actually good. [And were a gang, not just a group. - Carrie]

I can’t believe they fly the contestants on fucking EasyJet. The Happy Incest Twins’ family are all like that! Screamy and bouncy and just so damn happy. Poor I Sette Cantanti get a little quiet meet at the airport and no-one seems to care that much. A W4 girl says ‘my family are going to hug me and it’s all going to be all right’, which is pretty tragic. A Futureproof boy gabbles something completely unintelligible about family. Their assorted families are excited. Ghostt are getting on with things. I guess this is my last chance to say, ‘Get a fucking job’. Hope scream with excitement and then BADOOM as they’re celebrating the screen goes black and white.






CiCi has a criminal conviction with an outstanding sentence. [THE HORROR! - Carrie] Oh, Cici. Or CeCe. Or See-Sea. God knows, it’s not like the show’s going to tell us. [It's actually SiSi. Heh. - Steve] Poor thing. So sad. Although also, you were told the rules, dumbass, spend your conviction and then audition. She goes off crying, as you would. The producers want Hope to carry on, which they will. They all hug CiCi goodbye and then promptly forget she ever existed [This made me laugh so much. Hope promptly prove to Simon that they are in no way any kind of gang, they are a rabble of no-hope wannabes who would sell their NotDead Parents for fame; they have basically trampled over their departed colleague in their eagerness for the pitiful sliver of televisual stardom. It would have been much, much classier if they'd said they were a proper group now, and they couldn't contemplate continuing without her, and thanks but no thanks, they'll try to make it on their own. Or even if they'd had time to draw breath between the producer asking, "Will you continue without her?" and their unanimous reply, "YES!" - Carrie]

We’re in Dublin, in Ireland, with Louis, who is from Ireland, and so we’re in Ireland, with Louis, who is from Ireland, a city of which is Dublin, where we are, with Louis, who is Irish. Got that? Zyta wants it really badly. Dead Dad Woman wants her kids to smile for a good reason. Carpenter Daniel says some stuff. Apologies for the complete lack of detail in this recap but seriously these people do not say anything worth repeating. Icaro talks some shit. Single Dad Daniel cries a bit. Whatever. I don’t understand what he’s saying. It’s all just noise. Fucking Shouting Beverley says going through will mean Louis has faith in her. It’s taken her a long time to have faith in herself. Lovely. Whatever.

They are all SHIT. I like Zyta the best, but I don’t like her. Zyta is going home. She is sad.

Single Dad Daniel is going through. I guess he’s fit. [He's a DILF. - Steve] Daniel The Carpenter is therefore going home. Oh look, he is! Louis says, ‘I haven’t seen any personality’. That’s a bit harsh. FUCKING NO. Icaro is next and that means he’s going through because of the laws of televisual tension. Oh! He’s going home. Thank fucking god. He shouldn’t have made it past the producers at the first auditions. But that means there’s no tension – two places. And two people. Dead Dad Woman is through. Bellowing Beverley is through. Stupid Foghorn.

Carpenter Daniel is going back to work. Dead Dad Woman is going home to tell her sons. I shout ‘fuck me, she’s not even a single mother!’ because I’m so inured to sob stories that I just assumed no-one with a husband and children would even audition. Her husband seems nice. Zyta thinks her family will still be proud. I hope so. [I'm not going to miss Zyta's voice, but I will miss her snazzy dress sense - she's always so well turned-out. - Steve] Icaro is back to stacking the shelves. Whatever. I don’t care. His family hug him and stuff. Single Dad Daniel misses his parents WHO ARE DEAD. He goes home to some gays and some girls and his kid [who he only sees once a week. He is not even a Real Single Dad. - Carrie]. He seems sweet natured but he bores me.

This didn’t upset me as much as normal because I hate them all. Last year I was crying at this episode, just because seeing people so devastated is really hard to watch. This year, only the boys' group upset me because Dannii is being such a tard and putting the wrong people through entirely. Poor little Luke.

They end with a recap who’s through and when showing Hope, singing at Simon’s, they cut the camera angle weirdly to cut CiCi off the end. HAHA! That’s pretty damn harsh, right there. [The lesson here being always stand in the middle if you're in a group, just to make it harder for them to oust you. - Steve]

Like: Kimberly, Alisha, Emily, Hope, The Happy Incest Twins
Hate: Beverley, Rid, Leon
Don’t give a shit one way or the other: Futureproof, Daniel, Andy, Dead Dad Woman

[I don't know who I like yet until I see the first proper shows. I want to like Asbestos Andy as he has very pretty eyes but he seems quite dull. - Carrie]

The live shows start on 20th October which might mean we’ve got some respite from this shit-shower, but probably means they’ll take the chance to parade some more mentally ill people embarrassing themselves. [That's no way to talk about the England rugby team. - Carrie]