Songs from the 21st Century week: 10th November
Carrie and Steve are here to blog and drink vodka as they selflessly sit through a night of the X-Factor.
It's been the most explosive series of the X-Factor! Sharon left! Sisi was kicked out! Emily had a kniiiiiiiiiife! Komedy Kimberley, Daniel, and Futureproof have all been eliminated!
Dannii is gloating about having three acts left, and Louis says she won't have by the end of the night. Yeah, we'll see. (Just to shut Louis up, I wanted Dannii's acts to survive.-Joel)
Dermot struts on, and shouts at the camera, welcoming us to the live finals and saying that our Saturday night starts here. He claims it has been an amazing week because everyone is still here, and everyone is raring to go like the dogs that they are. He introduces "the fearsome foursome". Dannii is wearing very little. Steve thinks she may have joined Hope for the evening. Louis is clutching Sharon's hand.
Tonight the acts are singing "modern classics", like that's a theme, and Shayne Ward will be singing later. Wow.
First up, it's the old people, and Louis introduces a great girl, "Niki, with a big song from Kelly Clarkson". But...we don't know where she's from. How will we know if we want to vote for her? Louis says, "We're trying to put on a show, we can't have everyone standing there singing big ballads." Says the man who managed Westlife. Louis claims Simon will Eat His Words. I'm sure he's terrified.
Niki is singing Because of You, and as Steve points out, this is a song about a tragic childhood, which she probably chose because her DAD IS DEAD. (IS it not more an 'abusive miserable childhood, I hate you Daddy!' kind of song?-Joel) She is wearing a bizarre black outfit, and resembles nobody so much as Sarah Ferguson. There are two fires on stage. This is tedious, and her pitching is really dodgy again, just as it has been for the past few weeks. Key change! Drink! This is so, so bad. It would be vaguely acceptable at a karaoke night, but not on prime-time television. Bad Niki. Bad Louis. No. (So dreadful. She managed to rip any shred of emotion from the song.-Joel)
Sharon screeches at the audience to shut up, and tells Niki that she is "a good old British belter." She lays on the compliments, and srsly, can these people not HEAR? Oh, Dannii can, she says it was a bad song choice. Boooooooo! Simon says that he agrees with Sharon, which he really can't. He says he loves that she zeroed in on him, because that shows that he is now more important to her than Louis. Louis is petulant and irritating. Niki is really annoying. Her DAD IS DEAD. Let's move on.
Back from the break, and Dermot ruffles Louis's hair. IDK, IDK. Dermot draws our attention to the fact that Simon swore when he had two groups in the bottom two last week. Heh. Sarah VT says that they were convinced they'd be the first group to go all along. Simon hits back to Louis's pantomine comment by liking him to the back of a cow, and Louis makes a panto dame comment. Lolz. Home video of tiny Sean singing 'A Whole New World' and saying that his dad always wanted him to be a footballer, but it was never really going to happen. Heh, no kidding. Video of Sarah in a dancing show, being adorable. Simon thinks it could either be appalling or brilliant.
They're singing Scissor Sisters' 'I Don't Feel Like Dancing' and IT IS THE MOST BRILLIANT THING EVER. Sean rides in ON A BICYCLE! Sarah's facial expressions are priceless. In the middle of this is the singing, which is good, but no one cares about this. The dancers are dressed as toys, and then Same Difference blow them kisses and BRING THE TOYS TO LIFE! This is the best performance in the history of the show. (I just cannot express how amazing this was. I think my favourite bit was when they sat in a big silver chair because they didn't feel like dancing. Plus they were actually on-pitch while dancing in a pretty difficult song. LOVE. Also the 'SD' logo on Sean's cardi. And the big silver S and D helium balloons. And the fact that the toy soldier man froze again at the end of the song and stood there while they got their comments.-Joel) Louis looks horrified, because he's a miserable old shitbag.
Louis is speechless. He calls it fun, but says they're never going to win this show. If they carry on like that, they just might. He calls them "too happy". Fuck off, you shit. Sharon tells them she loves them, but didn't like the staging. Well, that's NotLouis's fault, isn't it? Sharon thinks it's like something Michael Jackson would've dreamed up. "Sharon Osbourne saying madness, right," says Simon. Hehehe. Dannii tells them they make it look easy, and she thinks nobody's noticing how great they are. Simon calls it their best performance in the competition so far - it was fun, quirky, and in tune. "Did you have an unhappy childhood?" Simon asks Louis. I almost expect Louis to respond, "no, I had a father, but HE IS DEAD." Sarah gives Louis the Same Difference balloons to Louis, who totally secretly loves this, by the way. Sean nudges Sarah and says "high five, sister!" And they do, and it is ADORABLE. Dermot does not kiss Sean this week, which is very sad.
Dannii introduces Asbestos Andy, who looks doe-eyed at the camera. (As if he has any other setting.-Joel) Louis criticises Dannii's song choices for her boys. Simon claims that Dannii is out of her depth because she has done nothing for Asbestos Andy, and he has no oomph. Then he says, "He must look at Rhydian every week and wonder, why are you not doing that for me?" And: no, I can't be bothered to explain. Andy is worried that he is being seen as a weak link. No, dear, that's Leon.
Andy is sitting on some perspex stairs and singing Chasing Cars, flat, and in a monotone, or as monotone as you can get when you're singing a tune. He's wearing a ROCK! t-shirt. Very loud backing vocals kick in. I fall asleep. Boring. Go away. (The camera angle at first made it look like he was hanging upside-down. I was VERY disappointed that he wasn't.-Joel)
Louis says it was a good song choice, but claims he is a good singer but not a winner. Sharon says that he has not found the right path and lacks cojones. Andy glances down at his crotch. Sharon says, "I'm looking, but I can't see them!" Ew. Simon says he is a very fair person, probably the most impartial person on the judging panel, but that performance was like eating caviar with salad cream. Booooooooooo! Dannii says the others are all out of touch, and stands up and shouts a lot. Dermot comforts Asbestos Andy, who seems to be lost of words, so instead he asks the audience, "Did I sing well?" and they whoop in response.
Back from the break, and Dermot plugs The X Factor tour. Yick. (Yah, I know, but if I get to see Same Difference and Rhydian...-Joel) Louis makes some crab about knowing more music than Simon does. Yes, Louis, but it's all shit music from the 1950s. Next up Bellowing Beverley, from Luton. Beverley is proud to have been at the top last week, although on what scale this is being judged I have no idea. (Size of flowers on shoulders?-Joel) Beverley VTs about her abandonment issues from her mother. We're playing the X Factor drinking game, and there were so many triggers in that one scene that I think my liver is going to die in the next five minutes. If I don't survive to the end of this blog, you'll know why. (This bit was sickening. 'My mum had me when she was 16. Then she gave me to her parents to look after. And I want to ask her WHY?! But I can't! Because she is DEAD! And I can't go to the graveyard and pick her up!' It was just obscene.-Joel)
Beverley will be shouting 'You're Beautiful'. I have issues with this, because it reminds me of Maria, who was actually good, but did not have a MOTHER WHO IS DEAD, at least not as far as I know. I was about to applaud her for keeping it under control, but then she gets into the second verse and just starts yelling at me again. "YOU'RE BEAUTIFUL! YOU'RE BEAUTIFUL!" There's a random key change added in. Drink! Then Beverley ad libs and wobbles right out of tune and into another building entirely.
Applause. I note that Simon isn't clapping. Sharon tells Beverley there is one thing that sets her aside from the others: she sings from the heart, apparently. I'm not sure I see it. "If you carry on, you'll be in the final." Yes, Sharon, that is how it works. Dannii wants to see the diva back. Simon is torn, because he thinks it was a hotel singer performance. He thinks it had no edge, and it was a "peanut performance", which I think he said about Kerry last year. "In your opinion!" says Louis. Yes, Louis, that is what this part of the show is about. Beverley tells Simon she appreciated the opportunity not to shout a song for once. At least she knows she's doing it, I suppose. (Except she doesn't. Because she did.-Joel) Louis thinks Beverley is TEH WONDERFUL and predicts she will be in the final. Beverley molests Dermot a bit again, as well she might. Can't blame the girl for that.
It's TeamSlut! Last week, Louis enjoyed it when Simon had two acts in the bottom two, because he's not a very nice person. (Ad I'm sure the various members of Hope and FutureProof will love to hear that their misery was received with such relish. Seriously, the contestants are just cannon fodder in these people's petty name-calling. It's gross.-Joel) Raquelle claims that it was sickening when they were in the sing-off. Raquelle's parents split up when she was young; it was very traumatic. Drink! They're singing Back to Black, and seeing as the first harmonies are utterly off, this doesn't bode well. They're getting round the problem of obscenity by missing out the slightly dodgy lyrics, and the problem of not being able to sing by letting Phoebe do all the lead vocals, which is a good move. See, this is a decent performance, because you can't hear them sing! Ridiculous.
Louis liked it and says they're as good as any other girl group in the charts today. Sharon says it's good to see them just singing, "looking great, singing great". Dannii says, "Phoebe, you are just carrying the whole band." Simon is very complimentary about Phoebe; Louis says that GIRLS MUST VOTE FOR HOPE BECAUSE THEY ARE GIRLS DO YOU SEE GIRLS SHOULD VOTE FOR GIRLS BECAUSE THEY ARE GIRLS AND HOPE ARE GIRLS. (I was slightly charitable to Louis here and thought he was trying to avoid the whole 'girls are bitches and hate other girls, especially vaguely pretty ones who show a bit of leg' situation. Also: PHoebe is amazing. The rest of them suck. They were completely scuppered by the levels being screwed entirely and the music drowning out the vocals.-Joel)
After the break, David Walliams is in the audience and makes Dermot sit on his lap. Dermot looks nervous, as well he might. David enjoyed Same Difference and is looking forward to Rhydian. Dermot kisses David on the cheek. Dannii completely loses track of her train of thought, hee. Doesn't matter, because it's Leon. Louis doesn't think Louis is capable of impressing them week after week. He thinks he's already peaked. When was that, exactly.
Leon is incomprehensible in VT. Seriously, he sounds like Rab C Nesbitt. Leon goes to the doctor in his VT because of his vocal chords, WHO ARE DEAD. I don't know how he managed that, because he's not been doing any actual singing. Leon will be singing 'Dancing in the Moonlight', otherwise known as the worst song ever to exist ever in the history of everything ever. Ever. He jiggles around the stage a bit and is entirely average, because he is Leon and that is what Leon does. (His dancing appears to consist of walking along bow-legged, as if he's trying to shake off a case of rickets, even though rickets don't work like that.-Joel) Seriously, what the hell is he even doing here? Simon looks appalled, as well he might. I'm not sure quite what Dannii was smoking when she chose this song, unless she secretly hates him as much as I do. That's the only explanation I can come up with. Leon struts around the stage and OH GOD WHY IS THIS NOT OVER YET? I haven't been this appalled by a performance since the last time I had to sit through Ray Quinn and his swing bastardisations.
Louis likes Leon's voice, but thinks we don't need another Michael Buble. I wasn't aware we even needed one. He thinks it was like a karaoke performance IN SCOTLAND. Quite how Scottish karaoke differs from the rest of the world I'm not sure. Sharon liked it, for reasons I cannot explain. Simon is trying to figure out why Leon is doing so well, and he can only assume it is because people like Leon. He thinks it was a bad vocal, and the audience boo. "Are you lot deaf?" Simon asks them. Heh. Dannii says it's her and Leon and the people at home versus everyone else. I don't really understand her; I think Dannii's been drinking. Dermot asks Leon what it's like to be as likeable as Simon Cowell. Leon says he cannot speak - well, no change there then.
Alisha is the ONLY GIRL LEFT IN THE COMPETITION. Sharon decides to plug her charity work instead of introducing her. When Alisha is talking to the camera, she looks so very young, bless her. She is going to sing like it's her last time. Simon says she deserves to be there, but doesn't think she could or should win the show. She comes on stage and seems to have inherited Emily's beret, but other than that she looks very beautiful. Anyway, she's singing Put Your Records On, and seriously, they should have made use of the prop bicycle left over from Same Difference. It's up to scratch in terms of performance; she has a lovely voice; and everyone at Virgin Active will be voting for her. BECAUSE SHE WORKS AT VIRGIN ACTIVE. (Loved it. I hate this song with a passion, trite meaningless drivel with a stupid tune, but she sang it so well.-Joel)
Louis wants everybody to vote for her. Everybody. Dannii tells her she looks fierce, and the song could have been written for her. Simon thinks the song suited her, particularly towards the end when she put some personality and character into it. Someone from the audience shouts, "We love you, Simon!" He replies, "I know." Heh. Alisha demands her two kisses from Dermot. (She proffers he cheek and screams 'TWO!' at him, when he only kisses her once. So awesome.-Joel) She is wearing a necklace which has a teddy bear in a bikini hanging from it. Then she kisses Dermot some more.
Nearly there! It's time for Rhydian, finally. Dannii says there'll be no sparkly suit this week. Boo! VT Rhydian expresses his disbelief at what he wore last week. "It was like she'd raided Louis Walsh's wardrobe," says Simon. He's not wrong. Rhydian thought it was all good fun. Dannii's going back to basics this week. Does this mean he'll be doing something off the Xtina album? Dannii thinks the other judges are threatened by him, and she's right. Hooray! Simon hopes Dannii and Rhydian don't get too cocky and overconfident. Rhydian will singing 'You Raise Me Up', which has not been done to death on this show or anything. While this may not be as dramatic as his other performances, it's actually hilarious how much better Rhydian is at singing than every single other person in the contest this year. (Srsly. What with Rhydian and them advertising Leona's album in the break, the other contestants must be a wee bit miserable.-Joel) Dramatic key change! Everybody drink! They should have an X Factor All Stars competition and just pit him against Leona and not bother inviting anyone else. It would be awesome.
Rhydian gets a standing ovation from the judges. Louis has heard hundreds of thousands of versions of that song. Yes, and they're ALL YOUR FAULT. He thinks this was one of the best, and he thinks Rhydian will be successful whether he wins or loses. Sharon thought it was great to see him just being normal and doing a great vocal, and she thinks he's going to win. Rhydian is disbelieving. Simon thinks that nothing's in the bag yet, and the only time he can remember anyone else being that good was Leona last year. Dannii tells Rhydian he was amazing and she got teary. Because of the drink. Dannii loves his humility because he always says to her "if I'm here next week". Awww. A stuttering Rhydian tells Dermot he doesn't want to be compared to Leona because she's in a league of her own. Oh, bless him. Rhydian is such a sweetie. I'm tearing up, and everything.
And that's the end. Hooray! Everyone have a drink! Performance recap: Niki singing completely out of tune about her dad, WHO IS DEAD. Same Difference being the most amazing thing ever, in a future most-viewed YouTube clip ever. Andy being pretty but dull, as always. A particuarly-tuneless clip of Beverley, which I don't think was actually that bad in the show, was it taken from the dress rehearsal? Phoebe lugging H0re on her shoulders and the blonde one trying to slut it up completely inappropriately. Leon being SHIT SHIT SHIT. Alisha being pretty good, all things considered. Rhydian just pwning everyone left right and centre.
We'll be back later with a world-exclusive from Shayne Ward BECAUSE NO OTHER COUNTRIES CARE. We'll be liveblogging again, and we'll probably be bladdered. See you then!
Right, we're back. Earlier tonight, people sang live for our votes! Most of them were shit! Same Difference and Rhydian were amazing! Now! One act must leave the competition!
Dermot welcomes us back and reminds us of the utter horror. And then there's more horror, as he reminds us of the Shayne Ward Story as a prelude to him performing his new single EXCLUSIVELY LIVE.
This song is totally Shayne Ward by numbers, in that it's got absolutely no bollocks whatsoever, and some extremely dodgy lyrics ("if we had babies they would look like you"?!?!) and has falsetto all over the place. It is also boring as fuck. It doesn't even have the comedy value of 'If That's Okay With You', it's just shit. There's a "lovely" bit in the middle where he shakes hands with Simon, and then there is the most ill-advised high note ever, so much so that it shatters the light above his head and causes sparks to rain down on his head. Possibly. Dear God, I'm so embarrassed by this.
Dermot asks Shayne for his opinion. Shayne enjoyed Hope and Beverley. Sharon perves over Shayne a bit more. Shayne tells us all that he's very proud to have come from The X Factor and is extremely grateful for the opportunity. Clever camerawork conceals the member of the production staff who sneaked onto the stage and pulled the cord in his back to make him say that.
We welcome back the judges and their contestants. Sharon only has Alisha left - had we mentioned that? Dannii has all her contestants left, and is clutching at varying parts of their anatomies. Niki and Beverley are holding Louis up. Hope slut it on to the stage with Simon, and Same Difference bound in adorable fashion.
Who is SAFE? Alisha is laughing. Is she taking this seriously, or treating it as the piss-take it so clearly is? SAME DIFFERENCE ARE THE FIRST ONES THROUGH! This is BRILLIANT! WELL DONE, BRITISH PUBLIC! They hug Simon. Niki is through. Ugh. Rhydian is through! Hooray! He hugs Dannii, and wishes the other boys luck. Aw. Alisha! She and Sharon go utterly insane, leaping and falling over, although Sharon is noticeably unbothered about congratulating her contestant, because, as we know, it's all about her. Leon is through. WHY? Bad Scotland. Hope are through, and they squeal.
And now we have to watch Beverley and Andy sing two very dull songs again. Louis says Beverley shouldn't be in the bottom two. Dannii says she knows Andy can do it. Whatevs. Beverley gropes Dermot. You go, girl! Andy goes first and while he's lying on the big box, he pulls up his shirt to expose his toned stomach, which is brilliantly cynical, but far too late for it to have any influence on the voting audience. Silly Asbestos Andy. Unless he's going for the Sharon vote, which is entirely possible. It's a bit boring, but this is the most boring song ever, so there's not a lot he could've done. At the end Sharon is crying, possibly because if Andy goes, he will take with him teh pretteh.
Dermot fills for England while they set the stage up for Beverley. Louis goes "OMG SHE SHOULD NOT BE IN TEH BOTTOM TWO!!!!111111!!!!!", like anyone cares. Beverley repeats her performance again. My God, I refuse to believe there were not better songs for people to sing from the twenty-first century than fucking 'Chasing Cars' and 'You're Beautiful'. It's not a bad vocal from Beverley, although she loses it completely in the middle, and the song is SO BORING.
Andy rejoins them on stage, and is totally crying. Dermot has his hand on Andy's waist and says "all right, fella?" Awww. Dermot calms the audience ineptly, making me miss Kate Thornton again. Louis claims it's not an easy decision for him, which is a total lie, and he sends Andy home saying he's peaked in the competition. Sharon tells Andy not to cry and sends Andy home. Andy continues to cry. Dannii sends Beverley, of course. Beverley does not cry. So it's all in Simon's hands, as always. Louis tells Simon he has to keep Beverley. Simon is not pleased at all with being told what to do. He tells them they both had a weak night, and the public got it right. He tells Andy the song was wrong, but he has an audience and hasn't had the song to suit him yet. Beverley was one of his favourite auditions, but the performance was not great. He'll be deciding based on who the public will want to see. The person Simon is sending home is...Andy. If he wanted the public to make the decision, why didn't he vote to send Beverley home so the public vote would've been the deciding factor? Beverley kisses Andy and gives him a hug, and we get Andy's X Factor journey, while he cries in the corner. Oh, Andy. You weren't that great, but you were very pretty indeed, and we shall miss you.
Andy thanks everyone for supporting him and getting him this far, and he hope he hasn't let his family down. And cries. Dannii apologises for choosing the wrong songs, and it's all over for Andy. And for us for another week! Next week is a disco special with Girls Aloud, which should be amazing. I hope Cheryl punches Louis in the kidneys for claiming H0re are a better band than they are so often. See you then!