Sunday, November 18, 2007

Burn, baby, burn

Top 7 Perform - Disco Week: 17th November 2007

I'd like to start this recap with a tribute to a beloved friend who is sadly no longer with us. My beloved Sony Vaio laptop, which I've had for over eight years, on which I've written every single one of my recaps since Joel and I founded The Bitch Factor a couple of years ago, passed away this week. It will be deeply missed. Therefore, in true X Factor spirit, this recap is dedicated to my laptop, WHICH IS DEAD. [*picks up phone and dials frantically to vote* - hang on, where is your laptop from? - Carrie]

Last week, over 10 million of you watched! But not all at the same time, and not all during the one transmission, and Strictly Come Dancing still totally kicked this show's ass during the Saturday teatime slot, so whatever, Tom Baker soundalike. Dannii came dressed in a curtain, Louis was mean to Same Difference, etc etc. Andy thought he was going to win, apparently. We're "treated" to a recap of supposedly memorable moments, most of which have all long since exited my short-term memory because I refuse to give this show any more of my brain capacity than is strictly necessary for blogging purposes. We said goodbye to Komedy Kimberley, DILF Daniel, Futureproof and Asbestos Andy. Interestingly, there is no mention of Zombie Emily, who is presumably off helping Carol to get on The Jeremy Kyle Show just as God intended. We get meaningless soundbites from the mentors. I'm fairly certain Louis Walsh has lost weight over the past few weeks. It's just a shame he hasn't lost any of his utterly vile personality. Who will be eliminated tonight? I suppose it's too ambitious to say "everyone"? Titles!

Dermot's entry this week is to 'Boogie Wonderland', because it's disco week. Once again Dermot is wearing a poorly-chosen suit that makes him look short and stocky. Obviously the wardrobe people on this show don't like him any more than they liked Kate Thornton. [Maybe they're trying to bring down the show from within? - Carrie] (At least with women's clothing there are so many different cuts and styles and options, so they've got a vague excuse for Kate looking a mess - they had too much to choose from. It's not that hard to make a suit fit.-Joel) Dermot reminds us that our Saturday night starts RIGHT HERE, and the way he shouts those last two words every week always reminds me of that episode of Friends where Phoebe is selling toner and has to stop the guy from Seinfeld from killing himself. I'd rather be watching that, to be honest. "Yes sir, I can boogie," Dermot tells us, and introduces the judges as "Cowell and the Gang". Heh. They come on to the soundtrack of 'YMCA', and as usual everyone's in black apart from Dannii, who's wearing a hot pink sequinned dress with a bow under her cleavage. Sharon is giving it her best dancefloor moves, which is quite funny. Dermot refers to them as the Indian chief, the soldier, the police officer, and the fit butch builder, who is Louis, apparently. Dermot, lest we forget, is categorically not gay, no matter how many men he kisses during this show every week or how many comments like that he makes. Not gay. Nuh uh. [He LIKES GIRLS!!!11!!1!1 Oops, sorry, wrong show. - Carrie]

We are now at the halfway point, Dermot tells us, and the contestants will be singing "high energy" songs. Yep, even Leon. Girls Aloud will be joining us later, to remind us of a bygone era when people from reality shows actually had talent.

First up are the boys, which brings us to Dannii, who introduces "the likely lad that the ladies are loving this week" - Leon. Ladies reading this blog - do you really? I mean, can you please explain to me why? I honestly want to know. Actually, I need to know. [I am a laydee writing this blog, and I believe my text to you five minutes into this show summed up my feelings on Leon quite succinctly - "AAARGH LEON HATE HATE HATE AARGH." - Carrie] Leon's continued presence in this competition is confusing me so much. Leon was very sad to see Asbestos Andy go, and cried. But not as much as Asbestos Andy did. Sharon says that Leon needs to step it up this week, but personally I don't see why. He's given the same utterly substandard performance every week since the live shows started and has never been in the bottom two, so why mess with a winning formula? NotLouis "creatively directs" a dance routine for Leon where he appears to be getting sassed by some girls. Dannii thinks Leon is getting better and starting to believe he can win. At least someone believes it, I suppose. Simon says that Dannii can't just rely on Leon's popularity and needs to up her game. Again, why? I'm beginning to think that Leon could come out on stage and defecate all over the corpse of Niki's father WHO IS DEAD and people would still vote for him. (Actually, I'd totally vote for him if he did that, so perhaps that was a bad example.)

Leon sees Rhydian as his main competition, because Rhydian has five years classical training. Yep, the classical training. That's definitely the only reason Rhydian's better than Leon. Leon's very proud of himself for getting to the same level as Rhydian. Oh, girlfriend, you're not even in the same car park, so wipe that smug grin off your face, in case the wind changes and you turn into Louis Walsh. Actually, in the only known instance of Louis and I ever being on the same page, Louis then VTs that if Leon thinks he's in the same league as Rhydian, he's crazy. I never thought I'd say this, but: word, Louis. Leon got to do a shoot for his potential CD cover (DEAR GOD NO) and meet Girls Aloud for some mentoring. Leon, consummate professional that he is, forgets all of his words and babbles like Rowley Birkin QC. Cheryl tells him not to be nervous and hugs him. Cheryl claims she has voted for Leon herself. Oh God, so it was YOU? Oh Cheryl Tweedy-slash-Cole, we're going to have a problem here. Nadine tells him that she sometimes forgets the words of songs she's been singing for five years. Of course, Nadine can actually sing so I daresay her ad libbing would be a lot more convincing than Leon's just was. [Perhaps Leon should've paid more attention to that "what to do when you forget your words" masterclass with Celine Dion. - Carrie]

Leon will be singing 'Relight My Fire', and is dressed entirely in white. (White DENIM. That makes it worse.-Joel) I was once advised by a noted fashion writer that you should never trust a person dressed entirely in white (and reading a lot of Wilkie Collins at university didn't help either), which is one of the many reasons why I want to punch Johnny Borrell in the face. And once I've done that, Leon will be next. Oh, and I've just seen that underneath his white jacket, on his white t-shirt, Leon has a sequinned Scottish flag. Lest we forget that he is a SCOTTISH person who is from SCOTLAND and that SCOTLAND should be voting for people who are SCOTTISH. Between him and Kenny fucking Logan, Scotland owes the rest of Britain one hell of an apology this year. Leon fluffs his words again, and has all the charisma of a moist teatowel. (His dancing was exactly like Bruce Forsythe at the beginning of 'Strictly' but Bruce is about 100 and probably has wooden hips. What's your excuse, hamster-boy?-Joel) So, no obvious stepping up of his game that I'm aware of. Louis tells Leon that he's really surprised him and it was his best performance so far. Whatever. Louis adds that Rhydian is his biggest competition and will be hard to beat, and the audience boos, because it is anti-truth day. Sharon tells Leon that she doesn't think it's all about having voice (nice burn!), that you've got to have likeability and charisma. Neither of which Leon has, obviously. Sharon says that all the best things come in little packages and is disgusting with him in the way she always used to be disgusting with Shayne. Sharon says that it was very high energy (not true) and a great way to open the show (a lie). Simon says it should've been a disaster (which it was), but other than the fact that he thought the dancing wasn't great (boooooooooooo!), and that Leon spent the whole time looking up a dancer's skirt. "Like you, then!" Sharon shouts, and Louis cackles "Like you, HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!" as though this is some kind of amazing burn on Simon which it clearly is not. Anyway, Simon thought it was a good performance and totally calls Louis on not listing his own acts as possible threats to Leon. Heh. Dannii tells Leon it was his best performance, which is a bit like being the least mouldy apple on the ground a the foot of the tree, but I suppose progress is still progress. Leon C Nesbitt enjoyed this week very much and doesn't want to go home TO SCOTLAND just yet.

"What a star!" says Dermot, apparently looking right through the roof of the studio into the sky. Adverts.

Dermot wanders into the audience to chat to Amanda Holden, and tells her that he sat on David Walliams's lap last week, and enquires what the situation is here. Amanda says she'd rather he didn't, because the seat is still moist. Heh. I don't know if that was scripted (judging by Dermot's panicked reaction, I'm going with no), but either way, it was funny. Amanda, when asked for her favourite contestant, says Rhydian. Good choice. She does not mention that this week while out jogging she found a body WHICH WAS DEAD, but no doubt would've done if she were auditioning. Amanda says she's keeping an eye on Simon and "those girls in knickers", meaning H0re. [That really made me laugh. Couldn't work out if that was a burn on TeamSlut or not, but whatever. - Carrie]

From dinner lady to disco diva, it's Niki, who thinks last week didn't go as well as it could have. No, because you could've sung in tune, dear. We see Dannii's criticism of the song, to which Louis replies "what would she know about hit records? She's never had any!". Dannii has had eight top 10 singles, Louis. How many have you had? Not your acts: you. Right. Shut the fuck up, then. "Louis is just a grumpy old man," replies Dannii. "All he does is choose ballads and last week he didn't even get that right." Awesome. Scary No Make-Up Niki says that this week's song is more raunchy, and NotLouis says that this is her first time doing real choreography. Niki is embarrassed about having to squeeze one of their bums in the performance. Dannii thinks it's a mistake getting Niki to dance, whereas Louis thinks Niki will wipe the floor with everyone. And hey, if not the floor, she can at least wipe the countertop. Rimshot! Niki meets Girls Aloud, and while Nadine was impressed, Cheryl thought she was distracted by the choreography. Cheryl is not wrong.

Niki is singing 'Hot Stuff', with her hair all permed and looking like she is actually performing this from the '70s, so we all know Simon's going to absolutely cream her for that. This apparently taxing choreography appears to involve Niki walking around the stage a lot and occasionally groping her dancers. (Who burst up from the dry ice. And she looked disgusting. Her skin was nice, but she looked like a drag queen. It was Kathleen Turner being Chandler's dad in his Vegas revue show. Fucking dreadful.-Joel) That NotLouis, he's a creative genius. There's an unnecessary key change towards the end (drink!), which throws her off a bit and she just ends up warbling over it. Sharon tells Niki she is hot stuff, and someone from the audience bellows in agreement. Sharon tells Niki she can dance, although quite how she can tell from that performance I don't know. Dannii comments "extra jalapeno - I want what you're having!" I think Dannii may be drunk. As Carrie and I learned last week, that is the preferred way to watch this show. Simon is the minority on the panel and tells Niki that her performance has no place in the modern world (true), and says it was like a mum at a wedding. Louis tells Niki that she sang, she danced, she's got heart, and soul, and then proceeds to tell Simon that it was disco, a different era, and that Simon's still wearing the platforms. Okay, that made absolutely no sense WHAT. SO. EVER. I think Simon's entirely aware that disco was a different era, but his (entirely valid) comment was that this was a disco-era performance of a disco song, not a 2007 performance of a disco song. I mean, Leon's no masterclass, but at least his performance had a vague hint of the noughties to it. Niki then, in the most ill-advised PR move since Heather Mills went on GMTV, asks if she can say something to Simon, and then snits that she'd like to see him get up and have a go. And I'm sure that was intended to be in the grand tradition of contestants talking back to Simon playfully, but really it just made her sound like a colossal bitch with no class. The audience cheers her on, because they too are colossal bitches with no class. Bitches, bitches, everywhere! [Oh, Niki, you silly bint, don't piss off Le Cowell. He will destroy you. Have you not read Chart Throb? - Carrie] Simon says that he thinks he's speaking on behalf of the country (booooo!), (To which Niki says, 'No' in a really 'mmm, no, I don't think so love' tone of voice. The 'you have a go' bit pissed me off; that was just disgusting.-Joel)and Louis bangs on about it being disco week as if that's even the point here, then Sharon decides to throw her oar in about how much she resents Simon's comment about mothers, and Simon does not tell her to shut the fuck up and sit the fuck down like he should, but simply defends his point by saying that Niki did remind him of a mum at a wedding. Niki, meanwhile, is standing next to Dermot with this extremely smug look on her face. Seriously: what a fucking bitch. I've never been a fan of hers, but now I've crossed the line into actively hating her. Haaaaaaate. Dermot insists that Simon comment on Niki's voice, because Niki must not be allowed to go unpraised since she is the supreme overlord of us all, and Simon says that the voice was good. Niki looks even more smug, and then thanks NotLouis for all of his hard work. Yeah, cheers for that, NotLouis. Ten minutes well spent, that was.

Next up is Dannii with the boys again, and Simon's laughing uncontrollably for some reason. Dannii covers his mouth with her hand, and introduces "a man who commands an audience - aye aye, captain - it's Rhydian!" And she salutes. She is so drunk. Rhydian talks about his parents who've always supported him, and wants to make his parents, WHO ARE ALIVE, proud of him. Rhydian says that disco is not his comfort zone. "In week one, he came out in sequins - where do you take it?" says Sharon. Heh. Where Rhydian takes it is his own business, Sharon. NotLouis has choreographed some extremely inventive marching for Rhydian, which will come as no surprise if you know what he's singing. What creativity! What direction! Rhydian says it could be perceived as being "quite camp", like he's any stranger to that. Rhydian is pleased to meet Girls Aloud, as anyone would be, and they laugh at his performance. Nadine compliments his lack of nerves, and Cheryl tells him to camp it up - "the camper, the better". Rhydian VTs that he thinks it's quite camp enough. Heh.

Rhydian is singing 'Go West', of course. In a naval uniform, natch. Obviously, the whole thing is camp and hilarious, but it's not quite up to his usual standard. No disrespect to Rhydian, but there isn't really that much in this song that really showcases him, at least not until the middle eight when he really takes that voice out for an airing. And of course, there's a key change - is everyone drinking? I know I am. Louis calls it "as camp as Christmas", and Sharon shrieks that he stole her line. I don't think you've got a patent on that expression, Mrs O. "High camp, high hair, you remind me of Simon - it's just that camp!" says Louis. Wah wah waaaaaaah. Once again, the difference between Louis and Simon is that Simon can crack gay jokes with some degree of accuracy. Louis's just tend to hang in the air looking a bit lost. [And when he cracks them, he just comes across as the worst kind of self-loathing gay. - Carrie] Louis thinks Dannii is giving him too many gimmicks (unlike Niki, of course, who performed without hot male dancers and dry ice, as you'll all vividly remember) and that she's acting like he's already won. In fairness, he probably fucking has. [It was bloody Louis who said that he HAD already won it earlier. Tosspot. - Carrie] Sharon says it was extremely camp, but she loves extremely camp. No shit. And on her camp "rictus scale" (sic) it was 100. Just as well she didn't say "Richter scale" properly, since that only goes up to ten. Again, Simon dissents and thinks Rhydian will have a problem this week. He thinks a proportion of the audience who loved it, but that his traditional audience will hate it, and thinks Rhydian may be vulnerable. Dannii trots out "it's disco week" again (drink!) and salutes Rhydian. Rhydian gives Niki a lesson in humility by saying that he agrees with all the comments, even Simon's, and while it may have been a bit much he thought the spectacle was great. He then makes a comment about male dancers which my PVR didn't catch because the signal went for a second, but he then cracks up and Dermot hastily says "nothing wrong with that!" so I'm guessing it may have sounded slightly gay-unfriendly. [No, no, no, he said that it was great to work with so many fabulous male dancers! - Carrie] (I think Rhyd accidentally came out. Why mention that they're male?-Joel)But Rhydian's giggling nervously and miming shooting himself in the head, so I'll let him off. Interesting how Rhydian got the smug bastard edit pre-show and Niki got the so-personable-so-lovely-so-wonderful edit, and how they've completely swapped roles since then. Dermot asks the judges about the spectacle, and Louis trots out "it's a talent contest!" (drink!) and how Rhydian doesn't need gimmicks because he has talent. Fine, but gimmicks don't make him any less talented, so what's the big fucking deal, bitch? (Also, the sailors' hats said 'HMS DANNII' on them, which is the greatest thing I have ever seen. Although it kind of makes Dannii sound like a slut.-Joel)

Adverts. I'm intensely amused by the adverts for, which I can only assume gives us advice on how to avoid The X Factor in future.

Back from the break, and Simon's frantically running to get back to his seat from his infamous inter-show fag break, claiming there was "a fire outside" (well, it's sort of true, isn't it?) and Dermot gives him grief over it. Dermot asks Louis and Sharon if they ever go out to hit the dancefloor together, and Sharon responds that every Saturday night they're at G-A-Y giving it some welly. No, seriously, that's what she says. Anyone surprised? Nope, I thought not. [They're becoming a vile little cliched couple, those two. - Carrie] Simon introduces "five very talented girls", meaning one talented girl and her skanky back-up dancers: Hope. Charlie thought last week's performance was brilliant, probably because she didn't have to do anything. Simon refers to Phoebe as their "secret weapon", as if it's any secret that she does all the fucking work. We revisit Dannii's "Phoebe, you are carrying the whole band" comment from last week and the show tries to imply it was a compliment. Phoebe was happy with it anyway, as well she might be. Sharon says they all overlooked Phoebe in the auditions, but now she's really proving herself. We see Phantastic Phoebe and her Skanky Support Singers being filmed for their potential CD cover, and Raquelle says they're "serious contenders now". Less of the "we" there, Skankerella. "This week Hope are going to meet Girls Aloud," says Louis. "Who's the best vocally? I'm not saying." No, because you'd have to say Girls Aloud, given that they actually have more than one member who can sing. Also, way to pretend you were ever Girls Aloud's manager there, Louis. I always knew he was never their manager in anything more than name only, but I didn't realise quite how bad it was until I read this article. H0re are inspired by Girls Aloud being a girl group who are already doing what they want to do, and Nicola has some advice for Phoebe, since Phoebe is the same age that Nicola was when they were doing Popstars Colon The Rivals - Nicola tells her that she seems very mature and collected and will be fine.

Phantastic Phoebe and her Skanky Support Singers will be singing 'Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)'. As ever, they are clearly being supported by offstage harmonies for the "half past twelve" bits and similar. Phoebe, of course, is doing all the solo singing, but is a little bit rough-sounding this week. [Very, very difficult song to sing well. As with all Abba songs. And yet people keep choosing them as vocal showcases. Just because they're melodic and sound simple, doesn't mean they are. When will people learn? - Carrie] Also, they're all in PVC catsuits and she and Emily have serious cameltoe. They've melded it with Madonna's 'Hung Up' as well, which would've been clever if it weren't so entirely predictable. Interestingly, the camera is never close-up during the chorus, just so we can't see that none of the five of them is actually doing the sweeping harmony that's actually coming from offstage. Urgh. Key change! Louis says that meeting Girls Aloud must've given them lots of hope (ha. ha.) and that there's room in the charts for a new girlband, before declaring them "better than the Spice Girls". This, incidentally, is where I switched off the first time in utter disgust and decided to play High School Musical: Sing It! on my PS2, because I figured I'd rather sing badly myself than watch other people being applauded for singing badly. "Vocally! Vocally I'm right!" Louis says, again not realising that the Spice Girls do have more than one member who can sing. Honestly, it's not a tricky concept; why does everyone on this show struggle with it? Sharon tells them they look amazing, and that they felt comfortable. Really, dressed like that? It looks like it chafes. Dannii tells them they look like a proper girlband. Simon then - get this - says you rarely see girl groups singing live on the telly, because so many of them lip synch. Yes, but they don't have BACKING SINGERS OUT OF SIGHT DOING ALL THE DIFFICULT BITS, do they? Jesus wept. Simon thinks they bring a sense of fun, and that it was a terrific performance. Dermot asks them how they feel, and Raquelle - who totally thinks she's the most important member of the group, you just know - says "we've all worked so hard", again misunderstanding the correct application of the word "we". (I still love Hope, or at least Phoebe. The Phoebettes, I can take or leave. And they had little leather circlets on, which is the best of all 70s accessories.-Joel)

Back from the ads, and it's time for Bellowing Beverley. Louis was SHOCKED to see Beverley in the bottom two last week, and Beverley says that in the back of her mind she was thinking that she wasn't finished yet. This is no surprise, because it was totally written all over her face that she knew Andy was getting booted. Bev says that she now realises she has to fight every week, and she's taking a risk this week (drink!) and has chosen her own song. Dannii says she's singing the most difficult song there is. Beverley blabbers on about risks a bit more, and how Rhydian is her idol because he takes so many but also her biggest rival because of that. [Also, she says Rhydian isn't the only one who can prance about the stage. How rude. Everyone is rude tonight. Get some manners, people. - Carrie] (Seriously. Have some manners and worry about your own performance rather than looking to slag off someone better than you.-Joel)Beverley meets Girls Aloud and Kimberley thinks she's a fantastic performer. Beverley is singing 'I'm Every Woman', because she's a large black lady and it is written in the rules that she must do this song at least once. Quite how this is a risk, I'm unsure. Anyway, she shouts her way through it, as you'd expect. We've all seen this performance a million times before, so let's move on. Sharon calls her "a very special woman", and Beverley waves to Class 6T, who are all up past their bedtime. Dannii says Beverley was totally in the zone by the end of the song. Simon smugs, "lesson learned, Beverley - you choose your own material". [Dannii squeals, "Uh-huh!" in agreement. - Carrie] He criticises the outfit, which is indeed horrible [but which Louis claims is "disco" - Carrie], ('fraid not, LouLou. I don't think a badly fitting tux with a sequinned collar was ever dosco. Disco people cared how they looked.-Joel) and says that it started off badly but that the second half was great. Louis reminds us that Beverley was in the bottom two last week and it was GROSSLY UNJUST so she needs everyone to vote, and then has a go at Simon again. Yawn. Dermot kisses Beverley on the cheek. Beverley yells for everyone to vote for her.

Over to Sharon and Alisha, the only girl left. Alisha was great indeed last week, and was chuffed that Simon thought she looked and sounded like a pop star. Sharon and Alisha were both pleased not to be in the bottom two last week. Simon thinks we shouldn't rule her out of being in the final, if she gets the right song. Louis thinks Alisha is in the shadow of Beverley and Niki in the competition, and not just because they're both fatter than she is. Louis thinks something is missing in Alisha, and he thinks it's the X factor. Hey, wait, isn't that the title of this show? What a coincidence! Alisha was very excited to meet Girls Aloud and sings 'Young Hearts Run Free' badly to them. Cheryl calls her "a pocket rocket" and tells her to just have fun with it, because it's a fun song. Which: no, Cheryl. Listen to the words and then have another think about what you just said. Alisha thinks that meeting Girls Aloud has made her more driven.

Alisha's dancers are on rollerskates, or at least half of them are, and this song is wrong for Alisha, because she's too young for it in the same way that Cassie was too young for 'All By Myself' in series one, and she doesn't seem to get that it's not a happy song. Also, she totally fucks up the high note. The roller skating dancers are really having a tough time of things. I wonder if this is NotLouis's doing? [Obviously. If not directly his fault, it's his responsibility, for he is the show's CREATIVE DIRECTOR. - Carrie] This is a bit of a trainwreck to be honest. The singing isn't good, Alisha never seems to remember the line "to yourself be true" properly and the less said about the dancing the better. Louis says it's one of his favourite disco songs, that Alisha gets better and better, and that he hopes she's not in the bottom two. Dannii looks a bit upset at having to criticise it, but she thinks the "disco playground" (heh) didn't go well with fierce Alisha, and she thought there were flat notes. Simon calls it a complete and utter mess, and says that the people on roller skates couldn't skate. Sharon says that this isn't Alisha's fault, which is true, and Simon says that Sharon should've done something about it, which is truer. Behind Simon, NotLouis is laughing, because his incompetence is funny, especially when it sandbags the contestants. [I wonder if he's just happy that he stuck to the script so well - we all know they (read: Simon) have a story arc to adhere to, and if he's been told to make Alisha look shit, well, job admirably well done. - Carrie] Also, Alisha sang out of tune, Simon says. Sharon then has a rant about having no power on this show, that Simon does all the hiring and firing, to which Simon responds that he doesn't pick the dancers. "I'm a paid hand here!" shouts Sharon, because once again this is all about her. Poor Alisha. "I get a paycheque on this show, I don't make decisions, that is not my gig," Sharon adds. Wow. Way to absolve yourself of all responsibility there, Mrs O. Really adult of you. And really helpful to Alisha, too. Eventually Sharon says they shouldn't argue in front of Alisha, even though she started it, and Dermot finally intervenes like the useless, perpetually late, paycheque receiving, non-decision-making powerless host that he apparently is. He really isn't good at this show, you guys. He asks Alisha for her feedback and she's fairly gracious, copping to the bum notes but saying that she felt like she was being herself, which is what the judges wanted, and she wants to get better. Dermot patronisingly calls her "our little trier", which: fuck off, Dermot.

Finally: Same Difference! After the break. Aw, nuts.

Back from the ads, and it's finally time for the act we've been waiting for: Same Difference. They are typically excited about having made it this far. We see their AMAZING performance from last week, which will take some beating, and Louis being a bitch about it. "Same Difference, no difference, no chance," says Louis, reading from a script. Simon refers to the battle as "good vs. evil", heh. Sharon thinks they should be given something less cheesy. [Sean and Sarah VT that they are excited about disco week, and proceed to sing 'D.I.S.C.O'. Heh. - Carrie] NotLouis says they're the hardest workers. Simon says they're so determined as to be unstoppable. Sean says they need to fight against sexy contestants like H0re. They meet Girls Aloud, who Sarah finds "friendly and warm", and Cheryl says they're a lot of fun. Kimberley says you just want to watch them have fun. Sarah (Same Difference, not Sarah Harding) says that seeing them made her realise this show could change her life. They're singing 'Blame It On The Boogie', with the obligatory cuts away to Louis looking miserable as instructed by the director. This is an okay performance, but not really up to the brilliance of last week, although Sarah's sparkly shoes are brilliant. Key change! And finish. That was fine, but not one of their best. Louis doesn't clap, because he's been told not to. [Rude, rude, rude. - Carrie] Sharon says it's great to see them having a fun time with an appropriate song for them. She also mentions that they had to change things last night (I believe they were originally down to do 'Feels Like I'm In Love'), and so this is basically a day's work for them, which makes it more impressive under the circumstances. Sharon then brings up the roller-skating kids again, saying that they have to do a living and they were doing their best. The vocational future of the dancers secured, Sharon hands over to Dannii. Dannii thinks it wasn't her favourite performance of theirs, but she still loves them. Simon starts to speak but Louis bitches about how he's next. He tells them that he thinks they're nice people, who'll be great for kids' parties and Butlin's, but they're not in the same league as Shayne or Leona. I'm saying nothing. Anyway, Louis isn't going to blame it on the boogie, he's going to blame it on the Simon, natch. Simon takes responsibility for what happened, because the original song wasn't working and he changed it last night and they had to do this all today. He thinks it wasn't their best performance, but under the circumstances they did extremely well. Sean admits that he accidentally swallowed some confetti during the performance and had trouble singing. Hee. Aw.

Recap: Leon being SCOTTISH, Niki being a right royal bitch, Rhydian being molested by sailors, Phantastic Phoebe and her Skanky Support Singers having serious cameltoe issues, Beverley being EVERY WOMAN, Alisha being surrounded by tripping rollerskaters, Same Difference being less good than usual but good under the circumstances.

Dermot promises us results and Girls Aloud later, and we're outta there.


Dermot reminds us that the judges were all catfighting earlier, as if that's anything new, and we're treated to that performance recap again. Dermot plugs the live tour, and then finally we get some talent in the shape of Girls Aloud, with a "world exclusus" (sic) of their new single. 16 consecutive Top 10 hits! The most successful girl group in UK chart history! Girls Aloud, with lovely new single 'Call The Shots', which they are not lip synching, except possibly a bit in the chorus. But they also do not have backing singers doing all the difficult bits, and there are five of them singing, so any idea that H0re are better than them can just leave right now, thanks a lot. Dermot asks them what they thought of the performances, and Cheryl says it's very tense backstage and that they all did very well to get up and sing live. Sarah thought Beverley was great, Cheryl enjoyed Hope and thinks everyone did well under the circumstances. It's Sarah's birthday today, and apparently she's been made fun of for having Rhydian-style hair, so Dermot's present to her is a Rhydian wig. Sarah squeals and refuses to let him put it on her, but turns the tables and makes him wear it instead. Dermot looks not so much like Rhydian in it as he does Boris Johnson, but never mind, eh?

The lines are now closed! Someone has to go, and it probably won't be Leon. Grrrr. Adverts.

Dermot welcomes back the judges and contestants, and reveals who is safe in no particular order. Same Difference! Sean looks flabbergasted, and in his hug with Simon can clearly be heard saying "we don't deserve that." Awww. Louis clearly agrees with Sean, because Louis is a cunt. Leon! I don't get it, but I can't say I'm surprised. Leon acts kind of douchey about it. Also through: Beverley! Also through: BITCH NIKI BITCH. And the final act declared safe is, of course, Rhydian. So Alisha and Phantastic Phoebe and her Skanky Support Singers are in the bottom two, which, Leon aside, is probably the right result. Sharon says that Alisha just has to go up with confidence and her skaters and do her best. Alisha says she'll do her best. Dermot says Charlie knew they'd be in the bottom two tonight. Charlie says they'll go back out and fight for it, but they don't want to be against Alisha. Charlie thinks they did well, but they could've done more.

Arg, time for Dermot's inept filler while the stage gets set. This bit is always so awkward and stilted. You'd think someone as used to live TV as Dermot is would have no trouble with this, but you'd be wrong. (Srsly. Dude, watch some Ryan Seacrest on American Idol and learn from the master of keeping live TV running smoothly.-Joel) Anyway, H0re come out again and deliver the same performance as before with a few added whoops. Once again, not one of them can be seen delivering the sweeping harmonies. Grrrr. They finish, and RoboDermot fills woodenly again. Dear God, he really is dreadful at that. Alisha's back, and no more in tune than she was the first time around. Her apparent anger at being in the bottom two is probably helping with the attitude of the song though, but she still can't do the "to yourself be true" line. Interestingly, there are no skating dancers this time around. I wonder if they refused to go back on. I wouldn't blame them, personally. [Maybe they're on strike. We should go and join their picket line and prevent next week's show from being filmed. - Carrie] (I like to think that she said 'no fucking way am I having that crap distracting me again'.-Joel)

H0re come back on and rush to hug Alisha, and WOW Emily's cameltoe is right in our face at this point. Time for the judges to vote: Simon votes first, and votes for Alisha obviously. Although he does say that he wishes she hadn't been in the bottom because he likes her, but she knows what he's going to say. "No surprises there, Simon backing his group," says RoboDermot. He reminds Alisha that that's one vote for her, like she can't count or something, and Alisha does that "mmm-HMMM" thing that sassy black women always do in sitcoms, which is quite funny. The audience keep shouting and chanting for Alisha, and I don't know if that's pro- or anti-, but Dermot takes far too long to tell them to shut up. Dannii takes a fucking ice age to vote, but eventually votes for Alisha. She gets booed for that, so I think the audience are pro-Alisha, in which case they shouldn't bloody chant her name when Dannii's being asked who should go, should they? Sharon votes for H0re. Louis doesn't want to have the casting vote, and thinks there are other people who should've been in the bottom two, and sadly I don't think he means Leon. Louis keeps bleating "I wish I didn't have to vote", to which my response is as last week: vote for H0re and let the audience vote decide. But Louis votes for Alisha, who takes it on the chin, but H0re are crying because they love her. Aww. Dermot asks Alisha how she's feeling, and she replies that she did all she could do, which is fair enough. We see her Journey, back through all those weeks when we didn't know what her name was, through to the live shows and her two visits to the bottom two (although we don't actually see those), meeting Celine Dion and being Amy Winehouse.

Sharon joins Alisha on the stage and proceeds to make it all about herself (incidentally, Alisha towers over her) by not saying how she feels, and then talks about how she can be totally impartial now because she's the only judge with nothing to gain or lose. Someone shouts "I love you, Sharon!" from the audience, and Alisha's all "um, my moment here?" Poor Alisha, she never stood a chance. [And I would like to point out that this week has been the worst week of The X-Factor I've ever seen. Boring, amateurish and a waste of my time. I know it's never consistently good, but I'm usually entertained by at least one act, and tonight was shit from start to finish. - Carrie] Motown next week, everyone. Should be as tedious as ever. (Unless Simon sticks to his Xtra Factor idea and changes the theme...-Joel)

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