Live Show 2
18 October 2008
Hello everyone and welcome back to the land of underwhelming performances and crushing hyperbole! Will Peter Kay’s lampooning last week have forced them to change their ways? I doubt it. On with the show then…
Last week: The first live show was a bit underwhelming but not as much of a car crash as previous years’! Bad Lashes sang ‘It Must Have Been Love’ all wrong and went home, despite every single one of the solo men being worse than them! Scott had the worst song choice in the history of, like, ever! Simon dissed one of the best songs of this decade! Leon Jackson turned up and made every single one of this year’s finalists look like world class performers! Peter Kay took the piss out of everyone on Sunday and proved that the whole nation has seen through this show! This week: Michael Jackson week! I can’t see this going too well, can you?
It’s time to face the music (and weep silently as several disco classics are mauled? Just a hunch, that’s all).
We are welcomed with the tune to ‘Beat It’ which is an absolute tune and something none of this year’s acts will be able to replicate. Dermot arrives and does a little bit of dancing, like he used to do in the early days of BBLB before he lost all his telly presenting magic. He blahs about the stuff we already know: emotion, drama, judges bitching etc. [Dermot Suitwatch: still boxy. Sigh. - Steve]
The judges arrive and Dannii is wearing a dress that looks like a very short wedding dress. She also has nasty lipstick on. Cheryl, on the other hand, isn’t really wearing enough make-up. Simon and Louis really need to do something more interesting with their image.
Our theme this week is Michael Jackson songs. My friend Lee: ‘Oh no, that means the child’s going to do ‘Ben’’. [I predicted this last week as soon as they announced Michael Jackson week, but I didn't really think it would be true. - Carrie] We see clips of some of Mr Jackson’s best, danceable tunes, and enjoy this while it lasts because there’ll be precious little resembling this set of clips coming up (oops, spoiler). Will last week’s Britain’s Got the Pop Factor put them off using 'Black or White' or 'Earth Song', though?
I’m guessing Michael Jackson’s people have paid them a decent amount for having this theme week seeing as he isn’t even performing. Girls Aloud will be performing later. Why can’t we have Girls Aloud week? Oh yeah, because they have had hits this decade, so forget it. [A lot of Girls Aloud songs are deceptively hard to sing, so that would've been an amazing test for the contestants. So yeah, stands to reason it'll never happen on this show. - Steve]
First up is Alexandra, or to go with the show’s convention of using surnames this year, Alexandra BURKE. Last week she broke the curse of ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’ and showed Louis he was an idiot for not putting her through three years ago (although arguably she stands a stronger chance this time round than she did then, so it may not have been as stupid a move as it seemed). Her VT vaguely sob stories about how she used to sing in restaurants. She talks about how she used to sing as a kid and we see home movie footage of her dancing at various ages. [So her family can't afford a separate bed for her, but they can afford a video camera? - Steve] I’m assuming this is because Michael Jackson used to sing when he was a kid. Apparently she has damaged her voice this week through oversinging and hasn’t been allowed to talk. She’s singing the Jackson Five’s ‘I’ll Be There’ which is a pretty good choice for her as it’s a song that’s been covered so many times it doesn’t even feel like a Jacksons song any more. She is wearing a nice purple dress, slightly reminiscent of the one Catherine Tate wore in ‘The Fires of Pompeii’. My Saturdays miss Doctor Who. Merlin is NOT the same. [I miss Richard Armitage in leather and more eyeliner than Cheryl. - Carrie] Her performance is fine, a few dodgy bits, nothing particularly outstanding, but it’s Alexandra, so it’s almost certainly going to be one of the best of the evening and she’s clearly safe. I do get the feeling that there’s a lot more she could be doing, though. There are some random white columns behind her on the stage that don’t seem to serve a purpose.
The audience go wild, Louis calls her ‘world class’ and brings out the ‘she’s so humble’ card very early. Dannii says her performance propels this show into ‘international standard’, which surely it’s already achieved when Andy Abraham went on Eurovision. Oh, right. [And when Ruth SANG IN SPANISH. - Steve] Simon says he’s going to ‘start with a negative’ and blatantly wants the chorus of boos that follows. He said she did Whitney last week, Mariah this week. Louis says ‘Michael Jackson’. Simon says Mariah did this song. He and Louis bicker about nothing and we are clearly in for more of that this evening, joy of joys. For all the press wishing that Cheryl and Dannii would be at each other’s throats this series, both women seem to be incredibly professional and much more sensible in their comments than Louis and Simon who are increasingly becoming a pair of old washerwomen. Simon basically says she’s good but needs to be more original, which I agree with. Cheryl pointlessly repeats Louis’ comments and has a bicker with Simon as well. Unlike with Louis, the audience are clearly on her side. Simon snarks that he was only giving constructive advice, which is true, but if you deliberately start out by saying you’re starting with a negative then you bring all the stupid fake drama down on yourself, Simon.
Dermot makes a dreadful joke about ‘Michael Jackson night: you simply can’t ‘Beat It’, which is something I’d expect from Bruce Forsyth.
Ads. Daniel Craig having his face very stylishly cut in the new Bond film.
Dermot bitches at Simon about him being wrong last week. He says ‘Simon, any chance we’ll get it right tonight?’ and Simon says ‘absolutely not’. I’m thinking that was a bit of a Freudian slip, but heh anyway.
I am recapping this on Sunday and rewatching it because I was at my friends’ watching it last night. When I got in, I made some notes for the blog and for Scott and one of the other contestants who will come on later (spoiler) I couldn’t remember anything whatsoever about their performance, so clearly this is going to be memorable…
We see the clips of Scott BRUTON sucking last week and Louis carping on about Simon being OMG SO SHIT. Photos and home videos of Scott being young and into showbiz, which seems to be a running theme tonight. Simon says he has chosen an acey pacey song so if Scott blows, it’s entirely Scott’s fault. Generous.
He’s singing ‘She’s Out of My Life’. Unlike Simon, I wouldn’t say this was one of the best ever Michael Jackson songs. Where are ‘Beat It’, ‘Thriller’ and ‘Smooth Criminal’, eh? This isn’t the most exciting song or performance ever, but it’s adequate. A camera man walks in front of the main camera and obscures the shot. How professional this show is.
The audience seem happy. Louis said it puts him back in the race because he looks like a popstar. Dannii says it was so incredible and the Bluecoat is out of his life forever – which isn’t true, because both this and last week’s performance are exactly the kind of thing you’d find on holiday camp stages. [And given that Shayne Ward won this and still seems to spend half his year performing at Butlin's. - Steve] Cheryl likes it, Simon says it was ‘bloody good’. It was fine. But I’m not excited by Scott yet. Scott blahs about how grateful he is. Dermot asks who takes credit this week, Scott or Simon? Obviously it’s Simon, because this show isn’t about the contestants, as well we know.
Ruth LORENZO is up next. Last week she looked boobilicious and Simon lusted over her. Louis didn’t think the British public would get her, which might be true. Apparently she has been waiting for this since she was a little girl, when she wasn’t as cute as she is now, and her hair was pretty bad. I can say this because I had bad hair in the 80s, too. This week she isn’t going to be singing in Spanish. Simon thinks this is stupid because he has the horn for Spanishness. She is wearing leggings, and a big off the shoulder T-shirt which would work as a look if the T-shirt wasn’t a bit too baggy and thus somewhat unflattering. She’s singing ‘I Just Can’t Stop Loving You’ and I love Ruth but it takes a while to get going. I wish she’d done one of the more upbeat numbers. We know she gives good ballad but I think she’d be one of the few acts here that could pull off something a bit more exciting.
Judges: Simon bitches about how she should always be singing in Spanish because we never have acts like this on British telly, and he’s right, because we are a nation of lazy self-absorbed people who never bother to learn anyone else’s language, because they can all speak ours. If Ruth was on American Idol, she’d do really well, I have no doubt, but here, I don’t know if she’ll have the fanbase, primarily because of the whole Spanish thing. I’d also like to remind Mr Cowell that he quite often criticises acts for being gimmicky and samey (G4, Chico, Andy etc) – unless they are his acts (Ray) or he has the horn for their gimmick, as in this case. The other judges love it though. Everyone I’m sitting with wants her to do Shakira soon. Dannii tells us people all over the world on the internet love her. Simon interjects that they love her singing in Spanish. ["IN SPANISH" may well become this year's "WHO IS DEAD". - Carrie] Cheryl wants her to wear a floaty dress next week, but Dermot breaks away from his usual homoerotic X Factor stance and says he is turned on by what she’s wearing tonight. Except in more polite terms.
Ads, none of which are notable.
As if this show wasn’t long enough, we now have a little bit of meet and greet with the audience. Ruth’s fiancé and Austin’s mum are probably lovely people, but would, erm, benefit from a telly makeover. Austin’s mum fancies Dermot. He says she’s a saucy little minx, like her son. And the homoeroticism is back in the building.
We are apparently turning to the Great, Great Grandad of the family, Louis Walsh. Really? He’s not even sixty. What is with the ageism on these shows (see also Strictly)? The next act are Girlband. Last week they wore some horrible dresses, were fun but forgettable, and ended up in the bottom two, where they were saved because Bad Lashes had fewer votes. Guess what? When they were little they loved performing, and here’s some home video footage to prove it! Shocker! One of them sounds just like Justin Lee Collins when she speaks. Simon thinks what they’re doing tonight will be ‘repulsive’ and a ‘train wreck’ and Cheryl reminds us that Louis is crap with girl groups. Heh. [She'd know. - Steve]
They’re singing the mawkish ‘Heal the World’ and they look marginally better than last week but cream/white isn’t the most flattering colour on any woman, especially given the cut of the dresses, and they all look slightly larger than they really are. Man, I wish some of the men worse outfits interesting enough to comment on rather than suits or jeans and T-shirts. The performance is sweet enough, but not exactly memorable and the high notes are a bit out of their reach. I wish they’d done some Jackson 5 and had a bit of fun. Also, Jackson 5 > than ‘Heal the World’ by a long margin. The backing singers are doing horrible arm gesturey movements the like of which six year olds do when they are making up routines. [SACK BRIAN FRIEDMAN NOW. - Steve] I’d be very surprised if they weren’t in the bottom two this week. [Also, the blonde one really sounds and looks like rubbish Tara from I'd Do Anything. - Carrie]
Dannii likes them but hates the song. She says it’s not a great song. Louis says it is, it was a number one record. Also number one records: Bob The Builder’s ‘Mambo Number Five’, Robson and Jerome’s ‘Unchained Melody’, Westlife’s horrible cover of ‘Uptown Girl’, Mr Blobby’s ‘Mr Blobby’, Leon Jackson’s ‘When You Believe’, Steve Brookstein’s ‘Against All Odds’. Not number one records: Oasis’s ‘Wonderwall’, Pulp’s ‘Common People’, Girls Aloud’s ‘Biology’, Jeff Buckley’s cover of ‘Hallelujah’, Kylie’s ‘Better the Devil You Know’. Thus: cram it, Louis. Cheryl liked it. Simon says it was so gimmicky he was surprised there were no polar bears or children. NotLouis smacks his forehead Homer Simpson-stylee off-camera. The audience both cheer and boo at this. Louis says Simon has made a career of gimmickry. Simon says he thinks Louis is obsessed with his boyband and doesn’t care. Louis says that’s not true and Simon’s not in their dressing room, he is. Ummm?
The blonde one comes over all Miss World and says ‘Heal the World’ has a lovely meaning. Simon comes back at them that ‘as Cheryl discovered, it’s better to work without Louis’. Louis points out that Simon has never had a hit record with a girlband. Can these two just make out already? [PLEASE GOD NO. - Steve] They’re doing my heads in tonight.
The fantastic Laura WHITE is next, and she is the second person (after Scott) whose performance I completely forgot after seeing it, so I wonder if it will have anything to commend it on second viewing. Last week the judges loved her. Guess what, everyone, she loved music as a child! NotLouis doesn’t think she’ll do very well because her voice and Michael Jackson’s voice don’t go very well together (are we going to have some weird duet with a CD thing going on?). Yvie is also sceptical.
She is singing ‘You are Not Alone’. So yawn. She is putting on an affected Amy Winehouse/Eartha Kitt style drawl that is so clearly not her natural voice. As she goes on this affect comes and goes and when it goes, she is a lot better. Her real voice is much nicer than the faux drawl, which I hope someone pulls her up on. This song is so dull. Couldn’t someone have taken a risk with ‘Thriller’ or ‘Smooth Criminal’?
Louis thought she was great but the song was meh. Dannii likes her but thinks this was missing the ‘mojo’. Simon says the fact she made this song good was a miracle, and she really struggled on the first half but got better in the second half (trufact). He then says it was the best performance of the night so far, which it probably isn’t, but then none of them have been memorable, so the bar’s not exactly high.
Dermot asks Simon if getting out of the comfort zone is what it’s about for him. He ducks the question and says it’s about putting in effort.
Coming up: Austin and Daniel. Oh, glee.
Ads. Oh, look, an advert for Leon Jackson’s new album and they’re playing ‘When You Believe’ and only feature one second of the diabolical new single. I’m guessing this is due to the career killing weekend he had last weekend where a) he murdered the (admittedly terrible) song on the X Factor and b) was parodied in Peter Kay’s show as ‘R Wayne’ – who could sing, dance and talk better than Leon. I’m also guessing they’re not promoting the album using the new single due to it being an unmemorable piece of bilge which is being outsold by both Pink’s ‘So What’, which has been at number one for two weeks already, and Peter Kay’s ‘The Winner’s Song’, a spoof reality song that sounds better than the real things usually do. Leon’s comeback? File in the drawer marked epic fail. Expect him to be mentioned as frequently on The X Factor as Steve Brookstein by the next series. [On the plus side, he looks hot on his album cover, as much as I feel skeevy saying that. - Steve]
Welcome back. Apparently we have the gimmick-free Austin DRAGE. Gimmick-free, people, remember that comment. VT: he gave 60% last week and NotLouis says he needs to give 100% all the time. Oh, NotLouis, have you learned nothing from the game of ridiculous percentages they play on this show? His not-gimmick this week is to do a version of a classic in a completely different, but not at all gimmicky, no siree, no way. Yvie laughs at the idea because she clearly thinks it’s deranged.
Holy Mary Mother of God, what the hell is this? Apparently it’s Billie Jean, but in no version I ever recognise. [I messaged my fellow bloggers at this point to liken the arrangement to a song Phoebe sings in the episode of Friends when she, Susan and Ross are locked in a hospital storeroom while waiting for Carol to give birth to Ben - "They found their bodies the very next day". Seriously. Look it up on YouTube or something. Exactly the same. - Carrie] It’s all slowed down and over-dramatised and screechy and full of histrionics and there’s a bit where Austin pulls down the V of his T-shirt and gurns ‘meaningfully’ that makes me a little bit sick in my mouth, and although I am rewatching most of the show for this recap, I cannot bring myself to relive the horror again. Admittedly, his singing wasn’t terrible itself, but the whole performance and arrangement have committed an act of indecent assault on my eyes, ears and brain and I’m thinking of suing someone for the distress caused. [Hold on a minute, Austin sang? I was too busy looking at his arms. Hello, Austin's arms. - Steve]
Louis thinks he gave it 100% but wasn’t keen on the arrangement because apparently David Cook did it the same way on the last (boring) series of American Idol and here I thank the Lord that that must have been one of the episodes I forgot to record, because I don’t remember it at all. Dannii says it was a fantastic performance but he hasn’t hit his peak. Cheryl thinks singing and performing is in his blood and she HATED the arrangement, as we all did, although his vocals were outstanding. Simon tries to correct Louis by saying ‘yes David Cook did do it, but it’s based on a version by Chris Cornell’ so effectively says it was based on someone else doing a gimmicky version of someone else’s gimmicky version. Way to shoot yourself in the foot there, Simon. Louis says ‘I know, I know about music’. Simon says ‘not a lot’. Pot. Kettle. He then says it was original, which clearly it wasn’t, going on his previous comment. He thinks it was the best performance by a mile. I always want to punch Louis anyway, but I really, really want to punch Simon just as hard tonight. Can we sack both of them before next year? [It's a sad state of affairs when Louis manages to be less obnoxious than Simon. - Steve]
Dannii introduces Dead Wife ‘Danny’ in a bizarre way, saying ‘it’s not Michael Jackson, it’s not Ricky Gervais.. it’s the X Factor’. Oh Dannii, don’t make me have to have words with you as well. Last week he bored us all to tears but he loved performing, apparently. Music has been in his life, all of his life, even back in the 70s when he had bad 70s hair. Dannii has picked a ‘beautiful’ song for him. I’m guessing it’s not ‘Thriller’. He’s not Ricky Gervais, he’s Daniel EVANS.
He’s singing ‘One Day in Your Life’, and it’s so, so boring and half the time he’s off-key. I love the way this show has made Michael Jackson’s back catalogue look like it only contains a complete bag of boring shite rather than tons of disco classics. His dead wife hasn’t been mentioned tonight, so he could be on shaky ground. Or that could just be wishful thinking on my part. He ends better than he starts but it’s still rubbish.
Louis: ‘Daniel, or Ricky as I’m going to call you from now on. Ricky, that was…’ Dannii interjects ‘that’s rude!’ And it really is, although I did splutter with giggles. Louis says he's out of his comfort zone and if he was going to call it after a Michael Jackson album he’d call it ‘Bad’ which is even harsher than we at The Bitch Factor would be. [I think Louis meant "out of your league" rather than "out of your comfort zone" too, judging by the way he said it. - Steve] Cheryl is sorry she knocked his confidence last week because he still has her favourite sob story of the lot. She says that’s one of her favourite Michael Jackson song[s] although she’s said that to most people. Simon says no-one under 60 will like him, but there are clearly a lot of old people voting and damns him with very faint praise by saying it was maybe marginally a little bit better than last week. Dead wife AND Simon and Louis hating him? Top five guaranteed. Dermot accuses them of ageism, and, no, he’s just crap, Dermot.
Ads. Britannia High. It’s almost certainly going to be shit, based primarily on the channel showing it.
Dermot lies that the audience ‘just can’t stop loving’ the acts, which, no. It’s as boring as hell in there tonight and their cheers have abated massively since the start of the show.
JML Direct are next. Last week they were apparently potentially the best group EVAR, which, no. Simon thinks they are telling Louis what to do, which I doubt. They used to be into music as kids and one of them was in Oliver. We debate whether they will be doing ABC or I Want You Back. Louis has chosen an up-tempo (hooray!) track. NotLouis has given them eight hot girls to flirt with. They are all wearing t-shirts with JLS on. Apparently they need to ‘swagger’ tonight or no-one will believe their performance. They start… we all erupt at once: ‘they’re doing The Way You Make Me Feel?!’ One of them vaguely moonwalks. They are all wearing Jacko through the ages style outfits. There are ladies on podiums wearing 80s gear (podia?) dancing foxily. Some of the high notes are a bit screechy, and there is some cheesy whooping and ‘go on girl’s but compared to the sludge of the other performances tonight, it’s pretty good. They will never in a million years win (will they?) but they stand a good chance of breaking the curse of the R and B boyband.
The audience are much more animated than they have been for the past hour or so. Dannii loved the production and thanks NotLouis. She says there were some tuning issues and gets booed for speaking the truth. Cheryl says it’s sad that not many people sing and dance at the same time, so hats off to them, and there’s a niche in the market for them. Simon says last week was 6 and a half out of 10, and this week was 9. Clearly he’s been to the Len Goodman school of second week overmarking. Anyway, everyone loves them and my goodness, is this bloody show not over yet?
Next up, it’s Cheryl and ‘my little Diana VICKERS’. Last week she was ‘the one to beat’. Her VT features her with horrible hair and no make-up which makes her face a little puffy. She used to sing in shows and musicals when she was younger, wouldn’t you know? Yvie says her special talent is her uniqueness, but since when was being unique a talent? I mean, Icaro was ‘unique’.
She hasn’t got any shoes on again, which is a bit gross, after all, Austin’s probably been masturbating all over that stage. She’s singing ‘Man in the Mirror’, which is actually a decent Jackson song at last. Last week, Joel gave us the genius observation that she sounds like Dolores O’Riordan crossed with Shakira, so we listen attentively, and she does! I’d love her to do ‘Linger’, actually. Anyway, although hearing her singing about ‘the man in the mirror’ is a little strange, she does a more interesting and exciting job than, well, anyone else tonight. Whilst Diana isn’t my favourite of all the acts by any means, this is definitely my favourite performance of the evening – the others were all underwhelming, predictable or horrible, whereas this is at least different, but not Austin level horribly different, and generally in tune. Along with Alexandra and JML Direct, she’s the only one to emerge with dignity intact so far.
Louis says she’s different and then says she’s ‘like the girls in the charts today’ which I don’t think is what he meant. Dannii and Simon love her and ‘she may be the one to beat’, again. Diana’s loving being here apparently, which is a good job, really.
Bloody hell, there are still two more people to come, and Eoghan’s going to be singing ‘Ben’. I can’t control my glee.
Ads: An advert for yet another Michael Jackson greatest hits album, despite the fact he’s had at least two other greatest hits albums out in the time since he last released a single. Still, it does make having an MJ themed week on the X Factor a smart move for his people: all these songs, aka mostly his upbeat good ones that we haven’t heard tonight at all, sound amazing (well, Earth Song notsomuch) and after hearing the finalists murdering the crap ones tonight (or simply making them dull as hell) who wouldn’t feel drawn to the far superior real thing?
The last of the ‘overs’, Rachel HYLTON is up next. Last week she sang ‘With Every Heartbeat’ and did a decent job even though you can’t help feeling it would have been better if she and Bad Lashes had sung each other’s songs. Anyway, she and Dannii had a big fight about it and so she’s chosen her own song this week and thus ‘only has herself to blame’. Her earliest memory is singing. She had bad hair when she was 16. Simon bitches about how she had to choose her own song otherwise she’d be in trouble, neglecting to mention the shower of shit he gave Scott last week was a thousand percent worse than what Dannii gave Rachel. NotLouis VTs about how acts usually fuck it up big style when they sing their own song, so this is a risky move.
Wow. NotLouis has gone a bit mental with the creative direction this week: she’s in gold, standing atop two huge amps, with a mic hanging from the ceiling and two topless men on bikes for no reason (other than to make this song more memorable, as we shall soon discover) [NotLouis has gone to the same casting school as William Baker, obviously - employ fit boys to stand around with no shirts on, just because you can. - Carrie]. She’s singing something we vaguely recognise but can’t put our finger on. Then the chorus kicks in, and it’s ‘Dirty Diana’. I haven’t heard this song in about 20 years and it really is so much more boring than I remember (but to be fair, I would have been about eight at the time and going ‘hee, it’s got ‘dirty’ in the title. And it’s Diana, like Princess Di’). It’s a really, really bad choice. She can pull off the rock sound, just about, but this song is just too boring and bizarre to work for her. Simon looks horrified.
Louis says that during the auditions, they all thought she was the best singer. She picked a ‘brave’ (note: not ‘good’) song and hopes the viewers will get her. Cheryl says there is a lot of soul inside her waiting to burst out. Simon calls her Diana and says she got it completely and utterly wrong. Louis says ‘Rachel’. The audience boo and Simon says he doesn’t think he can do this anymore. I am inclined to agree. He’s been all snippy and crap tonight. He says the whole thing was horrible and gimmicky and it’s doubtful she’ll survive another week. He says she needs to do soul next week. Rachel says she knows she’s a soul singer but loves rock and indie music and believes as an artist she should be diverse. Dermot says isn’t it about artists getting out of their comfort zone. Simon says yeahbutnobutyeahbutno because he has clearly lost any sense of what the correct answer to that question is over the past few series.
Eoghan QUIGG’s next, and thankfully, this is going to be over soon. Last week he finally showed some emotion, apparently. As a ‘young boy’ (heh) he used to like singing. Simon said the song chose him this week, and, yes, it’s, ‘Ben’, the song EVERYONE knew he would be doing. Really, Simon, would it kill you to have some originality? I actually feel a bit sorry for Eoghan this week. He’s sixteen years old and what sixteen year old, who already looks young for his age, would want to sing a syrupy song that a child sang about his pet rat? He looks about twelve and singing this song does him no favours in making him seem any older. Although he does a serviceable job, his eyes are screaming out in pain at being given such trite predictable crap to sing. He honestly looks like one of those kids who get dragged roung a DIY store on Sundays with their parents when they actually just want to be sat at home playing on the Wii. He's so going to get picked on in the playground for this song, and he knows it. He storms off the stage, glad the embarrassment is over. Give him some My Chemical Romance, Simon! It’s what the kids want! [I second this. Make him sing 'Teenagers' and I will officially forgive every sin that's been committed this series. - Steve]
Louis says he’s going to be in the final, even though he doesn’t have the best voice. Dannii says his purity will challenge the other voices in the competition. Did she just call him a virgin on live TV? Cheryl says he belongs on the stage and said she would have bet her bottom dollar he would sing ‘Ben’ so Simon can’t EVER talk to her about safe or obvious song choices again. Simon says ‘so what, you clearly have your period’. I paraphrase.
To recap: everyone was a bit underwhelming, Daniel proved once again that his dead wife was the only thing that got him through to the finals, Diana was the surprise best performance of the night, Eoghan was predictable as hell and looked like he was being held hostage and Austin gave me nightmares with his ‘interpretation’ of my (former) favourite Michael Jackson song. I imagine no-one can be arsed to vote.
Earlier tonight! Michael Jackson theme week flopped hard!
Tonight’s special guests started out on a show like this, and against all the odds, became ace. It’s Girls Aloud! We are treated to a short medley of their songs, every single one of which is better than anything you’ll ever see on this show. They look absolutely awesome in sparkly gold 60s-style dresses with big hair, and it’s nice to see Nadine back after her bout of shingles. Cheryl and Sarah look nervous, but they settle into it and after my intitial uncertainty, the song has grown on me (actually every single GA song takes time to grow on me and then becomes an object of love. See also the back catalogue of Minogue, Kylie). Sarah’s eye make-up is a bit mental. Cheryl is the weakest tonight, possibly because of nerves, but they are still fabulous. My friend James asks how they’ve become such a good girl band considering they started on something like this. It’s all about the songs, something they clearly forgot to take into account with pretty much every other reality act ever. Well, not just about the songs, as the girls themselves are great, but the songs have a lot to do with it. Aww, now it’s over and the silly show has to start again. Booo.
Ads. Who on earth would buy an album by the dreadful Strictly singers?
Dermot blahs the usual and this has been going on way too long and I really can’t be arsed. Safe are: JML Direct, Rachel, Diana, Scott, Laura, Eoghan, Dead Wife Daniel, Alexandra and Bloody Austin.
So the sing-off is between Girlband, which was expected, and Ruth, which is wrong, but also not really a shock. I can’t be bothered to recap the usual blah, sorry.
More ads. Bryan Adams is playing at the Sheffield Arena next week and ticket sales are clearly slow.
Ruth is singing ‘Purple Rain’, which is a bit out there for this show. I mean, I know Prince is a global superstar and this is one of his biggest ever hits, but this show appeals to the people who only buy one CD a year, and so it’s a big risk. She starts off fairly weak but soon builds momentum and rocks it, despite not being able to pronounce ‘purple’. She does oversing a little in places, but no more than Alexandra or Austin, and she so deserves to stay, considering this is actually one of the top performances of the whole evening.
Simon goes on about her not doing what he told her and singing in Spanish, which a) he’s not her mentor and b) they’ll have prepared their ‘song to save’ in advance and can hardly change it at the last minute on his whim. Simon is really getting on my wick tonight.
Girlband aren’t doing ‘That’s What Friends are For’ again. They are doing ‘Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing’, because ‘they don’t want to miss a thing’ which is a populist choice, but they aren’t singing for the public vote, so it could be a waste. It’s a bit shaky and shrieky in places and on the strength of this, they should definitely be going home, but will they really send home two groups in a row?
We decide that Cheryl will save Girlband and Simon will save Ruth and it will go to deadlock. My friend El reckons it’ll keep going to deadlock this series because the four judges thing is doomed not to work. I would say they should do it like Strictly, with a casting vote, but then with Simon’s lack of judgement this series, I trust him about as much as I trust Head Judge Len. Maybe they should give Dermot the casting vote and make him get off the corporate fence once in a while. Or, you know, do away with the four categories seeing as how having girls AND boys under 25 when everyone over 25 end up in one category is somewhat unbalanced. I’d say Louis and Simon were both fairly dispensable these days, as long as we still keep Sinitta and her fans.
Judges vote. Louis basically admits Ruth was the best but he has to keep Girlband. The audience boo him anyway. Dannii keeps Ruth, obviously. Cheryl says this is horrendous, but Ruth nailed it so sends home Girlband. Simon snarks because he doesn’t fancy Ruth as much when she doesn’t sing in Spanish and to teach her a lesson or something, he takes it to deadlock, which is all going to get very tired if it keeps happening.
Dermot tells us the act going home is … Girlband. As it should be. Well, actually it should be one or all of the solo men, because they are all shit, but out of Girlband and Ruth, Ruth is definitely better. So much for the groups being the ones to beat this year, then. [Louis is the Worst Mentor Ever. Even worse than Sharon. I kind of want JLS to go next week, just for the lulz. - Carrie] We see their best bits, which are all a bit short and show them being better in auditions than in the main show.
Next week is apparently the yawnathon that is the annual Big Band Week, although I don’t recall Dermot telling us this. Thank fuck I’m not the one who has to recap that. [Oh, fuck, I *am* the one who has to recap that. Expect wailing, gnashing of teeth and obscenities here next Sunday! - Carrie]