Live Shows week 5
Welcome back to the X Factor. Last week the X Factor finalists’ single went to number one and made Simon all smug! We had disco week and it wasn’t great but there were at least a handful of reasonable performances! Well, one or two, anyway. Austin went home despite Dead Wife Daniel being more rubbish! But we were glad because we hate him! This week it’s Mariah Carey week! Joy! It’s. Time. To. Face. The. Music.
Our judges arrive. Dannii is wearing tinsel, even though Christmas is still six weeks away, Cheryl is in a horrible peach thing. Simon is apparently #1 on Gordon Brown’s speed dial, and lies that he’s not celebrating ‘Hero’ being a hit but he’s celebrating people supporting the charity. He then bigs up The Sun a bit, which is rather horrible, but not as bad as the soldier porn in the video for that single. [Or the soldier porn that I...you know what? Never mind. - Steve]
Dermot introduces Mariah Carey, who will apparently be singing at the start of the show tonight. This is probably a sensible move on her part, as it means she can run away before hearing them maul her back catalogue. We see a montage of Mariah clippage: skimpy outfits, warbling, the odd fast song you won’t hear tonight. She gets a big MARIAH with Carey in small capitals like the contestants, which is quite funny and makes it look like she's one of them.
She looks very skinny, wearing a black dress and enormous black high shoes. She has big messy hair, because as we all know, there are no brushes on this set. This is an incredibly boring song with no chorus and a big screechy messy bit at the end, and it’s worrying that one of the worst performances on Mariah Carey night will actually be Mariah Carey herself. It’s almost as bad as Tony Bennett the other year.
Mariah looks vacant as Dermot tries to talk to her, and plugs her E-MC2 album that’s been out ages, not her umpteen millionth greatest hits one that’s just been released, and her tour (the audience vaguely cheer that she’s coming here. Well about two of them). She’s taller than Dermot in those shoes, and he gets the hump about this. Oh, cram it, shortarse. Dermot takes the piss out of her having a Winnebago and a puppy and gets a death glare. Really, if you are going to take the mickey out of someone’s rider, choose a victim with a sense of humour, not one who’s likely to sue your pants off.
Apparently after the break, Eoghan and Ruth have to set up to the gold standard she set. I don’t think that will be too hard, even for Eoghan, if that performance was really gold standard.
Simon’s up first and says that he only has one act, but you only need one. Considering how bitter Austin and Scott have been about him in interviews lately, it’s no surprise he feels this way. Apparently Eoghan has a new baby sister, so surely this would be a good time for the British public to let him go home and be a good brother? Mariah slurs at the group that he’s got a sweet voice, and that’s his gem. Louis thinks he doesn’t have a big enough voice for the competition and I hate agreeing with him this early on in the show. He’s singing for his baby sister. WHO HAS BEEN BORN. Which I suppose is nicer than being dead.
He’s singing ‘Anytime You Need a Friend’ and gets the words wrong at on point so he sings ‘Anytime I need a friend I will be here’. To be fair, his voice is bigger than usual but it’s now got the consistency of A4 paper rather than tissue paper, so it’s hardly a huge leap. A gospel choir turn up to make him sound better, and there are loads of fireworks – in the first performance?! He was better than he usually is. But I’m not suggesting he was good.
Louis slags off his hair and says it’s a birds nest, and then ruins that burn by suggesting he’s been taking advice from Simon on hair, rather than the hairbrush phobic twins Diana and Laura. [Besides, Simon's hair is clearly modelled on a toilet brush, not a bird's nest. - Steve] [Walsh is an arse. His HAIR is the worst thing you can find to say about him? Srsly? - Carrie]
Dannii congratulates him on having a sister, because he played such a massive role in her being born and all, and says his voice was magic. Cheryl is excited he could sing in front of Mariah this week because at sixteen she couldn’t and that song shouldn’t have worked with his voice, but it did. Simon says he’s sixteen and has just had a baby girl. Then he corrects himself. He says it was his best song so far and he could have a hit record and then snarks at Louis snarking about his hair. Long. Night. Ahead.
Dermot’s suit is unbuttoned and gapy front as usual. Pies, Dermot, you need a few pies. He says that ‘Next into this steaming…. Carey couldroun, Ruth Lorenzo’.
Dannii’s excited, that the Spanish senorita is back… but apparently Ruth’s not singing in Spanish. Simon blahs about being right about the Spanish thing. Because Ruth IS SPANISH. Ruth says she struggled singing with Mariah, because of the emotion involved. She doesn’t clarify which emotion, so let’s just assume it was hysterical laughter. Louis says we’re going to feel like we’re in a wine bar in Benidorm. I’m going to start fining these judges every time a wine bar is mentioned soon.
We open with flamenco guitars, and Ruth is in a lovely red dress, with plenty of bosom, and gorgeous hair. The verse is not very enunciated. I don’t know this song I don’t think, but Joel informs me it’s ‘My All’. [I've heard it, like, once in my life. And I swear it was big gay disco when I did.-Joel]] The chorus builds, and there are a couple of screechy notes. This is a rubbish song. Ruth’s performance will probably still be better than most tonight, but it wasn’t particularly good. She looked amazing though, and I still love her.
Louis says there’s something missing - he loves the song, he loves the dress, he doesn’t finish his point (but I suspect what’s missing is his opportunity to call for regional voting) then he decides to joke it was Mariah scarey rather than Carey, and srsly, isn’t that his Daniel joke, spent too early? Cheryl says her lower key wasn’t as good as the higher, which is true, and says it wasn’t one of Ruth’s best but couches it in a million ‘I love you’s so the crowd don’t boo. Simon makes a joke about Ruth’s boobs, and I do wish she would call him on his sexual harassment, and says he likes her. Dannii thanks her and apparently Ruth’s mum’s scarf is on the seat on stage? Um? Is she dead? Apparently Ruth is also the first person on this show to ever give only 100%.
She walks off, and seriously, Love. The. Dress.
Coming up, Rachel calls the shots and sadly won’t be singing 'Call the Shots'.
Dermot congrats Eggnog’s dad and says Cheryl has had the flu. Now we come to Laura, last week she was forgettable as usual and Simon slagged her image off. Mariah thinks her voice is beautiful and didn’t given her any notes on how to improve. Laura says tonight the pressure is increased by a million, and double that cause she’s playing piano. I think Laura might just be edging ahead in the game of ridiculous percentages.
She’s singing ‘Endless Love’, which is a DUET. She’s also finally had her hair done! Bring out the bunting! [Unfortunately, the stylist still hates her because she still looks like she's the size of a house. - Steve]
She’s sitting behind a big red piano, and sounds a little subdued, and as usual, sounds better when singing normally and not cat-like. There are big projected arch things on stage and dry ice, and it’s all very dramatic and I keep expecting Rhydian to turn up. She gets up and SCREECHES the hell out of the rest of the song and it’s really unpleasant. I keep hearing all this stuff from the judges about Laura’s brilliance and I have yet to hear it. Sure the girl can sing, when she stops putting on an affected voice, but she sure as hell needs a lot of training. [And to learn how to sing the beginnings and the ends of words, not just the middles. Her enunciation is worse than Leon's. - Steve] [I would be interested to see inside that piano. Any hammers, strings, dampers, anything like that? Or was it all off-stage playing, similar to JLS's harmonising last week? - Carrie]
Louis liked it, Dannii said her confidence was growing and if Mariah saying ‘no notes’ on performance didn’t do it for her, nothing will. Notice how Dannii makes no comment on the actual performance. Simon bitches about her style and says tonight was one of her weakest performances. Cheryl goes apoplectic and stops making sense and babbles. Oh, Cheryl. Please don’t turn into Louis.
Next up, it’s Rachel – last week she blew. If she doesn’t get through, she will feel really bad for her children. Because they’d rather she acted like a diva on telly than be a good mum or anything. She’s fed up of people telling her what to do, she’s allegedly done what everyone’s asked her to do (conveniently forgetting she chose to do ‘Dirty Diana’ and its not working). Dannii says Rachel’s doing things her way because this is her children’s future and she needs to make her own decisions. Simon lies that an artist has never decided to do this on their own. Well, apart from when the Conway Sisters sacked him and got better overnight. Mariah has also had issues with authority, too, apparently, so she can identify with Rachel.
Rachel’s hair is a bit longer, and over her face, and is wearing this horrible dres that looks like one of those dolls who cover toilet rolls wear, only it’s black. She’s singing ‘Against All Odds’, which, like ‘Endless Love’, is not actually a Mariah song anyway. She sounds a bit subdued, and screeches a lot, frequently losing her acquaintance with the tune. She sounds bored as hell, and lovey, when you make us long for Steve Brookstein’s version, you know it’s all going wrong.
Louis says people at home shouldn’t hate on her (even though she was shit), Cheryl says she seems emotional (but was shit). Rachel pretends to wipe a tear. Simon likes her and hopes the public give her another chance (even though she was shit). Dannii says this weak was a massive leap for everyone and clarifies they work together each week and the VT was all lies about their relationship and then she lies that it was a great performance. Rachel cries and tiny Dermot says she seems very subdued. And she does, she clearly doesn’t seem right, and it’s all very uncomfortable.
Ads. Apparently Wikipedia says that it’s ‘R&B/hip-hop’ next week. Whilst this is clearly lies, hearing some Warren G, or Beastie Boys, or Salt ‘n’ Pepa, or N*E*R*D* would be great fun. Sadly you know it would all be drippy R&B ballads, but we can dream.
Cheryl is not looking good, and is about to introduce someone who’s had a terrible week. TERRIBLE. It’s my Diana Vickers. We see footage of her looking like hell in bed, but still wearing a ton of eye make-up. Heh. She has laryngitis but as if they’ll let her have a week off. She didn’t get to meet Mariah and squeaks and sounds very ill, but then it all gets overblown and X-factored. And ZOMG! She has SEVERE laryngitis and isn’t even performing! Wow, this is the first case of the show ever being nice to a contestant. [And indeed the audience. - Steve] And probably only cos she’s a favourite. Joel isn’t best impressed about her being sad about her free pass to next week, but he can elaborate here. [It was just so disingenuous. 'She r so DEVASTATED to not sing and get a guaranteed pass to next week! It's killing her inside!' And you know. When you're picking out something in the X Factor as too disingenous to overlook, you're in pretty bad territory.
JML Direct are next. Louis bitches that they are definitely here, and yet if he got laryngitis, he’d milk it for all the sympathy he could get. Cretin. JML are excited about having their hair and make up done for the video. Lulz. The tall, vaguely fit one who doesn’t have stupid hair any more seems to think Mariah fancies him. They flirt with her a bit. She pretends to find it cute and orders a restraining order.
They’re doing ‘One Sweet Day’. And DWD missed a trick, there. Sadly, NotLouis has been a bit restrained and there are no background photos of dead people. [Seriously, where was NotLouis this week? Admittedly I only remembered he was even connected to this show when he popped up on The Xtra Factor afterwards, but with hindsight it was odd not to have him pop up in a VT pointing out how if someone didn't turn in a good performance they might go home. - Steve] Sadface. I blame Peter Kay’s ‘R Nan’ montage for this. Without that, we could have had Niki’s dead dad, and Nikita’s dead mum, and Daniel’s dead wife, and all the dead soldiers on the wall. Dry ice! Key change! Fireworks! Choirs! Westlife waistcoats. Boo. Suppose they were better than most tonight but were still blah. Whilst I love THEM, their performances have yet to be particularly great.
Dannii loves them. Cheryl tells them not to let Louis turn them into Westlife. Louis says Westlife have had more hits than Girls Aloud, which, not in anyway the point, and also, Westlife, 23 top tens since 1999; GA 19 top tens since 2003. GA have also had a number one very recently, and Westlife haven’t had one since 2006. So cram it. Simon bitches about her daring to slag off Westlife and says she hasn’t got a clue. Louis and Cheryl bitch at each other and then Louis says ‘in the words of Barack Obama (who robbed them off Bob the Builder, as my friend pointed out), can we win it? Yes we can. Oh. No. He. Didn’t. Dermot is completely horrified and all ‘he did not!’ [Srsly. What the hell was that? Just... because they're black? Because you think the X Factor as important as the presidency? On what planet is that an all right thing to say?-Joel]
The ads forget to appear for a minute, which is rather exciting.
Next up, Daniel. Everyone thinks he’s shit! And so do we! But he keeps getting through! He wants to make Dannii proud. Not his dead wife? Yvie says he does well until the key change and then it all turns to shit. Although nice Yvie would never say shit. Mariah gave him some good feedback apparently.
There are TREES projected onto the stage. Simon pulls a face as it begins, but the’s done that with everyone this week. And this series. Simon, if you hate doing this show so much these days, just take the exec producer salary and let someone else do the judging. Oh, and also? Stop picking such silly theme weeks of fail.
What is this song? It’s boring as hell. It’s called ‘Open Arms’ apparently. [Also not originally a Mariah song, it was originally by Journey. Jesus, they might as well just declare it Kidz Bop week or something. - Steve] Cripes, this is dull. He’s performing it vaguely competently, but that’s not enough to make anyone care. Mariah’s latest best greatest hits of all time ever has nosedived in the sales as everyone watching goes ‘sod this, I’ll just download ‘Vision of Love’, ‘Dreamlover’ and the Christmas one and ignore the rest, cos they’re a right bag of old shite’.
Louis says he’s not going to win, Cheryl lies that he’s got his mojo back, even though his dead wife wasn’t mentioned once. Simon says for him it wasn’t bad, presumably to stop him getting the sympathy vote.
Cherly has chosen Alexandra the bestest ever Mariah Carey song. Except, as we shall soon see, it’s not actually a Mariah song. Mariah lies she’s now friends with Alexandra. Simon lies that this week will make her or break her. Not when she’s up against an even bigger pile of bobbins than Michael Jackson week, it won’t.
She’s singing fucking ‘Without You’ because this show has no originality at all. Again Dead Wife Daniel should have been doing this one. Projected chandeliers! TIMPANII ROLLS! FEEL THE DRAMA! Dry ice! A choir! She’s by far the best of the night, but still, it was hardly a good night.
Louis says she was the best of the night. Simon says you’re 19 years old and she says ‘I’m 20 now’ and he gets the hump and actually says ‘yeah whatever’. He liked it though, as did Cheryl.
And that, my friends, made even Michael Jackson week look like a good idea.
Welcome back. Apparently the remaining acts raised their game. Well only if that game was ‘Go For Broke’, where you have to lose everything to win. Which reminds me of one of the theme weeks we would like to see implemented: songs by former soap stars week. (Kylie, Delta and Dannii for the good ones; Jason and, um, Martine McCutcheon for the middling ones, Nick Berry and Sid Owen for the losers. Seriously, that would be so good. Think about it: ‘Mona’, ‘Torn’, ‘Too Many Broken Hearts’, ‘Every Loser Wins’, ‘Perfect Moment’, ‘Don’t it Make You Feel Good’... it would be amazing.)
Recap of earlier: Most of them sucked! But Mariah was even worse! Her back catalogue apparently has a right load of old shite in it (apart from the cover versions)!
We’re reminded that ‘our’ X Factor finalists are at number 1 and this is the woman who wrote the song. Mariah is back, in a browny dress, boobs akimbo, hair still a bit messy. She is singing live. This is probably not a good thing as her famous powerful voice sounds a bit weak. Stop warbling, Carey. The weakest wind machine ever blows tiny ripples. She has backing singers that aren’t even the contestants, which has little point. The tambourine and clarinet are distractingly loud. The contestants come out for the final chorus and don’t even have mics or sing live – they’re not even miming to their own voices. It’s all very silly and rubbish.
The contestants go off and there’s a funny bit where Mariah tries to leave and Dermot has to stop her and ask if she has a favourite and she says they all were shining, because she has clearly been in a dressing room doing something other than watching this shower of shite earlier. Mariah admits she doesn’t watch the show and then says, very loudly, BECAUSE I DON’T LIVE IN THIS COUNTRY to stop the audience booing. Heh. Simon says she’s the biggest star in the world. I think Barack Obama would dispute this. And the Queen. And Madonna. And Brad Pitt. And Angelina Jolie. And, well, a whole bunch of other people. He fawns some more. [Seriously, I loved how Mariah could not have given less of a shit about this show or the contestants. Team Mariah! - Steve]
The phone lines are closed, ads.
The results are in, and safe: Rachel. Shit. That means Ruth is probably in the bottom two then. JML. Alexandra. Eggnog. I assume the next one safe will be Laura, but it’s DANIEL. DANIEL?
I want Laura to go. Bye Ruth.
Louis is all cunty going ‘hi girls’ to the two best official mentors in this thing, which, you still lost two acts in the first two weeks, Walsh, so really.
Ruth is doing ‘Knocking on Heaven’s Door’. Likes her rock, does Ruth. And she’s good at it. Dannii, please take note. Laura is doing ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ and such obvious-uninspired-judgey-crowdy-pleasing-vom-bollocks can fuck off. She’s doing it for her grandad. We do not have clarification on whether he is dead or not.
Ruth rocks it, of course, and is so doomed. Laura mixes her whiny cat voice and her good natural voice. This is better than I thought it would be and the big note at the end is good. But still, Ruth over Laura any day.
Simon says neither should have been in the bottom two and then he sends home Laura and shocks me. Cheryl thought they both sang fantastic, because she speaks English as well as Simon, and sends home Ruth. Dannii says it’s been a tense night and everyone did brilliantly, because she can use the English language, even if she can’t tell the truth, and that both performances were brilliant.
Louis says the sing-off was unbelievable and both were great and he loves them both and he picks the person with the most fight (which is Ruth but I’m feeling he’ll pick Laura and send it to deadlock). He sends home Laura. WOW. [HOORAY! - Steve] [WOOHOO! Even though she's probably never going to win now, I just hope she gets to rock a bit more. If we're stuck with best of British week, she really has to do Queen's The Show Must Go On. And I won't rest until I hear her sing some Pat Benatar. Also, I love how she kept saying 'I'm so SORRY!' to Laura. Sweet girl.-Joel]
Ruth and Laura cry. We see Laura’s best bits: lots of bad hair, histrionics and overpraising. The odd good vocal and lots of oversinging and cat impressions. The judges fawning over her.
Next week, we’re not told of the theme, but Leona will be here to show these bitches how it’s done.