Saturday, October 23, 2010

Guilty displeasures

Live Shows: Guilty Pleasures Week
23 October 2010

Welcome back! Last week the term ‘musical heroes’ was stretched as far as possible! Everyone was thoroughly average at best! Storm and Diva Fever left! Tonight! The term “guilty pleasures” will be stretched to mean “songs”! IT’S! TIME! TO! FACE! THE! MUSIC!

In the pre-show VTs, Cheryl thinks tonight will be a good week for her category and Louis thinks Simon will lose another act. I hate how this series is making Louis look right so often.

Dermot suitwatch: weird shade of purple-blue mismatched with a horrible brown tie and hankie. And of course, it doesn’t fit.

The judges enter to ‘Live and Let Die’. *Has horrible flashbacks to Paul McCartney* - Please tell me he’s not coming back.

Paije has the suicide spot this week. Oh well, never mind, eh? Dannii’s hair looks good again – she’s had some fab styling this series. This week, the contestants went shopping. Some fools mobbed them. Paije loved it, apparently. Perhaps it reminded him of the queues in the foyer on an Orange Wednesday. He says he’s going to lay himself bare on the stage – as we said to Len Goodman last week, DO NOT WANT.

He’s singing ‘Ain’t Nobody’ and is wearing a hideous red jacket. Paije’s styling this series has been worse than Dermot’s. He’s turned it into an Aiden-esque murder ballad, which is almost as cardinal a sin as the various assaults this show and its ilk have committed against Billie Jean. Also: this song is in no way a ‘guilty pleasure’ though I don’t believe in that term anyway, because there should be no guilt involved in musical pleasures. *Wears ‘Blame it on the Weatherman was a great single’ badge with pride*. Going on the coverage of this evening on the Guilty Pleasures club night website, I am suspecting product placement, unless that’s too cynical of me. (Remember to shop at TESCO, kids, even if they are no longer the EXCLUSIVE seller of X-Factor magazine).

The singing? He has some good notes, very very occasionally, but also a lot of bad, bad notes and a fair amount of screechy bits. Better than some of his previous work, I guess, but he’s never going to set this show on fire – though my hopes are high for some literal infernos tonight, if NotLouis is on form. The judges like him, though Simon doesn’t like his styling. Simon tells him he needs to believe he can win it, although I’m not sure why, as he clearly can’t.

Dermot says ‘Simon thinks you need to behave like a pop star, what do you say to that?’ Paije burbles in a lifeless manner that he thinks he’s already like a pop star but he can try harder to be, and he says he’s having fun despite sounding like he’s spent a wet weekend in Grimsby (which I spent the first eighteen years of my life doing before any mad Grimbarians rush to defend the place). Dermot says ‘don’t turn all diva on me’. Nothing in that exchange makes any sense.

Ads! The new Professor Layton game that Steve is very excited about. [Not as excited as I am about this, though. - Steve]

John is apparently showing a ‘smiley’ side tonight. His terrible hat is absent, in favour of some very strange arrangement with a kind of wide-bun on the back of his head and a shiny silver jacket. He’s singing something called ‘Zoom’ that I really don’t know if I’ve ever heard in my life, and to be honest, it’s very dull. [How DARE you. This song is amazing. It's one of my dad's favourite songs. - Steve] He screeches quite a bit but he has some backing dancers doing weird contemporary dance-cum-ballet-cum Jimi Mistry-style-cartwheels in the background. John and Paije are really stretching the definition of “fun” tonight.

Dannii says the song isn’t great but she liked him. She then blames Louis for the dancers, and Louis turns it back on NotLouis who is shown in a powder blue jacket doing frantic angry pointing. Cheryl tells Louis he should say ‘no’ to Friedman. Like any of you can say no to him. NotLouis and his cracked-out ways RULE this motherfucker, bitches. Simon says when he once watched the news, two dogs were mating. Err thanks. He says the song was horrible and all you could think about were the dancers getting it on in the background. Louis said the dancers were a distraction but he loved the new hair and look (“new” circa 1972) and he owned the stage.

Dermot asks if John would like people to see a new side of him – wasn’t tonight meant to be ‘new John’ night?

I missed Rebecca’s VT to answer the door, other than the bit where she had her photo taken with some deranged members of the public, but I presume she is going to bring it tonight, she needs confidence and she’s from Liverpool. Am I right? [Of course. - Carrie]

She’s singing ‘Why Don’t You Do Right’ which is surely only a guilty pleasure if you do that dance remix from a few months ago? Her dress is a very weird satin fuschia pink thing with a hideous bow that flares out like the dress on a loo-roll cover doll, except a factory-reject one, as it’s all lopsided. Her hair has been coloured red, though, which quite suits her. The performance is the same as every other Rebecca performance ever, i.e. a load of sub-Norah Jones snooze the likes of which you can see in the corner of any pub having a "jazz night" up and down the country. *Shrug*. [I thought she was fractionally more tuneful this week. She still sucks, though. - Steve]

Louis says she’s a new popstar. Dannii says she would buy her record and this was her favourite Rebecca performance ever (how can you tell? They’re all the same) but she hates the styling. Simon sounds really subdued and waffles about how tonight is the night when you see people for who they are (in the case of all three performances tonight, who they are is pretty much the same as who they always were) and that tonight she’s a real star. He snits that Elton John says the shows don’t produce stars and he’s going to send Elton Rebecca’s tape to prove him wrong. Err, surely her long, multi-million selling recording career would be the proof he was wrong? Cheryl says she ticks every box.

Dermot says ‘for now, we give you Jessica Rabbit’, a joke lost on most of the audience who weren’t even thought of, never mind born, when Who Framed Roger Rabbit? was released.

Ads. Bing Crosby turns into Cher Lloyd, but does her schitck better.

Cher is next, and Cheryl introduces her as CHAIR LLOYD. Last week she took a “risk” by doing Jay-Z’s worst ever single (from the 90s, lest we let them call it current) and Dannii didn’t like it. She thinks she could get used to being photographed.

She has a mad, huge curly wig on and is wearing jeans halfway down her legs in the way really annoying boys do - seriously, if students come into my classroom like that I tell them to pull their trousers up [hahaha, not even I do that - Carrie] - and a purple PVC jacket. She's performing ‘No Diggity’ and there is a big metal slinky onstage, which her dancers perch on top of. The song turns into the chorus of ‘Shout’ by Tears for Fears, and there’s a bit where she keeps going as the dancers push her around on the metal slinky, which deserves some credit, as I would totally fall over in a fit of giggles in her position. Some of her notes are OK, some are off, but as with everyone else, it’s essentially the same performance as she gives every week, so if you like Cher, you’ll like it, and if you don’t, you’ll hate it. This week is so boring so far.

Louis loves her, loves that she was in her comfort zone, loves NotLouis’ staging and thinks that Elton John would love her too, because apparently Louis has an insight into Elton's mind [GAYLOLZ!]. Dannii said tonight was really her, that she loved the staging, and that she could see this in Cher’s live show. Simon said she felt like someone who’d had five hit records (more than the majority of X Factor winners, then) and she looked comfortable and HEALTHY.

Dermot asks if this is the kind of artist she would want to be. She replies yes, this was her being her. Which is fair enough, I suppose.

Dermot tells us that ‘Matt Card-ELL’ and 'Wand Erection’ (has he been reading the internet?) are coming up later. Ads again, meaning the breaks are probably getting longer than the actual sections of this show. I do wish the “bright dancers” would stop singing ‘She’s So Lovely’, which is the second worst song in the history of forever, behind ‘Mull of Kintyre’.

Last week Lazy DECORATOR still failed to do any decorating but people loved him. Aside from his clients with half-finished wallpapering jobs they're waiting for him to finish, I imagine. This week he’s bringing back the Journey South memorial guitar of irrelevance!

He’s doing the Travis-ified version of ‘…Baby One More Time’ and I will leave Steve to insert his rant about the indiefication of pop songs to make them trendy. [SERIOUSLY. My friend Fraser calls it The Indie Validator, like singing a pop song with an acoustic guitar is somehow supposed to REDEEM it from its sinful poppiness or something. I hope someone rams that fucking guitar right up Lazy Decorator's indolent arse. - Steve] Remember the car crash of the usually-quite-good G4 doing this song? Oh, series one, such innocent times. Well, it’s all earnestness and emoting and a bit less falsetto than his previous performances, except at the end, and it’s, well, a Lazy DECORATOR performance. Everyone’s so predictable tonight.

Louis says he made it his own (except he essentially made it Travis’s) and that it could be another number one. I love how Lazy DECORATOR has had several imaginary number ones now. Can he put that on his official discography do you think? Cheryl says she thought she was hearing an acoustic set from ‘an artist’. [A piss artist. - Steve] Simon also says he made it his own. Dannii says the audience know who a pop star is. If their definition of pop star is ‘someone who doesn’t do decorating’ then yeah, fair enough. Dannii says she can’t wait to buy it on ITUNES. Dermot thanks him for not being Darius and reminds us to download it.

One Direction next. Dermot reminds Simon that his acts are doing badly and Simon says it’s not about quantity, but quality. Except they don’t have that, either. Some silly girls VT scream that Liam winked at them. They are happy about screaming girls, apparently. They changed their song because Simon didn’t like the first one. Dannii worries that changing the song is too much. Simon says they’ll deliver it. It doesn’t matter because they could not turn up at all tonight and still be shoo-ins for the final.

Pink’s ‘Nobody Knows’ seems a weird choice both for this week and for this group (and it's hardly the first or even second or third Pink song that anyone would name, were they asked). Liam takes lead and is mostly in tune. Zain is doing "harmonies" and is nowhere near any semblance of a tune. I would suggest they just make him the one that dances, but of course, he doesn’t dance. [They really need to just turn his mic off. FOREVER. - Steve] When the others come in, it’s just a racket. Some of them can sing and some of them really, really can’t, and they just don’t sound good together. The chorus is very shouty, and full to the brim of offstage backing singers again, and there isn’t enough NotLouis gimmickry to make this in any way interesting. They foolishly let Zain sing the last bit, which is dumb, given he’s the worst singer.

The audience go mental like the fools they are. Louis calls them five Justin Biebers. Dannii doesn’t understand why Pink is a guilty pleasure. Cheryl calls them her guilty pleasure and compares the hysteria around them to the Beatles but doesn’t comment on the performance. Simon said they chose a song and it didn’t work. I presume he means the first song but it sounded like he meant this one. Simon said they’ve “improved” vocally which is damning with faint praise anyway.

Dermot snarks at the judges that guilty pleasures is going to be a very loose theme anyway so they can’t talk and goes on about how they’re being mobbed. There’s then a weird VT bit where all the upcoming acts are shown. Running short of filler, were we?

Ads. Buy your X Factor pizza folks! Full of stale old cheese, leaves a nasty taste in the mouth and has a habit of repeating on you. Eyethangyew. [And results in a number two. - Steve]

Dermot welcomes us back and reminds us that Cheryl will be performing tomorrow.

Treyc invoked the spirit of Lorenzo last week. She liked having her photo taken with people. Cheryl says she needs to put on an amazing performance. NotLouis says her performance will be big. Treyc wants to show people she’s more than the little girl with a voice. I’m not sure she’s been referred to as a little girl by anyone on this show, but whatever.

She’s doing ‘Whole Lotta Love’ and is wearing a Katie Waissell-knock off with ridiculous feathers on the sleeves. She has a big metal bike rack to stand under and has a bunch of topless male dancers behind her in, I kid ye not, red tights, black American football helmets and black codpieces. Oh, NotLouis, you really miss Storm don’t you?

There are a guitarist and drummer onstage as well, and, pleasingly, her bike rack sets on fire. I’m very chuffed at that. Her vocal, whilst competent, isn’t as good as usual, though there are still some very strong bits and it’s not a very “singy” song, so I can’t really complain. At least she’s done something a bit more different than everyone else, so props to her for that.

Louis says he never thought anyone would sing Led Zeppelin on this show. Truedat. Dannii says she can sing the phonebook but wonders why she’s not been out here singing before this year. Because of Saint DANYL, Olly MURS and Jamie AFRO, of course, Dannii. Simon says she didn’t make all the notes but apparently she’s been ill. Cheryl wonders if they should go more rock in the future.

Dermot speaks to Treyc, who does indeed sound very hoarse and tells her she needs to complain more and be more of a diva. Dermot is so weird tonight.

Mary BYRNE next, and comedy music plays over her VT. Some woman tells Mary she’s ‘doing everything I should be doing myself’ – what, working in Tesco? Auditioning for this show? Because, you know, they’re both pretty achievable dreams, lady.

She is wearing a black dress with a mesh on top that reveals her boobs. Is this appropriate? She’s singing ‘I Who Have Nothing’ which is an incredibly boring song. These are the worst guilty pleasures ever. Only ‘…Baby One More Time’ really fits into what most people would understand by that term anyway, and it wasn’t done straight (well, no, I suppose it WAS done “straight” in the other sense of the word) so defeats the object. Mary’s performance? Surprise, surprise, it’s Mary. She’s going back to her overblown dramatics from week one which is good, but it’s not that exciting overall. She looks sick when she finishes and she has weird make-up on that doesn't help her with the looking ill. [And she never even stood a chance of beating Jordin Sparks on this song. - Steve]

Dannii loves her but says she’d like to hear her sing more current songs, which the audience boo the first time she says it and cheer the second time she says it. Weirdos. Cheryl, in her usual patronising manner, says REAL WOMEN with REAL EXPERIENCES will love her. [Cheryl is utterly intolerable this week. - Steve] Simon says she can’t sing the same song every week and they need to see more variety. Louis says they changed the song, which seems to be said for no reason other than to give people playing drinking games a ‘sing another song’ shot. [As if anyone us needed a reason to drink more by this point in the evening. - Steve]

Dermot asks Simon and Dannii if they were criticising Mary or Louis. They say ‘Louis’. Louis asks what kind of song Dannii means by ‘current’ and she fails by replying ‘Coldplay’. Oh, Dannii, I expected better of you. Mary says she doesn’t mind doing a more current song as long as she can do it in her style. Dermot says ‘wait for Grime week’. Oh Dermot, you disappointed me that time you said there would literally be murder on the dancefloor, don’t be breaking my heart again with promises like that.

Ads. Apparently the new RoC eye cream is their most talked about launch in history. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been speaking of nothing else for weeks.

Lesbian Vampire Killer (as in he is a lesbian vampire who kills, not a killer of lesbian vampires… oh, never mind) Aiden GRIMSHAW is next. Last week he was a mess but still better than a lot of these other losers. Tonight his epic quiff has reached Jimmy Ray heights and he’s doing ‘Diamonds are Forever’ which is really not a song that anyone other than Shirley Bassey should even bother attempting. I keep hoping for some Nick Cave. [He should've done 'Crazy Possessive' by Kaci Battaglia. It would suit his performance style perfectly. - Steve] His mic stand is made of chain links and he has a band playing under scaffolding as well as some weird big silver lycra dancing things on screen. He has some good notes in places but a lot of it is screechy and wobbly. Still, he does a few mental serial killer faces to please the fans at the epic moments, so that’s something.

Louis says he’s the perfect pop star and loves that he did a Shirley Bassey song. Of course. Cheryl says it was an amazing song choice and delivery and says he was “intense”, which “me personally I love" but thinks others wouldn’t like. She wishes he’d added the Kanye bits to it and wouldn’t want to watch him doing 22 songs on tour. Simon says he’s not like Kanye, though I think a stage invasion of Katie’s vote for me bit would be quite funny. Dannii said he did it Arctic Monkeys-style, and that’s his thing. It sounded more Last Shadow Puppets than Arctic Monkeys to me, but apparently the Arctic Monkeys performed it at Glastonbury. I looked it up, and, as you might expect, Aiden’s version was much closer to the Bassey version than it was to theirs, but oh, how I’d love to see some actual Arctic Monkeys songs on this show. Aiden could do Mardy Bum in an ironic way, and Wand Erection could do Brianstorm, given NotLouis’ lack of staging for them (“Brian, top marks for not trying”). This show needs more Sheffield. In fact, forget just an Arctic Monkeys theme, we could have a Sheffield theme week - Pulp, Longpigs, Human League, Heaven 17, Def Leppard… come on, it would be IMMENSE, and they could also do other regional theme weeks: Manchester would give us the Stone Roses, Oasis and the Happy Mondays, Liverpool: The Beatles, Cilla Black and Sonia and I HOPE THE WHOLE OF SCOTLAND VOTES FOR YOU could be represented by Michelle McManus, Leon Jackson and The MacDonald Brothers.

Oh goody, more ads.

Belle Amie next. They’re this year’s ‘fight with the mentor and jump under a bus’ act. Hi Conway Sisters and Rachel HYLTON! They refused to do the song Simon chose and are instead doing ‘I’ll Stand By You’. Not sure either Chrissie HYNDE or Cheryl COLE would appreciate their bands being guilty pleasures. Some of them are very, very out. They let the ones who never normally do anything sing, which is a mistake. Two of them have very weird hairstyles with big chains on the side. They have a LOT of unseen backing singers added to the final chorus to make them seem more in tune, but essentially, that wasn’t very good at all.

Louis says they’re potentially a great girl band but they’re on their own because Simon’s putting all his efforts into One Direction. Simon tries to look offended but actually smirks. Dannii says it wasn’t a surprising song choice and it didn’t have the wow factor but it was good. She says a lot of songs could have been cheesy with this theme but the standard has been high so they struggled. I wish some of the songs had been more lively tonight, Dannii, and if you call that "cheesy", so be it. Cheryl says she loved the song and wishes she was up with them. They say she should come and join them. Hee. Simon says Louis should stop being bitchy although he doesn’t refute Louis’ claims. He says it wasn’t a very interesting arrangement of the song and snips at Louis that John should have done his own thing like the girls did – except, they didn’t really, did they? You just said it wasn’t very original. Oh, whatever.

Up next, Louis still refuses to pronounce Wagner’s name correctly. No wonder he snarked about you earlier this week, LouLou. Some members of the public also pronounce his name wrong in the VT. NotLouis wins my heart forever by saying Wagner will be playing the congas. As a percussionist I have been shouting at everyone who incorrectly called them bongos the other week (bongos are the small ones, congas the tall ones, FYI). He’s doing ‘Spice up Your Life’ and there’s some hip wiggling and girls in large leafy headdresses. It turns into ‘Livin’ La Vida Loca’ in a very clumsy way – it’s not a splicing of two songs into a seamless medley, it’s two bits of song sung back to back. Not Wagner’s fault, obviously, but it’s about as clunky as some of the Dorothy medley/mashups. His dancers then do weird things where the girl dancers balance on the male dancers’ stomachs. [Ruthie, they were SIMULATING SEX. - Carrie] I didn’t see any conga drums, though, so boo to that.

The official X Factor Twitter feed shouted “Khan!” during this. Love the Official X Factor Twitter feed! It’s much less corporate than hollow-souled Dermot. Another sample tweet? 'Personally I'd like Mary to have a crack at The Beastie Boys' Intergalactic'. Excellent work.

Dannii says Wagner embraced the theme and could understand every word. Cheryl wasn’t impressed. Simon snits about the Spice Girls being chosen, even though this was one of the few song choices that fit the stupid theme, Simon. [Not according to Nicolo. Who apparently would've sung the theme from Flashdance tonight. I miss him so much. - Steve] Simon refers to Wagner’s comments in the press and asks if he’s happy with the song choices. Wagner says he prefers opera and classical but Louis is “wise” and knows he comes from a country where – and he shakes his hips as a response to this. Dermot tells him to remind Louis of his name and he tells him, and then Louis goes “It’s Wagner” with a W sound and makes a W in the air. Vanker.

I thought that was the last performance of the night, but I had forgotten Katie. Oh.

Ads. R2-D2 and C3PO, you sell-outs. Oh, and buy Dannii’s book, in which we are mentioned! Or our ‘People for the Ethical Treatment of Dannii Minogue’ Facebook group is, anyway.

I have heard many rumours about Katie’s song and I am really hoping they’re true. In her VT she tells us Madonna is one of her idols and the ‘being mobbed on Oxford Street’ gave her a glimpse into what Madonna’s life is like. I would imagine Madonna’s life is NOTHING like that of an X Factor contestant, but there we go. [Also, the whole 'I felt like a star!' thing that everyone was doing in their VTs was ridiculous. You don't have to be a celebrity to get mobbed on Oxford Street. You just need to be a shopper. - Steve, Who Is Mobbed On Oxford Street Every Weekday And Does Not Enjoy It Katie says she’ll be dancing this week. Simon is horrified by the song choice.

She enters through a beaded curtain, wearing the same kind of outfit Tallulah wore in Daleks of Manhattan on Doctor Who. She IS doing ‘I Wanna Be Like You’. Hee. I am a little disappointed, though, as I had visions of her coming on in full Jungle Book attire, complete with animal dancers. That, Katie, would have won my love. [Then you'll enjoy Bristol Palin on Dancing With The Stars. - Steve]

I guess embracing the comedy was the only way she could go in order to stay in the show, so it’s probably a smart move on her part, though not as smart as if she'd embraced it PROPERLY. There’s some dancing about (mostly by the dancers, she just trots a bit) and a bit where the dancers lift her above their heads and she keeps going, and, as with Cher, well done her for that bit.

Her voice sounds even worse than usual, though, very weak and not entirely tuneful, but I think that “the tune” and this series are only passing acquaintances anyway going on tonight’s evidence. So, yes it’s really awful, but I suppose that if we have to have her (and unfortunately it appears we do) then I’d rather awful, taking the piss out of herself Katie than ‘earnest artiste’ Katie. I may retract that statement if she stays in much longer, of course.

Louis says ‘at long last the real Katie has arrived’ – what, she’s a cartoon? That explains a lot. Dannii says it was a clever twist on the theme and she loved seeing Katie having fun and dancing. Simon loved her and says he’s glad she took a risk as he loved it. Cheryl says she’s a breath of fresh air.

Katie says she’s had so much fun and is really excited.

Recap of the performances, in which they show Paije losing the tune, Belle Amie and One Direction being drowned out by backing singers and one of Treyc’s dancers with a firework exploding from their crotch, something I apparently missed first time round.

Dermot informs us that tomorrow we’ll only be losing one of the acts. Belle Amie, Paije or John would be my predictions, but then they've been my predictions every week (along with FYD and Storm) so what do I know? [I'm nervous for Treyc, though I don't know why. - Steve] See you then!


StuckInABook said...

Amazingly, those bizarre chains appeared in the hair of ALL Belle Amie girls, although The Blonde One (how sensible of them to have different hair colours, though a shame for the one who drew the 'neon red' straw) cleverly managed to hide the chains with, er, more hair.

Oh, and whilst I mostly agree with you, I won't hear a WORD said sagainst Lovely Rebecca. Even if her dress did look like it was designed to accommodate a horrific tumour.


Earendel said...

I'm surprised you were so lenient towards Katie; I thought it was extremely cynical of them to use one of the most popular Disney songs ever in an attempt to get people to like her - it carried the slight tang of desperation to me.
I really wanted Aiden to do a Shirley Bassey version of it - all eyes and hand gestures, but no - he kept to his strange and strangled arrangement. :(
Still, a fabulous write up as always, I have been a 'follower' since last year, just plucking up the courage to provide my tuppence worth. ;)

Anonymous said...

I love your blog more than those really nice biscuits I cant remember the name of.
Please look at mine in a hearty exchange:

gummygobbler said...

at least they didn't mention Paijes DEAD GRANDMOTHER!

Rad said...

StuckInABook - Really, Rebecca? I mean, she's probably in the better half of this year's crop, but...zzzzzzzzz

Earendel - Oh it was dreadful and contrived and tuneless and she's always desperate, but we're not allowed to get rid of her yet, so I think it's time we looked for small mercies. The introduction of deliberately KomedyKatie looks to me as if they've given up hope of her being taken seriously. We'll see what happens next week. I'm kind of intrigued as to who the next "real me" will be, there have been a good dozen or so so far.

pleonasticfantastic - nice blog!

gummygobbler - I expect the sob story WHICH IS DEAD will be resurrected in a few weeks' time, probably to coincide with a charity single or somesuch.

Fiz said...

Rad, John's song "Zoom" was originally a very good soul number by an American group, called Fat Larry's Band in the early 80's.( I think it was a one hit wonder). Capital played it a lot and I think it was a minor hit. I liked it so much I bought the album (on tape, alas) which I liked as well, just FYI

Alex67 said...

"Zoom" a minor hit ? Noooooo. It was top 10 and got to number 2 if I remember rightly. Always loved it.

Fiz said...

I thought it was in a good final chart position , but I knew it hadn't got to No 1. Thanks Alex67.

gummygobbler said...

Zoom is a song that is about taking an intense intravenous hit of Heroin! True fact even if you didn't notice it first time around xx

Fiz said...

I've lived a very sheltered life, gummygobbler!