30 October 2010
Last week! It was "guilty pleasures" week, but turned out to be the most boring episode yet! Most people ignored the theme! John went home and everyone promptly forgot he'd ever been in this competition!
This week! Halloween! Since when did Halloween become a big event, anyway? It's everywhere this year (and has become increasingly so for the past few years). Not that I'm complaining, as it takes the attention away from Bonfire Night and I'm a big wuss when it comes to fireworks. [Fireworks season where I live seems to run from mid-October to the end of November. Boom bang a bang indeed. - Steve]
I didn't see this episode when it aired, and actually watched the results first. Having seen those, I am not enthusiastic about what I am about to witness - and to make things worse, I am going to have to watch it on ITVPlayer (still, fewer adverts has trimmed its running length to 1 hour 24 minutes which means I am spared over 45 minutes' worth of ad breaks. Blimey!), and I can't manage it all in one sitting. I fear for my own sanity and I haven't even hit play yet!
There are some nice spider-webby and lightning graphics overlaying the normal ones as we get the obligatory opening babble, along with sound effects of howling, creaking doors etc and the graphics people turning the contestants' faces green. Hee. I suspect all the fun will be used up in this small segment. Dannii thinks the boys are really embracing the theme (though this show is going to have to go some to beat the way Strictly jumped on the Halloween bandwagon), Louis thinks the other judges should be scared. Cheryl fails at interpreting the theme and says they're not messing around. Simon also fails, saying his category is going to be focussed and determined. Dannii says we need to get ready for a real Thriller tonight and Louis says the three witches beside him are not going to know what hit them. Did Simon and Cheryl even record VTs for this week, or has the show just used random generic VT blurb from them?
IT'S! TIME! TO! FACE! THE! MUSIC!
Simon then says it's going to be a bizarre night, embrace the madness, which again, could apply to any week this year.
Dermot has added a waistcoat so that his suit jacket isn't badly buttoned up. Way to embrace the theme there, Dermot. Didn't you used to be fun once? Admittedly that was about in 2001 but still. He refers to the judges as a four-headed monster. I admit, if they come through the door in a comedy four-headed monster suit then I'll be impressed.
The judges enter, accompanied by comedy zombie dancers, to Thriller. Dannii's hair has come as Aiden, and she's wearing a red dress. Louis has put a black shirt and bow tie on for the occasion which is, I suppose, dressing up as far as he's concerned. Cheryl and Simon have come as themselves. Yawn. Oh, but then Simon smiles and it looks like he's got vampire teeth, which is kind of cool.
First up the Over 28s. Dermot claims their mentor has been possessed for weeks, years, by a grumpy spirit - which, notsomuch. A spirit of idiocy or dickishness, perhaps, but he's less grumpy than some of the judges, Simon.
Mary has the suicide spot, and Simon snarks that Louis has chosen something more modern than Shirley Bassey - Barry Manilow, which I presume is going to be 'Could it be Magic'. That would be quite a funny joke, were it not for the fact that if One Direction were doing this he'd call it a Take That song and pretend it was contemporary, even though their cover is nearly twenty years old itself.
Mary claims she is going to 'rip it'.
She has two dancers in cages with her, which is a good start if she's planning to go down the G.A.Y. 'diva' route rather than the SuBo 'national treasure' route in the future. Actually I have no idea if G.A.Y. has cages, having only been in their bar, not the club itself, but Dempsey's in Sheffield has cages so I'm just transposing up a few leagues. [A good rule of thumb where G.A.Y. is concerned - if it sounds tacky, they probably do it. - Steve] She's wearing devil horns and a dress from the Pop Idol 2 big stock of dresses that make large women look larger that they used to put Michelle and Kim in to torture them. She also has an Aiden: Portrait of a Serial Killer quiff going on.
The problem with this song is that it's not a very singy song and so she sounds a bit weak and flat in places and she tries to do several big Bassey-esque belts, but they don't entirely fit the song's style. Despite the caged dancers, the staging doesn't really go anywhere much, either. All in all, that was a bit lacklustre. The audience, naturally, lap it up.
Dannii calls her a class act and says she hopes she's taking this [the cheers] in. Cheryl says she's glad she embraced the theme (unlike some people, eh, Chezza) but thinks she could have gone for 'I Put a Spell on You' song-wise, despite the fact that this was supposed to be "different" Mary and surely that song's slated for Katie at some stage anyway? Simon loved her and calls her a horny little devil. Louis says she was in tune for every note [I love that they invoke being in tune as an incredible achievement. One would think in a SINGING COMPETITION, which Dannii revealed this to be last year after many series of confusion, being in tune would be essential for all contestants. - Carrie]. Some of them, but not every one, Louis and the audience love her and so does he.
Mary interviews that she loved the song. Dermot reminds us we can download the performance but doesn't invoke the name of ITUNES - has the product placement stopped?
Dermot asks Simon if he likes trick or treating and scaring the kiddies. Simon deadpans 'all the time, I love buckets of sweeties'. More of that, Simon, and I might think about being nicer to you.
Next up 'the demon from Down Under, Dannii' and Aiden. He is doing 'Thriller' and is going to 'make it his own'. As Scooby-Doo would say, 'Ruh-roh'. Simon snarks that Aiden never smiles. Given you praised him for the whole 'Twilight' thing, whatever, Simon.
Oh dear, he's essentially raping the song in a manner akin to Austin Drage's act of indecency against 'Billie Jean' (although not quite as bad as Austin, obviously). I wish they'd just give Aiden some Nick Cave, some Cure (well, possibly just 'Lullaby', as other Cure songs are deceptively chirpy), and maybe some Gary Numan, Placebo (can you imagine 'Pure Morning' or 'Nancy Boy' on this show?) or Sisters of Mercy. This is rubbish. Lullaby would have been a great fit for this theme and for Aiden. Even bloody 'Spaceman' by Babylon Zoo would have worked better. Thriller really didn't deserve this treatment, and Aiden didn't really deserve to be given something so catastrophic so early on (what? I liked 'Mad World' and am still hoping for something else in that vein).
He is surrounded by dancers dressed as Autons, though, who are genuinely creepy, so that's something, as is the lighting on the stage, all old spooky cityscape with a big clockface. It's almost as pretty as the stained glass lighting they had on Strictly last night.
Poor Aiden, I think he could be quite good, but the curse of Dannii's terrible song choices seems to be afflicting him.
Louis said it was intense and might not be everyone's cup of tea, but he liked him. Cheryl calls it brave but can't 'work out my mind' as to whether it was really right or really wrong. She wants to see him smile, at which the audience part-boo and part-cheer. Simon calls it bizarre and sais he knows what it's like working with dummies, and which Louis retorts and Simon goes 'I'm not talking about you' - well, chances are you meant a) the judges b) contestants on "these shows" or c) your minions, and whilst you probably meant d) all of the above, pretending you meant option a) would probably have been the classiest option, Simon. He said it was indulgent and too much to the left. Yeah, Aiden, you commie bastard. Next you'll be singing about free healthcare and strong public services, you leftie SCUM. Dannii says people don't give him enough credit for being EIGHTEEN years old and having a stage presence (to be fair, I'd forgotten he was only 18 as he looks a good five years or so older).
Dermot asks what he thinks of the feedback and Aiden said he wanted to do it like that. There's a creepy dummy left over in the background. Do your job, Friedman's minions! Dermot says he has a Raging Bull thing going on and tells him to smile because he's a nice guy. Aiden (in guyliner, Steve) [I appear to be immune in this case - Steve] does a terrifying grin.
At this point, ITVPlayer cuts Dermot off in the middle of a sentence. Smoooooth editing. [It did that when I was trying to watch Gossip Girl the other day. Every single ad-break was slap bang in the middle of someone talking. Grrr. - Steve]
Ad for the X Factor console game. It looks like it's no match for Singstar and Lips, put it that way.
Dermot returns to say Belle Amie and Rebecca will be on after the break. Such editing fail, ITVPlayer.
Simon says 'Up next, from a bit of gloom to a bit of Zoom'. Really? Didn't that go down like a lead balloon last week? Speaking of going down like a lead balloon, here's Belle Amie.
Last week they fought with their mentor, and as anyone who follows this show knows, fighting with your mentor and choosing your own song means you get one week's grace from being in the bottom two before being ceremoniously dumped. Let's see if they can keep up the tradition, eh?
They're doing 'Venus' which has never worked on this show, but the stage opens with a load of dry ice, some topless men writhing around in pants and four coffins. Subtle foreshadowing there, show. The coffins open and they're all wearing white dresses with huge hair. They look pretty impressive given the theme, I'll give them that. [I thought it would've been far more appropriate if they'd just remained in the coffins for two minutes and not sung a note. META. - Steve]
The song has none of the Bananarama 'oomph', and it sounds as if they're thoroughly bored/cheesed off. They still have tuning/harmony issues. [I laughed when they were still in the coffins as the vocals began and utterly missed their cue. Smooth creative direction, NotLouis! - Carrie] Their dancers crawl around the stage and are way more distracting than John's were last week but I bet this goes unmentioned because it's Simon's act. They then try and dramatically slow the song down before the final chorus, which no more "legitimises" a pop song than the indiefication we mentioned last week. The final chorus is better than the rest of it, but it really needed much more energy and fun.
Louis loved the styling (I bet he did) and song choice and trots out the staple X Factor girl band cliche 'we need a bit of girl power on the X Factor' (DRINK!). Dannii says it was fun, 'but I think when you hear it back', at which the audience boo before she can even get a comment out. Cram it, audience. She tries to say something about the vocals - presumably that they weren't very good, not that 'Venus' is much of a vocal showcase anyway. They appear to take it on board. Cheryl said it was their most excited and confident (really? Then there's no hope for them) but she's sick of them doing girl band songs - even though Airplanes isn't a girl band song, nor was You Really Got Me, and I think Chrissie Hynde would debate whether I'll Stand By You was, too.
Simon goes 'plate of milk for the girls, I think' because perish the thought a woman could constructively criticise another woman without being a HEINOUS JEALOUS BITCH. He says they didn't get enough credit for what they did and then goes on to praise the costumes and the creative side, which the other three all said they liked. He says he thinks it was their best performance, but mentions nothing about their vocals, so essentially he said the same thing as JEALOUS COWS Cheryl and Dannii.
Dermot asks Dannii if she didn't think it was their most confident performance, and she repeats that she thinks they were having fun but it wasn't there vocally. The audience boo again. The blonde one says they've had fun (if the show won't tell me their names, I refuse to do its research for it. I can name One Direction though - Liam, Harry, Zain, Stingray boy and The Other One). Dermot says it was the first time they looked like they were enjoying themselves. They didn't sound like it though, Dermot.
Next up, it's Rebecca, who seems to be the one act our readers like even though none of us can fathom what makes her special. But then we didn't get the appeal of Laura White either, and we were proved wrong there, weren't we? Except for the part where we were totally right, of course.
Her VT reminds us that she is HUMBLE and her CONFIDENCE is beginning to grow and that she is EMOTIONAL. We're not told where she comes from, though, so let's hope the good people of Liverpool remember to vote. She's still not got any weird staging or backing dancers, but she does have a ridiculously long braided hairpiece. She's doing a slowed down version of 'Wicked Game', which was slow enough anyway. She then gets some string players in the background, which is nice. I think this is perhaps her strongest performance yet, those of you waiting for us to be convinced by her, but I still don't think she is using her natural singing voice. Much like our blessed Saint Laura White, her voice sounds fake and affected, and very nasal. [At least they haven't yet sent her out on stage dressed in a yurt like they did to St. Laura. - Steve] She screws up the key change, too.
Louis calls her Liverpool's finest. The poor Beatles. He says they're looking for someone with a unique recording voice, which is definitely not Rebecca (although he says 'which is you'), nor, to be fair, has it been any of the previous contestants with the possible exceptions of Rhydian and Yellow JLS (Merry Christmas!) - oh, and some of the comedy ones, I suppose. Dannii says she'd love to hear that again, that Rebecca was classy, looked great and her vocal was better. Simon says he can tell she is nervous, as are a lot of the others, maybe because Treyc ended up in the bottom two last week. He calls it total, utter class and says she reminds him of Leona Lewis.
Cheryl burbles about how much she loves her and says she is the perfect ambassador for Britain, but doesn't specify in what capacity. Sports? Tourism? Diplomacy? [Ferrero Rocher-based receptions? - Carrie]
ITVPlayer ad break
Dermot says he'll see us after the break. This is just silly now.
Next up, 'the little devil Cheryl'. Err?
Last week Treyc ended up in the bottom two and says maybe the song was too old, although not given the usual standard of this show's repertoire, I'd wager. She then had a panic attack off stage, though I am not sure why we needed to see this. Cheryl has chosen a song for her to be 'fun'.
It's kind of Take That's singles-that-were-covers week this week, as she's doing 'Relight My Fire'. Please no 'How Deep is Your Love' thanks.
She's wearing a red dress with a hood. Little Red Riding Hood? It's hard to tell. She has really severe black lipstick on, too. It's mostly OK but there are several places where she appears to be straining to keep the note going because her breathing is all over the shop, which is surely something Yvie should have sorted out with her. Treyc's probably still the best singer in this show (like that's saying much) but I wish she'd stop having moments of sucking.
Louis can't find anything wrong with her. Dannii says good for her for getting back up there but still wants to know her signature style. This. Fucking. Show. Seriously, you're damned if you don't vary your style and damned if you do.
Simon says he can't fault the vocal and she's a great singer but he doesn't think there's a connection between her and Cheryl (because Cheryl booted her out in favour of Katie and Cher at Boot Camp maybe?) and that Dannii has a point because Cheryl's not turning her into a recording artist, just someone who sings well and looks pretty but isn't original. I love how 'original' is suddenly the buzzword for this show, which has been anything but throughout its whole sorry history. Simon snarks that Cheryl's not putting as much effort into Treyc as the others. Cheryl says it's not true and that they work with the theme and Treyc always delivers and they have got a good connection thank you.
Simon asks Cheryl where Treyc lives, which flummoxes Cheryl (though I bet if Louis had done his usual 'name all the members of Belle Amie' thing on Simon he wouldn't know) and she says it's a stupid question. Given all the contestants currently live in The X Factor house, Cheryl should have had a quick response there. [Seriously. Cheryl is such a moron. - Steve] Cheryl says 'I went to collect her from her house actually'. What, you gave her a lift to the studio? Simon says 'where does she live?' and Cheryl replies 'Birmingham', although I think the good people of 'I hope TAMWORTH votes for you' might take issue with that. Dermot then says that she lives in a big house with all the other contestants and asks her if she has a connection with Cheryl. Treyc says yes, and they know what they're doing, to which Cheryl shouts 'we're singing', although I think it's mostly Treyc that's doing the singing in that partnership. Treyc says she doesn't see what's wrong with being versatile and singing different genres and she's not sure whether that's a negative. Dannii smiles at her. Dermot is confused by all the big words.
Another pointless 'still to come on the X Factor' ad break outro like we had last week, which is spliced in two by the ITVPlayer ads.
Dannii says 'well girls, it's Matt Cardle' because apparently we're meant to fancy Lazy DECORATOR. He's doing a HUGE Leona song and NotLouis says it's one of those songs you don't touch - so why bother? Louis VTs that Simon will be looking for faults in this song and Simon says he's heard some horrific attempts at it in recent years.
It's 'Bleeding Love', of course, and he has pretty trees as his backdrop. Love the stage, as always. Here is where ITVPlayer crashes. Only for the second time though, and we're forty minutes in, so that's not bad going. Anyway, the performance is a standard Lazy DECORATOR performance, except his vocal seems much weaker than usual. Is Yvie actually earning her keep this week? For the second week, his hat is missing. I hope River Song disposed of it in her usual hat police style.
Louis likes Lazy but thinks this week wasn't that exciting. The audience boo. Cheryl says there's a lot of love out there for him (the audience whoop) but it was a tough song and he seemed defeated but it doesn't matter because girls fancy him. OK then. Simon says it's one of those weeks where everyone is nervous and that Lazy and the song were having a punch-up in the middle, but he likes that it wasn't a copycat performance and he believes Lazy always gives it 110%, except in his work life where he presumably gives less than 10%. Dannii says she can't believe that was a weak week for Lazy as he was great and wonders if the other judges arrived on broomsticks that evening (cue NotLouis cursing a missed staging opportunity). Dannii says it's good to be versatile but have a style. I love Dannii but I have no clue what she's on about there.
Dermot says we're back with 'the tricky little treat' that is Louis Walsh. Que? Louis introduces, 'for music lovers', Wagner, which he still pronounces wrongly. Maybe we should call him Lewis and see how he likes those apples? [Or Lois. - Steve] Wagner VTs that the X Factor is better than the Hollywood Dream but seeing as I believe the Hollywood Dream = American Idol's Boot Camp then that's not saying too much. He feels British because he's been adopted by the people of Britain. Legally? Louis says this song will show off his operatic voice. Simon says he's not losing sleep over it... yet and bursts into a fit of giggles. VT Simon is much better than real Simon tonight.
Wagner opens singing 'O Fortuna' (how meta) and he's got on a red jacket with mad eye make-up - all black eyeliner and fake blood - and his projections are of people in hoods who look a bit like Dementors from Harry Potter. A load of dancers in skeleton suits jump on the stage, and Wagner's surrounded by some others in black rain macs and animal ears. Err, OK. It then clumsily segues into 'Bat out of Hell' although he struggles to keep in time and he's trying to pronounce all the words properly, but given how much we criticise people for not enunciating on this show, it seems churlish to knock him for that, even if it sounds odd in this context. The dancers strip off their macs to reveal leotards and cat tails. He then completely forgets the last line and stutters before singing the 'like a bat out of hell' line again instead.
Dannii calls his costume 'adorable' which is surely not the aim of Halloween costumes, and says he was different and unusual. [Actually, she says it was noice, different, and unusual, in a Kath and Kim style, which is totally not understood by the audience. - Carrie] He apologises, bless him. Cheryl says it was out of time and he apologises again and says it was hard to sing in Latin and English. Simon: 'What the hell was that?' and then bursts out laughing. Simon said he didn't understand a single word, which is unfair, as bat and out were pronounced way more clearly than Meat Loaf, but Simon says he likes Wagner and good luck to him.
Dermot says they should give him credit for not just doing 'The Girl From Ipanema' each week. Snerk. He then calls him Wagner with a soft 'W' too. Oh, DERMOT. Louis says he sings in two languages. Who else can sing in two languages? Well, Ruth Lorenzo for one.
Louis asks Wagner if he is happy with the direction Louis is taking him in and Wagner says very happy and apologises because his vampire accent got a bit mixed up with his English and Latin. Aww, bless, he was ACTING and everything.
God, is this show not over yet?
Paije is next, and Dannii says he should have FUN tonight, that being the buzzword for this evening, despite only NotLouis contributing anything to that endeavour so far. There's lots of pointless filler VT about his terrible clothing.
It's 'Back to Black' and he's gender-switched the lyrics and changed 'with his dick wet' to 'she kept her head' which is perhaps slightly better than 'with her, errrr' that Jamie AFRO managed last year. It's rather disappointing that this show still keeps falling back on this song given they've had a few more recent tracks in the mix lately. Actually, this whole episode feels like its lapsed back into its old territory, seeing as 'Relight my Fire', 'Could it Be Magic', 'Bleeding Love' etc are all staples. Love or hate last night's Strictly, at least it was actually something different, whereas this show is just turgid tonight. And to think I thought live show one suggested the series might go in some unexpected directions.
He changes more of the lyrics to the point where they neither rhyme nor make sense. This song really isn't suitable for a pre-watershed audience so I have no idea why they're bothering. He seems to have John's dancers from last week in the background. He's wearing some weird tie-cum-scarf-cum suspenders thing around his neck, along with a hideous bow-tie. His singing is terrible, probably his worst performance yet, all whiney and out-0f both tune and control. If ITVPlayer weren't so damn unreliable, I'd be hitting fast-forward.
Louis lies that he gets better every week and that he loves his style and he needs MOAR CONFIDENCE. Cheryl says 'there's no question of doubt' (not 'a') and he can sing really well. Simon loves his attitude and says it's like the contestants bite back this week - well, except for Rebecca, Lazy Decorator and all those others you said were scared this week, of course, Simon. He calls Paije a diva and says he gave it (only?) 100%. Dannii loved it and says the more riffs the better, and I'd rather not, because his riffs suck.
Simon says you have to take criticism on this show, and you have to give it back. Really? This is like grumpy bugger Len commending Brendan for reacting against the judges on last night's Strictly. It's a world gone mad, is what it is.
Last week Katie embraced the Komedy because there's no way she'll get further by trying to be serious. Cheryl VTs about how kooky Katie is, and Dannii and Louis say she just needs to entertain the kookiness and stop being serious.
She's got her hair backcombed out to a huge degree (or a wig, whichever), and some weird white make up on, as well as a black crown atop her head. Her background is of smiley cartoon pumpkins BECAUSE SHE'S A LOVEABLE CARTOON CHARACTER YOU SEE? She's singing the theme tune to 'Bewitched' by Steve Lawrence. Really? I know you could never top Jedward's 'Ghostbusters' but surely you could get something more memorably silly than this. It's effectively a jazz/easy listening style sounding tune, and so ticks more of the jazz-lite boxes Katie mostly seems to want to tick rather than the KOOKY MONSTER boxes the show wants her to tick. Her voice really is piss-weak, isn't it?
The song then picks up tempo and she's accompanied by dancers with gym balls made up to look like pumpkins. They then sit on them and do what seem to be a series of pelvic floor/core stability exercises. She has some skeletons playing saxophones which is all very fun but doesn't detract from the paper-thin vocals.
Louis says she was born to be on the stage and he likes that every week she is different, while Dannii says she's found her style. So is different good or the same good? This show. Dannii says the make-up was a bit scary, to which Katie retorts 'Happy Halloween'. Heh, I'll give her that one. Simon says she's embraced being a singing scarecrow (and this is a compliment how?) and this show would be duller without her. He compares her to Gwen Stefani (please tell me we're not having songs Gwen Stefani has heard of week) and says there's a new generation of pop stars who are fun - though I don't think Gwen Stefani can qualify as new, and given her lack of output lately, she probably doesn't qualify much as a pop star, either. 'Fun' depends on how much you can tolerate her 'quirkiness'.
Cheryl loves that Katie throws herself into things headfirst.
Dermot says her eyes - which on closer inspection are huge fake eyelashes - are scary up close and then he says she must be happy that she hasn't been in the bottom two for a while (well two weeks, anyway). He asks if she prefers being a Singing Scarecrow or Gwen Stefani. She says a bit of both. Worzel Gummidge/No Doubt mashup next week, anyone?
One Direction next. A clip of Louis saying Simon's putting all his energy into the boyband (probably because he knows he'll be down to one act before very long) and Simon saying he doesn't care. The boys say this makes them look like the bad guys and they're very upset because it takes their hard work [/that of their offstage backing singers - Steve] away. Oh cram it, children. Dannii says they're doing what they should be doing and if they were not a fantastic boy band they wouldn't be getting that attention. Nothing to do with them being on the biggest show in the country, then? I mean Katie's getting a lot of attention - way more than One Direction - but that doesn't exactly make her fantastic.
Oh dear, it's 'Total Eclipse of the Heart'. At least they have zombie make-up on. Zain pulls his best woobie face. Just keep doing that Zain, no singing or dancing for you, please. The backing kicks in halfway through the chorus which makes it a weird mash-up of the Bonnie Tyler and Nikki French versions, except nowhere near as good as either, obviously. Their vocals are as weak as ever and they really don't sound good together, but as if anyone cares given that when they are RECORDING ARTISTS they'll be autotuned to fuck like that last Saturdays single which sounded even more robotic than Cher in full-vocoder rampage circa 1998.
I think it's worth remembering that none of these boys were deemed good enough to get past bootcamp - and they've done nothing to prove they deserved otherwise. Essentially, the whole sorry story of One Direction is the nail in the coffin for groups - even (or rather, especially) if they win - given that it would send out the message that groups are so rubbish that none of them can get through and that even rubbish solo singers are better than groups. Bah humbug. I'm sure they're nice boys and all but they are utterly, utterly dreadful. They even let Zain, Stingray and Blondie "sing" little solo lines as if this weren't bad enough.
Louis loved the 'Twilight' (DRINK!) thing they had and he says everywhere he goes, girls are saying 'you know One Direction'. No comment. He asks Simon what the song has to do with Halloween. Simon says 'it's an eclipse'. Err? [Surely it would have made more sense to talk about the spooky Bonnie Tyler video? - Carrie] Dannii wants to go to their party, possibly because she's no longer sure about how wise it was to make Diva Fever the soundtrack to her party. They clearly haven't had their growth spurts yet, because they only appear to be a couple of centimetres taller than Dermot rather than a couple of feet like most other contestants. Apparently Liam hurt his leg this week as well. What is it with this group and leg injuries?
Last (hoo-fucking-ray) is Cher. She VTs that she came to The X Factor to get Simon's approval. Oh, Cher. Simon says it will either be a great moment for her or she'll learn a horrible lesson.
She's singing Shakespear's Sister's 'Stay' (released before she was even born, lovers of depressing facts) and that's a pretty brave move, given very few people can come anywhere close to Marcella Detroit's voice or Siobhan Fahey's crazy. She pitches her tent somewhere between the two, and whilst neither the singing nor the madness are in any way close to what we've come to expect from this song, it's a valiant attempt compared to most other people this evening, and she has a wind machine and a creepy throne. There are quite a few places where the notes are too big for her and her voice cracks and there's some crying in the middle, which annoys me because I'm kind of sick of the whole 'Cher's so vulnerable' thing. I mean, she probably is, but if she's vulnerable, don't parade her on telly and the papers every single week. All that said, her voice is better than previous performances have led us to believe and it was one of the more interesting song choices tonight.
Louis says it was incredible and she's not just a one-trick pony, and it was the best performance of the night. Dannii says she took the theme and didn't make it gimmicky and she adored her vulnerability. Simon says it wasn't the performance of the night, it was the performance of the entire season. SERIES, Simon, you're not in America right now. His only criticism is that Cheryl is trying to turn her into her, which seems a bit random this week given this was the least Cheryl Cole-like thing Cher's done.
Dermot gives Cher a tissue and asks how she feels. Emotional, apparently.
Dermot reminds us to vote and tells us that in the results show we have performances from Bon Jovi, Rihanna, and bloody Jamiroquai. I can't wait. Except that, having seen the show already, I totally can. Join me later for the recap!