Monday, November 22, 2010

Like a little Robert Allen

Beatles week - the results
Tx: 21st November 2010

Last night, everyone massacred the worst songs The Beatles ever recorded and one they didn't, and they gave Katie the pimp slot because they know she’s the only one anyone’s talking about. Tonight my misery is compounded further as we have the hells of another charity single, Olly FUCKING Murs and not enough wine in the world.

Dermot welcomes us back, and introduces "our very own Essex boy Olly Murs" - speak for yourself, O'Leary, but I'm claiming no ownership of him - and reminds us there's going to be a charity single for Help for Heroes, like we would dare forget. He introduces the judges, and I hate how it’s always either Simon or Cheryl first and the other one last. Dannii contributes much more than they do in the way of mentoring and constructive feedback, and Louis contributes much more in the way of general idiocy and hatefulness. Dermot reminds us to buy downloads from ITUNES and go to see THE TOUR. He lies that it was a great Beatles night last night and says they took on songs from the biggest bands (he actually says the biggest bands, not one of the biggest bands, or the biggest band. Too much time spent with Simon, methinks) of all time.

Dermot asks the judges who nailed it. All of them. To a wooden crucifix, which they then burned. And pissed all over. Louis: Rebecca, Mary, One Direction. Dannii: Cher, Matt, Paije. She says Cher was soft and beautiful (Dannii, really??) and she liked the stairs. Dermot then tries to reignite last night’s non-row about the stairs some more because he is the worst host ever (except maybe Konnie Huq). Cheryl: everyone. Dermot: The Nation's Sweetheart speaks again. Given Terry Wogan introduced her as such on Children in Need the other night I am beginning to wonder if her people have trademarked the phrase for compulsory use in the same way Michael Jackson did with the phrase King of Pop. I dare Jarvis Cocker to stage invade next time she mimes to a slightly wan single. Simon liked One Direction, Matt, Rebecca, Katie - i.e. THE CHOSEN THREE and the one they're keeping in for the press. No alarms and no surprises there.
Last night is revisited along with Cher staircase non-row again, One Direction calling the Beatles a boy band, and Simon calling Wagner three times as worse (as his grammar). We see all the positive comments about Katie, but not Dannii’s comments about her multiple personality disorder. Iiiinteresting.

Dermot "welcomes" back Olly. We see last year where he was a cocky cock who couldn’t dance and did a smug and terrible duet with Robbie. I hate him so much. [Why's that, Ruthie? HAHAHAHA - Carrie] See what I go through for you all. Still, this should have the opposite effect of JLS/Alexandra making last year's lot look terrible by comparison, so every cloud and all.

He opens with a prop newspaper saying "Olly to play Royal Wedding". I really, really hope that's a lie and the Queen can do him for treason or somesuch, because poor, poor William and Kate if there's any smidgeon of truth in that. Of course he might not mean that Royal Wedding, just some event by minor royalty in some tiny country somewhere, but still, I feel the nation should brace itself in case. He wears a tight white polo neck and braces. They're really trying to sell that Olly is a GOOD BRITISH BLOKE and loving him is our patriotic duty along with Beatles reverence, Cheryl worship and wanking to pictures of soldiers, but it's not working. Is it? Please say it isn't. The song, such as it is, is a horrible cod reggae/ska abomination that makes Alexandra Burke's recent Lilt jingle replica single sound progressive. He has weird dancers dressed as bankers and red call boxes and Union Jacks on the stage cos he’s a TRUE BRITISH LEGURND etc. Tonight's episode really feels as though it's just been sponsored by The Sun, doesn't it? The song is utter drivel and unmemorable and badly sung. He has a horrible Jedward quiff, his dancing is still horrible, and he still seems about as humble as Danyl. Then, on Twitter, Aweeslice pops up with the following quote; 'I can't look at Olly Murs without thinking about Robbie and Gary making man-love and producing a baby. #xfactor' and I think our collective souls are all ruined.

Dermot asks Olly who his favourites are. Olly thinks One Direction will win because Simon said so, and unlike the other guests he knows exactly when his single and album are out and when he’s on tour. Like I’m going to tell you when that is.


Welcome back! Not content with pissing on Elton and The Beatles, the finalists are going to do the same to David Bowie in their cover of Heroes, because soldiers are HEROES in case you missed that the last time they did a song called HERO for the soldiers.

We then segue into some rather uncomfortable SoldierGriefPorn. As we always say, if you want to give to the charity, here’s how you can do it. Don’t, whatever you do, encourage this lot by buying the single. Also: given one of The Soldiers was an X Factor contestant (albeit not finalist) who had friends WHO WERE DEAD, wouldn’t they have been ideal special guests tonight? They got rumba-ed all over on Strictly last week, so it’s not like they’re choosy.

OK, given I've slagged off The Beatles, Rebecca and Cheryl I could already be a national hate target so I may as well make things worse - I find all this wanking over soldiers pretty distasteful. I'm not saying they don't need help and support, because they do, but the whole fetishisation of soldiers as our beloved heroes and how it's our patriotic duty to help them seems to me to be very little about the actual men (and women, though the women are always brushed out in these campaigns) who serve and suffer than it does about trying to make those of us not out there in war zones feel good about ourselves in some weird way, and about feeding the egos of the likes of The Sun, Simon Cowell and Max Clifford who have a hard-on for soldier porn (disclaimer - not literally. Or maybe literally, but that's their own private business and nothing to do with me. Unless you mean in the Simon Cowell sense of the word literally, i.e. figuratively, in which case…) because they know that if they 'stand up for our boys' (and it's always fit, rugged, moderately attractive, young, white, working-class blokes they use as the poster boys for these things), it will give them good PR.

So, you know, by all means support Help for Heroes or The Royal British Legion, but don't fuel the coffers or egos of smug media twats who couldn't actually care less about anything but their own PR, or force yourself to listen to dreadful records in order to support them. [I couldn't have put it better myself. - Steve]

Onto the song, which is being very badly mimed by "our" final 16, resplendent in white LIKE ANGELS. The interesting thing about these group sings is who gets pimped and who gets sidelined by the staging and the amount of vocal given to them (2008 pimpage: Alexandra, JLS, Ruth, Eoghan, Laura. Sidelined: Dead Wife Daniel, Bad Lashes. 2009 pimpage: Joe, Olly, Danyl, Lucy. Sidelined: All the groups, especially Kandy Rain). Matt opens and closes this year, which Joe did last year, fact fans. Whatever they might say about One Direction, it's clear they know Matt's the most popular at the moment. Rebecca gets plenty, but Belle Amie only get to share with Rebecca. This, however, is more than Wagner, Diva Fever, Nicolo, Storm or FYD, none of whom get any bits to themselves or even as duets. In fact, I didn't even see any of them on the stage first time round, but on rewatch, they were all there, just massively, massively sidelined, with no camera time at all. It'll be interesting to see if they're in the video (Bad Lashes and Kandy Rain were absent from their respective videos, except in the big group sing parts).

Paije sounds very different on record, and it's hard to tell it's even him. Katie gets the lines about dolphins. Zain gets an autotuned line, as they clearly recorded this in the days when they were trying to give him little bits to do because he's the one the girls fancy. John then turns up to do a backing line for Mary and I had totally forgotten he even existed until then. Then it gets utterly ridiculous, as a huge battalion of soldiers enter behind them (and sing better). It's like Cowell defying any of us to hate the record because now it has ACTUAL SOLDIERS on it so we'll just look like meanies if we do.

Ads: fuck knows what for. I'm still trying to recover.

We're back with the results. Safe: Katie. Louis goes batshit mental. Katie cries like a loon and starts to hug everyone, refusing to get off the stage. Hee. One Direction. Simon embraces the hugging for once. Dannii looks sick because clearly one of her acts (clue: Paije) is going. Rebecca. Louis looks a bit shocked. Mary looks defeated. Paije looks sick. Matt. Louis starts counting the acts on stage. Heh. Paije looks terrified. Mary. The audience boo. Interesting. Last act safe: Wagner. Paije did well to get this far, given he was always a bit of a fodder boy. The audience boo Wagner. Cher looks sick. This really cements Rebecca's place as the chosen one amongst the girls, as if there was still any doubt.

Paije says he's doing 'Stop' but doesn’t say which one – Spice Girls, Sam Brown? Cher will be doing 'Stay'. Lisa Loeb? Eternal? Hopefully not Shakespears Sister, given that doing the same song again is usually an act of desperation, eh Cher? Nicolo reveals on his Twitter that they’ve known who's going since 5pm. Paije, I take it, judging by the looks on his and Dannii's faces.

Ads: Jedward playing with their DSes. Poor Nadine, I remember when that used to be her.

Defeated Dannii introduces a beautiful man, Paije RICHARDSON. He stomps onstage. Poor Dannii. I couldn't care less about Paije but I feel so sorry for her (and loved how, on The Xtra Factor, Konnie and Dermot asked how she felt losing two acts in a row and she said 'like shit'. Love. Her.) He's doing Sam Brown’s 'Stop'. The tune goes for an almighty wander, though his voice has a bit more oomph in it than of late. Steve will have a word here, though, as I know he feels rather strongly about this one. [It's my favourite song ever, and therefore people shouldn't be allowed to sing it on talent shows. Although to be fair, Paije didn't make a terrible job of it. - Steve]

Cher's up next, and what baffles me is why, if rap is her thing, and it seems to be where she's most confident, she doesn't do a song with rapping in it rather than reheating 'Stay'. It's similar to before except with a greater stench of emotional manipulation, and it's even more wobbly and then she cries at the end. Have Mary and Susan Boyle taught us nothing about the follies of trying to relive past glories? [In fairness, SuBo's problem was more in trying to sing something different when everyone just wanted to hear 'I Dreamed A Dream' again. The goalposts, they keep moving. - Steve]

Simon's up first. The audience shout 'we want Paije' – to stay or go? Be specific, fools. He's going to go with the person he's continually supported (the audience shout 'Paije, come on Paije') and sends home Paije to boos. Cheryl whines about how much she hates the sing-off. Everyone hates something about their job, Cheryl, but at least you're rewarded handsomely for yours. She says neither should be in the bottom two but is sending home Paije. Dannii repeats that neither should be in the bottom two (so who, other than Wagner, do they think should be?), sending home Cher. Louis says he’s always supported Paije but Cher was great in sing-off. He says it’s difficult because both are brilliant. Dermot tries to press him for a name. Louis looks kind of gaunt tonight, and even though he clearly likes Paije better than Cher, he's sending home Paije. Perhaps he'd run out of famous black men to compare him to. Tiger Woods, Louis? Sidney Poitier? Nelson Mandela? The audience boo again. We see Paije’s best bits, which were not that ‘best’ really. All in all it's a ho-hum, predictable mid-table eviction for a vaguely nice but terribly bland man. See also: Dancing, Strictly Come.

Next week! The two acts Simon's based One Direction on: The Wanted and Justin Bieber. Either this will be all about how One Direction are the future because they're just like the cool special guests, or it'll backfire horribly when the audience think they prefer the special guests. Also! Special guest judge Nicole Scherzinger! Except she's performing not judging, which isn't what we want. And the acts all get to sing two songs (already!). Thank fuck I'll be out of the country. I just hope given the amount of national offence I must have caused in this weekend's recaps that I'll be allowed back in. If not, Bitch Factor German readers, I'll be kipping on your sofas. Join Steve and Carrie then for all the carnage!


StuckInABook said...

With you on soliders... not literally.

And I hoped, for a moment, that Cher would be singing Sash[!]'s version of Stay.

Eve said...

Yeah I am so with you on the soldier stuff too. And the hating Olly stuff - who actually LIKED that guy??? What a smarmy twat. Oh, and the loathing the smugness on a stick that is Cheryl Cole. Everything you said indeed! I'm out of the country indefinitely too so perhaps they won't let me back in, but given the sh*te they're holding up thesedays as icons of British-ness, maybe it's no bad thing!

Earendel said...

I think the media / government propaganda machine is completely milking the 'Soldiers are Heros' line because it is so blatantly obvious that the wars they are currently engaged in are totally immoral, having nothing to do with 'liberating' people but rather about securing oil rich resources for the West.
It sickens me that these men and women give their lives in service and those who are left at the end of it are dismissed without any support whatsoever, leaving it to charities to pick up the pieces of when it should be a state duty. Housing for the armed forces and their families is execrable, a large number of street homeless are ex-service and many of them are forced to sell their bravery medals just to sustain themselves and yet the public is made to feel guilty and manipulated into getting dewy-eyed and 'patriotic' when all the sufferings and problems armed forces face are a direct result of self-serving government policy. Sorry - that was my rant, but totally agree with you Rad on that point.

Anyway, I had a feeling it was Paige's turn, bless him. He left with good grace, unlike 'voice of a serial killer' Aiden.
I know Katie's in total media lust for all the attention she can get, but given she has survived the bottom two four times, I'm rather beginning to admire her nerve if nothing else. I don't think Cher would have survived that many knocks. Although, it's interesting about her change of look. Anyone remember Danyl having a new cropped hairdo and a Damascene conversion to ultra-humbleness after his snidy arrogance and aura of self-satisfaction led to a plummet in popularity? Oh well, never expected the X-factor to be anything original.
Oily Olly Murs.... agreed, that single was the worst of the worst. I was a little bit sick in my mouth when towards the end of the song, he sings about meeting Cheryl but her not being available or some such repulsive lyric.

I'm rather looking foward to Justin Bieber appearing on the X-factor as I've never a heard a single song of his I don't think and I certainly can't be fucked to look him up on You Tube or whatever.

Anonymous said...

It's difficult to be critical of anything involving charity without coming across as mean-spirited and I agree that the ultimate beneficiaries are deserving, but this particular charity does make me quite uncomfortable. It's so openly a way of giving The Sun free publicity as well as backing up their position on Iraq, as if every injured soldier automatically agrees with the war, which is far from the case. The fact that money ends up going to people who need it is almost a by-product.

Rad said...

Nick/Earendel - I agree. I'm not sure charities should take the brunt of soldiers' care, either, surely that is the government's job? I get that they might need to do a bit 'extra', especially for the families, but still. And yes, I find the glorifying of war a bit distasteful not least beacause as Earandel says, it hides the reality of it for many of those who actually go out and serve and the horrors some of them go through, especially on leaving service.

Ugh, this week's X Factor was just toss, wasn't it?

Fiz said...

RAD, yes, it was just toss. I hated every second of the X Factor on Sat/Sun. Why in God's Name does my choir school trained husband like it? And Sparklyfiend can actually sing and has a TV in her room but won't watch up there! It's really hurting my ears this year!

Seminaranalyse said...

Thank you for the shoutout to your german readers. You're the reason i keep watching.
I think theresult was shit. Paije was the best on saturday and in the sing-off he was great. But he was always canon fodder, therefore he did well coming this far. Chers "Imagine" was good for me. Stay was good but alazy choiche justlike Jedward with Rock Dj last Year.
I miss TreyC.
Let me conclude Wagner would be an approbiate winner for this season. I don't want a Wand erection or Rebecca (i hate the tone of her voice of her voice)

Sparkle said...

Go Rad, go Rad! Very agree with you re: soldier porn. I'll give to charity under my own steam thanks and I never buy charity 'singles' it only encourages them. However, I readily support the British Legion and St Dunstan's.

I admire that you watch the whole programme. I on the otherhand make full use of Skyplus.

One last thing. Whenever at my computer and snorting with laughter until I can't breathe my husband says 'I know you're reading that 'bitch' thing?'

Rad said...

Seminaranalyse - At some point a 'comedy' act has to win, may as well be Wagner (or Katie).

Sparkle - Unless blogging a recap, SkyPlus/PVR/etc is the best way to watch.

I'm obviously not watching tonight - though I may don a gluhwein every time I think Louis is speaking to keep with the spirit - but thought I'de log into the comments for the luxury of being a TBF reader from Germany for a change.