Monday, November 08, 2010

Now you TreyC her, now you don't

Top 10 Results: 7th November 2010

A rather sombre-seeming Dermot welcomes us to the show. This cold open is very American Idol - the contestants flank Dermot in a human corridor, standing in the shadows, while he - the only one lit properly - ominously reminds us that someone is going home tonight. American Idol! Oh, hang on - it's still The X Factor, isn't it? Silly me.

Suddenly we're in much more recognisable territory as the editors try to give us all epilepsy again, while Peter Dickson shouts about how last night people sang live for our votes, although in many cases some of us might have preferred them not to. Things didn't go well for Mary, and Kooky fell apart in the middle, while Lazy Decorator blew Cheryl away. This is unremarkable: last week, Dannii exhaled a little bit too enthusiastically and they eventually found Cheryl wandering around Neasden several hours later, looking a bit dazed. So, still competing for our votes are: Dannii and her boys, Aiden the KNIFE-WIELDING MANIAC (no, not that one), Paije RICHARDSON and Lazy DECORATOR; Louis and his fogies, Tesco MARY and WAGNER; Cheryl and the girls (and also her contestants, tee hee), Cher LLOYD, Kooky MONSTER, Rebecca FERGUSON, and Treyc COHEN; and Simon and the terrifying unstoppable hormone control machine that is Wan DIRECTION. As if that wasn't enough, tonight we're also promised the return of Shayne WARD (no, wait, come back, etc) and a world exclusive performance of the new single from Kylie MINOGUE. All this capitalising of people's surnames is making me feel very French. It's time! To face! The obligatory fifth-week elimination controversy!

Post titles, we're in the studio with Dermot, who applauds the audience for being fatheads. He tells us that we're almost halfway through the finals, even though we still have ten acts left, for fuck's sake. He welcomes back the judges, and at some point between yesterday's show and tonight's, Dannii's bow escaped and is known to have harassed at least ten people in the vicinity, so tonight she's wearing a simple yet elegant black dress with lacy effects, while Cheryl's wearing this odd concoction with sequins all over it, a roll neck, and a hole cut out of the left shoulder. The lasting effect this dress has on me is the suspicion that she didn't have time to finish applying the Veet to the other one. Dannii holds Louis's hand to make sure he doesn't trip down the stairs on his old man legs.

Dermot reminds us that the voting lines are still open, not that it's really going to count for anything at this point. Dermot shills the tour and the online fanzine with Matt Edmondson. After that, it's time for the group singalong, which this week is Pink's 'So What'. How appropriate. It opens, rather oddly, with the female contestants - that's Treyc, Kooky, Rebecca, Cher and Tesco Mary - perched on some steps singing the opening line. Mary actually sounds live, the rest not so much. The solo guys enter during the chorus, which is autotuned to hell and back quite transparently, and then we're supposed to believe that Louis from Wan Direction actually says "check my flow, uh", which is HILARIOUS. Poor Treyc gets the line "the waiter just took my table and gave it to Jessica Simp", which is probably the worst part of the entire song, further demonstrating how no one on this show really gives a crap about Treyc. Poor Treyc. Just to compound poor Treyc's misery, due to a fuck up from either the director or the vision mixer, Treyc is shown miming her little heart out when the only voice we can hear distinctly on the soundtrack is Aiden's, giving the effect that Treyc has manvoice. One thing I will say is that following my comments last night about Rebecca's utter lack of stage presence, she's got this goofy expression on during this performance and is vamping a little bit with the Kooky Monster, which is a HUGE improvement. Maybe if they gave Rebecca more uptempo songs and stopped having her glued to one part of the set like Sarah Parish in that Doctor Who Christmas special, she might actually develop a personality. [I can't believe they had them all singing calling us 'tools' on primetime ITV1 and offering us out for a fight though! ZobiEmily lives on in spirit - Rad]

From there, we get a recap of last night's performances accompanied by unseen! backstage! footage! Cher thinks she got good comments apart from Simon, but she couldn't expect to be perfect. [Well, she got that right. - Carrie] Simon insists that she knows he's right. Mary knows she didn't sing the song to the best of her ability. Louis thinks she's a real talent and a real person, with nothing fake about her. Has he given her an all-over body exam? Kooky Monster hopes she's done enough to get through to next week: "I vibed off the audience, I vibed off my emotion." Do you think she can actually hear herself when she talks like that? Aiden destroys his serial killer image by doing a little song and dance backstage to celebrate what he thinks was a good performance. Dannii thinks he's picked up on what the judges have been saying to him and incorporated their criticism into his performance. Paije was very excited. Dannii thinks he made everyone smile. Rebecca was liek omigod at the comments, and Cheryl's very proud of her. Wagner enjoys it when Simon smiles during his performance. Dannii thinks anything could happen next week - "he might sing in tune". Heh. Lazy Decorator is crying with happiness. Dannii thinks he gave a perfect performance. Treyc wants to stay and win the competition. Cheryl thinks she needs more confidence, but that requires time. Wan Direction think they did the best they've ever done so far. Simon trumpets the inevitable Rebecca-Lazy-Wan Direction final. Snoozerama. [Kill me now if that's the case. How boring will that be? - Rad]

Time for our first guest, returning with the first performance of his new single: it's Shayne Ward! ...You know. The guy who won the second series? Back when Sharon Osbourne was on this show? He had a shaved head, bit of a high-pitched voice. Anything? Well, for those people who can't remember back that far, we get a brief video recap of Shayne's time on the show, and by far the most exciting part of it is the reminder that Kate Thornton used to host this show, back when it had control over the studio audience. Ahh, the good old days. He's sold three million records worldwide (which doesn't sound terribly impressive for a career that has allegedly spanned five years, does it?) and has "15 global platinum awards", which: what? What does that even mean? I'm guessing it means that something released by him has gone platinum somewhere in the world 15 times. BFD. "Number one in nine countries." Is anyone buying this "Shayne is a massive success, no, really he is" story? I think it's interesting how this show has become sort of self-feeding, in that its alumni keep conveniently waiting for a new series before releasing new material so they can go back on the show and shill it. They appear on the show, they (presumably) have a hit, and the show gets to maintain the perception that it creates stars, even if it's having to do a lot of the legwork to keep them in the public eye. It's crafty, I'll give them that. Oh, and he appears to have taken his shirt off a lot in his new video, but he has ugly tattoos, so: *shrugs*

Shayne is performing his single from inside The Matrix. It's a bit weedy-sounding, if you ask me. I mean, Shayne's got a nice enough voice, but the song doesn't have any oomph to it at all. Still, good for him for still...being...alive, or whatever. Perhaps they'll get Brookstein on next week. Or Leon. Dermot asks Shayne where he's been, and Shayne dodges, because he doesn't want to admit that the answer is "at home, watching Loose Women. A lot." Dermot makes a joke about how great it was to see Shayne's audition clip, because "the years have been very kind to some people, haven't they? Hyuck hyuck hyuck!" This is not a compliment to Shayne, by the way, but to Dermot's corporate overlord. I think next week we should just cut the pretence and have Dermot present the show from inside Simon's rectum. Although it was reassuring to see that Sharon Osbourne still looked like a sea hag even back then. Shayne says he's missed all the fans (yep, both of them) and wishes the contestants the best of luck in the world. Dermot gives us the five minutes left to vote warning, and we hit the ads.

On our return, Dermot thanks us on behalf of the acts for our votes, but the lines are now cuh-losed. Dermot congratulates Cheryl on her number one album. Cheryl claps herself like the airhead that she is. Dermot thinks last night was a very nervous night, and Cheryl agrees, but thinks that this is somehow a good thing. See above re: airhead. Simon is ignoring Dermot, which I think is a very wise decision. Louis thinks there were three amazing performances last night: Rebecca, Matt and Aiden. The fact that he substituted Aiden for the show-mandated Wan Direction in that little list makes me think Louis is being led to a darkened room for reprogramming after the show is over. Dannii reminds us that Lazy Decorator had all four judges on their feet, even if it was only because he hadn't yet finished painting the chairs.

Now it's time for an actual star: hurrah! Kylie's here with new single 'Better Than Today'. Kylie's pre-performance VT includes actual impressive, quantifiable statistics as opposed to Shayne's "sold some records in New Zealand, which isn't a real country because Simon said so". Kylie has Pac-Man playing on the screen behind her for some reason that I can't quite determine. As songs go, it's pretty good, and much less of an ear-splitting dirge than 'All The Lovers' was (sorry Rad) [Total Heresy. I'm going to throw a diva fit now. I bloody adore 'All the Lovers'. I heart 'Better Than Today' lots as well, though I can take or leave 'Get Outta My Way' - Rad], though this song has been playing semi-permanently in my office for the last couple of months, so I'm a bit sick of it already. Oh, and Kylie almost topples off her heels as she scampers across the stage at one point, but they are about eleven feet high, so I can understand that. It's just a shame that whenever I see Kylie's Massive Surgery Face these days I can't help thinking about how much prettier she was before she Botoxed all the expression away. She finishes, and gets a standing O from the audience and the judges (Dannii blows kisses). Kylie says it's great to be back, and Dermot asks her what she thinks of this year's batch. Kylie's all "Yeah, s'fine." Dermot asks her if her favourite category is the boys, and Kylie's all "I support whichever category Dannii tells me to" and Dannii gives her a look all "damned right, woman". Kylie's single is out to download "very soon". Tsk. That sort of slapdash approach to self-promotion will not wash on this show, Kylie.

Time for more ads, after which we have the results. Cheryl returns first with her four girls, then Dannii with her three boys, Louis with his two over-28s, and Simon with his One Direction. Descending numerical order, very clever. The following contestants are safe, in no particular order: Aiden, Rebecca, Lazy Decorator, Wan Direction, Paige (so Team Minogue is safe for another week, good work Dannii), Cher (Louis can be seen counting the remaining acts at this point, hee), Wagner (booing from classless audience, sour face from Cheryl), and Tesco Mary. So it's Kooky Monster versus Treyc in the bottom two, and really, who didn't see that coming. Dermot reminds them that they've both been here before and commiserates them on their bad luck (though he does not call either of them cunts this time). Kooky says she's nervous because she's up against Treyc whom she loves to pieces (shot of Treyc glowering at her, hee hee hee). Treyc says she's here to sing and she's going to do the best she can.

Competition. More ads. Slow march towards death.

Back in the studio, Dermot reminds us that it's Kooky versus Treyc, and Cheryl introduces the first act: Kooky. She's singing 'Don't Give Up On Me' by Solomon Burke and is making the tune as she goes along, as per. Her face is crumbling throughout, and as she goes on, her voice starts to crack. Then, on top of that, she forgets the words (appropriately enough, right before the line "I don't want to ever get it wrong") and then - and this is catapulted instantly into my list of Best X Factor Moments Ever - she abandons all hope of trying to get it back on track, snots "you know what? Sod it", sits down on the stage, pounds the floor and just starts screaming "please don't give up on me!" Amazing. Kooky Monster for the win! [I did laugh heartily at that. If she's given up as it appears, then next week might be fun! - Rad] Dermot declares that she "gave it her best shot". Snerk.

A stoic Cheryl introduces poor, doomed Treyc. Treyc will be singing 'Unbreak My Heart', and frankly, if she doesn't snarl "sod it" halfway through the performance, sit down on the stage, pound the floor and start screeching "Please unbreak my heart!", then I have no use for her. Vocally, it's not a good performance. She sounds scratchy and her pitch is all over the place. Treyc doesn't seem to fare well in the sing-off, and I think it was only because John was so uniquely terrible the last time she was in it that people missed how terrible she was. And while Kooky was awful this week, she did at least unleash a ten-pound bag of crazy on the stage, while Treyc is basically just wobbling up and down her range to little effect, and the longer the song goes on, the more off-key she seems to get. At the end, she seems to know she fucked up too. Poor Treyc. [Hmm, not so much. Bored with Treyc. She's had multiple chances and when it comes to the crunch she's a) not coped with the pressure well and b) never made herself interesting enough to appeal to people. Including her mentor. - Carrie] [I liked Treyc's voice except in the sing-offs, but she really did seem like the kind of person who would work in olden days X Factor, not the present set-up, where she seemed really lost and nothingy - Rad]

Kooky hurls herself at Treyc, who seems to be wondering how long she has to wait before she can push the bitch off in a socially acceptable manner. Dermot begs the audience for silence, like that's going to make any fucking difference. Simon is asked to give his vote first, and he thinks that Treyc is the better singer, but Katie is more interesting as a performer. He's going to vote with what he thinks the viewers will want to see next week, so he's sending Treyc home. Ah, those viewers who voted Kooky into the bottom two three times in five weeks really want to see her again. I get it now. [Is this the first time someone's survived three sing-offs at such an early stage? - Rad] Dermot goes to Cheryl, who's genuinely taken aback to be called upon next. In fairness, in situations like these, it is generally the form to leave the mentor to go last, but that really doesn't excuse the fence-sitting that follows. Cheryl's all "I can't choose, don't ask me, I'm just a girl". Dermot asks if she's refusing to vote, and Cheryl says, "I'm refusing to, point-blank." So irrespective of what she says later, that's a pretty clear abstention of her vote, am I right? Cheryl then says, "Ask these two, and I'll take it to deadlock." Dermot says that we're now going to go to "majority vote", and asks Dannii for her vote, saying that if she votes for Treyc, then Treyc's gone. Dannii says that both of them are brilliant singers, "and I don't think there's any cause to boo anyone on this stage". Except perhaps Dermot. She thinks they both perform better under pressure, but votes to send Kooky home. So Louis gets the deciding vote. Louis blathers on about how nice they both are. His head is saying save Treyc and his heart is saying Kooky. So I think we all know how this is going, don't we? Dannii pats him on the shoulder reassuringly. Louis decides to vote with his heart and votes to send home Treyc.

And so it's all over for poor Treyc. It clearly shouldn't have happened like this (to be honest, if I were Treyc, the minute Cheryl refused to vote, I'd have told her exactly where she could stick her X factor and flounced off. Better to go out in infamy than in the slightly humiliating way she actually went), but she was always destined for an early boot, since Cheryl's general lack of interest in her was matched only by the voting public's. I liked her more than any of the other contestants this year, but she never stood a chance. Treyc watches her journey on the show, and moves from anger to acceptance. Dermot asks her what went wrong, and Treyc thinks the connection with the viewers may have been the problem. Quite possibly, dear, yes. Treyc says that she's made some lifelong friends which conspicuously do not include any of the other contestants, although she does include Cheryl. Like Cheryl's going to be taking her calls tomorrow.

Next week, there are exclusives from JLS, Westlife, and a re-Robbiefied Take That. Oh, and it's Elton John week. You know what? Sod it.


Earendel said...

Fantastic re-cap this week Steve; love it!
Kooky's meltdown was out of this world; I'm wondering how she's going to top that when she's in the bottom two next week? If she is in the bottom two, I reckon her survival song should be "I'm still here!" as sung by Shirley McLaine in 'Postcards from the Edge' (anyone?).
Poor Treyc, she was a favourite of mine, but you're right, not enough aggro in her to see herself through. In a normal person, that would be quite a nice characteristic, but on this show you have to be foaming at the mouth for fame and glory in order to WIN IT!!
A complete stitch up thanks to Cheryl and Dermot, knowing that if it had gone to deadlock, Kooky would have her arse kicked. It was another Lucy vs Jedward bottom two moment.
Elton John? I can't wait to see how the contestants will make the songs their own, making them RELEVANT, CURRANT AND NOW!
Looking forward to next week's write up.

Fiz said...

I am going to have this inflicted on me shortly. My younger daughter wants to watch "Chicago" and I'd far rather do that than watch any more of this vile series.(I've seen "Chicago" at least three times before!