Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Rock-ish Horror Show

Top 7: 27th November 2010

LAST WEEKEND! There was another shock result, largely because the final showdown did not involve Katie Waissel in any form. Instead, another of St Cheryl's Sacred Cherubs, Cher LLOYD, ended up there, along with Dannii's wünderkind wildcard Paije RICHARDSON. Paije gave a solid, competent, and all-round not-too-shabby performance of a new track, while Cher whimpered her way through a song she performed on the show three weeks previously. Of course, Cher was saved because she was SO EMOTIONAL BABY, and Paije was sent home, leaving Dannii with just one act remaining after a rough couple of weeks for the boys category, while Cheryl, who's had an act in the final showdown every week apart from week two, still has three acts intact. But this show is still totally fair and in no way propping up the image of Cheryl as the underdog people's princess upon which a large chunk of her current success is based.

Now, we are told, the battle is more serious than ever. Rebecca's going to move her arms! Oh, and next week is the semi-final. Even though we still have SEVEN ACTS in the competition, because this entire series has been ridiculous. I apologise in advance for the fact that I will probably be using ALLCAPS a lot in this recap. Simon says that there are no second chances, and at this point, a bad song choice means you're out. Unless your name happens to be Matt, Rebecca or Wan Direction, obviously, as they could all pretty much come out on the stage and sing a mash-up of 'Smack My Bitch Up' and 'I'm A Little Teapot' and still sail through to next week. Tonight it is Rock Night (it says here), and fighting for survival are: Dannii and the last remaining boy, Lazy DECORATOR, as Dannii points out that she only needs one act to win this competition; Louis and the over-28s, Tesco MARY and WAGNER, as Louis says he's very confident in his acts because the public always get it right (really? I seem to recall most of the judges claiming that the wrong acts were in the bottom two last week, including Louis); Cheryl and her UNSTOPPABLE ARMY OF THE UNDEAD, Rebecca FERGUSON, Cher LLOYD, and Katie WAISSEL, as Cheryl insists that there's no question of not making the semi-finals: "it's heads down and hard work all the way." And then when they've all finished with the cocaine, they might do a bit of singing. Finally, there is Simon and his last remaining act, Wan DIRECTION, insisting that he wants to hear their name as the winners. That's assuming he actually knows which names to listen out for:

It's time to face the music, you guys. I mean, I tried to turn my back on The Music once, but to no avail - this show made me FACE IT. It's hardcore like that. Titles!

The opening theme for this week is 'Sweet Child O' Mine' by Guns And/Or Roses, because this is Rock And/Or Roll week, so we are led to believe. Dermot strides out onto the stage looking the worst he's looked in weeks, in a three-piece grey suit and black shoes. That colour really washes him out - blue was a better idea for him. Also, seriously, is there not a single tailor in the world capable of constructing a suit that doesn't make this guy look all dumpy? I mean, I know they're not the easiest of things to look your best in if you don't have exactly the right body shape for it, but come on. The amount of money this show gets thrown at it, and Dermot still walks out every week looking like he's about to open his briefcase and try to sell us a dodgy Rolex.

He reminds us that we're down to "just seven very nervous acts". JUST seven? We should have booted at least two of them already by now. As if to compound my misery, Dermot reminds us that each act will be performing twice tonight, which is why this show is nearly two hours long again. Sometimes I actually wish I were dead, I really do. Dermot lies that each act tonight will be taking on "big stadium anthems" (in other words, songs by somebody who might have touched a guitar, once), and summons the judges. Dannii's wearing a rather extravagant red dress supported over one shoulder, Louis is in a purple tuxedo, Cheryl's in a black and gold sequinned lace number and Simon's got his man-forest out. Dermot reminds us that we can buy these performances on iTunes if we really want to (and I don't like to question the decision-making of others, but WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO DO THAT? WHY?) and throws to Louis.

Up first tonight is Wagner, in the show's latest attempt to throw him under the bus that, like so many I have tried to catch recently, seems to be somewhat behind schedule. His VT has clearly been designed to get us to hate him, by showing him celebrating backstage, and painting him as some sort of weirdo loner, especially now he's left the contestants' shared house to move into a Holiday Inn. And get this - at the hotel, he practises singing his scales! WHAT A MONSTER! And he has a relaxing swim which he follows up with a spot of time in the jacuzzi. DOESN'T HE KNOW THERE ARE CHILDREN DYING IN AFRICA? Louis says that he's chosen a song for Wagner that everybody knows, and Wagner explains that he won't have any dancers on the stage for the first time. Dannii reacts in horror to the news that Wagner is not doing a medley this week: "I mean, why not ruin three rock songs?" Louis thinks the other judges are JUS JELASS because he's getting it right, and they're getting it wrong.

Wagner takes to the stage, and he's singing Radiohead's 'Creep''s actually quite good. Seriously. It's a song that suits his voice, and he's actually in tune, and suddenly I remember why I quite liked him in the auditions. [I really do feel sorry for Wagner. He's been totally fucked over by this show as Louis has increasingly created him into LOL COMEDY FOREIGNER and has been thrown under a bus by Cowell's PR machine. Given the right material, usually slow melodic ballads, he's adequate as a singer. And that's probably the highest compliment you can give anyone in this series. - Carrie] Hilariously, he appears to be singing "I'm a creep, I'm a window" during the chorus. Also, he appears to be standing on a giant spool of cotton. The song's arrangers have chosen to end it on a repeat of the line "I don't belong here", just in case we haven't GOT THE MESSAGE YET. Dannii is shocked, because that's the best Wagner has sung in the whole competition, and she thinks it's because he's connecting with the lyrics. Louis, of course, takes exception to this, but misses the point entirely: "are you saying he's a creep?" No, Louis, you absolute simpleton, she was referring to the "what the hell am I doing here? I don't belong here" couplet. Simon intervenes all "you chose the song, Louis, you can't get precious about it now". Unfortunately, Dannii then kind of mealymouths her way through saying that it's important to choose a song that the contestant connects with and that's what she meant, when clearly she didn't quite have the guts to say that Wagner doesn't belong here. I guess that all those complaints to Ofcom after she happened to mention that an openly bisexual contestant was bisexual has made her a bit nervous about too much truthiness. Cheryl blahs that she agrees with Dannii, yoda-ing that "that was your best performance singing". Incidentally, Cheryl is basically wearing a permanent expression of surprise tonight, much like the one she has lacquered onto her face in this photoshop disaster of a video:

Seriously. I would love to believe that that's an attempt at self-parody, but after last week and the whole debacle with Wagner I don't credit Cheryl with that level of self-awareness. Scratch that: I don't credit her with any level of self-awareness. Simon says that Louis can't have a go at Dannii because he picked a song called 'I'm A Creep'. That's not the title of the song, Simon. Louis argues that the lyrics are "I'm a creep, I'm a winner." Those aren't the lyrics, Louis. Jesus Christ, does anyone on this show care about anything any more? Simon points out that the line is actually "I'm a weirdo." I keep waiting for Wagner to interject: "actually, it's 'I'm a window'." Louis insists that it's "winner". Simon says to Wagner that within the parameters of this competition, that was very good for Wagner. Louis says it was his best performance and very believable, and he thinks that Thom Yorke would love it. Dermot asks Wagner how he feels, and Wagner says it's good to have a compliment for the first time in the competition. Dermot asks if it was important to him to be stood there by himself for one performance, and Wagner replies that he "missed the dancers terribly." Hee.

Ad break. When we return, it's time for the groups and Simon, who names all of Wan Direction individually, BECAUSE HE CAN, DAMMIT. They talk about how the audience's reaction gets louder every week and Zain adds that you know you're doing something right when the reaction is that big. Yes, because this show's audience is renowned for its discerning tastes. Tiny Nicholas Hoult says that their main competition is Lazy Decorator and Rebecca, just because no one has mentioned the pre-ordained Lazy/Rebecca/Wan Direction final for at least five minutes. This week, they went to HMV to check out the CD of their charity single. There is screaming from the fans. Well, you know you're picking up a CD correctly when the reaction is that big, right, Zain? Tiny Nicholas Hoult says that it's great to have a single with the other contestants, but they want one of their own one day. Simon says that they need to make a rock song young. Louis thinks everyone loves the song the group will be singing. Simon thinks it's the kind of record they would release.

That song? Is 'Summer Of '69' by Bryan Adams. Because what the world really needs is a group of British teenagers pretending to be Americans in their fifties. Could they not at least have updated it to 'Summer Of '99' or something? The performance is lip-sync-tastic as ever, and Tiny Nicholas Hoult appears to be clawing desperately at the scarf around his neck. Is he suffocating, or is this just what Rock looks like? They also have their troupe of age-inappropriate backing dancers. They parade onto the platform behind the judges, and the Zainwreck looks as utterly lost as ever, bless him. Sometimes I wonder if he even knows what show he's on.

Louis tells them that was a great choice of song, and that he loves how they've gelled as friends and that he thinks they're the next big boyband. Dannii likes how they've stepped it up. Chroma Key Cheryl thinks they keep growing and growing - well, yes, Cheryl. They are still adolescent, that's generally how it works. Simon says that he had nothing to do with this song choice -- at which point Louis misreads the room entirely and starts screaming "you were in New York, Simon! You were in New York! You left your act!" -- after which Simon clarifies that the reason he didn't choose this song was because Harry had selected it personally. Louis, continuing down his cul-de-sac of irrelevance, keeps it up: "Why were you in New York, Simon?" Simon, faux-modest: "I got quite an important award." Louis: "What was it for?" God, SHUT UP. Simon says that Harry chose the song and that the boys have worked their butts off to get there. Either that, or all those low-slung jeans have finally taken their toll. Dermot enters, saying: "the last thing we should be doing is bigging up Harry any more than people big him up." Nice, Dermot. That's real classy. Also, it kind of didn't make any sense either, but you're still an incompetent tool. Dermot asks Harry if he really picked that song, in the same way you might ask a five-year-old "did you really paint that?" as they pin a big swirly mess of colours on a sheet of scrap paper up on your wall. Harry says that the boys were open to it, and it was great that Simon listened to their own opinions. Even if he thinks they're all called Graham.

Back to the over-28s, it's Tesco MARY, who was kind of epic last week. Mary walks into an entirely empty branch of HMV and picks up the single, which is coincidentally placed right next to Chroma Key Cheryl's new album, and talks about OUR BRAVE BOYS a bit, and I think Rad more than adequately summed up all of our feelings on that particular subject last week, so I'll just move along. Mary says that she never dreamt she'd have a single in the charts at her ADVANCED AGE. Louis has picked a song for Mary by one of Ireland's best known bands (is it Bellefire? It's Bellefire, isn't it?) Mary says that it's a song that relates to a time in her life where all she wanted was this one particular person.

Have you guessed what it is yet? Yep, she's singing U2's (/Bellefire's) 'All I Want Is You'. I wouldn't say this was an especially Rock performance, but it's a less egregious flouting of the theme than will be committed elsewhere tonight, so I'll give it a pass. Her vocals are nice enough on it - still kind of shouty, but there is some subtlety here, and again it's a song that suits her voice. She gets the back-up choir and the firework curtain, just to really ram it all home.

The audience chants her name. Dannii tells her that "it's happened again - they are loving you!" She loved the emotion and the performance. Live Via Satellite Cheryl thinks Mary really connected with the performance. Simon thinks this is what happens when you get the song choice right, and he doesn't know why Mary wasn't singing this song weeks ago. Perhaps because it didn't fit the themes of: The Beatles, Elton John, American anthems, Halloween, or guilty pleasures? Just a thought. Louis says that he wants people to lift the phone and vote for her, because he doesn't want it to end for her tonight. Dermot tells Mary she looked nervous earlier, as though that's a strange thing for someone about to sing in front of 13 million viewers. Mary's all, "I was nervous, but I gave it my all." Dermot says that, like Rebecca last week, Mary's singing a song by an act from her hometown. Oh, come off it - they're both from Dublin, but it's the fucking capital city of Ireland. Would we have made a big deal of John or Paije singing a song by a band from London? I suspect not. All this hometown glory bollocks is starting to get on my tits. Mary's all "I hope U2 are watching and I hope they enjoyed it." No one wonders if Bellefire are watching. Poor Bellefire. [Bellefire >> U2 > Tesco Mary. - Carrie]

After another ad break, and Dermot praises St Cheryl Of The Blue Screen for still having three acts left, as though the entire fucking show hasn't catered to her every whim to make that happen. She's sending Cher Of The Stairs out first, and Cher says it felt like the judges were ripping her heart out when they were deciding her fate last week. She says that she was a wreck afterwards and was crying, and had to talk to Cheryl. I know, I know: Cher Lloyd in "needy and emotionally unstable" shocker. Cheryl tells her to take being in the bottom two as a positive thing. After all, look at all those previous winners who've been in the bottom tw...oh. Never mind. The girls go out together to look at their single. Cher says she wants to be buying her own single next time she goes into a shop. Cheryl says that Cher's song is more "pop-rock", but it's perfect for her. Dannii worries that Cher might get swallowed up by the production. Or indeed by a hungry reptile that mistakes her for a stick insect. Cher says she wants everyone jumping up and down: "I want to tear the whole roof off."

She's dressed like a Real Doll and singing Avril Lavigne's 'Girlfriend', because that worked so well for Mawliddle Diana Vickers. Cher has made the odd decision to bug her eyes out and twirl her hair around her fingers for this performance. After the chorus, she breaks into Li'l Mama's rap from the remix of this song (and it saddens me that some people genuinely thought that this was a self-penned rap from Cher, because it took me less than a minute to find that on Google). When Cher tries to sing, she's genuinely dreadful - she's out of tune, and all the jumping around makes her sound really breathy and makes her voice sound very thin. Mercifully, it ends.

Louis trots out the old "well, we DEFINITELY made the right decision saving you last week" line. He says she's becoming like her mentor - chroma-keyed in from elsewhere. Dannii says this was her favourite Cher performance, and made her want to go to her concert. Simon thinks this was her best performance so far by a mile, because it didn't sound karaoke (it did) and she put her own stamp on it (she stole it wholesale from an existing version) and it should make her bounce back. The Blue Screen Queen says that Cher smashed it and "we're back". Oh cram it, you vacuous bint. Cher tells Dermot that being in the bottom two was horrible, but you have to take the good with the bad, and "you've got to go back in with a big smash." Dermot asks her what she said to herself after last week's bottom two visit, and Cher says that it gave her a big kick. Is she entirely sure that wasn't just Katie? Dermot asks what she wants to say to the people at home. Cher's all, "...please pick up the phone?" An entire nation does just that, and orders more alcohol.

Next up is "my gorgeous girlie Rebecca Ferguson". I'm considering saving time in future by vomiting before Cheryl speaks. That'll save me valuable seconds. Last week Rebecca survived despite being terrible, and she says that the pressure of it being BEATLES WEEK and being FROM LIVERPOOL got to her. She giggles that Rock Week is unsuited to her, because she is literally the most boring person alive, and Cheryl says she had to be really careful with the songs she was choosing for her, to ensure that Rebecca could pay lip service to the theme while still standing rigidly on the spot and honking like a duck trapped in the reeds. Simon thinks Rebecca has the best voice in the competition and is the one we've all got to beat (/is Cheryl's best hope of victory and therefore must be propped up at all costs and will of course become Simon's showpony the second Wan Direction cease to become a viable prospect for the title), but she has to show us all that she wants it.

Rebecca is singing 'I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For', presumably "the correct melody to this song", or possibly "a personality and any stage presence whatsoever". HONKY HONK HONK HONK RATTLE BELLOW. I just don't get what's so special about her at all. She's dull, she's inconsistent, and that jazz voice is a total affection. I mean, I could do what she does, and I can't sing for toffee. [Oh Steve, you lie. You're better at singing than at least three-quarters of this year's finalists. Though that's not saying much, obviously. - Karaoke Carrie] I'm not saying that Rebecca's a terrible singer, but I do think she's massively overrated and she's lucky that all that faux jazz noodling is a good way of concealing her vocal shortcomings.

Louis tells Rebecca that he didn't think rock would work for her, but it did. Except where it didn't, because that was not a rock song. He thinks she has the most distinctive voice in the competition. Dannii thinks that sometimes those mid-tempo songs can get lost in the show, but this really stood out, but she'd like to see a bit more performance from her (/any performance at all, we're not fussy). Simon tells Rebecca that he could see her nerves and parts of the performance were stiff, but she has a beautiful, distinctive voice. He's never heard that song sung that way before, even though that song has been sung that way by about a gazillion people, not least The Chimes, and it was a risk worth stand there and do exactly what she does every week. The Queen Of The Blue Screen says that this show divides households, but the one thing that everyone agrees on is that we all love Rebecca. Yes, excellent work there, Cheryl, use your role as mentor to tell Rebecca she has NO DETRACTORS ANYWHERE IN THE COUNTRY. You have now offically bypassed useless and proceeded to "actually damaging". Dermot asks Rebecca about her nerves, and Rebecca says that everyone's nervous, but she thinks she's improved from the girl who looked at the floor in her first audition. Not much, she hasn't.

Competition. Ad break. Go to Specsavers. New series of Take Me Out!

When we return, we're over to Dannii and her last remaining act, Lazy Decorator, who forgot his shirt last week. Lazy claims that the vest was accidental because they couldn't decide what shirt he was going to wear. Yes, I am so sure it was not even remotely pre-planned and gratuitous. Lazy says that it didn't really dawn on him when Paije left that he's the only remaining boy, but now he doesn't want to let Dannii down. Dannii says that Lazy's first song is a rock classic, and Lazy says they're going to turn the song around and make it something it's never been before. Dannii vows Lazy is not going to leave the competition.

Lazy sings 'I Love Rock 'N' Roll', which appears to be the Britney Spears version rather than the Joan Jett one. It's fairly unpleasant-sounding, because his voice can't support the chorus, judging by the way he's holding his stomach throughout, and on the verses he's just kind of plaintive and whiny-sounding, which isn't how you should do that song. He also ends the whole performance on the worst closing note since Danny Gokey.

Louis tells him he's the most consistently good performer in the competition, and he's definitely safe for next week. Cheryl says there's so much love for him out there, BUT NOT AS MUCH AS THERE IS FOR REBECCA WHO IS UTTERLY BELOVED BY EVERYONE, Simon thinks this is "living the dream" for Lazy because of all the girlie dancers, and he didn't think it would work, but it was terrific. The audience chant "Lazy! Lazy! Lazy!" (or possibly his actual name) and Dannii says that he's been sick all week, but that song makes her think of having a party. Dermot asks Lazy if he enjoyed that, and Lazy's all "who wouldn't?" My hand shoots into the air. Dermot asks him about being ill, and Lazy says that everyone has been ill this week, but everyone's "smacking it" this week, so "hats off". And indeed he is not wearing his hat tonight.

Next up is Katie, whose sheer ridiculousness at this point has won me over, so I shall no longer be calling her The Kooky Monster. Last week she was saved by the public and went mental. Explaining last week's hairdo, she explains that people can obviously understand why she did it, and now "the mask has been removed". Ah, so this is the real Katie. All those other Real Katies? Phonies and imposters, the lot of them. See, this kind of utter shamelessness is why I kind of love her now. Louis claims that he likes Honest Katie. I don't think we've met that one yet. I think she's next in line after this one and Levitating Grapefruit Can Opener Katie. Katie says that she doesn't have to try to be anyone else to make a good impression, which she has learnt from several weeks of trying to be somebody else and making a terrible impression. Cheryl says that Katie's first song is one she really wanted to do. Katie says that she loves rock because it's just sooooooooooo *mimes masturbating over a fretboard in such a way that the NME immediately gets on the phone and offers her a full-time position on their writing staff* Cheryl thinks she's going to rock out, because it's part of her personality. This one, at least.

Katie is singing 'Sex On Fire' by Kings Of Leon, with actual flames behind her. Her voice is thin and reedy and she gives one of the most pathetic "woo!"s I've ever seen. Also, she's clinging to her skirt around her thighs while singing the skirt, which kind of makes it look like her sex is indeed on fire. She struts around the stage trying to rouse the audience and ends by slamming the mic stand to the floor. Not a single cliché here, no siree.

As she finishes, the audience is chanting her name. See what I mean about them not being remotely discerning? Louis thinks he can see her fronting her own rock band. Yeah, that'll happen. Dannii thought the performance was a bit frantic and that she was trying too much with it. Katie? Trying too hard? Heaven forfend! Simon thinks that whatever the genre, the performance needs to be fun and risky, and that was what he loves about her. He thinks that only she would sing "my sex is on fire" after the week she's had, and once again, those are not the words, Simon. Even if you do not invest in popular music, pay attention to your own fucking show, for fuck's sake. Louis screams that he wants people to vote for Katie. Cheryl's all "you threw the mic stand, you got into the character." What character, Cheryl? This is the Real Katie, remember? No artifice here. Cheryl is kind of surprised to hear the audience chanting Katie's name, as we all are. Dermot asks Katie how that makes her feel. Katie says she feels amazing, and thanks everybody for their support. She adds that she's taking it all seriously, and is focused and working hard in order to not let us all down. Er, thanks?

Dermot opens the voting lines now that everyone's had a shot, and informs us all of the numbers, imploring us all to vote carefully lest we accidentally vote for Wagner when we clearly intend to vote for LAZY DECORATOR REBECCA WAN DIRECTION. And now it's time to do it all again. Jesus wept.

But first, some ads. Come on everyone, buy more stuff!

When we return, Dermot reminds us that the lines are open and we should totally vote and give Simon Cowell more money. Wagner's on first again, and Louis says that he's chosen "a total classic" for him. Wagner says that he was born in 1956, the AGE OF ROCK, so he was probably a rocking foetus. Simon says that if people spend money on a phone call, then Wagner is entitled to be in the competition, "I guess". How charming. Louis tells Wagner that if he does this song justice, they could be on their way to the final.

This song is 'Addicted To Love', and we're back to normal Wagner service at this point, so the barest hint of lip service is played to the tune, and he's surrounded by lovely dancing ladies. Wagner is wearing bizarre earrings as well, for reasons that I can't quite determined. The dancing girls all have glitter cannons which they set off at the end of the song, although one suffers from delayed ejaculation. There is clearly audible booing, because some people have no class whatsoever. Also, why waste time booing Wagner when you could be putting chewing gum in Cheryl's hair? That's the trouble with people these days: no ambition.

Dannii says he's gone back to the Wagner that they know, and she's beginning to think that he has an identical twin who he sent out to do the previous song. Cheryl thinks that Wagner has enjoyed himself more this week than in any other. Simon liked the band, and says it was like they were making the show in Egypt in 1956. It's another one of Simon's analogies that really doesn't stand up to scrutiny, but essentially he thinks that Wagner is a poor standard of contestant. However, Simon says that there is also something fascinating about Wagner. Louis is all "You got an Emmy, didn't you Simon? I think you should give it back," giggling all the while like he's making a real funny, and everyone else just looks at him like "'re strange." Anyway, Louis thinks that not everyone likes Wagner, but that doesn't matter. Dermot asks Wagner how it was for him, and Wagner says that he loves having the beautiful dancers on stage, and he would like to return Simon's compliment: "not many people in this world have more charisma than you." Dermot asks Wagner if he can understand Simon's fascination with him; Wagner is just glad to have received a compliment.

Time for Wan Direction's second turn of the evening. Simon says that the second song has been chosen to prove that the boys are good singers. Makes me wonder what he'll do with Zain, in that case. Harry thinks this song will show how far they've come in terms of being a group and developing harmonies. Louis thinks "it's a brilliant rock song" (take note) and he hopes they can get the vocal right. Simon thinks they can do well with this, but it's a tough song to sing.

They're standing in a line and singing 'You Are So Beautiful To Me'. Well, Liam is. The rest of them are just standing there. Then Harry gets to do half a verse by himself. I'm so glad they put in all that effort working on harmonies. Then - oh my God - ZAINWRECK GETS TO SING BY HIMSELF IN A NON-ECHOING CAPACITY! Bizarrely, he's in tune for most of it too. [Although he DOES only have five notes to sing. - Carrie] Niall and Tiny Nicholas Hoult do absolutely nothing for the entire song. I don't think they even open their mouths. So much for this proving how they're all great singers.

Louis says that they've proven that they're a great boyband and a brilliant vocal group, and have just proved that everyone in the group can sing. Except for Niall and Tiny Nicholas Hoult, for the reasons I've just given. Keep up, Louis. He loved everything about it, but his only problem is "I don't think it's a rock song, Simon!" Then why did you say it was a brilliant rock song in the VT, Louis? Please, do tell. Dannii tells them they were "stunning", and the Blue Screen Queen says it was great to see them having fun and having all the dancers (ooer), but she loved just watching them stand there and sing. Which would explain why she likes Rebecca so much, I guess. Simon tells "Captain Boring" that "Joe Cocker actually was a rock singer, so do your homework", completely neglecting to consider that not every song performed by a rock singer is actually a rock song, and continues that it was in some ways his favourite performance by them, because it was beautifully sung and he can totally remember when Zainwreck was all Zainwrecky and stuff. He means during bootcamp, but I think we all know he really means "in every single performance except possibly this one". Dermote celebrates the rule book being out again (O JOY), and asks Zain how it felt to be commended by Simon, and Zain says that it's just nice to work with someone as powerful as Simon (hmmm) and appreciate getting to come out and perform with "five of our best friends" every week. So we should probably add "basic maths" to the list of things the Zainwreck struggles with, along with "singing", "dancing", and "working out where the hell he is".

Back to Tesco Mary, who Louis says is going to "sing her heart out". I hope not literally. Louis thinks we'll see Mary with her mojo back, and NotLouis has given her some choreography, which she finds nervewracking but also exciting. Dannii is looking forward to actually seeing a performance from Mary. Mary's all "mmm, I'm going to swing my hips big time", and it's kind of scary.

Her second song is the Pretenders' 'Brass In Pocket'. She's performing behind the judges on the little platform, and it's funny to see in the closeups that there's still confetti everywhere from Wagner's glitter cannons. This performance isn't too bad - it's honked a little too much for a track that really needs to be underplayed, but the singing itself is decent enough. [I loathe Tesco Mary. No sense of subtlety or interpretation. BELT BELT BELT BELLOWY SHOUT. Shush. - Carrie]

The crowd chant her name again, and Dannii tells her she looks like she was having a good time - vocally it was "heading towards the karaoke", but she liked seeing her having fun. Cheryl says it's amazing to see Mary moving and singing. Yes, revelatory. Simon's with Cheryl, he thinks everything on the show has got a bit negative, but he thinks it was good for Mary to do an uptempo record, even if she was a bit shouty at times. Louis says this is Mary's last chance, and if we don't vote, she won't be here next week. Dermot asks if he saw "Mary Byrne walking, nay dancing around the stage". I love that even the people who are on this show's payroll struggle to determine what is walking and what is dancing. Mary says that even if her performance was karaoke, she had a ball. Dannii clarifies that she said heading towards karaoke, like the specifics matter at this point.

After more products we might like to purchase, we're back with the girls, whose performance order has changed, meaning Rebecca is on first. In her VT, Cheryl says she's picked a great song that will allow Rebecca to show a different side of herself. We see NotLouis teaching Rebecca some choreography. Rebecca opines that people might have put her "in a miserable box", but she also likes having fun. In rehearsals, Cheryl thinks Rebecca has a cheeky glint in her eye. Louis thinks that with the right performance, this song can get Rebecca through to the semi-final.

She's singing '(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction'...on a raised platform with a diameter of about a meter. Yeah, I don't think we're going to get much movement from this one after all. She's a bit flat at points, and quite sharp at others, so is essentially a bit all over the place, and while there's a level of armography, she remains rooted to the spot the entire time. Seriously: does she have an illness? I would even accept a little bit of walking-up-and-down "dancing" at this point. [Also, please note, this stony-faced look of tedium is actually Rebecca having FUN. I'd hate to see her when she's bored, the dull mewly-voiced statue. - Carrie]

Louis says it's great to hear her doing something uptempo, and she sounded "authentic" - he thinks she could be a great Motown star. Dannii thinks Rebecca sang rock, but made it Aretha. So...not rock, then. Simon thinks the last two weeks have seen Rebecca faltering, but this song turned it around again. He thinks this is like meeting her for the first time, and likens her to Aretha again. I'm sorry, but this is ridiculous. Rebecca is not even fit to hold Aretha's bag while she takes her coat off. Cheryl remembers "back in judges' homes" when "Will" said to her that Rebecca had a superstar voice. Cheryl, Will also apparently thought that laughable video I posted further up the page was a good idea, let's not get too invested in his opinion. Dermot asks Rebecca how she feels, and Rebecca says that she started off really nervous, and she's grateful to everyone for supporting her.

Next it's Katie's turn, and Cheryl says that she's picked "a gorgeous song" where "you can't help but feel what the lyrics are saying". Katie says it means something to her, and it's relevant, so she's excited to sing it, and she feels that she sings best when she's "giving the message". AHAHAHAHA. Simon says that if Katie makes it through, it'd be the greatest comeback ever. I think Jesus would beg to differ with you there, Simon.

This miraculous, life-changing song is...REM's 'Everybody Hurts'. Sigh. Get some new ideas, Cheryl. Unsurprisingly, Katie's voice is not up to this song, and her attempts at passion and genuine angst fall rather flat. Nonetheless, Cheryl manages to squeeze out a tear or two(/pokes herself in the eye furiously when she knows the cameras are pointing elsewhere).

Louis tells Katie that he believed every single word of it, "because you've had such a tough time in the press." Yes, I believe REM originally thinking about Katie Waissel's run-ins with the tabloids when they wrote it. Good God. Also, like a single word about this show ever gets written in the papers without Cowell's say-so. Pull the other one. He believes in her "as a person" and wants people to give her a chance. "I know you're hurting inside, but come on, you are an artist." A piss artist, perhaps. Dannii says that this was a much better song for Katie, that she sang it like a 'save me' song and that's where her strength is. Cowell says she's at her best when she's on the ropes, but this song doesn't work when it's cut up as much as this one was, and he thinks Cheryl should've known better. Cheryl thinks that's one of the most beautiful songs ever written, and Katie did it justice. In response to Simon she says "we had the same amount of time as everybody else and [Katie] filled in the time absolutely beautifully." Now there's a ringing endorsement! Dermot appears and is all "Simon, Simon, Katie can only sing what's put in front of her!" Dick. Katie says she hopes she's done enough to get through, and that song means a lot to her and to everyone else (and it kind of tramples all over the idea of this song being special to you if you then claim it's special to everyone) and she hopes she can sing the whole thing one day. I don't think anyone's stopping you from doing that, love. Dermot asks her what it would feel like to get to the final. Katie says she'd feel so grateful, and it would be amazing. I don't like this new Katie so much, she's a bit dull. When she adopted her latest personality, I wasn't expecting her to just mimic Rebecca's.

Adverts. JLS play Wii Party. As my boyfriend put it: "Oh now I have hid my remote in my clothing, the others will have to strip me, oh no." Indeed. We know what you're up to, Aston.

When we return, Dannii lines up Lazy Decorator again. She says that this song could capture everyone's imagination and give him a standout performance. Lazy thinks it's "a very forgotten song" and he hopes to bring it to people's attention tonight. So it's either 'Crocodile Rock' or 'Imagine' then, right? Except Cheryl has actually heard of this song (shock!) and thinks it's a great choice. Dannii thinks Lazy is going to blow everyone away. Lazy vows to get Team Minogue through to the semi-finals.

He's singing 'Nights In White Satin', while miming playing the guitar (seriously, his hand movements are nowhere near close to the actual sounds the guitar is making). Ah, it's almost as if Tabby never left us, isn't it? He's singing it down his nose again, and really it's just a series of yelps at increasingly high pitches, though I suppose I have to give him some credit for how long he manages to sustain the final note.

Louis thinks it doesn't get better than that, and it was a great choice of song, and it was emotional and heart-wrenching. Cheryl thinks Lazy's at his best when he sits still and plays the guitar. Good God, this woman has the most boring taste in the world, doesn't she? "I love it when you are entirely inert, that's my favourite." It's her favourite performance by any and all lazy decorators ever. Simon says he was worried about him when he first learned of the song choice, but Lazy made it sound contemporary. He loved the little kick that Lazy gave to show how hard he was pushing. Dannii thought it was romantic and real, and it's what he would record. Dermot asks Lazy how it was, and Lazy says loves that song from the bottom of his heart. Dermot tells Lazy he's a long way from Halstead in Essex right now (Google Maps estimates it is about 63 miles by road, so not really) and Lazy says that he couldn't want this any more if he tried.

Finally, closing the show, it's back to Cheryl and Cher. Cheryl says we're going to see Cher at her most fun and at her coolest. Louis thinks he's heard this song so many times, he doesn't know how Cher can put her own stamp on it. Cher says she's going to go out and perform it like it was made for her. She says she's going to go in with a bang, "fireworks, the lot."

Her song is 'Walk This Way', and she basically gives the lie to the whole "I'm going to sing this like it was made for me" schtick by doing the Girls Aloud vs. Sugababes version, complete with carbon copies of all the vocal riffs on particular phrases, only less well executed. There's something quite uncomfortable about Cher's expression throughout too - she looks sad, somehow. I don't know if that's just her attempting to look tough and misfiring, or whether it's symptomatic of a deeper problem.

Louis tells Cher she's had two brilliant performances tonight, and she came back fighting after her dip into the bottom two. Dannii says that nobody performs like Cher does (thank God) and she goes for it every week, though on a technical level she felt Cher was being swallowed up in the verses by the backing track. Simon disagrees with Dannii, saying that Cher has had a fantastic night and has reminded us that this is not a karaoke competition. By copying this and then copying this? Get real, Cowell. Also, that's not so much disagreeing with Dannii as it is expressing an entirely unrelated thought. Cheryl says that we've never seen anyone like Cher on the show before, and she may not be everyone's cup of tea, "but you're my cup of tea with two sugars." Bless. She continues that she believes in Cher as an artist who'll have a credible career when this show is over. I really, really doubt it. Especially not when you've sent her out looking like a blow up sex doll twice tonight, Cheryl. Dermot comes out and asks Cher how she's feeling, but Cheryl is feeling rude right now, and her needs trump Cher's, of course, so she hollers for Dermot's attention and then begs everyone at home to vote for Cher. Dermot asks Cher what she wants to say, and Cher says that she's young and just wants to have fun. Again, I hate to play armchair psychologist, but "fun" seems to be a long way away from the experience Cher's having at the moment.

Finally, that is it. Dermot runs through the numbers, and we get a quick runthrough of tonight's performances: Wagner being a Creep but actually delivering an honest-to-goodness good performance, and then going back to normal in the second half; Wan Direction trying not to giggle while singing about 69 and then practising for a boring, Westlifey post-show career; Tesco Mary delivering two solid if shouty performances; Cher demonstrating her originality by being entirely unoriginal; Rebecca still failing to fight that brutal paralysis in her legs; Lazy Decorator doing A KICK; and Katie showing off her new tortured rock chick personality that she just downloaded off the internet.

Dermot then drops the bombshell that tomorrow's show will see a DOUBLE ELIMINATION (like, no shit Sherlock, there are only two more week left after this and we still have seven bloody acts left), and promises us the likes of The Wanted (yeuch), Justin Bieber (YEUCH) and Nicole Scherzinger (yay!) on tomorrow's show. Who's going home? Your guess is as good as mine. We'll be back with the results soon!


Anonymous said...

"Could they not at least have updated it to 'Summer Of '99' or something?"

That's still 11 years ago, they'd have been about six. They'd have had to change the rest of the lyrics as well, to be about how they done colouring in, and that time Niall ate that worm once.

I'm not saying this would have been a bad thing.

Steve said...

Well, Bryan Adams was only nine in the summer of '69, so it's not that much of a stretch. I do like your ideas for a rewrite, though.

Anonymous said...

The Louis Walsh 'making a funny' bit was fantastically executed. Whenever he says anything, the look on his face as if it was in anyway remotely clever or unique astounds me. Actually, Cheryl does that too. There was this god-awful bit on ITV2 tonight where a caller asked her 'Why is she so unpopular this series' to a wall of ignorant booing. And her response was 'Well I still have 2 girls in the competition SO THERE.' and looked so proud of herself for formulating a sentence I just wanted to gut her.

Hellraiser said...

I always hate rock weeks the most because that's when my favourite songs get trashed, burned and ruined. I can get through anything else. Matt's and Rebecca's attacks were brutal.

Earendel said...

Yeah, it was quite shit this week. I actually fell asleep during their second round of songs, so that just shows how riveting it was. Or I was just going through a massive come down from the previous night - hard to tell the difference.
I do think Ruth Lorenzo's performance of I Love Rock n Roll trumps Matt's weedy attempt by a sure mile.
Yes, I thought Katie's "woo's" were very funny, because that's exactly the sort of stuff Alice Cooper, Ozzy Osbourne et al do during their numbers; give a massive camp Woo! - just the ticket.
Oh and I know it relates to tomorrow, but all respect to Dannii for being the ONLY judge to wear a World AIDS ribbon on Sunday. Love her.