Live show: Beatles Week
20 November 2010
Last week! The show got its revenge on Elton John for insulting it by desecrating several of his biggest hits (and Crocodile Rock, which according to our blessed Lord and Saviour Cheryl Cole is obscure)! Katie got the all-time X Factor record for bottom two survival! Aiden went home and stuck his bottom lip out. Some more. Again.
Tonight! Songs by contemporary artists The Beatles! All of which are now available on the blessed ITUNES!
Drive My Car plays as Dermot skips onstage in a very odd shiny purple suit with red shoes. Um. He gives us a joke worthy of Bruce Forsyth saying there are four twisted people who love to shout – the judges.
Dannii is looking great, with her hair up and a nice red dress, Louis is trying to up the male judge style wars in a grey suit and purple shirt, Cheryl needs to remove her hair extensions, because she’s wearing them down and they just look lank and greasy, and boy is it time to get rid of the red already, but she has a nice dress on. Simon has got his chest wig out again as if this week’s show wasn’t going to be hellish enough for me.
Paul McCartney VTs that it’s great the contestants are doing Beatles and makes my night by saying he’s far away in Brazil (missed opportunity to fly Wagner home for a live link-up methinks) and then he says to just ‘get on with it’. Now, I am no lover of Fab Macca Wacky Thumbsaloft, but if that was a joke about this show’s tardiness and over-reliance on filler then that’s halfway to a decent burn.
Dermot reminds us to go to ITUNES and download the contestants’ performances. Is anyone really doing that? I can’t imagine any of tonight’s are going to sell well (whoops, spoiler).
The boys are going first again. They really want to bus them, don’t they?
Lazy DECORATOR is our first performer, and he comes onstage wearing a wife beater vest and scruffy tracky bottoms, looking like a jobless dosser, which he is, so fair enough. He’s doing ‘Come Together’, which is one of my favourite Beatles tracks but that’s mainly only because I like the various rocky covers of it. In fact, though I know it’s probably being a traitor to my nation on a par with not calling all soldiers, ever, ‘heroes’ or worshipping at a shrine of our blessed Lord and Saviour Cheryl Cole every morning, I usually prefer cover versions of Beatles songs to the originals. I mean not tonight’s lot, obviously, but generally. Oasis’s ‘I am the Walrus’, Bananarama/Lananeeneenoonoo’s 'Help!', even Candy Flip’s ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ – all superior to the originals. *Whispers* I actually find The Beatles rather overrated, even though I was a huge Britpop fan and as such I was supposed to have spent my teens brushing up on The Fab Four’s back catalogue. I may as well get prepared for all the flaming coming my way seeing as I don’t have anything nice to say about Rebecca tonight either. [You'll get no argument from me. I'm more of a Rolling Stones guy. - Steve]
Oh, yeah, back to Lazy. He has lots of ladies in sparkly red hot pants being ‘sexy’, and his backdrop looks like the Magpie Electricals logo. He’s on a raised platform. This will become a theme tonight. Although there’s nothing special about this performance, save his rubbish dancing, I do prefer rock to falsetto for him but that probably just shows my musical preferences. Scissor Sisters aside, male falsetto doesn’t do much for me but chuck a two-bit indie rock sound at me and I’m generally happy. The vocal’s average throughout, and given the stream of effluent that is to follow, it’s actually one of the better performances tonight, but he’s still a tosser.
Louis says there’s something missing tonight – a proper outfit perhaps, Louis? Cheryl really enjoys him and says he could be in the final. Simon says he was missing a shirt and the styling sucks. Ugh, when Simon and I are on a wavelength that’s a worry. Simon says he looks like he was dragged from the loo onto the stage, which is a nice mental image. The audience boo like mad despite it being true and Simon says he loves his singing and the SEXY LADY DANCERS. The audience go mental for him. Dannii says that girls want him dragging to their bedrooms, which: no thanks, and that he’s a star. Dermot says he has the painter/decorator chic going on, which is kind of true given that the impression I get from when he was a painter/decorator is that he probably slobbed around at his parents' home in skeffy jogging bottoms rather than going to actual clients’ homes and doing any work.
Ads: Half price autobiographies from people who had autobiographies out last year. I blame Jordan for this unnecessary and annoying trend.
Dermot encourages us to chat online at the X Factor website. In the interests of research, I went and had a look. It’s not a chat room, it’s a load of scrolling ‘I love Cher’, ‘I hate Cher’ messages, and you can get that on Twitter or Facebook with the added bonus on those sites of actual interaction. Rubbish.
Cher apparently tends to hide in the room with her IPOD. She says that Cheryl could be her big sister and there are lots of shots of them bonding because the theme of this week seems to be ‘look the mentors actually do mentoring, honest’. The girls did a magazine shoot where she looked dreadful.
She’s sitting on a staircase to nowhere doing ‘Imagine’ which is not only one of the worst songs in the world ever (the absolute worst song in the world ever is ‘Mull of Kintyre’, there’s a theme here) [I thought the worst song in the world was Olly MURS' new single - Steve][I hadn't heard that when I wrote this - Rad], it is also NOT BY THE BEATLES. For FUCK’S SAKE. It’s not as though they don’t have a big enough back catalogue. It’s pretty rubbish, there is the odd good note but mostly it’s wobbly and not very Cher and not at all The Beatles and just blah. My friend Kerry reckons Cher missed a trick tonight by not doing a mashup of 'The Frog Chorus' (also not a Beatles song, but better than fucking ‘Imagine’) and ‘Crazy Frog’.
Louis says he thought she was contemporary before but on this song there was no rap and no choir. Louis’ definition of contemporary music = rap and a choir. Good to know. Dannii thinks she was fantastic. Cher is wearing less eye make up this week and it’s strange to see her looking actually young, she looks so different. Anyway, Dannii says the sung songs have been her favourite Cher performances. Simon is partly happy she did this. Erm, OK. There’s a heckle, and Simon says the heckler said he was hot and he agrees with them. He says Cher’s sweet and nice and he doesn’t like the tabloid stories about her. Simon says little girls want to be like her (really?) but the staircase was rubbish. Cheryl blabs on about nothing while Simon keeps babbling about the stairs. Dermot says he’s going to speak on her behalf – so Dermot’s reading the contestants’ minds now? - and to win she has to sing something every week and be versatile. Simon says you have to set the performance right. Dermot says 'blame the stairs, do not blame Cher', as if the removal of the stairs would miraculously have made that any better. [It might have done if the stairs had been removed while she was still sitting on them. - Steve]
One Direction get the annual Cowell gay panic VT where they discuss how much they love Football and the Beatles and other macho straight boy stuff. Simon says they can one hundred million percent shine.
They’re all in suits under spotlights on raised platforms looking rather Take That as their ripping off of a new boy band each week gathers pace. They’re doing ‘All You Need is Love’, yet another shit Beatles song (given the amount of potential Beatles songs they could choose, tonight’s offerings are so uninspired) though they’ve made it a bit up-tempo [/ripped their arrangement wholesale from the Blackberry ads. - Steve]. There’s lots of offstage backing singing as usual, and Zain’s mic is off again. The blond one has a better voice than I remember even though Harry and Liam do most of the singing as always. They then have a mob of backing dancers come on and do that matey boy jumping thing around them, because they are so straight.
Louis says they lifted the energy in the studio and good to see the "fab five" (ugh) singing the fab four and he thinks they’re here for the long haul. The audience scream like mental dimbos all over the other judges’ comments, but essentially Dannii says the guys on “backing vocals” with silent mics were struggling and not to let the others down, presumably by lip syncing out of time, as we couldn’t tell if they were singing or not. Cheryl says she could go on about the platform but won’t, because she loved them. Simon snits ‘who cares about the platform’ and Cheryl snits about the stairs. Gah, I hate both of them. Simon says they made it new (DRINK) and the other judges don’t want them to be safe. The other judges all say they do. Heh. Dermot says he can’t hear the judges above the audience. Well, if only there was someone whose fucking job it was to shut the audience up so we can hear the comments, eh, Dermot?
Ads: The Beatles version of this song now available on ITUNES, at which point I decide to atone for the lack of Rolling Stones in my CD collection and promptly buy some of their music. Xenophobic Dolmio fail.
Rebecca next. Cheryl says she’s the one the audience have been waiting for. Yeah, the members of the audience who like to have a cup of Horlicks and be asleep by 9pm. She goes on about how wonderful Cheryl is and being from LIVERPOOL where the Beatles are from, so I hope everyone from LIVERPOOL votes for you. You know who else is from Liverpool? Sonia. If Rebecca did ‘You’ll Never Stop Me Loving You’, properly, not in a cod-jazz-snore-tune-free way, I’d potentially like her. For one week only. There’s a funny bit in the VT where she tries to go into Cheryl’s dressing room and Cheryl looks like she’s stopping her coming in.
The piano hits bum notes despite surely being pre-recorded, which can’t be a good start. She gets black and white footage of The Beatles behind her, as if to rub in how much she’s desecrating them by wearing a fuckawful red jumpsuit, and hitting lots of bum notes. This is by far her worst performance yet like anyone cares, because she’ll still be here in the final. Even her defenders seemed to admit this week was pretty shit, though. On Twitter, Caitlin Moran calls her Fozzie Bear, which makes my evening. She looks pretty terrified throughout. The pressure of LIVERPOOL getting to you? It’s alright, your football team can sympathise with that one.
Louis said she made it her own, he hopes everyone votes for her and various other drinking game clichés. Apparently this is the most recorded song by The Beatles. I assume he means ‘covered’ unless it’s some bizarre fact about how many takes The Beatles did of each song in the studio. Who can tell? Dannii says it was not her favourite performance, Rebecca sounded a bit sad, and seemed a bit off. Simon said she looked nervous, but because she comes from LIVERPOOL she means the words of the song. That’s right, because that’s exactly how lyrics work. Fool. Cheryl, clearly realising how that VT looked, says she can come to her dressing room whenever she wants.
Rebecca says she was nervous and says this is the first time she’s walked round, by which I presume she means not standing still, because all she essentially did was walk about five steps. Oh, the energy that must have taken, Rebecca. Wagner moves every week, AND he sings several songs, AND he finds the tune about as much as you, you lazybones.
Louis and Mary had SRS BIZNESS chats this week and Louis VTs that ‘there’s something about Mary’. I’m not entirely sure Louis is taking this whole thing seriously any more, you guys. Simon says Mary wants to win. I can believe that. She seems kind of scary in how much she believes she’s a chosen one. She’s wearing Alison Moyet’s old 1986 knockoffs to sing ‘Something’ in a sadly gender changed lyrical stylee. She gets what I believe might be our first string band of the series though. She seems more confident than the last two weeks but has mistaken volume for tune like every other X Factor contestant since the show began. Is this all Yvie’s fault? The backing music then gets weird and all jazz loungey, and the last note is very honky.
Dannii says when she’s on it she’s on it and that was up there with her best, but she needs to have confidence every week. Cheryl says it’s a comfort when Mary sings and she feels relaxed. See – I don’t find Mary’s SHOUTING at all relaxing, it tends to wake me up after Rebecca’s put me to sleep, mind. She says Mary sings with experience and knows the song, BECAUSE SHE IS OLD. Simon says it was a good choice, better than last week, and she's got her confidence back. Has Rebecca got any confidence yet? They forgot to tell us this week, though I am suspecting not, given her performance.
Ads: More Beatles. Apparently their songs are available on some music thingy or other, can't think of its name right now.
Paige was shocked to be here after last week. Me too. He's wearing a blue suit and shiny purple top that Dermot could wear to have shiny purple everything. He's doing 'Let it Be'. Such boring choices of songs tonight. He does some awkward dancing, and his voice is his voice. I'm not a fan, but some people are. There are lots of places where he overdoes it on the frilly bits rather than sticking to the tune. At the key change, he is graced with a troupe of backing singers in white frocks like ANGELS being all gospelly. There's also a bit where he sounds like he’s clearing phlegm from his throat, then another bit like that, then it's over.
Louis says Simon was rude to tell Paije he couldn’t win, even though that was the truth. He says he’s like Lenny Henry, Luther Vandross AND Marvin Gaye this week. Louis - that hole you're in - you're not exactly digging yourself out of it there. Simon admits he was a bit rude last week (/honest) but Paije was good tonight and the staging Dannii did was better. I am so confused about the staging this year - according to Simon, Dannii and Cheryl do their own staging but his is blamed solely on NotLouis. I can't believe One Direction are the only act NotLouis is working with so someone's making stuff up here. I'm looking at you, Cowell. Dannii says this week Paije hit the ‘big’ 2-0 (big whoop) and reminds us that he was a wildcard (like Wagner, though this isn't mentioned). She says she wants to hug and squeeze him tight. Dermot, utterly failing in his hosting duties as per ruddy usual, stokes up the whole stupid ladder thing again with Cheryl and Simon and then says he wants to go over "ladder gate" and into beige. That’s Rebecca, Dermot.
Louis pronounces Wagner with a soft W again because he's being deliberately cunty. Casual racism isn't that funny, Louis, just ask Anton du Beke and Carol Thatcher. Wagner says he was happy to be through last week, and that some people don’t like Pavarotti and some don’t like Bob Dylan so if people don’t like him it’s OK. I would have loved him even more if he'd added that some people don't like Paul McCartney. Louis tells him not to worry because people always hate his acts (paraphrase). Wagner talks about his love of Karate, in what seems like a bizarre plea to be given the role of Mr Miyagi in the next Karate Kid remake. Simon says it’s the end of world, no, the end of the universe if he wins - although I can't see how Wagner being a one hit wonder is going to be any different to Rebecca or Matt being one hit wonders.
Awesomely, he's wearing a Sergeant Pepper coat. He starts with 'Get Back', which turns into 'Hippy Hippy Shake' with a load of backing dancers in bright dresses balancing on chairs looking precarious. Did health and safety approve these props, NotLouis? He shakes his hips a bit. Louis is shown nodding, while Cheryl looks incredibly sad. Then 'Hey Jude' comes in and I love him for properly, unashamedly pissing all over the worst song The Beatles ever recorded (as opposed to everyone else who sabotaged them unintentionally). Say what you like about Wagner, but this is a helluva lot better than when Paul McCartney gets all his celeb mates to do it at the end of every benefit gig ever like he thinks it's a total anthem for world peace or something. It's a well-known rule of pop that all songs about pop stars' kids are terrible: Oasis's 'Little James' (about the son of Patsy Kensit - did her other husbands try as hard as that?), Madonna's 'Little Star', Will Smith's 'Just the Two of Us' - all terrible, and 'Hey Jude' only proves the rule. (Actually, Tanya Donelly's 'Keeping You' is quite good but that's a rare exception.) [You forgot 'My Baby' by Britney Spears. *dryheave* - Steve]
Dannii calls him by his proper name because she is the only judge with a) any class and b) who actually seems to care about the contestants as much as about her own publicity. She wants to know where his stage wife is, but other than that, she doesn’t know what to say and then she literally headdesks. Cheryl 'don't believe everything in the papers' Cole then snits that he’s talked about her coming from a council estate in the press and says yes, she’s proud and she is lucky but he should focus on his own performances, not everyone else's. Wagner tells her not to believe what the press say. On that note, is it just me, or has the press for the contestants this series been universally dreadful? Matt, Katie, Cher, Wagner and Storm have all had several stories slagging them off, as have all the judges, and Simon's blatant favouring of One Direction has hardly gone unnoticed. Not that any of this will make any difference whatsoever to the show's success (and will no doubt even boost it), but there seems to be a real air of negativity around the whole thing in a way that there isn't normally - at least not to the same extent. [I am very interested in Wagner's terrible coverage. Normally with joke contestants, eg Jedward, there's mockery but not horrible stories - I suspect Wagner's voting percentages are worrying Cowell, hence the PR machine going into overdrive. - Carrie]
Simon uses a soft W and audience all shout the correct pronunciation. Simon gets annoyed and snips ‘Vagner' in a really over-exaggerated way as if to suggest it's such a petty thing he was being picked up on, rather than getting the contestant's ACTUAL BLOODY NAME wrong. He says that was the worst version of a Beatles song he's heard in his life, though he doesn't specify which of the three he didn't like. Louis loves him, but not enough to get his name right or anything.
Wagner says to Cheryl that he didn’t think the guy was a journalist and says he thought Cheryl was a role model because she lived on a council estate and is talented, beautiful and now the most famous woman in country [Oi! Right, that's it, we'll show this bitch who's boss. Can we put on a Royal Wedding or something? - The Queen] so she's good for people to look up to. For a moment, I thought it was going to go mental there. [I love Wagner for defusing that so thoroughly and making Cheryl look like an idiot. I mean, it's not difficult, but still. Girl got OWNED, and owned good. - Steve] Dermot fails to diffuse any tension whatsoever, but reminds us to vote for him and at least uses his name properly.
Ads: I was too busy getting water to notice what for. The Beatles, I am guessing.
In the pimp slot this week, we have Katie. Wow, they must have paid an awful lot to buy her out of her contract, mustn't they? Cheryl introduces Katie as being back AGAIN. That's a bit bloody rude, Cheryl. Katie says it’s great surviving the bottom four times but it also sucks. She can’t believe she’s still here and says she doesn’t believe half the schtick she gets. She means stick of course - schtick is the thing we get from her that we don’t deserve. Cheryl says she’s a cat with nine lives and has only used four of them so far. You know, regardless of what you think about Katie, having been in the bottom two four times is going to be pretty gutting, so she can't be feeling too great, and Cheryl doesn't exactly come across like a reassuring mentor trying to boost her act's confidence.
Katie has chosen her own song, though Cheryl lies that she'd have chosen the same thing. Simon says it's a perfect song for Katie. Katie says she's going for a(nother) drastic image change.
In another selection from her big bag of 'Save me, please' songs, she's doing 'Help', and her drastic image change this week is short cropped elfin brown hair and a '60s-ish dress. [She looked like Connie Fisher. - Carrie] The set has flock wallpaper! Her voice still weak, though the 'please please help me' bits are quite good. She gets better in the middle then gets a bit worse again, as the tune goes for a wander. It's all too slowed down, but, you know, better than Rebecca was tonight at any rate. Steve the other day suggested she should do Kylie's 'The One' ('I'm the one, love me, love me, love me') and I am so hoping she stays to the final just so she can do that one then. It would be amazing. [Bonus points if they play the Hypnotoad from Futurama in the corner of the screen while she does it. - Steve]
Louis says she does need help and doesn’t know why people aren’t voting because vocally she was incredible. Dannii says this was the first time she’d put her 'save me' energy into her show performance (it’s all about the sentiment, Dannii) but says that every week Katie says 'This is the real me' and every week it’s a different real me. She has a great voice but maybe she should go into acting and doing characters and says she just feels confused as which is the real Katie. Katie says 'I understand, I feel like now' and looks like she's about to say 'this really is the real me, honest' but then realises she totally can't say that so just gives in and says 'yeah'. Simon is not confused about Katie because he’s glad she remained in the competition. Oh Simon, as comprehensible as ever. He says that this is her stripped back bare (ewww) and that lyrically it was absolutely genius – though surely the credit for that would go to Lennon/McCartney, not Katie. He says a lot of people on these shows are not what they appear and they act in front of the cameras – awesomely the audience start laughing at this. Simon gripes that he's being told to wind up in his earpiece, but he won't. This would be Dermot's cue to say that he was running out of time, but no. This is why the finals go on for ever, Dermot. Do your bloody job, Gillian McKeith's waiting in the jungle needing to eat kangaroo bum. Simon says she's genuinely nice and he likes that she comes back as a different person each week as it makes her interesting (more interesting than One Direction, Rebecca or Mary who do the same thing week in, week out, and get praised to high heaven for it regardless, I grant you). Cheryl says she’s interesting and it was her performance of the night, though it's not like you had rich pickings to choose from, is it Cheryl?
Dermot says the judges always believe in Katie, it’s the people she needs to win over. I think it may be a little late for that unless they give her the pimp slot every week from now on. Katie is grateful to be here and wants to be here next week.
Recap: Lazy DECORATOR not bothering to get dressed, Cher LLOYD there on the stair, right there, One DIRECTION being BLOKEY, Rebecca FROM LIVERPOOL shaming her home city, Mary BYRNE turning the volume back up, Paije RICHARDSON being a little Linford Christie, WAGNER still experiencing casual xenophobia, Katie WAISSELL needing help, and everyone sucking the life out of the worst of the Beatles.
Dermot reminds us to tune into the results tomorrow, with Olly Murs, and the annual charity single pap. What the actual FUCK did I do to deserve that? Join me later for the recap!