The Final (part one)
Broadcast 11 December 2010
Previously on The X Factor! Thousands applied, and yet we still ended up with four incredibly mediocre finalists! Some people we barely remember like Nicolo, FYD, Storm and John apparently were on this show! And now only our Holy Trinity of Lazy DECORATOR, Rebecca FROM LIVERPOOL, and Harry, Zainwreck and the WOO WOO BOYS are left. Oh, and Cher, but she’s presumably only here because Cheryl would throw a strop if she didn’t have two acts in the final. We’re told to expect fireworks, but no word on whether this is literal or not. I imagine it will be. Simon lies that there will be a shock tonight. IT’S! TIME! TO! FACE! THE! MUSIC!
Dermot, in a very boring black ill-fitting suit enters, to a few literal fireworks and a gold glowing X and reminds us that this is the biggest weekend of the finalists’ lives and then cuts to the terrible hometown crowds. I’d forgotten about that bit of the finals. Matt’s supporters are in Colchester, Rebecca’s in what appears to be a TV studio in LIVERPOOL, One Direction’s “hometown” has been designated Doncaster, though we’re not told which of the band comes from there. Cher’s people are in what appears to be a cave in Malvern, possibly bottling some mineral water while they’re down there [/gross regional stereotyping].
The judges enter to Live and Let Die, Dannii looking fabulous in a red dress and up-do, Louis working all black, Cheryl wearing something that appears to be a cross between a wedding dress and a towelling bathrobe, and Simon showing off too much man rug for my liking.
Dermot says each act will perform two songs tonight and then someone will go, and unlike last week, our votes will decide, not the judges. He welcomes the final 16 back to mime to ‘What a Feeling’. Katie’s wearing a bolero made entirely of mirrorball. They have some dead dancers at their feet. Belle Amie appear to be no more of a group now than they were then. [They were amazing. They looked like they'd never met each other before. - Carrie] Aiden, Katie, Treyc, Paije, Belle Amie and Wagner all get a little bit to do before they’re dismissed for each of “our” final four. Cher does a weird rap about musical chairs, Rebecca is forced to actually walk on stage. Careful, love. Lazy sounds really rough, so maybe he isn’t miming. One Direction have some rather odd outfits on, apart from Liam who’s in a hoodie and looking mardy, as usual. The other finalists get shoved on in the background, with Storm, FYD, John, Diva Fever and Nicolo being as hard to spot as they were in the performance of ‘Heroes’. I didn’t see Mary, though I presume she was there somewhere?
Dermot declares lines open for our votes. I don’t think I’ll bother. [I haven't bothered since Alexandra BURKE. - Steve]
Dannii introduces Lazy DECORATOR as the bookies’ favourite, and I am pretty sure he won’t win, but really, will a Rebecca victory be in any way a shock given the way she’s hypnotised most of the nation during her snoozeathons into thinking she’s the best thing ever? I mean, I guess Lazy and One Direction could win, but I don’t think they will. Anyway, we see his VT of his time on the show: Hats, falsetto, being a lazy sod. He took Dannii back to Colchester, to his favourite pub. Someone gives him a pint. I bet he didn’t pay for it. He takes Dannii to meet his parents. Steady on, mate, she’s got a fit fiancé and a baby. He cries and his mum gives him a kiss. His dad lies that he never gave up on him and cries at the hope that his son might eventually one day leave home and stop sponging off them. He did a gig at home, some little girl declares that she loves Matt more than her mum. It wasn’t specified which Matt, though, so let’s assume she means this one.
His live performance incorporates the Journey South memorial guitar of irrelevance. It’s Dido’s ‘Here With Me’ which is a song I absolutely love, though doing Dido on this show is a kiss of death, usually. Despite some weak bits, I actually quite like this performance – his voice is more expressive than Dido’s (though that’s no difficult feat). He’s a cock as a person, but I do genuinely think he’s better than Rebecca or One Direction as a performer. So yeah, I liked that. Steve and Carrie can chip in here to say otherwise. [He doesn't understand how his voice works still. The slips between falsetto and the top of his range are terrible. But he's been worse, I'll concede that. - Carrie]
Louis calls him a star, Cheryl says it was a great song choice and performance, Simon reminds us Lazy was ILL and says it was a great song choice.
Stacey SOLOMON is in Matt’s home town trying to interview Matt’s dinner lady but you can’t see her or any of the people she’s with, just stock footage of the crowd, and then she’s cut off and Dermot’s all ‘oh yeah, those segments suck and guess what, we’ve got loads of them to come’. The ITV1 professionalism, it burns.
Cheryl lies that we’ve all come to love and adore Rebecca. Her recap VT: snoozing, standing still, Liverpool. She goes back to LIVERPOOL. They’ve clearly forgiven her for ruining The Beatles, then. She cries at a school assembly about how she never used to fit in. Oh, whatever. She talks about all the singers who used to come to their school and she never got an autograph. We never got any singers at my school! Dumbing Down! We never even had Take That when they did that tour of schools for about three years when they were trying to get famous.
She’s doing a gig on the Royal Albert Dock and compares herself to THE BEATLES.
For her performance they’ve made her hair look a bit Leona and stood her on a huge platform. She’s doing Corinne Bailey Rae’s ‘Just Like a Star’ which is a good choice for her, but Dido and Corinne Bailey Rae? Really? This is meant to be a primetime ITV1 light entertainment show, isn’t it? It feels more like Sunday afternoon on Radio 2. She looks as bored as ever throughout and there’s one very bad bum note but the rest of it is just as dreary and slightly flat as usual, though she gets an orchestra, a choir and some petal confetti, as well as some men standing around her. Poor NotLouis. He’s had the time of his life this series with the likes of Diva Fever, Wagner and Katie, and then our anointed three end up being the ones he’s had so little to do with. At least he’s got a couple of Cher performances left. They then make the stage spin around so they can technically claim they got Rebecca to move.
Louis adores Rebecca and wants Liverpool to vote for her, but sadly doesn’t call her a young Dina Carroll or something. Dannii says she’s beautiful and hopes her CONFIDENCE grows. Simon also calls her beautiful and says she was magical. Cheryl starts crying about how much she respects Rebecca as a woman.
Midget Dermot strains up to talk to Rebecca as he asks her how great being from Liverpool is. Coleen Rooney is in Liverpool surrounded by people, including Rebecca’s sister who looks just like her. Poor Coleen looks like she’s about to get squashed by all those people. Someone call health and safety!
Dermot reminds us to DOWNLOAD the performances. I do hope they release stats on the downloads after the show finishes.
Ads – wow, that was a long time before they arrived! Coca-Cola apparently sponsors ITV1 now. Tough! Economic! Times!
Dermot reminds us that groups never win this show, but that Simon’s tried everything he can to make One Direction win. Except making them be any good. Their VT: being a frankenband, being boring, Simon claiming they can win. They visit some of their hometowns. They don’t go to IRELAND for Niall because the weather is bad / Louis isn’t managing them. Doncaster, apparently, is Louis’ hometown. I’m not sure why Donny gets the pimp slot given Louis’ only notable thing was being bitten by a stingray, and it wasn’t even a stingray, but some lesser fish. Harry goes back to his SMALL TOWN and his family have party poppers. Zainwreck gets mobbed by some incoherent girls in HMV in Bradford, whilst Liam’s home town of Wolverhampton gets their gig. Simon introduces them from what looks like the back of a van. We don’t see them sing [no change there then - Steve], then the police chase them out of town.
They’re doing ‘Your Song’ because Simon has no idea of originality whatsoever. Liam gets to open and looks as angry as usual. I think he might be my favourite, just because he’s the one likely to leave in a huff and break up the band (though I’d also wager Zainwreck could be the one to go off on a bender and get the sack. Niall and Louis can fight it out for the roles of Howard and Jason). Harry is wearing a weird woolly cowl-style top. The arrangement of this is appalling, with really, really loud backing music, and then the customary offstage backing singers. It snows a bit, Harry looks like he’s in a worship service or something, then Louis (who has his hood up like it’s cold or something) and Niall have a little hug and realise it looks a bit gay, so try and drag Harry in, but he’s having none of it.
Louis tells everyone in Ireland to vote for Niall, though I’m not sure voting for any of them individually is an option. Dannii says they deserve to be here, Cheryl repeats what Dannii said, the audience scream like morons throughout. Dermot does bugger all to stop this. Simon reminds us that they are SIXTEEN AND SEVENTEEN [Louis is eighteen. It upsets me that I know this. - Steve] and that they proved that they should each be there as individual singers, which, clearly not given you didn’t put them through as individuals. Dick.
Michelle Keegan from Coronation Street is being even more crushed than Coleen in Doncaster and looks terrified as their friends and family scream, and then she disappears into a mass of people. Ladies and gentlemen, I think we’re about to have the mysterious fourth corpse the anniversary episodes promised.
Dermot reminds us to vote and buy downloads but doesn’t mention ITUNES so I guess the product placement ran out. He reminds us Cher’s still to come, like she’s anything other than an irrelevance right now.
Ads. Burlesque looks awful, doesn’t it? [If by "awful" you mean "amazing", then yes. - Steve] ‘Place Your Hands’ selling fabric softener.
Dermot reminds us about the X Factor tour, like anyone would want to go to that. Cheryl introduces Cher as being ‘entertaining’. Poor Cher, apparently now the joke act. Cher’s ‘journey’: Turning her swag on, ring-a-ding-a-dinging, crying. In Malvern, some children scream ‘we want Cher’, presumably because they, too, heard the rumour that she was going to be a guest performer this week. Cheryl has a cup of tea with Cher’s family and her brother does a little cry. [Seriously, Cheryl's all "I'm so nosy! I love to meet people!" but neglects to mention that she's been mentoring this girl for the best part of a quarter of the year and still apparently hasn't met her family. - Carrie]
Apparently Cher’s doing The Clapping Song, to further cement her position as the new Komedy Kontestant, and she’s wearing some dreadful MC Hammer pants with lipstick prints on. It then becomes a medley with Get UR Freak On. So that’s both Katie and Wagner they’re making her channel here – why not just put either Katie or Wagner in? [Katie, Wagner and Cher would've been the greatest Frankenband ever. - Steve] She has some dancers but the staging isn’t half as mad as we’d expect.
Louis reminds her she’s in the final and says he loves that she did the Rihanna – what, the other week? Dannii says The X Factor is a good springboard and needs to create her own future. Simon’s happy they put her through and calls her a brat with a heart of gold. Essentially no-one’s even pretending she can win. Scott Mills is being mobbed in Malvern but manages to get himself out of the crush, then he has to wander back in because he can’t find Cher’s teacher. Jeff Brazier would never have stood for this. They then cut the VT off mid flow. Feel the quality, people.
Dermot reminds us to vote and recaps the performances. No ads.
Lazy’s back, doing ‘Unfaithful’ and he fluffs lots of the notes, though even Rihanna tends to fluff her own notes on this song, it’s a very hard one to sing. This is far from his best performance. He then seems a bit relieved as he introduces Rihanna, but Whitney Houston apparently walks on instead. Rihanna/Whitney also misses some of her own notes, but the stage erupts in flames. She has a dress with a huge slit up the side which means you can see the whole of her leg. They both look like they’re in hell with red lighting and the flames (which get very high at one point), then they have a little flirt and almost snog. [This was terrible. It would have been amazing if either could sing it competently and had any chemistry. - Carrie]
Dermot asks Lazy how he feels and he says he’s always looked up to Rihanna. Rihanna says she loves his work. Dermot asks if he did her kitchen. That’d be a funny joke if Lazy actually did any decorating instead of being a dosser.
I keep expecting to type ‘Ads’, but no, it’s Rebecca now. She’s wearing a very, very weird sequinned thing on her shoulders that defies description. Unsurprisingly, it’s ‘Beautiful’, and she gets to stand atop a lit staircase to sing it. She then introduces ‘the beautiful’ Christina Aguilera, who’s rocking her look back to the way it was about six years ago, all boobs and thighs and blonde hair, and sings Rebecca offstage as you’d expect. The comparison is actually painful, and Rebecca can barely even sing when they’re supposed to be duetting, but then she gets to do a little warble which isn’t nasal and is actually quite nice, then she remembers to hit the snooze button and returns to form, and it’s over. Christina says she was ‘pretty blown away’ by something she’d heard Rebecca do and Dermot tells us to make Merseyside proud and vote for her. [Rebecca actually didn't bother to sing at several points, meaning Christina SANG ABOUT FIVE-SIXTHS OF THE SONG. What is the point, please? - Carrie]
Ads. Buy your meat for Christmas, folks. Won’t somebody think of the vegetarians?
Simon lies that there was only one person One Direction could duet with. I mean, Westlife, Joe McEldery, Justin Bieber, The Wanted, kd lang, the possibilities are endless. Simon strokes a weird Paris Hilton dog in the VT, and it’s unclear if he’s trying to be Dr Evil.
They’re doing ‘She’s the One’ and Liam fluffs his notes, then there are some dreadful harmonies where they forgot to switch the autotune/backing singers on. Robbie arrives, without Take That, sadly, and manhandles Louis. Stingray Louis, not actual Louis. He remembers his words this time. The backing singers kick in. That was all very underwhelming. Robbie tells us all to vote for One Direction, unlike the A-List American guest singers who couldn’t be arsed to plug the acts [or maybe thought they were SO SHIT that people shouldn't vote for them - Carrie]. Robbie then tries to find out who the Robbie in the band is, and several of them claim they are.
Cher tells us she loves the music of her guest singer, but neglects to mention how much he needs to redeem himself after last week’s abomination of a live performance. Cher’s performance of ‘Where is the Love’ is at least better than that shambles. Then Will.I.Am comes on to do ‘I Gotta Feeling’ and is truly awful – out of time and tune. Cher tries to get him back on track and actually outperforms him. Oh well, at least one of the guest singers showed themselves up. Cher said Will.I.Am made her feel very relaxed, presumably because she realised if someone with that little talent can be a global megastar she’s got a fighting chance. [I miss Beyonce. - Steve]
Recap: Lazy’s first performance not being as good as I remembered it, Rihanna channelling Whitney and Satan, Rebecca spinning around and being outsung, One Direction continuing to be the world’s blandest boyband, Cher being completely doomed.
Dermot asks the judges why they should vote for their acts, Dannii says Lazy is normal, down to earth and has the voice of an angel. Cheryl says the girls are ‘extremely different in their own right’ and that Cher is ‘going to be the new generation of music’ and Rebecca is ‘everything you want from a world class star’ (except personality, and talent), and Simon says the boys like animals. Louis says Rebecca should win.
Dermot introduces ‘the first’ of tonight’s performers. Whuh? They’re really chucking the kitchen sink at this, aren’t they? It’s Rihanna – she’s doing well out of this series, isn’t she? Three live performances and several of her songs being covered. She’s got some huge hoop earrings in and a stripey dressing gown on. A dancer then strips her of her robe so she’s down to her underwear (well, kind of). The vocal is a bit on and off, and the new single ‘What’s My Name?’ is really dreary. She then dances in a pretty provocative way and, according to the papers, the whole nation calls Ofcom or something, like ITV gives two hoots about anything these days other than publicity. Dermot says she’ll be back next year and Rihanna tries to plug her tour but doesn’t really get to.
Ads. Jason Donovan and his band of boozed-up mums who don’t have any noticeable kids. How they can still use ‘mum’s gone to Iceland’ in the 2010s, I do not know. Even if it weren’t entirely, reprehensibly sexist, you’d have thought the Jamie Oliver obesity/junk food panic would have killed it off.
Dermot welcomes us back and lies that the duets stole the show. The vote is frozen, but it’s not yet time to send Cher home. Christina Aguilera has to hawk her dreadful[/amazing - Steve]-looking film first, and yes, the burlesque dancers in underwear, everyone’s baps being out, provocative dancing and a song about burlesque dancing are entirely inappropriate pre-watershed, especially when the camera zooms in between the dancers’ legs, but the show will lap up the publicity, and let’s face it, this series has proved that ethics aren’t exactly its strength. The song is a dreary slab of nothing, with just the word ‘burlesque’ repeated a lot and a few hey, heys thrown in for Christina to shout. It also goes on FOREVER.
Dermot asks Christina when her film is out and she says ‘sorry, say that again’. She then remembers to get back on message and plug the film, then runs off stage as fast as she can.
Dermot tries to get us interested in the elimination, with all the scantily clad dancers behind him. It’s not really working.
Ads. Buy THE BEATLES on ITUNES, even though they didn’t get the all-Beatles top 40 we were told was definitely going to happen when they went to download, rather than the almighty shrug that actually ensued.
O Fortuna welcomes us back as we go through the tedious formality of getting rid of Cher, despite her being the most (vaguely) interesting one left. Cher knows it’s her and looks desperate for Dermot to just get on with it, like that’s going to happen. Your chosen ones are Rebecca, One Direction and Matt. Well, colour us all shocked, hey? Tonight's whole show has essentially been pointless, hasn't it?
We see Cher’s best bits: essentially the same as the ones they showed earlier. She says her highlight was being onstage with Will.I.am and thanks everyone that arranged that for her (/threw Mary under a bus last week). Dermot reminds us that tomorrow we have to endure the most boring final in history and someone will win this thing, not that that will mean anything in terms of a successful career afterwards.