Monday, December 13, 2010

A Christmas Cardle

Final, part 2: TX 12th December 2010

So here we are again. It seems like only yesterday that Wan Direction were mere children, and...oh, wait, that was yesterday. But still! It's the "grand" final, which won't actually feel all that grand, but will somehow feel bloated and overlong and kind of not really fun at all and ultimately even less impressive than last year's final, which in turn was only good because of the Alexandra/JLS duet, which was a small isolated puddle of actual-quite-good-ness in a sea of tedious mediocrity. Just to give you some indication of how no-one on this show seems to care about the actual result any more. Still, they manage to stretch all that not caring out for two hours, so we'd best get on.

Last night! This hot fucking mess right here. In a VT that Peter Dickson clearly recorded before that show actually happened, he voices over that the finalists gave the "performances of their lives". Give over - Lazy Decorator sounded like he was performing from his deathbed, and Rebecca barely even remembered to turn up for her duet. And the less said about Wan Direction the better. Seriously, it's a sad state of affairs when Cher probably gave the best performances of the night - not that it saved her, of course, because the show finally realised it could prop her up no longer and she went back to the mean streets of Malvern. Now, after weeks of "fierce competition", just three acts remain. To everyone's shock and surprise, they are Rebecca, Lazy Decorator and Wan Direction, which also just happens to be the trio that were "tipped for the final" (/engineered to get here by hook or by crook) from the very beginning. Tonight, someone wins! Unless they implement that "none of the above" voting option I keep pushing for. So Wan Direction are batting for Simon, and Harry intones gravely that winning will change their lives forever. Especially Tiny Nicholas Hoult, who will have to live out the rest of his days as a functioning mute. Lazy Decorator is still in for Dannii, and he wants to win. And Rebecca is still honking away merrily on Cheryl's behalf, though Cheryl clearly doesn't give a rat's ass now that her mini-me has exited. It's time! To face! The welcome prospect of getting your life back!

Dermot strides into the studio, in a tuxedo, bless him, which appears to have snakeskin lapels. It's a fashion choice, I suppose. Still, I don't really advise wearing a bow-tie to this show, lest someone mistake you for Louis Walsh. [Poor Dermot. Trying to engender a sense of occasion for this pile o'shite. - Carrie] He's once again greeted by the world's most pathetic firework display, and blathers a bit about how the judges were a gang of bitchy little children again this series, "but we wouldn't want them any other way" (speak for yourself), and welcomes them to the show. Dannii's wearing a long off-white gown covered in sequins, Louis is sporting another dickie box, Cheryl has ditched last night's Kirstie Allsopp-inspired hairdo for a strange Princess Leia one, and a dress with a neckline that suggests a giant X across her tits (subtle!), and indulges in that stupid salute-off with Simon for hopefully the last time ever.

Dermot reminds us that the lines are still open, and that all the votes that were cast last night still count. He claims that we've got "three great finalists to choose from" and tells us we're going to see them one more time, already sounding as bored as I am by the whole prospect. He turns to Simon to ask what the acts have to deliver tonight to ensure that they win. Simon: "They've just got to sing better than the others, Dermot." Ah, so this is suddenly A SINGING CONTEST once again. I get so confused.

Blerg. They're singing 'Never Forget', though I think they're missing a trick by not getting Lazy Decorator to falsetto through the pre-pubescent choir bit at the beginning. Wan Direction come on first, and not only fail at harmonising, they also fail at singing the same words at the same time. Good job, lads! *golf clap* Then Rebecca comes in, screeching something that does not appear to resemble the words to this song, and finally Lazy Decorator arrives, still sounding rather ill, and squeaking off his falsetto as a result. It's a bit of a shambles - you could be forgiven for tuning in at this point and thinking it was the Obligatory Parade Of Losers. Then suddenly OMIGOD IT'S TAKE THAT, THIS IS TOTALLY UNEXPECTED. Seriously, how much bloody Take That must I be subjected to recapping this weekend? Also, apparently Howard sings lead vocals on this song, which I'd never realised before but someone on Twitter assures me has always been the case. The more you know, I guess. The finalists, who've been bobbing around aimlessly throughout the second verse, suddenly come in again for the chorus, except they can't actually be heard, since their mics all appear to have been given the Tiny Nicholas Hoult treatment. They all get lost in the clapping too, and there are several shots of Wan Direction (particularly the Zainwreck) staring at each other all "which bit is this again?"

After that, we get another recap of last night's performances (filler? On this show? Perish the thought!) The extra footage does at least credit Lazy Director with some level of self-awareness, as he confesses that he'll "need to do better than that" [his first performance] next time. I mean, his second performance was still a car-crash but hey, he still has a better sense of performance reflection than about 95% of people who've ever been on this show. There's more footage of the judges walking down that damned corridor chatting to the cameras, and I find myself hoping that someone's left a trapdoor open for Cheryl to fall down, but to no avail. Dannii's impressed with the notes that Lazy hits, Simon thought he was terrific, and Cheryl thinks it's great to watch people "almost achieve their dreams." Worrabitch. Rebecca's just happy and grateful to be here. Louis feels passionate about her. Simon thinks she's just sneaked ahead. After Wan Direction's performance, Tiny Nicholas Hoult thinks they're one step closer to winning, while Louis (Walsh, not Tiny Nicholas Hoult) thinks they could be the new Beatles/Take That/Westlife. It saddens me so much that he mentions Westlife in the same breath as the Beatles, and I don't even like the Beatles. "How big are these guys going to be?" wonders Cheryl. "It's mindblowing." Well, probably another inch or two before puberty's done with them, by my reckoning. Simon's nervous for them. Lazy thinks that singing with Rihanna was "the best moment of my life - again", while Cheryl giggles that he almost had a heart attack then. Rebecca enjoyed the three or so words she sang with Xtina, but confesses to being "really starstruck" and having basically forgotten what to do in that situation, so she just stood there like a goon instead. Star quality! Dannii thinks it was obvious she was nervous. Louis, without a shred of irony: "it was beautiful, in every way". Cheryl tries to summon up some tears (presumably using Cher's elimination as her motivation), and Rebecca says that a change has come and now she believes in herself. Let's see if it inspires her to move! Robbie Williams claims to have had "so much fun" with One Direction (presumably after he gave them some of his "special medicine"). Simon declares it a "magic moment", and Harry says that they want to be the first group to win. Louis thinks absolutely anyone can win. Simon thinks it's too hard to call. Yada yada.

Time for an ad break, even though nothing's actually happened yet. Oh X Factor. Never change.

When we return, it's time for Lazy Decorator's first performance of tonight's show. His pre-performance VT reminds us of what he did last night EVEN THOUGH WE LITERALLY JUST SAW ALL OF THIS BEFORE THE ADS, JESUS CHRIST SHOW, DO YOU THINK WE ARE ALL DRIBBLING IDIOTS? Lazy cannot believe he's in the final, and Dannii thinks he's been plugging away for "about 17 years" (she may be rounding up to the nearest 17 there). Lazy talks about how he's "dedicated his life to [this]", even though he told us that he was BASICALLY A BUM at his audition, and Dannii thinks he's destined to be a star. Lazy is so close to the victory, and wants to get it.

He's singing Katy Perry's 'Firework' for reasons best known to Dannii and Lazy, but the most important thing about this performance, which I must ensure you are all aware of, is that Lazy is wearing yellow trousers. Why? No idea. It is never explained. Does anyone ever wear yellow trousers of their own free will? [I assumed it was a blatant attempt to curry our favour given we love Yellow JLS so much. On the subject of JLS, I miss the Christmas songs. They didn't even have a bloody tree in the studio this year - Rad] Has Lazy somehow angered Grace Woodward to the point where she'd send him out dressed like this in an act of spiteful revenge? Your guess is as good as mine. [Um, according to a popular gossip website, Ms Woodward has ALSO been sick with a sore throat this week. How did she get that? - Carrie] Anyway, it's Lazy singing another song originally sung by a woman just to prove how TOTALLY AWESOME AND GROUNDBREAKING he is. I am disappointed that he doesn't have rockets shooting out of his tits like Katy Perry does in the video. I guess he's not that groundbreaking. As has been the case this weekend and last, he really struggles with the high notes, and I suspect that if he continues to force his voice like that, he's not going to have much of a voice left in about six months' time. Also, I never realised this before because I try to pay as little attention to Katy Perry as possible in the hope that she might get the message and fuck off, but the lyrics to this song appear to be "make 'em go oh-oh-oh/As you shoot across the sky-y-y." I know Katy Perry's a bit of a fucking moron at the best of times, but come on - that's not even trying to rhyme. [He was still better than Katy Perry though - Rad]

Afterwards, Louis tells Lazy that he's in the final. Just in case he hasn't noticed. He continues, "you've paid your dues, you've played all those small gigs." SMALL GIGS, OH NOES, SUCH HUMILIATION. You'll note that I am not especially convinced by this "he's worked so hard to get here" argument the show has suddenly latched onto. He also cites these mythical "17 years" that Lazy's been striving so hard to get into the music business, which would mean he has been paying these aforementioned dues since he was about ten. I remain unconvinced. Cheryl thinks Lazy has been consistent throughout and it would be "lovely" to see him win. Simon is confused about the trousers, but thought it was fantastic. He thinks Lazy sounded better tonight than he did yesterday, not that that would be difficult. Dannii says that whatever people say about him being given too many girls' songs, she dares any other guy to tackle them all. And not to blow my own trumpet here, but I could probably do it. I mean, I'm not exactly Maria Callas but most of my karaoke staples were originally sung by female vocalists, and I kick ass at several of them, even if I do say so myself. It's not that unheard of, anyway. Also, Dannii, just because he can do these songs doesn't mean he should. Lazy jokes to Dermot that the trousers are his dad's, and continues with the usual fairly boring stuff about feeling honoured and lucky not to have been sent packing yet.

Now we get to the actual good part of the show: over to Colchester to see what Lazy's hometown made of the performance, courtesy of the amazing Stacey Solomon. We can actually see her properly tonight, something which excites Stacey greatly. Stacey meets a mad woman who has made Lazy's face into a pizza. It sort of looks like Lazy, but then it also sort of looks like Olly Murs, so I'm guessing you can just make a generically male face out of pizza topping and people won't ask you too many questions. Stacey: "It is the most beautiful pizza I've ever seen, I can't wait for a slice!" [TV moment of the year - Rad] She pauses for breath like once in this entire segment, by the way. She's amazing. Can Stacey host The Xtra Factor next year please? Stacey then crosses to talk to Lazy's "old landlord", momentarily confusing me because as we all know, Lazy has been sponging off his long-suffering parents for years, but it turns out this is the landlord of Lazy's local tavern. Dermot cackles that he's glad Stacey "sings better than she talks". He's such a fucking snob. Stacey's doing a much better job of live television than Dermot's done on several occasions, so he can fuck right off.

More ads. Yay? [It's better than the singing. - Carrie]

When we get back, it's back to Simon and Wan Direction. VT for amnesiacs. Liam interviews that they're excited to be in the final. Simon thinks they deserve to win. Liam recalls how odd it was that they were initially rejected only to come back as a Frankenband. In my favourite, and perhaps the most honest interview, Simon says "it's not like it would change my life, but it would change theirs." Harry agrees with this, and says that they're all ready for their lives to change.

As predicted, they're singing 'Torn', with Liam on lead vocals. Tiny Nicholas Hoult joins in enthusiastically with the "ooh"s, despite his microphone being switched off as always. Poor Tiny Nicholas Hoult. He's my favourite, because I think we all know how it feels to have our microphones switched off in life every now and then. Or permanently, in his case. Harry comes in and mangles the lyrics ("there's nothing left, I used to cry" instead of "there's nothing where (s)he used to lie", unless this is some pathetic attempt at bowdlerising a not-really-dirty lyric) and proceeds to make GRR ANGY FACES just to prove how totally legit they all are as musicians, and then all the offstage backing singers come in for the chorus, and just to make my night, there's even a Zainwreck echo. Then they all start clapping to the beat, except they can't clap in time with each other or indeed the backing track. Finally, they all feel each other up a bit at the end, much to the delight of the fangirls.

Louis tells them they're in the final. Seriously, does he think all the acts have recently sustained serious blows to the head? I mean, I know we all expected Cher to take her elimination poorly, but even she wouldn't go that far. He thinks they've got brilliant chemistry, and he loves the harmonies that someone else did for them. Dannii thinks they've done all the right things, and whatever happens, Simon's totally going to sign them because he smells money. Cheryl really believes that they've got a massive future ahead of them. Simon says that it's a competition, and he thinks that "based on the future of something we haven't seen before" (what?) he wants them to win it. Dermot asks them what it's like to be here for the finals (he's already done it three times, surely he should know by now?) and Tiny Nicholas Hoult bleats that it was great to reprise the first song they ever sang together.

We go over to Doncaster, the designated home of the Frankenband, where poor Michelle Keegan is getting trampled by Wan Direction fans. Michelle is with Tiny Nicholas Hoult's best friend, and says "we know that [Tiny Nicholas Hoult] can sing" -- we do? -- "but why is he such a great mate?" Tiny Nicholas Hoult's friend mumbles something. Some women have brought buns for Harry, because he used to work in a bakery. Dermot declares this "unequivocal proof that Doncaster loves Wan Direction". I'm not sure that VT was an entirely unbiased source.

Next, Cheryl's introducing Rebecca as "a girl we've all taken to our hearts as a nation", with a very weird sarcastic intonation. Seriously, why does everyone sound so bored tonight? I mean, apart from the fact that this is a really dull show. I'm sure you're being paid enough to at least pretend that you care, Cheryl. After the entirely pointless recap, Cheryl interviews that Rebecca would never say outright that she wants to win (no, indeed, that'd be far too interesting) so she's going to do it for her. Rebecca interviews that it would mean her kids will have a nice Christmas. Yeah, I'm sure it'll be awesome for your kids if you were to win this show and suddenly have a tiring promotional schedule that would constantly take you away from home and make you travel all over the country. I'm not falling for that one, Mother Goose. Cheryl says that this is Rebecca's time to shine.

Rebecca honks her way through 'Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)', wavering uncertainly over most of the notes until the stomping disco beat kicks in and Rebecca...remains rooted to the spot. JESUS FUCKING CHRIST. I'm not asking for much here, woman. A little bit of stagecraft, that's all. You can make her turn between the cameras all you want, studio director - we would like her to actually move around, please. A popstar really ought to be able to move around. THE POOR BOY WHO WAS BLIND from 2 To Go moved around the stage more than Rebecca does. Vocally, it's all right, but I'm no more convinced by Rebecca the disco diva than I am by Rebecca the smokey jazz mistress - both of them need to lose that annoying inflection and learn to enunciate their damn words properly. I didn't take this shit from Diana Vickers, and I'm not taking it from her.

Louis thinks Rebecca is the best role model that Liverpool has ever had, and thinks she's "living proof that nice people can do well in the music business". Tell that to Joe McElderry. Dannii thinks Rebecca has connected with her inner diva, and it's fantastic to see her in the final. Simon says "that's what you call pulling the rabbit out of the hat." Why has he turned into Miranda's mum all of a sudden? He thinks it's a great song choice and a stunning performance. Well, I was left stunned by it. Comatose, to be precise. Cheryl: "I've been trying for weeks now to find out a way to give you the right words, or something to give you that confidence that was taken away from you or whatever, but to be totally honest Cher and Katie were here and they were my number one priorities, and you were kind of third on the list, and by the time I'd dealt with them and filmed my L'Oreal commercials and flown to LA to play Derek Hough's facial hair for a bit longer and phoned The Sun to leak some more stories about how Nadine's totally the bitch preventing the Girls Aloud reunion and it's really not me at all, I really didn't have that much time left to do anything about it, but you got there by yourself in the end, so howay for that." Louis beseeches Dermot for more time, and Dermot's all "fuck off, she's not even your act, you mentalist", but Louis gets his way and pronounces that Rebecca could sell more records internationally than any other artist in the competition. Don't get carried away, Louis - they have actual jazz singers in other countries, so people internationally might well spot Rebecca for the second-rater that she is. Rebecca: "Ehhhhm, that's nice." We throw to Coleen Rooney in Liverpool, who says "that's what we call The X Factor", so it appears that Miranda's Mum Disease has reached pandemic stage. Such fun! Coleen speaks to the Lord Mayor of Liverpool, who calls her a role model. Blerg. Then Rebecca's cousins are allowed to speak, one of whom is very young and sounds like she's on helium, bless her. Coleen ends by telling Rebecca she wants to see her in the final two. Just the final two, mind. Not winning or anything like that. Clearly they don't like people to get above themselves in Merseyside. Dermot asks Rebecca if she's met the Mayor before. Rebecca giggles that she has, because the Mayor presented her with an award. But for what? Sadly, we are never told. [One would think a professional television presenter might have had the nous to ask that question. - Carrie]

Dermot tells us that the lines will be frozen very soon, and one act will be kicked out. What's that, you say? Time for another recap? Sure, it's been at least six minutes since the last one, so let's go. None of them improve with repeated listens, by the way. Lazy Decorator vs Rihanna remains particularly painful. Actually, Rebecca's 'Like A Star' sounds even worse once the novelty of her being slowly rotated like a rotisserie chicken on a giant cotton wool spool has worn off.

Oh, sweet Moses. It's time for the annual Parade Of Losers. I've been dreading this bit. [I swear this was absent last year. - Rad] The preliminary VT features Michael the bad Michael Jackson impersonator, Chloe Maffia, G&S, the weird Sharon Osbourne lookalike whose husband left her, Jahm, Ablisa, amongst many others. Footage of them is soundtracked by Cee-Lo Green's 'Forget You', like, chance would be a fine thing. Right, let's get this experience which demeans all of us over with. They return to sing 'Bad Romance', starting with Ablisa, then G&S, then Michael, a heavily-accented woman I don't recognise and I'm buggered if I'm trawling through six episodes' worth of audition recaps looking for her, mad Sharon Osbourne lookalike (who misses her cue and fluffs her words), Temple Fire (who can't sing in time or in harmony, but hey, it never stopped Wan Direction), and Jahm (who appear to have lost the bloke somewhere on the way to the studio). This is meant to be HILARIOUS, obviously, but it isn't really, because (a) this sort of thing stopped being funny after the first thousand times, (b) this is probably what the group sings would sound like if they weren't lip-synced, and (c) this is what Lazy Decorator's duet with Rihanna sounded like, and he's being presented to us as a credible artist. Good job trampling all over your own point there, show. One of Ablisa completely loses interest halfway through the chorus and just stands there idly rubbing her finger over her lip in a bored sort of way. More losers turn up. Chloe descends from the ceiling on a giant pair of glittery lips, and I'd love to say she sings all the real contestants off the stage in a triumphant revenge victory for herself and Kandy Rain and everyone else who ever got called a whore by this show, but unfortunately she biffs it big time by attempting an Xtina-style riff and failing miserably. All the way through, Cheryl's got this look on her face, like "yeah, you criticised me for miming, but I look PRETTY SMART NOW, don't I?" Simon and Cheryl trade unfunnies about signing the losers, amusing no one but themselves. Exeunt losers. The lines are now FROZEN. Ooh, someone's going home - after the break, naturally.

Following that, Dermot welcomes us back to the exciting (not) and tense (not) final. The finalists and their respective judges (you mean mentors, Dermot, surely?) return to the stage. In no particular order (natch), the first act through is Lazy Decorator. "Get in!" screams Lazy, suddenly not struggling with his voice in a manner eerily similar to the great Diana Vickers Toffee Apple Scandal Of 2008. Dannii's fairly thrilled as well. The second act through is...Rebecca. So sadly the power of nice hair and woobie eyes only extends so far, and Wan Direction are going back to their various homes, which are not all in Doncaster, despite the videos. Tiny Nicholas Hoult looks like his heart just broke, and indeed the rest of them all look like they've just found out the truth about Santa. Rebecca looks like she's going to toss her cookies. The boys troop miserably across to congratulate Rebecca, with Zainwreck lagging behind, wiping a tear from his cheek (Jesus Christ, this is actually starting to sound like slash fiction now) and Dermot beckons them back over to centre stage. We review their time on the show, including all five of their auditions (Tiny Nicholas Hoult's has no audio accompaniment, of course), and that time they met Emma Watson and she cared who they were for about thirty seconds. Back in the studio, Dermot asks them what the highlights have been, and Tiny Nicholas Hoult says that it's been incredible, and they've done their best. Zainwreck promises that they're staying together and (wait for it) This Isn't The Last Of Wan Direction. Simon says he's gutted for them, but thanks everyone who's voted for them and swears this is just the beginning for them. And then Wan Direction troop dejectedly offstage to go and make each other feel better with a bit of special touching (shit, there's that slash fiction again).

Dermot welcomes back Lazy and Rebecca, who literally only just went away. This is the most Rebecca has moved all series. I'm surprised she doesn't need a cup of tea and a nice sit down. Dermot reopens the lines and reminds us that all of our previous votes for both of them still count.


When we return, it's time for the last competitive performances from Lazy and Rebecca, who'll both be performing their own individual winners' singles, chosen especially for them (/picked out of a hat by the work experience kid in exchange for an Associate Producer credit). Dannii introduces Lazy again: "He's singing from his heart, this is especially for you, it's [Lazy Decorator]." It would've been so awesome if he actually were singing 'Especially For You'. He'd be Kylie, obviously. No, as we've all found out off the internet by now, his winning single is 'Many Of Horror' by Biffy Clyro. He growls the low notes rather inelegantly, and quite a few of his high notes are entirely unsupported. The chorus also includes the line "when you hit me, hit me hard", which is asking for trouble, especially if he sings it at a book signing. Just ask Leona. He bottles out of some of the high notes in the middle eight, Robbie-style, and approaches the obligatory key change from entirely the wrong direction. He goes for a final high note, which comes out completely strangulated and off-key. Why do I get the feeling we're about to crown our very own Lee Dewyze here?

Louis blathers that Lazy "sang every word like you meant it" and he's looking forward to hearing his album, because it will be "contemporary". Well, yes, in that everything is contemporary when it is first released. Cheryl echoes that he sang that from the heart and thinks it was his best performance from throughout the series. Simon thinks both finalists deserve to have made it this far, and he agrees that this was Lazy's best performance of the series. So either the bullshit machine's on overdrive or everyone's just too drunk to care by this point. Dannii thinks they're looking at a true star. Dermot asks him how it felt to perform his potential winner's single, and Lazy calls him "bro" and says he's lucky to be there, and he's "feeling it for 1D" (pervert) and he's really happy for Rebecca. Dermot jokes about Lazy's "paint-splattered hands" from when they first met him, which is IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWED by a clip of his audition when he said that he was "a painter by trade every now and again FROM TIME TO TIME, but I'm A BIT OF A BUM IF I'M HONEST." (Emphasis mine.) So much for "he's worked so hard to get here", eh? We see him caterwauling his way through various lady songs, wearing that idiotic fucking hat, kissing Helena Cardboard Box, wearing a vest, and being much shorter than Rihanna. Lazy tells Dermot that being here now is his highlight of the series, and Dermot introduces another filler VT, in which people such as Lazy's parents, brothers, and friends tell him how awesome he is, framed with white backgrounds like the recently deceased. Dermot throws to Dannii, who calls Lazy "a true gentleman" and "a nice guy", and not being funny, but those are the sort of phrases that are usually followed by a "but" when you're dumping someone, aren't they? From there, we go to Amazing Stace in Colchester, talking to the cheerleaders from the University of Essex (nah, that joke's too easy) and the Mayor of Colchester. Seriously, it's Mayor overload tonight.

Over to Cheryl and Rebecca. Rebecca's winner's single is 'Distant Dreamer', originally by Duffy, although if they were going down that road, they should've just given Rebecca WEH WEH WEH and had done with it, as she could've honked her way through that and not sounded out of place at all. This song is kind of tedious and doesn't really go anywhere (I know! A Duffy song!) and Rebecca's habit of marblemouthing the words is even less fun when you're not already familiar with the lyrics. Still, at least she's embracing choreography for the first time in her li--oh, why bother with the lie, she's stood stock-still as per fucking usual. She's quite noticeably sharp throughout a lot of it, and it really doesn't make for pleasant listening. I'm almost starting to miss Wan Direction at this point. Hell, I'm starting to miss KATIE, that's how dire things have become.

Louis says that this is his last chance to beg people in Liverpool to vote for her. He adds that they started out looking for "an original, authentic recording voice" and Rebecca's crappy Madeleine Peyroux knockoff is totally it. Dannii says it was a beautiful performance and she's so glad that Rebecca turned up to audition, and they've seen her grow through the competition, unlike Lazy, who is still tiny. Simon blathers on about how she was a shy little thing at her audition, and clearly she's LEARNT THE ART OF STAGECRAFT since then, and declares that a perfect song for her, because it was tuneless, boring and didn't go anywhere. (I may be editorialising here.) Simon claims he has no idea what's going to happen. I am so sure. Cheryl says that Rebecca has been a dream to work with, and that they've watched her blossom, and she'd like nothing more than to see Rebecca win. Rebecca cries a few boring tears and tells Dermot that she's very blessed to be here, and she feels a lot stronger as a person now. Journey VT: shit, overrated audition. Lots of honkeriffic performances. Copious mentions of LIVERPOOL. Louis losing his shit. That time where they gave her choreography which amounted to waving her arms once or twice, and that time that she forgot to duet with Xtina. Rebecca dabs her eyes with a tissue and says that the whole experience has been amazing, especially the duet that wasn't. Her loved ones get their turn at the VT FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE. Cheryl calls Rebecca "a true star, inside, outside" and hopes that Rebecca is crowned the winner tonight, because otherwise she'll have to head over to America and won't be able to sell herself as a triple-winning mentor. Over to Coleen, who's talking to Rebecca's former colleagues Helen and Laura, who tell her she's a winner no matter what. Nobody in Liverpool actually thinks Rebecca can win, do they? Coleen crosses to Paul who taught Rebecca performing arts, and will therefore clearly be fired first thing on Monday, and he's very proud of her. Dermot reads the voting numbers out again, Rebecca ambles off the stage, and then there's ANOTHER FUCKING RECAP JESUS CHRIST JUST KILL ME NOW.


Dermot welcomes us back and tells us that we are close to crowning the winner, but there's still time to get our votes in. While we're doing that, it's time for "something very special" - or alternatively, something you saw on BBC1 about two hours ago. Here, "with the title track" of their new album, it's Take That. Except it's not the title track, because the album is called Progress and this is 'The Flood'. Yes, again. No, seriously, again. I think I made my feelings about Take That perfectly clear in that last recap, and I have already heard this song enough times this weekend to last me an entire lifetime. Dermot congratulates them on being So Fucking Successful and asks them who their favourites are. Jason's all "this is where you're supposed to say 'I love them all', but I'm picking Rebecca, so ner." Fat Bob starts chanting for Wagner. Gary decides he'll be "controversial" and go for Matt. I suspect that is very much as controversial as Gary Barlow gets. [Oh, Gary Barlow. I miss the days of 'give Leona a bloody good single instead of screwing up her career like you usually do'. But then there is no Leona this year. There's not even a Diana VICKERS - Rad] And then, just like that, the lines are closed. Someone has already won, but who is it?

Competition trailer, for the last time of the year. I guess if no-one signs Rebecca, she can at least be guaranteed some work next year as the official honk that blanks out the word we're supposed to guess. Also, dear The X Factor, when trying to convince us that this year's finalists are worth bothering with, it might be an idea not to use people like Alexandra who actually had a good voice and stage presence for your competition VTs.

After our final MOAR ADVERTS of the series, it's into the very last part of the show. Hold my hand, together we can make it. Dermot tells us that we'll be hearing the results in just a minute (what, no Joe McElderry/Olly Murs duet? Swizz!), but first we go to Stacey in Colchester, who is with some people pretending to be painters and decorators, much like Lazy used to do. Stacey tells Lazy they're all voting for him like mad. Then we go over to Coleen, who wants to give us "one last good mess" and appropriately enough, sticks her microphone in the face of someone who is paying no attention whatsoever, and then when she finally speaks, Coleen whips the microphone away again mid-sentence. Who hires these people?

Dannii, Lazy, Rebecca and Cheryl are ushered back out onto the stage. The winner of The X Factor 2010 is...


Lazy cries into his hand. Dannii squeals. Rebecca claps. Cheryl smiles outwardly while thinking FUCK YOU ALL I AM SUPPOSED TO WIN EVERY YEAR. Lazy hugs Rebecca, Dannii hugs Cheryl. Lazy is looking a little nonplussed, and Dermot hugs him for a fraction of a second too long and maybe sniffs his hair a bit (seriously, everything in this final sounds like it wants to be porn) and Cheryl reaches in awkwardly to pat Lazy on the back. Smooth, Cheryl. Dermot asks Lazy what he wants to say to the voters, and Lazy tearfully thanks all for voting, and congratulates everyone who got to this stage, because they should all be very proud of what they've achieved. And that was actually kind of nice. I mean, I'm not really a fan of his voice, but I know a gracious winner when I see one, and I appreciate that. He wants to thank all the judges, especially Dannii. There's time for a quick word and some applause for Rebecca, who is So Happy And Grateful To Have Got This Far, and then departs. Dermot is handed a copy of Lazy's CD from offstage, and Lazy is entirely the opposite of Alexandra, in that he doesn't take it even when it's thrust in his general direction. Also, he's not crying on Beyoncé. Lazy giggles that it feels weird to hold his CD. Dannii thanks everyone for voting and promises that Lazy won't let them down. [Because his previous CV totally bears out his strong work ethic. - Carrie]

Dermot asks Lazy if he has it in him to perform the single one last time. He barely had it in him to perform it the first time, Dermot. Lazy hugs Dannii again, and hooray for a Dannii win, if nothing else. Perhaps she'll have more luck with Lazy than she had with Leon. Lazy struggles his way through 'Many Of Horror' again, except apparently now it's called 'When We Collide' because that's a bit more X Factor-appropriate, and he has problems with all the same notes as he did the first time round, as well as a few new ones. That bodes well, doesn't it? As he hits the final chorus, the other finalists all flock onto the stage and he's promptly tacklehugged by Wan Direction, who seem to have cheered up a bit. [Underage drinking. Tsk. - Carrie] Various finalists including Aiden and Niall Direction proudly hold up copies of Lazy's CD, and Lazy does an ill-timed fist-pump that ends up connecting with Dannii's face. Poor Dannii. I bet Cheryl orchestrated that. Lazy loses all sense of the tune and Aiden basically starts dry-humping him and eventually Dermot comes to rescue him from the scrum and asks him what it was like performing his debut single, and Lazy hopes the next time he sings it, he'll do it better than that. Well, there's always hope, isn't there? Dannii says that she "can't even speak", but being socked in the face will do that to you. Simon blathers on about how wonderful it is that people are supporting the show, Dermot tells us to switch over to ITV2 for Matt's first interview with Konnie (and possibly Konnie's last interview with anyone, judging by how she's been received so far), Harry from Wan Direction leans over to tell him that now would be a good time to visit the cat sanctuary, and we're done.

That's it for another year, then - thanks to everyone who's read and commented on the blogs. We wouldn't, nay, couldn't do it without you. Same time next year?


StuckInABook said...

C'MON! Sweet Dreams was awesome! (I will stop trying to convince you about Lovely Rebecca... right about... now.)

Stacey S simply has to present the Xtra Factor next year. It would make me watch it, which Konnie Huq has certainly not done. Even the suspense of continually expecting her to craft a makeshift microphone out of a washing-up liquid bottle wasn't sufficient to tune in.

Thanks for all the fun recaps, you guys are stars!

StuckInABook said...

p.s. love you for referencing what I call Miranda.

StuckInABook said...

Me again... I'm actually commenting as I read, which is probably self-defeating. That Losers Group Song sounded more or less identical to the Group Songs they usually do, and it seemed a bit hilarious that two of the Gosh Aren't They Dreadful singers were put through to Boot Camp.

Right, I'll shut up now.

Steve said...

In series four, some of the people in the Gosh Aren't They Dreadful singers made it to Judges' Houses. This is such a strange show.

Thank you for what I call reading. Such fun!

Earendel said...

Thanks Bitch Factor for giving it some ultra bitching this year - 'twas much needed.

I certainly think this was a 'dry' year with hardly any talent juice flowing.

The duets were sooo embarrassing as was the Losers Group Song. Can't they stop this now please? It's patronizing and cynical beyond belief and I think even Dermot was ashamed to introduce it. Enough now.

Oh well, we can all breathe a sigh of relief now and fingers crossed we'll have some lovely new judges next year. Keep Danii and Louis - I know Louis' a dick, but every panel's got to have one really; Cheryl can sod off - she's never been the same after the malaria, and not in a good way at all. Bring in Nicole - she was ACE!

Merry Christmas everyone and a Happy New Year. x.

Ramification said...

Been reading the blog all series thank you its been such a joy to read. Matt and Katie will forever be Lazy Decorator and Kooky Monster in my heart.

Hudsondoglets said...

Thanks guys for keeping us all entertained for another year. Some of your posts make me laugh out loud. Great stuff. Happy Christmas and yes, see you next year!

Fiz. said...

God, it was dire this year! If people like Ablisa can "audition" and seriously think they have a chance, this country is fresh out of any talent. I thought all the singers this year were hopelessly out of depth and had never had any proper singing lessons in their lives.What does Evie really do? She certainly doesn't do anything useful! So we end up with Matt Cardle. Anyone remember Leon Jackson? No, I thought not! Happy Christmas

Rad said...

Earendel - they DID stop the parade of losers last year, heaven knows why they brought it back.

Thanks everyone, and remember:


Anonymous said...

This blog was the best thing about this series. Fact.

Hannah said...

Have just spent the last few days at work intermittently reading this series' posts from start to finish (while working, obviously), and having to conceal spluttering laughs as unconvincing coughs. Completely brilliant, wish I'd kept up with this while the show was on!

Right, now off to read Strictly Come Bitching and The Apprentbitch!

p.s. Gutted you guys did make it through Only Connect, though delighted in the fact you created viable proof that Bloggers > Mensans :)

Rachel said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Tor Hershman said...


StuckInABook said...

hope you guys are coming back this week...