Monday, October 03, 2011

Sweet Sixteen

Judges Houses 2: Broadcast 2nd October 2011

Hello. Welcome to me trying to make 16 people being told ‘Yes’ and 16 people being told ‘No’ for an hour and a quarter of prime time television interesting. Quite frankly, I’m not sure I’m up to it, but in the spirit of the X Factor, I’m going to give it One Million Percent.

TONIGHT booms the voice of X; the Next Generation of Judges will have to make their toughest decision yet. Kelly is crying already and lots of people grab their heads and it’s all edited to make it look like Arsetat isn’t through. ONE CAN ONLY HOPE. [Pfft. Least convincing fake-out ever. - Steve]

Blessedly, there is no recap. Dermot tells us that today is decision time and we’re starting out in LA. I’m sure that Gary’s house has been used in a music video but I can’t figure out which one. I thought it was one of Robbie’s, but YouTube tells me that I’m wrong.

Oh, here’s the recap. In black and white because it was so long ago. Having sung their hearts out yesterday it’s time for James, John, Frankie, Joe and Max to find out their fate, but first it’s Luke, Craig and Marcus.

Marcus has wanted it as long as he can remember, his fate is in Gary’s hands. He makes a poor attempt at a sob story by talking about his family’s sacrifice to get him on the X Factor, which probably stretches as far as one of them possibly taking a day off work. He doesn’t want to tell them that he didn’t get through.

Craig thinks the X Factor is the most important thing he’s ever done. It’s his big dream to make an album. He’s so close to finding out if he’s going to do it. We see his audition again, and I have to disagree with Rad, I really liked it, even if it means Steve possibly firing me again. [We'll discuss this at the end of your probation period. - Steve] Luke can’t explain in words how much he wants it, but he gives it a go anyway. We see him squawking through his song again. He’s not going to get through, unless it can be fixed for him to sing Who’s Loving You every week. It wouldn’t surprise me if they gave it a go actually. He hopes Gary still believes in him and he says he’s in his final four. I’m going to use boxing metaphors here, mainly so I don’t die of boredom whilst doing this.

So Ding Ding! Round one. Craig VS Marcus VS Luke.

In the shit corner it’s Luke. Gary looks back to his first audition and how great it was and how he knocked it out of the park. He was excited about yesterday but ultimately disappointed but he knows that he’s got more in it.

In the good but not poster pretty corner, it’s Craig. Gary has noticed him growing but some of what he sees he doesn’t like. He gives out some absolute twaddle about him getting lost in the music instead of saying that he’s a big bloke. He’s worried that people won’t be able to relate to him. What utter shite. Surely we’re more able to relate to someone that looks like a normal person.

In the good but not that good corner it’s Marcus. Gary’s always been impressed and he bared his soul yesterday. Gary is worried because he’s generic and his voice doesn’t stand out.

Knockout Luke! He’s gutted. Gary says he was dreading telling him without an ounce of emotion on his face. Craig is in the final four because he’s Gary’s secret weapon. He looks at Gary disbelievingly and promises not to let him down. He phones home and everyone is very happy for him. Marcus is through! Gary isn’t going through without him. He’s thrilled for him, as is Dermot who puts him in a headlock. His mum is very proud of him too.

Adverts only five minutes in. That’s got to be a record. I’m taking this opportunity to tell everyone that I met Matt Berry in the week and automatically thought I was being sold a snack product.

And we’re still in LA for the boys.

James thinks that the X Factor is the best break he can get. He attempts a sob story by saying he was so preoccupied by music that he didn’t get any qualifications. [Someone's clearly hoping to coast to victory using the patented Matt Cardle "reward me for my laziness" technique. - Steve] Seizure boy says that he didn’t sleep a wink last night and what Gary says next will be the most important thing in his life. Max didn’t expect to get this far, but he’s going to go on and hope that Gary sees his potential.

Ding Ding! Round Two! Max VS Joe VS James.

In the I can’t remember who he is between shows corner it’s Max. Gary tells him that he’s the last person that got added to the group because he was so different. Gary tells him that he stood out because he’s not necessarily the type of singer they would normally put through.

In the sings like he’s going to collapse corner its Joe. Gary goes on about his ‘unique style’ and the spin he puts on songs saying it’s ‘good’. He finds it limited though.

In the looks a bit like Paulo Nutini without the talent corner it’s James. His audition was good but not exceptional. Putting him through to Judges houses was a gamble, and Gary ain’t no gambling man (QUELLE SURPRISE) and he’s not sure if he wants to take a gamble.

He’s made his decision.

Knockout Max! He says it was nice to meet him and wishes him luck. Max doesn’t even give a backward glance. Knockout Joe! Not even an explanation. [I genuinely thought Joe was a shoo-in for live shows, so I was THRILLED when that happened. - Steve] Gary says how tough it was. James is through! Gary is taking a risk AND a gamble. Dermot gives him a hug and James tells him that he wasn’t expecting it.

Finally, it’s Arsetat VS John. This surely has to be the most rigged fight in the history of the universe. They should’ve put him up against someone else if they wanted tension. Let’s go through the motions anyway. Arsetat has always wanted to be a performer because he wants people to clap him. He wants to prove that he’s not just here because he is Arsetat. He doesn’t want to be a bum again. So many bum metaphors. We see John getting told No by Dannii last year. He’s dreading what Gary has to say to him. He’s not sure if he can cope with being told No a second time. He looks longingly at the Hollywood hills and says that this is his last time on the show.

Ding ding! Round three! Arsetat vs John.

In the returning slightly less spotty and slightly thinner corner it’s John. Gary acknowledges the weirdness and he gets what this means for him and he knows he can sing.

In the irritating me beyond all reason corner its Arsetat. Gary has enjoyed every single one of his performances and he’s made them all laugh with his stories and his personality and he makes people want to be in his gang. NOT ME.

Gary tells John that there are singers in the competition who are not half as good as him who have touched him more. I see Gary’s been learning mainly from Louis.

Gary tells Arestat that he’s not the best singer. Frankie bursts into tears and messes up his pretty hair. *Cough*

Gary’s made his decision though....

Knockout John! John looks like he knew it was coming. A producer puts a hand on his shoulder. Arsetat is in bits by this point. Gary tells him that he’s his popstar and he’s through. He jumps on Gary who congratulates him then does a half arsed air punch. I care so little about this that I spend my time trying to read what he’s got tattooed on his arm.

More adverts. At least we get to see Wagner again.

Over in Mykonos, Tulisa has got to decide who out of The Lovettes, Girl V Boy, Nu Vibe, the Rythmix, The Risk, Stacey Duomon, the Estrelles and The Keys are going through.

First up, it’s Stacey Duomon and the Estrelles. Which was pointed out by the wonderful @Nettofabulous, sounds like a birth control pill. We see both groups looking pensive. Dermot asks the Estrelles how they’re feeling. They keep on going over their performance because they know it’s their last shot and if it’s a no they’re not sure they can come back. Stacey Duomon call the audience out on their assumptions about them based on how they look and where they are from. If they get a yes it would be amazing. They would love to go from nobodies to somebody’s.

Ding Ding! Round Four! Stacey Duomon vs The Estrelles.

In the looking like they’ve stepped fully formed out of Hollyoaks corner is The Estrelles. Tulisa asks them how they’re feeling, which is surely a bad sign. [For Dave Berry especially - she's totally stealing his "thing". - Steve] They’re emotional wrecks. Tulisa says she can imagine in the least empathetic voice ever. She thinks that they’re lovely girls and she can see that they want it. They have amazing voices but there’s a lot of youth in the competition and they have an old fashioned edge.

In the I love them with all my heart corner, it’s Stacey Duomon. Tulisa has never seen the fun factor with people who can actually sing before. She thinks they will appeal to some people but she’s not sure they appeal to enough people.

There now follows a section of editing so we’re not sure who Tulisa is talking to which is so confusing I’m not even going to bother. Its knockout Estrelles and Stacey Duomon are through. Cue much whooping and voices so high pitched dogs are left confused. Stacey Duomon go in for the double hug with Dermot.

Next up are The Lovettes, Girl V Boy, Rhythmix and Nu Vibe. Nu Vibe are a good team with a shared goal which makes them sound a bit like a training video for a small company somewhere. The Lovettes are a tiny step away from changing everything.

Ding Ding! Round Five! Nu Vibe VS The Lovettes.

In the group around one vaguely memorable contestant corner it’s Nu Vibe. Tulisa remembers that they’ve only just been put together. She thinks they’ve done really well because they’ve got personalities. However, the boyband market is overcrowded and have they got what it takes?

In the “Is that StephDorothy stroke Sinead from Hollyoaks? Oh, it’s not” corner are the Lovettes. Tulisa didn’t think that they blended yesterday and that their nerves got the better of them.

Knockout Lovettes! Nu Vibe get a fakeout but they’re through. They jump on Tulisa then they jump on Dermot like the overenthusiastic puppies that they are.

Next up, Rhythmix. Oh look! It’s the Cowardly Lion! It’s in the back of their heads that they’re going to get another no. Girl V Boy do a section about how they’re not just a couple, they’re best friends and they will probably give up if they get a no.

Ding Ding! Round Six! Girl V Boy VS Rythmix.

In the not as good as Two2Go corner it’s Girl v Boy. Tulisa didn’t get it at first but warmed to them in bootcamp. She likes that they’re a couple.

In the name which sounds like it came out of an episode of the Apprentice corner it’s Rhythmix. Tulisa likes their urban edge. I’m sorry, but they look about as Urban as Surrey. She’s got an issue with how young they are and she’s not sure if they’re ready.

Knockout Girl V Boy! Rhythmix are through though and Tulisa’s fakeouts are old already. One of Rhythmix’s mum is awesome on the phone.

One place remains for either the Keys or The Risk. One of The Risk has been here before and got a No. They think this could be the start of something special. One of the Keys has been finding it hard to get out of bed some mornings. I’m actually a bit worried for his mental health. They all start crying. One of the Keys says that his sister believes in him and he doesn’t even believe in himself. Seriously, these boys don’t seem well.

But anyway. Ding Ding! Round Seven. The Keys VS The Risk.

In the I couldn’t give less of a shit about the Frankenbands corner it’s the Risk. Tulisa’s just going to get to it, but she doesn’t. She thinks that putting them together is a risk. I see what she did there.

In the please get these boys some help corner it’s the Keys. She finds them a bit old fashioned and that Charlie is a lead singer because she’s drawn to them.

Knockout BOTH?! But who will be number four? Charlie can’t believe he’s been told he’s not good enough again.

But what’s this?! Charlie from the Keys and three of The Risk are being made into a Frankenband which she hilariously calls a supergroup. She gives them about three seconds to make their decision. They say yes. They’re staying the risk because they’re HER RISK. They jump into the pool.

Hang on though...Weren’t The Keys self formed? I’m not entirely sure but I think they were. If they were, that Charlie didn’t take too long to ditch his mates, did he? [I know! They could at least have milked some fakeass drama out of it - Rad] [I'm hoping Tulisa just continues to break down The Risk and reconstitute them with other groups as the live shows go on. I can't wait until 2 Shoes get involved somehow. - Steve]


We’re in Barcelona, where Louis is delivering his news to Jonjo, Carolynne, Terry, Joseph, Goldie, Samantha, Kitty, Sammi and Johnny.

Johnny thinks that Louis house is like Neverland. I think that the obvious joke here would cheapen me. When he applied he didn’t think he had a hope in hell, but now he’s there he wants to go further. He wants to be an entertainer, and will go back to the bedsit if he doesn’t win, but he wants to be a somebody. Johnny has stolen the big book of X Factor Cliches and swallowed it. Sami Cruiseship thinks she’s come a long way. She never dreamed she would get this far and she’s prayed she’s done enough. She doesn’t want to go back to the card shop because it’s not her purpose in life. It will be the end of the world if she doesn’t get through. Kitty has really gone for it. She’s put herself out there and she feels it’s her last chance. She thinks that people don’t really get her as an artist and that people either love her or hate her and Louis would be taking a risk putting her through. If she gets a no she’s going to have to rethink her life. [To be honest, I'd recommend doing that whatever the outcome. And I *like* Kitty. - Steve]

Ding Ding! Round Eight! Johnny VS Sammi VS Kitty.

In the possibly a bit too vulnerable for all this corner it’s Johnny. Louis mumbles under his breath about his outfit. He’s nervous. Louis tells him that he’s got to pick four people that he believes in and who are popstars. He says he likes Johnny’s personality and his fun factor but wonders if it’s enough.

In the do we really need ANOTHER Jane McDonald corner it’s Sammi. Louis loves her big personality (ugh, HATE. Why do fatties who are a bit confident have to be called that? It’s worse than bubbly (/fattyrant)) and her big voice and she’s a great singer. Louis’ problem is that he doesn’t want this year to be predictable and he wants something contemporary.

In the embodying all of Britney, especially the madness corner is Kitty. Louis concedes that she can sing and that she’s passionate but he’s worried that she’ll be a nightmare to work with (she will).

Johnny is through! He tells Louis that he won’t let him down then tells him he smells nice before jumping on Dermot. It’s the best thing that’s ever happened to him. Knockout Sammi! She thinks she didn’t shine. Louis then shouts in Kitty’s face that she’s through. She resolves to change her entire personality then jumps on Dermot and puts her legs around his waist.

Joseph thinks that the waiting is worse than performing. He’s going back to Moss Side if he doesn’t get through. Carolynne has been doing this since she was fourteen and it’s her dream. Goldie says the day she auditioned was better than her wedding day and she now understands why people cry on this show.

Ding Ding! Round Nine! Joseph VS Carolynne VS Goldie.

In the Who are you? Corner its Joseph. Louis isn’t sure he stands out from the crowd.

In the future Wagner corner it’s Goldie. Louis loved her energy in the first audition, comparing her to Tina Turner. She’s his guilty pleasure but thinks that yesterday it went a bit wrong.

In the talented but obviously filler corner its Carolynne. Louis loves that she’s different and sings country songs, but will she deliver?

Knockout Joseph! Back to the estate with you. Knockout Carolynne, who takes the news with dignity. Goldie is through and gets the screaming in the face treatment. Goldie tells him off for milking it. Goldie tells Dermot that she’s shocked. Dermot knows this, because he is too.

Only one place remains for either Terry or Jonjo. Again, why bother. We know who’s getting through. Terry remembers the Boot Camp Disaster and thinks it went better yesterday. He’s wanted this forever but thinks that he may have missed the boat. If he doesn’t get through he’ll be back on the building site on Monday. He doesn’t want to sit on the plane home wondering what went wrong. Jonjo thinks the competition is within reach and it will be tough if it’s pulled away. The competition means the world to him and it’s taken over his career and life and he doesn’t take that lightly. He’s praying because this is his one chance. He thinks that if Louis believes in him, he’s going to believe in himself a bit more.

Ding Ding! Round ten! Terry VS Jonjo

In the never gonna happen corner it’s Terry. Who just sits down.

In the Simon Cowell wet dream corner it’s Jonjo. Who does the same. Why the jumpy editing? It’s messing with my formula.

Louis remembers Terry’s audition and actually calls him the little man with the big voice. Louis reminds him that he’s the oldest and it’s his last chance. Louis isn’t sure if he could sell records or stand out in the show.

Louis tells Jonjo that he enjoyed his first audition. WTF?! He loved him and he loved his personality but something is missing. He keeps forgetting his lyrics. Louis wants people who can deliver on the live shows. Louis starts crying that it’s hard. [I kept expecting him to say 'but you're a soldier' because surely there is not one person alive who doesn't see exactly how cynical all this is - Rad]

But he’s taken everyone into consideration and I can’t keep up with the editing anymore. Knockout Terry who looks sadly defeated and apologises to Louis. He shakes Dermot’s hand. What a gentleman. He’s going back to work on Monday. Louis has decided to take a risk on Jonjo. Louis celebrates by punching him on the leg. He’s over the moon.

Dermot tells us that Goldie has pulled out. SADFACE. She’s being replaced by Sammi. EVEN BIGGER SADFACE.

More adverts. Kleenex have totally ripped off John Lewis with their new advert.

Blessedly, this is nearly over. We’re in LA and we see a montage of Jade, Sophie, Janet, Holly, Sarah, Melanie, Amelia and Misha doing wistful, sideways glances.

Misha can’t believe that out of the thousands that queued up, little old her is still there. Singing is the best thing that can change her life and if she doesn’t get through it would be like getting her heart broken. Melanie has given it her all and this is her future and she’ll have to go back to school if it doesn’t happen. Amelia never thought she would be in a position like this at sixteen, and her dad has always wanted her to succeed so she’s doing his for her dad.

Ding Ding! Round Eleven! Misha VS Melanie VS Amelia.

In the precocious corner it’s Amelia. Kelly saw a change from her audition and admires that she continued to grow. Kelly wants each girl to be unique and not be someone different every week and she’s not sure that’s Amelia.

In the if she doesn’t get through, it’s a crime corner it’s Misha. Kelly says that she smashed it in her audition, but they both know her nerves got the better of her at judges houses. Kelly gives her a speech about never being intimidated in the moment and she should know that’s where she’s supposed to be. She’s worried that her nerves may get the better of her in the live shows.

In the Who?! Corner it’s Melanie. Kelly thinks she has a beautiful voice and she’s focused but she’s not letting herself go. Kelly tells her that there was a time she nearly let herself go but she didn’t.

Misha is through! She does a “lil old me?” face that feels a bit contrived. Sorry Misha. She’s very controlled. Kelly thinks she will be fun. Knockout Melanie! Bye then. She’s a mess. Amelia is through! She says something that is too high pitched for my ears. Kelly reminds her to be unique then does a little dance.

Holly is frightened because she’s one step away and it’s all she wants. This could be the worst or best day of her life. Holly has been singing since she was a little girl and can’t believe everything she’s been given for having the courage to audition. If she gets through, she’ll have to pinch herself. Sarah thinks the X Factor is the best thing she’s ever done and singing is the only thing she can think about.

Ding ding! Round Twelve! Sarah VS Sophie VS Holly.

In the generic blonde corner it’s Sarah. Kelly is glad that she could have another opportunity to hear her sing and show everyone how unique she was. She was stronger in her audition than yesterday though.

In the generic brunette corner it’s Holly. Kelly likes her sass and star quality and knows how much she wants it.

In the she’s going through cos Kelly likes her corner it’s Sophie. Kelly thinks she did a beautiful job but she’s worried that she doesn’t want it enough.

Knockout Sarah! She doesn’t even get a Dermot hug. Knockout Holly! Kelly doesn’t think that she’s ready. She snots all over Dermot. Sophie is through even though Kelly still hasn’t heard how much she wants it.

Jade and Janet are left. Janet never thought she’d be at Judges houses. She can’t focus on anything other than how much her life could change. She’ll find it hard to adjust if she doesn’t get through. It’s been one of the best experiences of Jade’s life and she’s lucky to be there. We see Kelly cry over her audition again. Let’s have another shot of her nan. Oh! There it is. She wants to do something to change the life of her family. She’s got to hope she’s done enough.

Ding Ding! Final Round! Janet VS Jade.

In the frightened child corner it’s Janet. She brings something special to the competition but she’s worried about how vulnerable she is. She remembers that she made the room silent when she sang but is worried that Janet doesn’t know this. This is the shittest piece of trying to create fake drama I’ve ever seen. Kelly needs confidence from her. It’s going to get harder and more intense every week and can Janet handle the pressure?

In the I still love her because I don’t bow to peer pressure corner is Jade. [Again, we will discuss this at the end of your probation period. - Steve] Kelly reminds her that she moved her to tears and she has it because she has so much emotion and she can feel it even through her wall and that’s special. Kelly is wondering if she can make each week different, which is the opposite of what she said to Amelia. She knows how much it means to her and her family.

Knockout Jade. This makes me sad. This means that Janet, aka Ellie Goulding 2, AKA Vickers 2 is through. Jade is sad she’ll have to tell everyone she wasn’t good enough. Kelly wants Janet to raise her confidence and wants Janet to believe in herself. Kelly wants her to have it ALL because she reminds her of herself. Kelly applauds herself. Janet can’t wait for her life to change for the better. Janet phones her family and they’re pleased for her. THE END.

Next week! Live shows. But first, let us look at the makeovers.

The Groups:

Rhythmix – An advert for hair extensions.

Nu Vibe – More pastels than a four year old girl’s bedroom

Stacey Duomon – Wearing different outfits for the first time ever.

The Risk – JLS with different coloured trousers rather than t-shirts.

The Overs:

Johnny ROBINSON – Butlins Silvercoat.

Jonjo KERR – Military. Surprise.

Sami BROOKES – Entirely modelled on Geraldine McQueen

Kitty BRUCKNELL – Circus-Era Britney

The Girls:

Janet DEVLIN - Lil Miss Popstar

Sophie HABBIBIS – Cher Lloyd. Seriously.

Amelia LILY – Gaga. Unrecognisable without the inch of makeup.

Misha BRYAN – Future star of We Will Rock You

The Boys:

Craig COLTON – Still with the Bieber hair. Why oh why.

Marcus COLLINS – Space raving twat.

James MICHAEL – Like the product of an unholy union between Pete(r) Doherty and Carl Barat.

Frankie COCOZZA – Twat.

Join Steve next week for the first of the live shows and to find out what the SHOCK! TWIST! Is. (SPOILER! It’s probably Cheryl) [Or Simon. If it also means TWENTY BLOODY FINALISTS I will cry - Rad]


StuckInABook said...

Well done on making the most boring, pointless show yet a little more entertaining! I am already dreading the SHOCK! TWIST!

Mai said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mai said...

The "Ding Ding Stuff" immediately made me think: "L.A. Bells A-Ring-A-Dinging" ... I'm so not over last year, and we're already facing the live shows! :D

Helen said...

As I said, it's probably Cheryl. A fifth judge to oust tactical voting deadlock copout. Bah.

Ha! I can assure you that it wasn't deliberate Mai.

Patrick said...

At this rate the series will be won by all the acts squidged together into one group. Plus Kelly. And Dermot.

Helen said...

With Louis doing a comedy dance routine at the side...

Rad said...

Patrick: that's my favourite comment today. What a scary yet plausible vision.

Yvie said...

The editing this year, probably from bootcamp onwards, made is so bleedin' obvious who was going through didn't it? They used to keep you guessing a bit more than that! It made judges' houses really boring this year. The only surprise was that Jade didn't go through. I also half expected Gary to put Luke Lucas through, despite the crappy performance at his house, and was gearing up for a massive rant about it.

Does the presence of Cheryl Cole really sound like a "Shock! Twist!" though? Perhaps she's going to pick a reject from each category and join the fun. God help us!

Eimear said...

I had a bet with my friend going to see when Kelly Rowland would call someone 'baby girl' it absolutly made my night when she said it to Janet.
Thanks for the constantly hilarious recaps, i look forward to them more than the show!

Helen said...

Our pleasure, glad you like them x

@x_factor_blog said...

Love your work! Check out for some brilliantly accurate but light hearted x factor 2011 opinions!