Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The bus hits the Jan

Top 6 Results

27 November 2011

Welcome back! Last night BixMIX were beautiful no matter what we say. Which is probably the equivalent of Cher Lloyd saying ‘you’re a hater, just let it go’, even if it was presented as a victory for REAL WIMMINZ EVERYWHERE. Marcus was competent but a little dull, as per every week except when he did Reet Petite [He's Marcus McElderrey,isn't he? - Helen] , the ‘real’ Misha was allegedly back, except… not really, Amelia LILY stood with her legs a mile wide and shouted, Janet gave both the best and worst performances of the night (incidentally, the pre-credits recap emphasises her screwing it up, as if the past few weeks haven’t reeked of the producers screaming ‘Why won’t it die??’ repeatedly), Carol Decker called Borelow a twat via Twitter and I was encouraged in my current quest to gain as many degrees as possible by one of our wonderful anons, which was very supportive of them.

Tonight! Olly MURS will be back to make us be grateful for this current lot of finalists. Oh goody.

Dermot suitwatch: ill-fitting, but at least he’s gotten rid of the waistcoat. He tells us that ‘it is tits in here’. You might think he means tense, but given Olly MURS and Jessie J are about, not to mention our glorious judges, I wouldn’t be so sure. Dermot babbles some more about nothing (seriously, how can he get worse year on year? He’s getting as dotty as Bruce Forsyth, about five decades too soon).

Dermot reminds us not to text but implores us to phone or use the red button. I can safely say my fingers are going nowhere near any voting mechanisms for this sorry show.

Hilariously, Dermot introduces our next guest by saying they’ve duetted with some greats: ‘the Barlows, the Williamses, the Bublés’. Not sure if this is a sign that Gary’s people were annoyed with Kelly’s uber-pimpage last night, or Dermot’s attempt at a burn on Olly given Alexandra’s duetting with Beyoncé will forever and always be this show’s high duet point. This show confuses me sometimes. Anyway, it’s professional gurner and all round twat (sometimes in a hat), Olly MURS who is here with the Muppets, and you can insert your own play on words joke on the lines of that theme.

Twitter exploded at this point during the show with outrage at the Muppets desecrating themselves [I was disappointed in them - Helen]. But Fozzie had legs and some of the voices were wrong, so I think we all need to console ourselves with the fact that this was obviously not the real Muppets, rather some wily puppet chancers. The real Muppets would far rather duet with Jedward anyway. Or Wagner. Or Goldie. There’s no way I am subjecting myself to a repeat watch of Olly’s terrible, terrible song (featuring too little of the "Muppets", aside from a rather cute bit where Fake Statler and Waldorf sit in Louis and Gary’s chairs, which would definitely be an improvement, judging wise). Honestly, every single hateful waste of a contestant this show has subjected me to over the years, from Eoghan QUIGG, to HUMBLE Danyl to Meaty MINGE, I would take every single one of them performing every day for a whole year over five minutes of Olly MURS, such is my rage for his forced ‘cheeky chappy’ nonsense. You may have gathered that I’ve not bothered with The Xtra Factor this year.

Dermot asks Fake Miss Piggy what she thinks of Olly. She makes a noise. I choose to believe that this means she hates him. She plugs the new Muppets film. [Which isn't out over here until February. Pointful! - Steve][It's got Jason Seagull in it. I like him - Helen] Dermot shills Olly’s new album (how has he got a second album when Alexandra still hasn’t??) and arena tour and tells him they are ‘proud’ of him. I, however, am thoroughly ashamed of my nation that, of all the solo male X Factor contestants, he is the one that is still a pop star.

Another recap of things that happened a long time ago in a land far away along with backstage bitching. Louis’ criticisms of BixMIX are shunned by Borelow who says ‘Louis Walsh is nothing’. There was a time we agreed. My how weird this year has been that Louis should be the judge we most commonly agree with these days. Janet forgot the words and this is emphasised again, just in case you hadn’t got the message that her time was up. Misha gave Gary goosebumps, Lazy POSTMAN ‘could win this competition’ (God help him), Amelia had another comeback. BixMIX lost their backing track and the judges lied that their caterwauling was the best performance they’d ever done, the judges still didn’t like Janet even when she was quite good, but lied that Misha had her best week, Marcus was a bit dull but the judges loved it – of course they did, that kind of thing is what BORELOW lives for, and Amelia had yet another comeback.

That over, you would expect some ads. After all, the show has been going on for fourteen minutes. But NO! We’re due another special guest. Jessie J has apparently sold 8 million singles. Really?? Sadly, the VT illustrates how her one album trajectory has already demonstrated the law of diminishing returns. I love Do it Like a Dude, nonsense lyrics and all, I don’t mind Price Tag, and this new single is a piece of turgid sub-X Factor winner’s second single nonsense. And don’t get me started on that piffle with James Morrison on Strictly the other week. Dermot thanks her for ‘finally’ being here, even though barely anyone had heard of her this time last year. She then Janet-terviews that she writes ‘honest’ music and Dermot tells her she was with Tulisa as judges’ houses and asks who she is backing. She stutters a bit before remembering the party line. She’s supporting BixMIX, of course, and also calls them ‘little muffins’. Please can you stop trying to make ‘little Muffins’ happen, show? [Little Muffins are rubbish, aren't they? The whole point of muffins is that they're huge. Crap name on so many levels - Helen]

Ads now – after twenty whole minutes. That must be a record, surely? Also: the M&S ad solves the problem of no more BISCUIT by throwing some Amelia LILY at it. Surely just more Lazy POSTMAN or BixMIX would have been better, given that any one of the girls could go home this week (unless Janet’s in the bottom two, then Janet’s going home).

Time for the charity single, raising money for a charity for terminally ill children. I can't rewatch the VT for cynicism purposes, sorry, having had friends experience the loss of a terminally ill child this year, all I can say is do give to hospices and charities that support families in this way as our local hospice, Bluebell Wood, did amazing things for them. And it goes without saying that you can donate to these charities without buying the X Factor single.

The single itself is a cover of Rose Royce's 'Wishing on a Star', with our contestants in white with a starry background because they are angels, as is always the case in these charity songs. It's entirely mimed, and given it was recorded weeks ago, it's interesting to see who is pimped - all four girls, including Sophie, for reasons I cannot fathom; Little Mix, especially Perrie; Marcus and Kitty. Biscuit gets to duet with Johnny and Johnny's vocal dominates, although Biscuit gets a solo line later. 2Shoes, James MICHAEL, Sammi CRUISESHIP, Jonjo No1KERR and Nu BILE are barely seen, to the point where although I can make out the groups at the back, I'm not even sure the others were there (Frankie was definitely not there) and it looks like Interchangeable Ash is with SugaBLOKES this week, who get one line - which Charlie sings, obviously. Then there's a really unnecessary bit with JLS and One Direction coming out to boost sales, even though they just get to join in the chorus with everyone else. It's all very weird, and I even prefer the M&S ad. Dermot tells us that George Osborne (Boo!) has waived the VAT on the single, but more profits would still go to the charities if you bypass the single altogether and go straight there.

Olly MURS related competition. Like I haven't suffered enough.

Ads. Now that's the show I'm used to.

Dermot welcomes all the acts back for the results, with Kelly and the girls centre stage because it's obviously an all-girl sing-off, and the only tension comes from which of them it might be. Safe are: Amelia, so the rest of this bit is a formality, as is the sing-off, but Marcus and BixMIX are also through, like you didn't know that was coming. At least now BixMIX can genuinely say they're the girl group that got furthest. [It's a shame that the show's been using it erroneously for so many weeks that it's lost all meaning. - Steve] Will it be next week when they stop saying they're the best girl group EVER and start bringing out the best group ever line? They were using that one on Wand Erection way before this point last year I think.

Dermot asks Janet how she's feeling. Janet says she was expecting it. Dermot tells Misha she's been here before. Misha's all 'yeah right, thanks for rubbing that in'.

More ads. I guess that first section was a bit too much. Oh look, more Olly MURS. This entire episode is killing me (but not softly) with his song.

Janet's first on in the sing-off and is doing 'Chasing Cars', which is about as 'edgy' and 'unknown' as the Chili Peppers. But I've mostly given up hating on Janet now, seeing as she's so clearly doomed. Her Twitter page may still make her look like a giant douche, but she is only seventeen, and at times has really seemed it this series - who didn't know an over-earnest seventeen year old (I may have been one myself). I work with young people as a day job, so sue me for sometimes being a softie. [Her exit interviews - oops, spoiler - made me warm to Janet enormously. She's pretentious as hell, but at least she has the excuse of being a teenager. I'm not sure what Lazy Decorator's excuse was. - Steve] As for the performance itself, it's kind of in the middle of her performances - it has too many annoying affectations in places, but it is at least mostly in tune.

Misha's doing Irene Cara's 'Out Here On My Own', which is a bit dull, albeit well sung. Oh Misha, this series just turned you into a boring diva, and yet you promised so much more. [Stupid X Factor ruins everything. - Steve]

The audience shout for Misha, because anyone who shouted for Janet would be taken out back and shot given Simon Cowell in no way wants her on his record label. Over to the judges. Louis says he's keeping the person who wants it the most, so sends home Janet. Tulisa (in a really unflattering frock with the sides cut out around her shoulder area) takes into consideration who will 'sell out arenas' (clue: no-one) [except BixMix, obviously, because all those women they represent will want to see them - Steve] and sends home Janet. Instead of going to Borelow, Dermot goes to Kelly and reminds her if she sends Janet home, Janet goes, but if she sends Misha home, Gary gets to vote. Kelly says 'I hear you' and as she's about to decide and does her customary 'they're both wonderful' babble, in which she praises Janet for 'picking up instruments' like that's a rare thing. She does the 'I can't make a decision' thing and Dermot then gets a bit weird and says 'if you don't make a decision, no matter what Gary says, Janet is going home now'. Is this one of those new rules they instigated in the light of Saint Cheryl throwing a hissy fit every time she had two acts in the bottom? [They did the same thing to Paula Abdul on X Factor US. I think it's basically the producers saying "if you don't vote now, we're not coming back to you later", so by abstaining, Kelly had reduced it to a three-way vote instead of a four-way, and since Janet already had two, there was no point in asking Gary. More so than usual, I mean. - Steve] Dermot pushes her to abstain and so she does, even though she knows this is effectively a vote for Janet, and Janet goes home. You can hear the producers' 'finally' from here.

We see Janet's best bits. The bit where she was blonde and frizzy, her faking humility, her being from Ireland, lots of crying, terrible hipster-ness, going red, losing some frizz, doing some dreary performances, then starting to embrace the theme weeks properly, albeit chaotically and spending several weeks dodging buses. Except there was barely any singing in any of those clips. Maybe we should be grateful for small mercies.

Dermot then asks Gary who he would have sent home and he says Janet. Dermot asks Janet how she's feeling. She says confused but she can't wait to get off the show! HA! She wants to get her music out, apparently. Dermot and Kelly remind us that Janet's audition was amazing. Even though she's grudgingly grown on me lately, it really wasn't.

Dermot tells us to prepare for a 'screamathon' next week, as Amelia LILY stands even further apart and hollers to the moon, Misha probably performs another dreary BALLID, and Perrie and Jesy's battle to be the Queen of REAL WIMMINZ continues. Oh and Justin Bieber will be here. And Marcus might turn up as well. Note that Dermot does not repeat last year's mistakes by telling us whether or not who progresses to the final will be down to 'our votes' presumably so they can decide on a whim looking at the voting results like they did last year (TescoMary Neva4get). Join us then for all the fun.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Heroic Failures

Properly Amazing Songs and Rather Boring Musical Heroes week

26 November 2011

Last week! Film week proved to be the new Big Band week in terms of its usefulness (bodes well for Strictly next week, eh?)! We had only one song from everyone for the last time this series! Borelow was an inconsistent mess! Amelia LILY made the bottom two, we had the first DEADLOCK of the series and Biscuit crumbled!

Tonight! Everyone has to sing two songs! Oh “goody”!

It’s Time To Face the Decision of which girl joins Marcus and BixMIX in the final three! [And since it's pretty much guaranteed not to be Misha, most depressing final three ever y/n? - Steve]

Dermot enters to ‘Holding Out for a Hero’, accompanied by dancers in their pants again. He does some terrible punching. Suit – silvery grey, undone with a really unflatteringly shaped waistcoat underneath that sits awkwardly against his stomach. ‘The Only Way is Up’ plays before he introduces the judges. Why do I feel like we’ve already heard the two best songs of the night?

The judges enter to the theme to Star Wars, for reasons unknown unless the theme tonight is ‘let’s actually be awesome for a change’. Spoiler: it won’t be.

Tulisa rebuffs the ‘product placement’ accusations about her tattoo salute by offering up the other arm as well which says ‘vote for BixMIX, representing WINNINZ EVERYWHERE and PLEASE GOD A GROUP HAS TO WIN AT SOME POINT’. This has the unfortunate effect of making her look like she’s about to do The Birdie Song/tell us she feels like Chicken Tonight. She’s wearing a deeply unattractive tiger print dress. Louis is wearing a shirt with a print on, Kelly a purple quality street wrapper with a huge silver ruff over her arm. BORELOW is a Victorian schoolmaster as ever. Dermot waddles around a bit to remind us that his outfit is really, really bad tonight. ‘Waiting for a Star To Fall’ plays in the background – which is one of the best songs of ALL TIME. [On Friday it was playing in the café where I bought my lunch, and I was singing it for the rest of the day. - Steve] This is where I genuinely feel excited about tonight. And then it all comes crashing down.

Apparently the theme is Guilty Pleasures. Fuck the fuck off show, as we have said before, never feel guilty about liking anything. And who in their right mind would be ashamed of liking Bonnie Tyler, Yazz, Star Wars and Boy Meets Girl? Well, other than Matt Cardle and old Funsponge, anyway. These are not ‘the songs you’re not supposed to like but do’, Dermot, they are songs 'you like because they're great songs'. Therefore: fuck off, fuck off, fuck off. I was all happy and in one sentence you’ve put me in a bad mood.

Up first are the little ‘muffins’ [Boke- Helen], BixMIX. They went to something called Winter Wonderland this week and ITV1 is getting Christmas wars in early with some Mariah Carey on the soundtrack. I might think about forgiving this song if it reinstates Christmas songs in the final, especially now Biscuit’s gone, but still, it’s a wee bit early for the festive season (although it’s Advent Sunday this weekend, I still like my month to say December before I get Christmassy. Once that calendar flips, then I’m up for as much mincemeat, mulled wine and Mariah as I can get). Mini Amelle says they’re doing a mashup of Justin Bieber and Diana Ross (er?) and she once played Diana Ross in a school production [...of what, exactly? - Steve]. It was all shepherds, angels and wise men back in my day. Times have changed. BixMIX reassure us that they’re practising hard, but fail to remind us they won’t steal our boyfriends. Fail.

Their set is 1950s’ diner-esque and Leigh-Anne starts the verse of their version of ‘Baby’. It’s not so good – they do get the customary backing singers in the chorus though, and then it clumsily segues into ‘Where Did Our Love Go?’ and then back into ‘Baby’, which makes this more of a medley than a mash-up, but I believe we’ve made our feelings on such things known before. Unwisely, they all have a little solo bit. Only Jesy and Perrie can sing, and Perrie over-sings, Jesy’s still a little nervous and shaky and their vocals don’t seem to actually blend as a group unless the backing is turned way up as in their choruses. The ‘Where Did…’ but is so brief and pointless they may as well just have done the Bieber song – they seemed more comfortable with Bieber as well. [My hatred for BixMix now burns with the intensity of a thousand suns for daring to suggest that anything by the Supremes would ever be a fucking "guilty pleasure". Eat a bag of dicks, BixMix. - Steve]

Louis says something was missing. Yes, the dayglo lights and a constant backing track. Kelly says ‘you know how much I feel for you’, whatever that means, but she doesn’t think their dancing was great and she wanted Jesy to do a beatbox and if you’re going to do the Supremes, then nail it. Bit late now. Borelow loved it. Tulisa panders to the audience like the lowest common denominator she is and accuses Louis of sabotage. Louis points out that he has no acts left. Tulisa says the audience like them, because that is always a guarantee of quality. No mention of them representing my gender. I might have to turn against them. Dermot perpetuates the lie that they’ve gone further than any other girl group. Somewhere out there, Phoebe is still stabbing pins into her voodoo woo woo dolls and crying.

Next up is ‘Ireland’s sweetheart’ – really? [Eoghan Quigg neva 4get - Steve] – Janet. She goes home to turn on the Christmas lights and she tells us she’s not a Christmas person (boo!) but still likes Christmas lights. The Christmas lights in Janet’s home town look a bit rubbish. She’s doing MmmBop which ‘no one would normally think I would like’. Except she'd have been about three when this came out, and unless she was born a hipster, of course she would like it. When this song came out, I was at college, and we did college radio. My friend Jodie was very indie-ish and she used to play this claiming it was her sister’s CD but we all knew it was hers. It took her until she was thirty to admit it. Anyway, this anecdote is merely here to provide a distraction from the trainwreck that is the performance, with Janet looking white as a sheet and repeatedly losing the words and the tune. Tonight will prove that pop songs are often a hell of a lot harder than another Adele style ballad, and a much better test of versatility, not that this show would ever admit it. To be fair on Janet, she may come across as a bit of a twat in her VTs, but she’s the only contestant who’s tried to step out of her comfort zone this series, and who’s tried that more than once. Admittedly it’s not always worked, but can you imagine Biscuit trying to do that song? [I hated this train wreck, because it made me feel sorry for her. She very much came across as the SEVENTEEN year old that she is. Shame, but it is about time she went - Helen]

Louis points out that she messed up and she’s all ‘yeah, thanks for reminding me’. He said it wasn’t great, but he loved her. Tulisa reminds us she made mistakes. Borelow whines that it was a real mess and the song didn’t work because, I kid you not, ‘it had a percussive nature’ and ‘a groove’ and she should not be singing songs with a groove. FUCK OFF BORELOW. He demands Horlicks and slippers with her second song. Kelly reminds her she has another song. Dermot rubs in that she got it wrong some more and Janet says ‘she feels sick’ and Dermot reminds her that she better not fuck up the second song. Well, that was awkward.

Ads. Christmas overload.

Kelly tells us that Misha B will be dedicating her next song to her ‘aliens’. Oh lawdy, don’t let that be a thing. Her VT is about trying to be happy again. Borelow snorts that Misha was too safe in her performance last week, but given what he just said to Janet, his opinion is invalid .

Misha stands on a huge platform wearing some leggings she got down the Sunday market with an adidas hoodie spliced with a breast-plate. Or something. It’s very odd. She’s singing ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’ and starts with a slowed-down verse before the beat kicks in. Her dancers are all in odd pink body stockings and wigs with cropped gold bomber jackets circa Neneh Cherry on the cover of Smash Hits in 1989. Misha loses the tune a bit in the chorus as she tries to negotiate stairs in huge shoes, but she gets to do a weird rap about Ready Salted crisps or something which helps her get herself back on track, and then she does a slow chorus again before the beat picks up. It’s much better when it’s on its normal beat without any of the tempo changes.

Louis thinks she’s found herself again, Tulisa has nothing bad to say about it, it was all ‘on point’ whatever that means. Borelow says ‘now the show has started’ and likes that Misha is being herself, and she’s not thinking of the final (because she expects to go home tonight) but thinking of 2012. Is Misha going to be in the ‘lympics? Or is she going to be bringing on Armageddon? I feel we must be told. She baby-voices that tonight was her ‘bestest’ performance and was only a small part of ‘what Misha B can do’ and then hilariously remembers her humbleness training and says ‘what I can do’. Dermot points out that she did a ‘good save’ after referring to herself in the third person, although it’s not a good save if you tell us all, Dermot. [It was nice to see FierceMisha back, at least in performance terms. I was so disappointed when the humbleshoulders remained - Helen]

Dermot says we’ll be going back to the 80s with Marcus and Amelia (because Misha’s wasn’t just an 80s song?) and as we haven’t had any ads for a good three minutes, ITV1 are going to bless us with some more. Please let it be M&S. I want to see how they edit Craig out of that one. Oh look, there is M&S, but only the party food one. Boo. I suppose I wasn’t specific enough in my ad requesting.

Dermot babbles some piffle about guilty pleasures and then shills to the audience like the corporate whore he is. We then randomly get him dragging Amelia LILY’s dad in front of the camera, and we segue into Gary wishing George Michael a ‘get well soon’ and get Marcus’s VT. That was a very random segment of telly, right there. Marcus, rocking a Sarah Lund jumper, says he misses BISCUIT and is from LIVERPOOL. Gary takes him to his recording studio. BORELOW tells us singing live is not the same as singing in a recording studio. Well, I was fascinated.

Marcus finally has a bevy of male dancers for his ‘I’m Your Man’, which is a TUNE. Honestly, this would be my favourite theme were it called ‘awesome pop songs’ theme. Even if the performances are a bit ropey, such as this one. Tonight really illustrates how unsuited these people are to actual pop music rather than drippy ballads – although Marcus does improve on the ‘I don’t need you to care’ bridge, which is actually rather good. He then does some jumping on the judges’ desk.

Louis says he’s a potential pop star, Tulisa says he goes on a JOURNEY (my my, it’s been a long time since we had one of those, right?) in each song, Kelly liked that he raised his T-shirt so we got to see his abs and she loves him. Borelow says he’s about to say his first ‘negative’, which was that Marcus said he was happy to be in the top five, and that’s ‘not good enough’. Dermot reminds us of Louis telling Marcus he was a postie, albeit a once-a-week one. Can we call him Lazy POSTMAN, do we reckon?

Kelly tells us that Amelia LILY is still operating as a health and safety exec and is coming to SHUT THE BUILDING DOWN. I’m assuming that’s what happened that week when we had fifteen minutes of audition recaps. In Middlesborough, some bloke has apparently been paid by this show to look like an idiot with ‘vote Amelia Lily’ on his chest. She doesn’t want to go home.

In another TUNE moment, she’s doing ‘China in Your Hand’. She starts kneeling down with a spotlight and a window on the stage for atmosphere (I love a part with a happy... etc). She stands with her feet apart shouting a little as is her wont, although it is one of those songs that kind of fits that. This is fine, as performances go, but it’s at this point that I looked at Carol Decker’s Twitter from the show because I was interested to see her response. You should so follow her if you don’t, by the way. She’s hilariously outspoken.

Louis likes Amelia. Tulisa said her vocal was beautiful and she looked like she could be in a music video. BORELOW reminds us that Amelia got sent home and then came back in case we’d forgotten. Kelly said she’s never heard this song before but you have to know this song and it’s amazing to hear her sing it. Borelow then chips in to say he remembers the original and it’s nice to hear it in tune. Over to you, Carol Decker:

  • @GBarlowOfficial what's your fucking problem ? I actually have perfect pitch
  • Gary Barlow you twat! & I had to suffer a Take That concert for the sake of my kids this summer

According to her Twitter, the Xtra Factor called her and Borelow chickened out so they never had a fight onscreen. For shame. Carol Decker for head judge in 2012! Assuming we survive Mishageddon!

Dermot opens the phone lines like anyone cares. The problem with this final five is that none of them are, well, anything. I don’t actively hate any of them that much [I HATE BIXMIX AND AM ABOUT TO HATE THEM EVEN MORE WHEN THEY SING FOR THE SECOND TIME - Steve], they’ve all done OK performances, but since Misha went a bit rubbish and Marcus went a bit repetitive, I don’t actively like any of them that much either.

Dermot tells us when they come back they’ll be doing songs by their ‘musical heroes’. Apparently there is still an hour left. Oh goody.

Next up, a mentor ‘who will be a hero of her own if her act wins’. Oh Dermot, so much you making the sense there. BixMIX suddenly rediscover their mission to REPRESENT WIMMINZ EVRYWHERE by deciding they’re going to sing Christina Aguilera’s ‘Beautiful’ and going on Radio 1’s Sunday Surgery to be agony aunts, which basically consists of telling callers they are beautiful, no matter what people say. Deep, that. Jesy reassures us that she’s in team Sami CRUISESHIP when it comes to weight loss narratives on this show. I now have visions of Sami and Jesy trying to sneak Hob Nobs through the bars of BISCUIT’s cell late at night when they hoped BOREWLOW wasn’t watching.

Egads, this performance is a hot fried mess. They do most of it on stools, Perrie tries to oversing and dominate as usual, Jesy gets the last line and the other two continue in their quests to be the Zaynwrecks of BixMIX. When they try and harmonise, it is actively horrible. So now we know why they have backing singers. But St Jesy cries at the end SO THAT’S ALL RIGHT THEN. [Such a horrible mess of pandering and sub-par singing. God, BixMix are wretched. - Steve]

Louis lies that they have four lead singers, rather than a Perrie/Jesy supremacy battle to rival the one between Curly and Resentful Direction and wants GIRLS TO VOTE FOR THEM. Borelow lies that they’re all friends. MAKE IT LAST FOREVER, FRIENDSHIP NEVER ENDS. Tulisa wants us to vote for them. Dermot reminds us that they are REAL WIMMINZ with REAL EMOSHONS.

Perry Geordiebabbles that they’re doing it for people on Twitter. I’m on Twitter and I didn’t request that. I would like your fluorescent lighting and plinths back, ta very much.

There were rumours on the internet this week that Janet would be doing Nirvana, but it’s actually Red Hot Chili Peppers. For shame, as I would have loved to hear ‘Serve the Servants’ on prime time ITV1. Still, let us all take a moment and be thankful we don’t have BISCUIT doing Adele. Or Coldplay if he was having an ‘edgy’ day. She says she doesn’t want to ruin a song she loves. Ha. But then she ruins her goodwill by lying that the Chili Peppers are obscure. Mind you, this is a show that thinks Aretha Franklin is obscure, so IDEK. Her boyfriend likes this as well and she says she and her boyfriend have obscure music taste. Damn, and I thought they’d almost cured her of that hipster streak. Now I have to hate her again. I then get excited because I think I hear Roxette’s ‘Wish I Could Fly’ on the soundtrack before I realise it’s that Coldplay song that has wholesale ripped it off.

Unsurprisingly, it’s ‘Under the Bridge’. Surprisingly, I quite like it. It’s a bit yelpy in places, but I like The Cranberries, so I’m not averse to a bit of that. They keep a beat going, rather than slow it down to All Saints pace, which is a nice surprise, and then they bring in rock guitars at the end. I’m not entirely convinced she can do rock vocal – Dolores O’Riordan would ‘oh-oh-oh’ her off the stage, but kudos to her for trying something different even if the producers are probably spitting feathers given how they’ve been trying to bus her for weeks and she just won't die, dammit (Janet).

Louis doesn’t like the Chili Peppers but thinks Ireland is voting for her. Tulisa nonsenses that she’s sometimes predictable, but she’s Janet Devlin, that’s who she is and you either love her or you don’t. So is that because she’s not in her box and she should be or what? Gary says fair play to her for ignoring him and doing whatever she wants even if he thought she sucked. Backhanded compliment, or what? Dermot points out that she’s the anti-BORELOW. If a vote for Janet is an anti-Borelow vote then I’m potentially sold. Janet panics that she might not seem humble, as she’s not really sure where BORELOW currently sits on the national sweetheart barometer. Neither am I - is the nation still in that weird froth it got its knickers in when he got slim, or are they all collectively over that now they’ve realised what a knob he is?

Competition. Ugh, Olly MURS is made entirely of DO NOT WANT, isn’t he?

Ads. TalkTalk ad bumpers also think it’s CHRISTMAS. ITV1 ad bumpers still have buttercups on. CLING ON TO THAT INDIAN SUMMER DREAM, ITV1.

Misha B’s entire VT is about how much she loves Kelly. This is really weird. Did Kelly’s people demand some kind of retribution for the way this show’s publicity machine slagged her off that time she had a sore throat (/"sore throat")?

Disappointingly, tonight Misha B will not be our Commander and is instead doing ‘Killing me Softly’, pitching it somewhere in between Roberta Flack and the Fugees. It needs more ‘One Time, Two Time’ but it’s perfectly fine. It’s just a disappointing choice for Misha given all the potentially interesting places she could have gone, not least because her VT set up Kelly as her musical hero. [She should've done 'Work', that would've been amazing. - Steve]

Louis says she wants it more than anyone else (Boo!), Tulisa thinks it was her best week (I’d put it squarely mid-table myself), Gary’s a bit meh. Misha does the pick up the phone mime. It’s been a while since we had one of those too.

Dermot calls BORELOW the nation’s hero. So I guess that answers my question from earlier. Also: for SHAME, the nation, if this Funsponge is who we aspire to be. [Representing boring Victorian squires everywhere! - Steve] Marcus’s mum spends her VT telling us how proud she is. Last time someone wanted to make his mum proud, he was called Leon Jackson. Just putting that out there.

Marcus is doing ‘Lately’ by Stevie Wonder, a brave choice for this show if it finds ‘Think’ a bit out there – like that time Kim-fom-Pop-Idol-2-what-I-went-to-college-with-along-with-one-of-G4 (as is her full name) did ‘The One’ in Elton John and the judges were all ‘what unknown song is this?’ because they’d decided Michelle was the ‘big girl’ they wanted to endorse.

Marcus’s performance – competent. Bit dull, but not my favourite Stevie song.

Louis thinks Marcus is versatile and this week thinks this is a ‘talent show’ therefore Marcus should be in the final. Tulisa says Marcus wouldn’t want to admit it, but he would have been as emotional as she was during that song. Err? She then says he doesn’t like to shill a sob story (like some BixMIXes we could think of) – although I think we have heard a few Leon Jackson memorial ‘my mum who is SINGLE’ narratives haven’t we?, but he has had a TOUGH LIFE like an Apprentice candidate getting to interviews and revealing their super-series-winning-special-superpower-of-humble-beginnings. Kelly loves him and wants to be constructive to ‘keep him here’ because she hasn’t realised that’s not how this show works. Her constructive criticism extends as far as saying the opening was a bit rubbish but he got better. Top notch critique, right there! Borelow lies that the nation knows him as the entertainer, rather than knowing him as ‘the other one’ for several weeks until he became ‘that one that did Reet Petite that time’ and then ‘that one who’s going to be in Hairspray in nine months’ time’. He then says we will know him as ‘the voice’, when at best he’s going to be ‘the boy one’ in the vagina party that this series is becoming, and at worst ‘yet another boring boy winner’, which, for his sake, I hope won’t happen. [I was genuinely confused at this point. We've had VOTE BIXMIX thrown at us so much these last few weeks, but now we're getting VOTE LAZY POSTMAN. They need to make up their mind otherwise I don't know who not to vote for out of spite - Helen]

Dermot then says he got ‘great comments, but a little destructive criticism’. Or it may have been ‘constructive’. Dermot can’t enunciate for toffee.

Ads. How is Fearne Cotton still a thing? Kill it. Kill it with fire. [Legal disclaimer: not literally. Except in a Simon Cowell sense. The Bitch Factor does not advocate murder or arson].

Dermot welcomes us back and says ‘the prize this week is a place in the semi-final’. Oh Dermot, that’s not a prize, that’s just an inevitability that comes from the passage of time and the scheduling of this show so that there are mercifully only two weeks left. A weekly prize is something like you used to get on Bullseye when the big dartboard swivelled round to reveal if it was a beige Golf, a beige new kitchen, a holiday to Spain or a speedboat that week. [Also, technically it's four places in the semi-final, surely? - Steve]

Kelly says Amelia needs ‘all of her lillies to pick up the phone’. That’s worse than calling Misha’s fans aliens. Stop trying to make fan clique names happen. She says her idol is Kelly Clarkson because BixMIX have already pinched Christina Aguilera but as they are REAL WIMMINZ they're not getting the song thief edit Misha had. Amelia then she waxes lyrical about how awesome Kelly Rowland is. Kelly’s people really have been after something this week, haven’t they?

Amelia starts another performance sitting on the floor. Girl doesn’t like standing around waiting, clearly. It’s ‘Since U Been Gone’, and she doesn’t really have the range to do it justice, so it gets rather shouty and shrieky and it becomes a bit of a caterwaul by the end. [She wussed out of every single demanding note in the song. I've done pissed karaoke of that song better than that, quite frankly. - Steve]

Louis loves that she can do power ballads and then rock (except that power ballads generally are rock, aren’t they?) and Tulisa then overshares about this song reminds her of an ex-boyfriend and says Amelia strained a bit too much (which she did) and Borelow thinks her songs were pitched a bit too high. Kelly says she can hit the notes in her sleep. Unfortunately not while she’s awake though. Ba-dum-tish.

Dermot reminds us to vote and there's a recap of tonight's performances. A load of AMAZING songs we're meant to think are LOLariously crap followed by a load of worthy songs that were A BIT DULL! BixMIX acting like teenage girls and singing Bieber before remembering their need to REPRESENT WIMMINZ EVERYWHERE! Janet not giving a shit about this show any longer! Misha B-ing a bit mediocre! Marcus not being in the 1950s! Amelia SHOUTING! Kelly Rowland BEING A MUSICAL LEGEND AND HERO now please don't sue the producers for those news stories, ta.

Tomorrow night! Jessie J will be doing her boring new single and I will be enacting penance for something I did in a former life as my nemesis Olly MURS will also be gurning the place up. Bring me a bucketload of drugs and a barrel of booze and join me for the results!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Top 6 Results: 20th November 2011

We open on another "arty" shot of the studio from above as Derwood sombrely informs us that last night was Movie Night, and the six contestants behind him gave performances of varying quality. (Best to assume I'm editorialising whenever Derwood is talking.) Tonight, someone's going home for good. Hooray!

INCREDIBLY BOISTEROUS VT RECAP! Misha blew Tulisa away (sadly not literally), while Kelly declared that BixMix had the potential to be the best girl group ever to come out of the UK. Meanwhile, the Sugababes, the Spice Girls, Girls Aloud, the Saturdays, Bananarama, Eternal, All Saints, and a large percentage of the UK population drafted a note to be signed by all, which read "Dear Kelly, WHAT THE FUCK EVER, xxx". Louis thought Amelia was destined to go all the way (down into the bottom two, oops spoiler), Marcus gave "the performance of the night tonight" per Borelow, Kelly was "so proud" of Janet, and Biscuit got dinged for his song choice. Hmm, I wonder which of these acts could possibly be in trouble tonight? Time for the weekly maths lesson: SIX are to become FIVE (not 5ive, sadly) as one act is sent home for good. Fighting for our votes? Tulisa and the last remaining group, BixMIX, Kelly and her ridiculous triumvirate of ladies, Misha B, Janet DEVLIN and Amelia LILY, and Gary's two remaining boys, Craig BISCUIT and Marcus JACKIEWILSON. Also tonight, returning to the X Factor stage: an angry goose with a sore throat. Oh, sorry, that's Rebecca Ferguson. Also: Rihanna. It's time! To face! Indifference!

Titles. I file my tax return and learn basic Portugese.

We're back in the studio with Derwood, who seems to be getting shorter by the hour, wearing another boxy suit. He reminds us of everything that Peter Dickson just told us about, because an hour is far too long for a results show. The judges return: Louis is in black, mourning for the days when he gave a shit; Tulisa is wearing long sleeves and therefore waves rather than saluting because she is not appropriately attired for product placement; Kelly waves with both hands and both eyes, never to be outdone; and Borelow barely exists. Shall we move on?

Derwood ambles behind the judges and reminds us that it's only three weeks until the final, pretending that the series has passed quickly rather than being the slow, lifeless dirge that the endless on-stage Adelathons have turned it into. He reminds us of the voting numbers for those who are that way inclined.

First up: group sing! Featuring "three girls, two boys, one group and one very special over-25", intriguingly. Is it Goldie? Please be Goldie. They're singing 'When You're Gone', and there was some excitement on Twitter about how they appear to be singing live this week. It's true that it certainly sounds somewhat rougher around the edges this week, but I can't help thinking that if they were going to engage in such an upheaval, they'd make a really huge deal about it, slapping themselves on the back for recognising everyone's inherent artistry via the medium of live performance. Unless they're going for a soft launch because they're under the delusion that no one knew they were miming in the first place. It's very hard to tell with this show. The lip-synch does look a bit off to me, but I am recapping this via STV Player, so it could just be standard internet lag. The important thing is that BixMix sound like hot fried ass, so if it is pre-recorded a sound engineer was having a serious off day, and if it's live, they should stick to singing over a very loud backing track like they did last night. Meanwhile, someone has decided that Biscuit and Janet make a charismatic duet pairing. They are wrong. Marcus and Amelia duet on the "this is torture, this is pain" line, and they, on the other hand, are not wrong. Halfway through, Bryan Adams appears for the guitar solo, and it's Marcus who gets the "honour" of introducing him, if any of you want to use that as the base for a conspiracy theory. Oh, and someone has seen fit to give Misha B the Geraldine Granger haircut they used on Tesco Mary last year. Is there no end to the indignities she must suffer?

It ends. Hooray! Derwood toadies up to Bryan Adams, because he is a Real Artist With A Guitar. Derwood asks Bryan what advice he has for the contestants. Bryan says they should write their own music and try to play live as much as you can. That's this lot fucked then. Derwood asks Bryan who he's backing, and Allegedly Ardent X Factor Viewer Bryan Adams says "the lady in the blue dress". That's Amelia, by the way. Bryan interrupts Derwood mid-link to say that he wishes everyone the best of luck, and then they all disperse.

Time for a recap of last night, I feel. Biscuit had a licence to kill, and he was going straight for Gladys Knight. Louis and Tulisa slammed the song choice (sorry, came over all Digital Spy for a second there) and someone in the editing room decided that "this is a singing competition, not a song-choosing competition" was a positively Wildean riposte, rather than a sad old man fumbling for the first words that came to mind and setting himself up for acute acts of hypocrisy later in the evening. Backstage, Biscuit does not want to talk to the cameras, and Borelow whinges to Louis that song-choices criticisms are not helpful to the acts. Behind him, Mature And Professional Businesswoman Tulisa Contostavlos sticks her tongue out and makes "blah blah" gestures with her hands. This is possibly also a secret sign that she wants us to buy her perfume. Janet managed to be the most enjoyable act of the night thanks chiefly to a severely lowered bar, and Kelly spouted out a loud of random syllables which didn't seem to form actual words. Backstage, Gary says that she's back on form after having been boring for the past three weeks. Louis is present for this, and totally knows that Gary has been boring for the past fifteen years and is entirely beyond help.

Amelia thrust her legs apart and bellowed vacantly into the middle distance, because that is what "intensity" and "artistic passion" look like when you're 17. Louis and Kelly liked it, Tulisa has never heard songs before. Backstage, Kelly babbles something about how it was...good that Tulisa said that? Or bad. I can't make head nor tail of her. Amelia is just happy to be here and doesn't give a shit. Misha B-oring gave us the full Whitney (after the show, she's off to bitchslap Danyl Johnson) and while Tulisa liked her, Gary thought she was being too safe. Backstage, Misha B-roken sobs that when you're on stage, no one can get to you. Kelly is very proud of her.

BixMix were present while a machine played a recording of 'Don't Let Go (Love)' and occasionally sang a line or two when they could be arsed. Borelow thought it was their best performance, and we've already covered Kelly's bullshit feedback. Perrie is excited because Gary and Kelly are the tough judges, apparently (GOD HELP US ALL). Tulisa thinks they could make the finals. MATTREBECCAONEDIRECTION--sorry, a bit of last year's subliminal influencing still dribbles out every now and then. Marcus closed the show with another Jackie Wilson cover, which Tulisa thought was what Movie Week was all about. Backstage, Marcus is happy, and Louis thinks he's a great natural showman who's en route to the final.

Dermot decides to talk to them backstage via video link, because...no, there has never been any logical reason for doing this. Either send Dermot backstage, or bring the acts out. All this does is expose the bare wires of the competition. Literally, in some cases, as we do seem to be seeing a lot of the stage crew running around in full view of the cameras tonight. Derwood talks to BixMix about their good luck ritual. Perrie explains that BixMix, when they're not busy REPRESENTING WIMMINZ EVERYWHERE, sometimes get nervous, so they pull faces at each other to lift their spirits. They demonstrate, and it's the most pathetic display of face-pulling since the last time Kylie went for surgery. Still, this is showing us that BixMix, in addition to REPRESENTING WIMMINZ EVERYWHERE, also have AMAZING LOLARIOUS PERSONALITIES. You know, just like Sophie Habibis, except she was only funny in Islington whereas BixMix's humour is clearly UNIVERSAL. Dermot asks Misha if she's worried about being bottom two again, and she is, but she's trying not to think about it. Janet was very happy with yesterday's performance, though she's not watched it back yet. A member of the stage crew blocks the shot as Demot turns to Amelia, who is wearing the sort of hat that only an awful person would wear, and who hopes not to go home because she's only just arrived. Marcus, looking more like he's getting ready to play the Teen Angel on the UK tour of Grease with every passing second, says he loved last night's performance. Biscuit is NOT FEELING CONFIDENT, EVERYBODY WRITE THAT DOWN.

Time for our first guest: Rebecca FERGUSON, aka Rebecca Jazznoodle, aka Single Mother Goose, aka HONK HONK HONK HONK HONK. Dermot claims that she "blossomed into an extraordinary talent", which is not how I remember it. We relieve her journey via VT: hey, remember how she came in to audition, was shit, got told to go away and come back later, did so, was shit again in exactly the same way, and the judges acted like she was better the second time? I'm totally over that, honest. We see shots of HONK HONK HONK HONK HONK as she advanced through the competition, including a window shatteringly poor rendition of 'Show Me Love'. Now she's here with her new song, 'Nothing's Real But Love'. You know the score by now: HONK HONK HONKITTY HONK. If you like that sort of thing, it's more of the same, and if it makes you want to rip your ears off and force-feed them to your cat...then please don't do that. She's on the Rebecca Ferguson Memorial Perspex Boxes Of Transparent Excuses Not To Have To Move A Bloody Inch Throughout The Entire Sodding Performance, and does so. She's still so utterly inert that she makes Leona Lewis look like Usain Bolt. Eventually, she stops HONKING and shrills to Dermot "THIS IS ME NAN, THIS IS ME GRANN*COUGHS UP PHLEGHM*DAD" - oh, hang on, she just talks about how scary but also nice it is to be back. Dermot reminds us that like Lazy Decorator, she is a CREDIBLE ARTIST who co-wrote all the songs on her album. Well, "co-wrote". The level of her input remains up for debate. She shills her album and single, and I shan't be touching either of those even with your bargepole, so let's move on. Derwood gives the five minute warning that the lines are about to close, and we go to an ad break.

When we return, Derwood thanks us for voting, but the lines are now closed. OH NOES. He joins the judges for a chat, and asks Gary if he still stands by his song choices from last night. Gary does, and claims that he has never criticised people for song choices, just for staying in a particular genre for too long. Gary: you criticised people for song choices LAST NIGHT. Do you think we're idiots? Wait, don't answer that. He says that as judges, they should be giving proper critique the contestants can learn from. You know, like "that was very nearly almost boring this week, Janet" and stuff like that. Sometimes I think Gary lifts his critiques directly from Charlie and Lola books. Derwood asks Kelly if she's worried about losing an act tonight, and Kelly non-answers that everyone is working very hard. He asks Tulisa if she's proud of BixMix, and she is indeed very proud of the person who pressed "play" on that audio track. Derwood calls Louis "the only impartial judge" and "a loose cannon", as though anything Louis said last night made any difference to anyone, and Louis says that Amelia and "Little Risk" (SUPERGROUP AHOY!) rocked it last night, and that Biscuit's in trouble because of song choice. THIS IS NOT A CHOOSING SONG SONG CHOICE CHOOSERY COMPETITION, LOUIS!

Time for another act: fresh from making a tit of herself with Lazy Decorator last year, it's Rihanna! She's had 51 number one singles worldwide, sold over 100 million records, won four Grammies and been thrown out of a field by a conservative farmer. Since the show's treading a little more carefully these days, she's actually had to put some clothes on for once and is wearing a demure (by her standards, anyway) tartan dress, looking like the worst idea for a Supergran reboot ever. She's performing her new song about finding love in a hopeless place, which is interesting, because I wasn't aware she'd been to Dover. The Sun got its panties in a twist about her having something rude written on her shoes, but I was watching in HD and didn't catch it, so I think it's safe to say that our children have not been corrupted forever. She tits around the stage with a load of Nick Grimshaw lookalikes and a scary bald man, and I'm struck by the notion that while she's made some amazing records, Rihanna's kind of a giant douche. She also frequently stops singing into the microphone while the track continues regardless. Hey, if it's good enough for BixMix. At the end, she drops to her knees and a craftily placed camera just about manages an upskirt. Had to happen, didn't it? Derwood climbs straight up Rihanna's arse about how much she loves the crowds when she does concerts over here (EVIDENTLY) and Rihanna talks about being tempted to move here because she's here so much, before reminding us that she has AN ALBUM AND IT IS AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE.

Time for more ads. When we return, Derwood has got the results, and welcomes back the judges and the contestants. Poor Louis, having to sit at the desk all by himself while everyone else parades their hopefuls in front of him. Derwood informs us that he has the names of the four acts definitely through to next week's show, in no particular order. First through is Misha B, who's almost as surprised as the entire country was by this turn of events. I'm torn between being pleased for her and being dismayed that now they have further proof that pandering works, they're going to make her even more generic next week. Also through are BixMix, of course. They've gained far too much momentum to be stopped now. The third safe act is Marcus, who has a serious but silent freakout. So Janet, Biscuit and Amelia Lily are left. I turn to my boyfriend and say, "if Amelia's in the bottom two already, I'm going to laugh and laugh." The final act definitely through to next week is...Janet! I laugh and laugh. Amelia and Biscuit are in the final showdown, and we go to another ad break, this part of the show having lasted a positively exhausting three minutes and thirteen seconds.

When we come back, Biscuit is up first, and Gary is cheesed off that one of his acts is actually in the bottom two. Biscuit has selected 'Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?' [too many obvious jokes - Rad] for his sing-off performance, and of course it has been stripped to a third of its original tempo (and it was hardly 'Firestarter' to begin with) and decided to ignore the melody entirely. Biscuit looks distraught, as Gary looks on from behind the judges' desk, slowly swaying like an actual crazy person. Shortly before the end, Biscuit switches from "plaintive" to "sassy black woman doing Adele" and then back again, for no reason other than because he damn well can, I suppose.

Biscuit departs, and it's time for Amelia to sing for survival. She's singing 'Yoü and I' by Lady Gaga, in a manner that suggests she'd quite like to kill everyone right now. I'm completely confused by what she's wearing: the aforementioned awful hat paired with a too-tight and too-short leopardprint dress with random neon pink sashes in it. It's just not the sort of outfit that anyone with any self-respect would leave the house in, surely? Meanwhile, the song's had a bit of the life squeezed out of it, and Amelia's stage presence is as blank as before, but still less tiresome than Biscuit, as hollow a compliment as that is.

Derwood returns with Biscuit in tow, and asks the judges who they're going to send home. Borelow says that this was two completely different ways of taking on a save-me song, opining that Amelia "shouted [her] way through that" (pssst! Gary! Apposite as this comment would be in relation to Amelia at any other time, this song is actually meant to sound like that. Just because you want every performance in the entire world to be a dreary ballid doesn't mean everyone has to fall in line) and is drowned in a sea of boos as he calls Biscuit's performance "beautiful" and "understated". Borelow wants to send home Amelia Lily. Kelly says that Amelia did not shout her way through that, and she adores Biscuit, but she has to be honest, and she's sending Biscuit home. Tulisa has "never been so torn before in the sing-off", and basing it on tonight's performance, she's going with the performance that moved her the most, so opts to send home Amelia. It's down to Louis, who thought both acts were incredible in the sing-off. While he loves Biscuit, he thinks Amelia is a ready-made pop star, and votes to send Biscuit home.

Two votes each. FUCK YEAH, DEADLOCK. Amelia has a face like thunder at this point, while Biscuit seems to be wondering exactly how soon he will be allowed to eat proper food again if he's the one going home tonight. The act with the fewest votes, and going home tonight is...Biscuit.

Biscuit nods, and Amelia pulls him in for a hug. We look at his highlights, including footage from the days when he wasn't living on air and nettles and generally looked a lot happier. Watching all his performances back leaves Biscuit rather overcome, and in the little box in the corner of the screen, we can see him having a little sniffle on Borelow's shoulder. Biscuit says that he's had the time of his life on the show, and that Gary "did it all with me". Fnar. Borelow tells Biscuit that he's amazing, and wishes him the best of luck for the future, adding "anything you ever need from me, all you've got to do is ask." Note that he doesn't actually specify whether he'll say yes to these requests or not.

That's it! Next week, the Top 5 will be tackling two songs apiece, and there's some great British talent in the studio. I don't know who, but Derwood mentions that Olly MURS and Jessie J will also be there, so perhaps they can find out for us. The show will also be unveiling this year's charity single next week, and poor Rad will be on hand to witness every gruesome detail. Join her then! [Oh, fuck. "Thanks", ITV - Rad]

(PS. Thank you to Bitch Factor reader Mark for helping us decide what title to go with this week. Alternative titles that we considered included "Taking the biscuit" and "That's the way the cookie crumbles", but we thought this one had a certain simplicity to it that we rather liked...)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Keeping it reel

Top 6: 19th November 2011

LAST WEEK: "You" voted Amelia Lily back into the competition! (Whether any of our readers were responsible for this unwelcome turn of events is something I don't know, but I resent the show telling me that the result of the public vote is anything to do with me; the last X Factor contestant I voted for was Alexandra BURKE and I plan for it to stay that way). The finalists sang live (or some approximation thereof) for our votes and everyone was fucking tedious, but only Janet was called on it. In a sadly predictable bottom two, Kitty faced off against Misha, and the judges decided that it was finally time to put the cat out, but then Kitty got hugged by Lady Gaga and everything else became completely irrelevant. More so than usual.

Tonight is Movie Night [which is always shit. Also, it's FILMS in this country. British people just sound stupid when we say 'movie' - Rad], which hopefully means we'll get to hear the entire soundtrack of Gummo, and the top six will be fighting it out for a place in the grand final. You might think it a tad odd that the final is being mentioned so early, but the show would just like us to remember that this year it's coming from Wembley, in another example of scorching X Factor originality, just like when Austin Drage did that entirely original version of 'Billie Jean'. (God, even linking to David Cook brings me out in hives, but sometimes my editorial integrity requires it. That's how devoted I am to this blog, viewers!) Anywhere, where were we? Oh yes, everyone really wants to win. That's nice, isn't it?

Let's remember who's still here: Tulisa and her last remaining group, the inexplicably popular BixMIX, still presumably REPRESENTING WIMMINZ EVERYWHERE; Kelly's girls, Misha B, Janet DEVLIN and Amelia SHOEHORNEDBACKIN; and Gary's two remaining chaps, Craig BISCUIT and Marcus THROWBACK. It's time! To face! Acute tedium!

Titles! I consider taking up a less sadistic hobby, like base jumping or listening to Justin Bieber.

Live! From London! It's movie night, and here's our host: O'Leary, Derwood O'Leary. Peter Dickson's weird pronunciation of Derwood's last name made me think we might have Ulrika Jonsson as a special guest host for one glorious moment tonight, but ultimately I was disappointed. Derwood appears with some gold-catsuited Bond girls, nearly all of whom are taller than he is. Suitwatch: single breasted, drab grey, jacket looks about three sizes too big for him, BOXY BOXY BOXY. They do a little dance down to the front of the stage, which Derwood could not look less invested in if he tried. And we all know that as a former T4 presenter, he's had plenty of practice in attempting to look like he doesn't care about anything. Remember when you thought Derwood was cool? It's nice to know it's not just the judges and contestants who get completely ruined by this show. [I haven't thought about that you know, but you're right. He was awesome on Re:covered - Helen]

Derwood reminds us that for a change, nobody's resigned, there's been no power cut, it's almost like this show is staffed by actual professionals. Let's see how long that lasts. He blathers on about how the contestants will be going home if they flop, because if there's one thing that we've learned from the votes so far this series, it's that people are definitely voting for the best performances on the night, and emphatically not for who they fancy, or who they are told REPRESENTS WIMMINZ EVERYWHERE, or whoever is not a confident black woman. The judges enter to the overture from Star Wars (oh, the irony) and Kelly's chest appears to have popped open, exposing the crude circuitry inside. Oh, my mistake: that's just her outfit. Tulisa's actually looking quite nice tonight in a simple black belted dress, Borelow's still in country estate tweed and Louis is in his usual dinner suit. Tulisa does that weird arm salute again, having committed too much to it to stop now, even though no one in the country knows what it means or cares about it in the slightest.

Up first is Craig Biscuit for Gary, singing a "Bond classic". We're reminded that last week he proved there is no song so amazing that he cannot completely suck all the life and joy out of it with his Adelified version of 'Paparazzi', and Biscuit points out that he didn't think he'd get past the first audition, and yet he's made it all this way. Yes, top six! Wow siree, that really is something. You're joining such luminaries as Lloyd Daniels, Bellowing Beverley, Eoghan Quigg, Mary Byrne, etc. He explains that his life is PRETTY SHOWBIZ right now, because he was invited to a charity gig in Manchester. He neglects to mention that it was organised by his mentor. Biscuit witters on about how being recognised doesn't get any easier. MY HEART BLEEDS FOR YOU. He also says that they had a shock announcement from Tulisa this week. That announcement is...that they're all on the tour. Wow, the word "shock" really has lost all currency on this show, hasn't it? I mean, Olly and Caroline told Kitty on Xtra Factor last week that she'd be on the tour, so you'd think everyone still remaining in the competition would've taken it as read. (Also, the BixMix revisionist history extravaganza continues. They will not be the first girl group to make the tour. PHOEBE AND THE WOO WOO GIRLS WERE ON THE TOUR, FOR FUCK'S SAKE.) Biscuit then plays the JUST A NORMAL BOY FROM KIRKBY card, and I really could not care less. We see his parents blathering about how they just KNEW he was going to be a singer from an early age, and this is backed up with a video of Biscuit, aged two, doing something that could be vaguely described as "singing". I'm not exactly an expert on two-year-olds, but don't most of them do that? Borelow reminds us that Biscuit is NORMAL NORMAL NORMAL. Perhaps he is REPRESENTING NORMAL PEOPLE EVERYWHERE (but not the WIMMINZ, obviously, that's still BixMix's job).

He's singing 'Licence To Kill', from...Licence To Kill, oddly enough. He is giving it serious sidegob with an extra dose of the mumble factor. Because Biscuit is one of Borelow's mentees, the song has been "tripped back", i.e. has had all the interesting bits taken out, so the chorus is a disappointingly damb squib, and the less said about the Adelification of the middle eight the better. I am quite angry right now, because this is my favourite of all the Bond themes, and I hate Biscuit for draining all of the drama and urgency out of it.

Louis remarks that Biscuit is "a great person". Thanks Louis! However, he didn't like the song choice, because Biscuit is better than that song. He really, really isn't. Tulisa is slumped over the desk looking half-cut, so I'm going to assume that that is indeed the case with her tonight (she's clearly taking the same approach to getting through this show as the rest of us), slurring that he SHHHOUNDED ABSHHHOLUTELY AMAYSSSHING, but she agrees with Louis, that it was a bit predictable. Kelly: "You always come here, and you always deliver vocally." Odd how "you always come here" is a compliment. Maybe I have higher standards than most people, but "actually turning up" is pretty much the least I'm looking for from these people. She would like to give him some constructive criticism: "man, you know what? I just love you!" That is neither constructive nor criticism, Kelly. Sort it the fuck out. She wants to see more personality from him. Borelow whinges that this is "lazy critique from judges tonight". Sound the hypocrisy klaxon! He then moans that "this is a singing competition" (it really isn't, Borelow. The clue is in the title, if you bother to pay attention) and it's not a "song-choosing competition". Just as well. Tulisa starts clambering on the desk and waving around a bottle of shandy and screaming about how it was fine for him to say this sort of thing about her acts last week before bursting into tears and calling the audience a bunch of slags. Borelow tells Biscuit that it was an "incredible" performance and that he nailed it "as usual". [I only saw half a chorus of this - bless the fast forward button - but it was incredibly out of tune - Rad]

Derwood turns up and is all "it's movie night, though, Louis?" And Louis and Tulisa suggest that he could've done a much better Bond song. Yeah! He should've done 'All Time High' from Octopussy! Biscuit blands that it's the best Bond theme and that he and Gary chose it together, so haters to the left, and so on.

Time for an ad break. I like that even in the ads, the people playing on a Nintendo 3DS have got the 3D switched off because the games are much easier that way.

On our return, it's time for Kelly and the girls. Kelly is very keen to place her song choice, as her intro runs thus: "Singing a song from the 2003 box office hit How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days, it's miss Janet Devlin." I love that we're really covering the classic films. Last week, Janet was ALMOST BORING for Borelow, and she's horrified by this, so this week she's trying to be a bit more uptempo. Janet explains that she's not a pop artist, and while she's not against pop music per se, "it's difficult to find songs that I like in the pop industry". Oh, do please FUCK OFF FOREVER, you tedious try-hard. "I'm not boring, I'm just weird," she insists, apparently unaware that there are few things in the world more boring than people who like to tell you they're weird. Janet goes to London's trendy Corinthia Hotel to get ready for the Twilight: Breaking Hymen premiere, and the stylist Laury Smith says that styling Janet is "always quite tricky" (read: a total soul-sucking nightmare). At the premiere, Janet says that people calling out her name is weird: "how do you know my name?" Possibly because you're on a show that's getting just under ten million viewers a week, love? Just an idea. Kelly insists that Janet isn't boring, and this week's song is a great one to showcase her personality.

Janet's singing 'Kiss Me' by Sixpence None The Richer, and I know that quibbling the source of songs from Movie Night is asking for trouble, but surely this is better known for being on the She's All That soundtrack? Anyway, in a strange sort of way, this song kind of suits Janet because it allows to her to yelp and be "whimsical". I'm going to ignore the fact that "kiss me beneath the milky twilight" sounds really disgusting, by the way.[Don't get me started on the "We'll take the trail marked on your father's map business *shudders* - Helen] She's moving about a bit while not actually straying away from the same spot on the floor, in some sort of Rebecca "Single Mother Goose" Ferguson tribute. She is also sidegobbing, thought not as badly as Biscuit did, and the conspicuously dropped consonants start to grate quite quickly, but this is probably the most I've enjoyed one of Janet's performances since the trainwreck that was 'I Want You Back', which I liked for possibly the wrong reasons. [Janet's was actually my favourite of the night. Kill me now before it becomes that time when the Claw did Michael Jackson and Blondie and made me vaguely like her - Rad.]

Louis is on full autopilot: all about the voice, natural Celtic charm, great recording voice, etc. Tulisa is so drunk that she's happy to see Janet back in her comfort zone, and also happy to see the smiley green leprechaun next to her, but her only "advice" is to "pull some big songs out of the bag" next week if she's through. So having told Janet to get out of her box a few weeks ago, then telling her to get straight back in it when she did that, now Tulisa's telling her to...get out of her box again? I'm not even sure what "big songs" is supposed to mean, exactly, but I'm guessing it means "do more uptempo shit", which was precisely what got her into trouble last time. I'm guessing Tulisa is running out of places to go with her judging, and fast. Gary thinks Janet has been performing "below average" over the last couple of weeks (depends on what you mean by "average" - this show's curve skews a lot lower than most of us would generally recognise by the term). He then goes on to say that it's all about song choice for her, and that when she gets the song choice right, she really soars. Or saws. Or sores. Any of the three could be applicable, quite frankly. Also, I note that Gary's "YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO COMMENT ON SONG CHOICE" regime went right out of the window the minute it wasn't his act on the stage. He is such a twat. Kelly thinks it's been a tough few weeks for Janet, but this was a great time for her to bounce back.

Derwood arrives and asks Janet if she's turned a corner. Janet says she was comfortable in the song. Derwood complains that Janet is now taller than him, like that isn't true for everyone in the entire world. "What are you, on stilts or something?" he asks. Kelly responds deadpan: "Yes. I like for my girls to wear stilts." Everyone involved is so very over this show, aren't they?

Time for another ad break. ITV is planning music specials with the following: Beyoncé (hooray!), Michael Bublé (boo!), Westlife (hiss!) and Justin Bieber (THERE IS NO GOD).

Once we're back, Derwood shills the official app, with a game on it that looks utter bobbins, and then it's time for Amelia Lily. She recalls being voted back in last week, and then standing with her legs apart bellowing into the middle distance, which is what passes for talent these days. Kelly pretends that she had to make a tough decision to send someone home in week one, rather than admitting it was idiotic of her to keep Sophie "Hilarious in Islington, honest" Habibis in the competition. Amelia tells us that she's been doing gigs all over the country since being eliminated, and has definitely not given up or anything. She goes on to say that Kelly took her category to a spa in London to relax (as opposed to Tulisa, who took BixMix to a Spar in Camden for MOAR BOOZE), and then they all went to Twilight. Amelia wants to prove that she should've been in the competition all along.

She's performing 'Think' by Aretha Franklin, from Bridget Jones's Diary, apparently, with the vapid expression of a blow-up doll plastered all over her face. She fluffs the lyrics early on ("oh, think! Let's go back and mnahmnahmnah free!") There's not much to get excited about here - she's completely dead behind the eyes, the staging is lifeless, and Katharine McPhee managed to do a lot more with a lot less on American Idol. Amelia's performance isn't even particularly tuneful.

Auto-Louis: you are the comeback girl, you are the one to watch, you're the next big UK female, oh Kelly, why did you get rid of her, etc. Tulisa, tipping her vodka bottle up high in order to suck those precious remaining drops of ambrosia out, thinks that everyone is pleased to have Amelia back, but she didn't like the song choice, because she didn't feel the song is well-known enough. "I don't know that song!" she exclaims. Well, that's next week's theme sorted: Songs Tulisa Knows. (Tulisa is so hilariously out of her depth at this point, and I'm officially calling for her removal purely based on having never heard that song before. Fuck's sake, Tulisa, get wider pools of reference.) Borelow thinks it was a fantastic performance, and trying to be constructive, he thinks it was all "a semi-tone too high" for her. Sure, whatever. Kelly thinks she did a great job and "not everybody will know the song, but...yeah, I'm just going to leave it at that." Sheesh.


Competition time: win tickets to see Olly MURS! This is presented as a good thing, despite the new competition clip being Olly completely massacring 'Don't Stop Me Now'. Then time for more ads, including the John Lewis Christmas ad, which is amazing whatever the heartless people might be telling you.

When we return, Derwood is in the audience with Giant Ham David Walliams, who is introduced as being a BixMix fan, because they REPRESENT LAYDEEZ EVERYWHERE, presumably. Russell Tovey's next to him as well, though he's not got his arse out so I barely recognise him. Derwood asks David Walliams who his favourite remaining act is, and BixMix fan David Walliams says that it's BixMix. Well, that was edifying.

Up next, with a track from The Bodyguard, it's Misha B. Last week, she was bottom two again, and Misha VTs that she doesn't know what she's doing wrong. Ooh! Ooh! I know! You started off being a confident black woman, which is always an obstacle on this show, then Tulisa threw you under the bus, then you reinvented yourself as someone tediously humble who gives low-key performances, thereby alienating the small but appreciative group of people who liked you in the first place. I think that covers it, right? We're reminded of Misha's sob story regarding her birth mother, WHO IS NOT DEAD BUT ABSENT, since this week she wrote a letter to the press saying she wanted to get back in touch. Would it not have been easier to send it to The X Factor, Misha's Birth Mum? Kelly shares her own troubled family history with Misha, and Misha cries a bit. Misha says that she doesn't know how her mother would've felt at the time, so she's not going to hold grudges. More crying from both of them. DEAR AUDIENCE, MISHA HAS VULNERABILITY, PLEASE VOTE FOR HER, LOTS OF LOVE FROM THE X FACTOR. Kelly says that Misha will be able to use everything she's been through this week in her performance.

It's a performance of 'I Have Nothing' by Whitney Houston. It's not that great, to be honest. HumbleBalladMisha is not all that exciting, and for all that the word "predictable" has been overused to the point of losing all meaning this year, this does feel like the absolute most obvious place they could've gone with Misha at this point, and it's pretty much just made her just another generic little girl with a big voice. Such a disappointment, considering the sort of performance she used to be capable of before this awful show chewed her up and spat her out.

Auto-Louis: you look incredible, that is a hard song by a great artist, I want people from *INSERT HOMETOWN HERE* to vote for you. Tulisa summons Derwood over and, mistaking him for a waiter in that ill-fitting suit, orders another round of cocktails for everyone before telling Misha that she looks beautiful and has an amazing voice. Misha is crying at this point. Borelow says nonsensically: "I can't tell you how sad I was last week to see you twice in the bottom week", and he disagrees with everyone watching the show, because he can't believe no one's voting for her. He's an absolute mass of incoherence tonight, isn't he? He thinks the worst thing about all of this is that it's affecting her song choices (WHICH WE ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO BE COMMENTING ON, GARY) and her performances because she's being too safe, and he wants the old Misha B back. As much as it goes against every fibre of my being to agree with this man, I have to say: word, Gary Barlow. He thinks that if she's going to go out that way, "who cares? Go out with your integrity!" Kelly thought it was a great performance, and thinks everyone needs to vote for Misha to stay in.

Derwood arrives and gives her a hug. He asks her how she's feeling now, and Misha says that she set herself up to expect the unexpected, but she's glad to still be here living the dream, etc. Derwood asks her what the tears are for. The Misha Of My Dreams: "They're for votes, Derwood. I mean, it doesn't seem to have been doing The Chubby-Faced One from BixMix, who represent wimminz everywhere, any harm to constantly appear on screen sobbing about how the world is SO MEAN, so I figured it was worth a shot." The Actual Misha: "It's just everything."

All-New All-Boring Misha departs, and it's time for BixMix. Tulisa informs us that they're singing a song from the movie Set It Off. Ah, this year's Gummo. I'd never heard of this one, so I looked it up on IMDB and discovered that it's about "four black women, all of whom have suffered for lack of money and at the hands of the majority, [who] undertake to rob banks." Yeah, that totally sounds like a film this show's audience would have seen and also totally relate to.

BixMix's VT is about how being in a girl group is hectic. So hectic that they managed to spare some time to meet The Saturdays, all the better to understand how to continue being a poor man's version of them. Mollie From The Saturdays ruins herself forever by signing up to the BixMix "look how well you get on! That is so surprising considering you are all women attempting to work together!" line of offensive bullshit. Vanessa thinks they are just like The Saturdays were at the beginning of the career, by which she presumably means "a less good version of something that already exists". Rochelle says that they can't wait to have another girlband on the scene with them. Yes, what the Saturdays definitely need now is someone encroaching on their share of the marketplace. Idiot. They go to the Twilight premiere where they meet some women, WHOM THEY REPRESENT (this is totally the new WHO IS DEAD, isn't it?) and where Taylor Lautner gives his very best "I heartily endorse this musical act and/or product" down the camera. Meanwhile, RPattz indicates that he enjoys The X Factor about as much as he enjoys films about sparkly vampires. Oh, RPattz. NEVER CHANGE ♥. Tulisa complains that last week Gary called BixMix predictable, so this week she's going to prove their and her skill for spontaneity by doing an En Vogue song, which I'm sure had absolutely nothing to do with Kelly making a comment relating them to En Vogue last week. REPRESENTING UNPREDICTABILITY EVERYWHERE!

They're doing 'Don't Let Go (Love)', which is an AMAZING song, so points for that, at least. That's about all the credit I'm giving them though, because this performance is such a fucking liberty that it's actually embarrassing. The chorus is done almost entirely by a pre-recorded backing track, incredibly obviously so (particularly since on the rare occasion that you can hear an actual live BixMix vocal during it, it's because someone's gone out of tune), to the point where I consider submitting a case under the Trades Descriptions Act, because there is nothing Little whatsoever about the amount of Mix being deployed in this performance. To demonstrate how the confident, full-sounding vocal was clearly not spontaneously produced, all of the individual, live vocals during the verse are thin, reedy and kind of pathetic. Still, this sort of shit got Wand Erection to third place last year, so I'm kind of resigned to BixMix being in the final this year. I'm thinking Jesy is the Phoebe of the outfit, since she's the only one capable of producing anything that sounds even vaguely accomplished when required to sing solo. [I thought it was OK, as far as Wand Erection memorial backing singer-laden performances go. But they get no points from me because they didn't have nice day-glo lighting this week - Rad]

Auto-Louis: you have grown so much, you're the next great girlband, I loved everything about it. Kelly says that they did everything she wanted to do, "y'all look so much polished". She thinks they could be the best girl group to come out of the UK. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. *wipes tear* Borelow thinks it was their (/the sound engineer's) best performance to date, but he still has a request - he wants them to do something stripped back. Y'know, something really fucking boring. Tulisa pauses, lets out a giant belch, wipes the drool from her lips with the back of her arm, and tells BixMix that she is VERY PROUD OF THEM, NO REALLY I LOVE YOU, YOU'RE MY BESSSSSSHHHH MATESHHH. She also insists that they are not safe: "if you're a [BixMix] fan, pick up the phone and vote, they need it!" I think this tweet of mine from last night sums up my feelings on this matter fairly succinctly.

Derwood asks BixMix if it's their best performance. Perrie says that they enjoyed it, and hopefully showed a different side to themselves. Judging by the styling tonight, I think that side is "the cast of Pretty Little Liars dressed as zombies for Hallowe'en".

Final ad break of the evening. Woo-hoo! Also, Jimmy Choo are doing perfumes now. I wonder if they smell like feet.

Back in the studio, it's time for the last performance of the night: Marcus, with a song from Ghostbusters. I can tell you now, he's got his work cut out if he wants to top this. Last week, he enjoyed himself on stage (FILTH!) but got "mixed comments" from the judges, because Tulisa called him predictable. Imagine that! Borelow complains that they're criticising Marcus for who he wants to be and making him feel unsure of himself. This week, Marcus got to meet Single Mother Goose, because she's got an album coming out. He tells her that he's been trying to find his niche in the show, and he knows that she remained the same throughout the competition. Yes: shit, boring, noodley, and leaving scientists scrambling to invent a scale on which to measure negative levels of stage presence. HONK HONK HONK HONK HONK, Single Mother Goose advises him. This makes Marcus feel a lot better. Borelow hints that they're changing things up a bit this week, but it'll still be Marcus doing what Marcus does.

He's singing '(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher And Higher' (which, incidentally, is from Ghostbusters 2, not Ghostbusters), which is his second Jackie Wilson song in the space of three weeks. Someone needs to explain to Marcus (and Gary) the difference between "settling into a genre that suits you" and "establishing yourself as a tribute act". He's got a gospel choir behind him, presumably because the show wanted to save money by using them for something else beyond pre-recording the vocals for BixMix this week, but aside from that it's all fairly standard. I can't believe how quickly I went from quite liking Marcus to finding him pretty dull. [Me too. Poor Marcus - Rad]

Borelow gets to his feet and tries to rally the audience into a standing ovation. It doesn't happen. Auto-Louis: you're definitely a star, I love your energy, I have no criticism for you. Tulisa fumbles in her bag for her phone, tapping randomly at it in the hope of somehow getting through to a cab company, and tells Marcus that he understood the theme this week (well, that makes one of us) and he's back on top. Kelly says that Marcus has shut the building down. If only. She feels like she's levitating, because Tulisa is now so wasted that even the air around her is 30% proof. Either that, or she quite enjoyed Marcus this evening. Borelow calls it the "preformance" (a work colleague of mine pointed out earlier in the week that he always says it wrong - I hadn't noticed before, but now I know about it, it's super-irritating) of the night, and no other contestant has improved the way he has. Apart from all the other contestants who they keep saying have improved.

Derwood asks if he's "the only one who's not a little bit disappointed that wasn't the theme from Ghostbusters", which I take to mean he didn't want that to happen. Sort your double negatives out, Derwood. He asks Marcus how he's feeling, and Marcus is very happy to have good comments, adding that Single Mother Goose helped to confirm who he is as an artist and now he's got his confidence back.

That's it - hooray! Derwood declares the public vote officially open, and reminds us of all the numbers. Recap time: Biscuit having a licence to bore, Janet asking us to kiss her beneath her milky twilight, Amelia telling us to think in a "do as I say, not as I do" moment, Misha having nothing, The Backing Track (featuring BixMix), and Marcus's voice getting higher and higher.

Derwood promises that Single Mother Goose will be back on the show to honk at us while not moving even a tiny fraction tomorrow night, and also Rihanna will be here. Also, someone's going home, but who? The bookies seem to think Biscuit, interestingly enough, but I suspect Misha is more likely. We'll find out soon...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Literally Gaga

Week 6 Results – 13 November 2011

Hello and welcome to the recap of what on paper sounds like it should be one of the best X Factor results shows EVER, as long as you exclude several of the contestants and One Direction from the running order.

Dermot does that irritating walking introduction thing. Suitwatch – Blue two piece, brown tie, ill fitting as is the norm. He tells us that last night we voted in Amelia Lily, who is standing in a line up with the other contestants, to show that she’s joining the competition with them. He tells us who the contestants are, because not only does last night’s show need recapping, we need reminding who the contestants are. The contestants have obviously been told to face forward staring straight ahead and their order of line up after Amelia Lily is: Misha B, Janet, Marcus, Biscuit, Kitty and BixMix. Tonight, one of them will leave the competition for good and definitely won’t be returning in some kind of hastily cobbled together phone vote.

Last night! Kitty and the horsedancers! Biscuit on a podium! Marcus throwing glitter! Misha doing a tap dance! The birth of HumbleMisha, Funsponge trying to Bus BixMix and Janet, Funsponge giving sideeye to Louis, Kelly getting all up in Funsponge’s face and the return of Amelia Lily.

The acts are counted down AGAIN, which seems a bit unnecessary, and this week’s maths lesson is seven minus one is six. But before all that, we have Wand Erection and the BIGGEST POPSTAR IN THE WORLD, Lady Gaga. We see a clip of Gaga singing Poker Face and I can’t help thinking a trick has been missed by nobody Balliding that last night [I'm glad. I hate it when Gaga herself ballids it without this lot starting - Rad].

Tulisa bellows “All hell is breaking loose” at the camera backstage and it’s time to face the music! Funsponge isn’t scared that Kelly has three acts and Kelly does the Three Acts Dance.

Dermot comes bounding in, clapping himself and he welcomes us to the results show, which all seems rather unnecessary as he’s already told us and the voiceover man has. He tells us it’s going to be an exciting night because Wand Erection are here for the first time since last year’s final and we all need to get our earplugs. Unusual insight into the quality of the musical acts there, Dermot. Lady Gaga apparently has a huge exclusive for us too. Exciting! Dermot wonders how we are going to follow that. He tells us that they can with the result. I’ll believe it when I see it. Dermot explains how it all works again.

Dermot then introduces the judges by telling us that they have endured “Heartbreak, illness, fall ins and fall outs, replacements and very, very bad impressions.”. What’s a fall in, Dermot?

The judges arrive. Again, only Tulisa and Louis are holding hands. Funsponge begs for some applause as usual. Louis Walsh is in a plain black suit. Tulisa is wearing a long sleeved, sequinned dress that can only be described as a monstrosity so we are spared her silly salute. Kelly is in a black, high necked chiffon blouse that makes her look a little bit like she’s inside one of those bags you get wedding favours in and Funsponge is wearing a tartan suit with a spotty hankie in the pocket. Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t do edgy, Funsponge. He grubs for more cheers and gets them. Don’t encourage him, X Factor Audience.

More maths. We know, Dermot. There are seven acts left and if you take one away there will be six and we know that we have to vote. Don’t text! Dermot can’t keep his gigantic feet still as he reads out the numbers and I get the feeling that this is something that can’t be unnoticed.

Now, singing as if their lives depended on it, which it apparently does, is the X Factor finalists! If I knew they were going to die if they got chucked out I’d possibly have voted a bit more. Oh well! Group song! It’s Walking on Sunshine, which is given an Urban Twist purely by virtue of the fact that BixMix say “One, two, three, let’s go!” before it starts. [I'm surprised they didn't do the Gamu version. I thought that was the only version that this show recognises any more. - Steve]

BixMix, Kitty and Marcus are on boxes, with Janet and Biscuit up front. I can’t see Amelia Lily or Misha B, but I’m sure they’re somewhere. It starts out as a duet between Janet and Biscuit, which surely would open up some kind of gateway to Dull Hell? It doesn’t though, because soon Kitty and Marcus take over and it gets a bit awesome and significantly less autotuned. Misha B and Amelia Lily appear from nowhere and take over. BixMix do the chorus. Amelle BixMix and Zool BixMix get the lion’s share of the chorus, but Jesy’s singing face gets a fair amount of screen time. The camera then remembers other BixMix as they all sing together for the final chorus. They all hold their final poses for a couple of seconds longer than necessary. They’re all smiling bar Janet who for some reason looks mightily pissed. Maybe someone stepped on her foot? [Or it could just be the giant number 57 bus they've been chasing her down with the last three weeks - Rad]

Recap of last night with additional comment section. Kitty tells us backstage without blinking that she wants to be on the stage for the rest of her life. Funsponge grudgingly admits she was good and she never disappoints. Biscuit tells us he couldn’t be happier with his performance and Funsponge tells us that he always delivers and never lets him down. Bixmix all talk at once, but Other Bixmix says that they’re just having fun, whilst Amelle BixMix checks her eye makeup in the camera. We see Tulisa rightly tell Funsponge backstage that it’s ok for Biscuit to do a ballid every week apart from club week. Funsponge tells her that BixMix can do a ballad any week she wants. Tulisa tells him that he’ll see this week. Funsponge says that she’s listening to him now so Tulisa tells him to have fun with his ego in his dressing room, whilst Louis looks on and does the most perfect “Ooh!” face ever. Brilliant. Janet tells us backstage that she got mixed feedback, but she enjoyed it. Kelly doesn’t know what happened because she felt that it was just an alright performance. Funsponge says he felt himself nodding off during it. [Like hell you did, Funsponge. You adore boring shit and, I can't believe I'm sticking up for Janet here, but you all said get out of your box, so she did, then you told her to get back in it, which she did - the girl can't do anything right by you. This does not mean I've started liking Janet, but at least be consistent, judges - Rad]

We see Louis telling Marcus that he was brilliant backstage and that he’s a postman because he delivers every single week. I’m sure Louis Walsh is going to patent the Louis Walsh Drinking Game and make his fortune. [Also, I know Royal Mail aren't quite as efficient as they used to be, but if Louis's postman only delivers once a week, that might be an issue he should raise with their customer service team. - Steve] HumbleMisha lifts up her shoulders and cocks her head and tells us how much she loved being back on that stage performing and having the chance to perform in front of millions. Funsponge says that Misha B is good, but his boys are better. YAWN. Finally, Amelia Lily says it’s unbelievable to be back. Funsponge thinks she’s come back fresh and smashed it tonight.

We have to wait for the results, because now it’s time for Wand Erection! We are forced to endure their X Factor journey again, complete with “ZOMG we’re in the final” platitudes. “NUMBER ONE DEBUT SINGLE” is up for a second longer than it has to be, presumably because that’s their only achievement. Oh no, they’re “FASTEST SELLING SINGLE OF THE YEAR” too and just so they’re not left feeling inferior, they get a “TONIGHT THEY’RE BACK” too. I don’t think “on the stage” counts as an achievement for an act, but the poor lads need to take whatever they can get. As they arrive on stage, I’m momentarily confused, because the Curly haired, clean Kyle Falconer one has straighter hair than normal, and the straight haired angry one is sporting a look that can only be described as “scrunched”. Jailbait Erection looks bewildered and his ear monitors make his ears stick out. Zayn Erection manages to miss every single note, even though the law of averages state that he must hit at least one by accident [Aww, gawdbless the Zaynwreck - Rad]. I don’t know why tiny Nicholas Hoult Erection is there. They can’t even clap in time, and every stage trick in the book is used to cover the fact that they can’t hit the high notes, including fireworks, lasers, smoke, confetti and booms.

Meanwhile, at the disingenuous table, the judges give them a standing ovation. Dermot arrives back on stage and notes the hair swapping. He tells them that it’s great to have them back and asks them how they’re feeling, like he’s Dave Berry or something. NoLongerCurly Erection says that it feels like home to be back on the stage and with the crew. Dermot asks them who they like and Tiny Nicholas Hoult Erection says BixMix. Dermot replies to this with something unintelligible about Tulisa. He quickly adds that the single and album are out next week.

The stage is covered in red confetti, so Dermot goes over to a clean corner for everyone’s favourite section. Yes, it’s the awkward satellite linkup from ten feet away! Amelia Lily gets probed first. Dermot congratulates her on her return. She feels incredible and she’s so grateful for being voted in that she doesn’t want to go home again so keep voting. Janet is still sadfacing behind her. Chin up, Janet! Kitty next! Dermot remarks that it’s a big night for her because Gaga is here. He asks her how excited she is on a scale of one to ten. Kitty ignores the question and goes on about how emotional it all is for her because she’s inspired her to be who she is, whilst Amelia makes a face behind her. Dermot asks Misha if she thinks she’s done enough this week. She can only hope she’s done enough and begs everyone to pick up the phone. Dermot then asks Janet how she felt about her performance. She says she liked it when she was doing it but she watched it back and she didn’t like it any more. See people, she even bores herself. This makes Marcus laugh and I like him a bit more. She witters something about an adrenaline rush, then it’s over to Marcus. Marcus gets a massive scream as Dermot tells him he’s found his niche and asks if he’s happy with his performance. Of course he is, and he promises us another big one if he’s kept in. This makes Biscuit, and me, giggle. Dermot remarks on Biscuit’s good feedback and asks if he’s confident. He says he’s proud of his performance but is DEFINITLEY NOT CONFIDENT. Have we got that? Finally, BixMix. Dermot remarks that they’re Wand Erection’s favourite. Amelle BixMix says that this is “fine” and that they’re a bit nervous, but they can see where Funsponge is coming from, but they just want to have fun, because they’re girls that wanna have fun and REPRESENT WIMMINS EVERYWHERE.

Dermot tries to inject some excitement by announcing a five minute warning, and promises us that Gaga will be here soon. Adverts!

Dermot welcomes us back by the judges table. The lines are closed now so it’s time to chat to the judges. Dermot observes that the tables have turned for Kelly and Funsponge, because one had two acts an now has three, and vice versa. This is why they keep Dermot, sparkling observations like this. Funsponge says that he’s not talking to Kelly and is now enjoying Louis’ company. Kelly turns her chair away from Funsponge and says that she’s turned her chair away from him. Dermot observes that anyone enjoying Louis’ company is a shocker, when everyone now knows that Louis is by far the best thing in the whole shambles these days. Dermot points out to Louis and Tulisa that they both only have one act left and they could be out tonight. Tulisa hopes the fans of BixMix vote. Louis says that Kitty was brilliant but he’s worried he could lose her.

It’s Gaga time! According to Dermot she’s flamboyant and unique, and just happens to be one of the biggest popstars of all time. No, Dermot, she’s one of the biggest popstars of all time BECAUSE she’s flamboyant and unique. She’s doing an exclusive of her new signal.

As if to mock Wand Erection’s paltry accomplishments, the bragging screens for Gaga are “100 MILLION SINGLES SOLD”, “3 BRIT AWARDS”, “5 GRAMMY AWARDS” and “MOST DOWNLOADED ARTIST IN HISTORY”. [I still maintain they should have said things like "AMAZING", "FLAWLESS" and "HATERS TO THE LEFT". - Steve]

Gaga is singing to us from a confession box, which is exciting for us because the camera can zoom into it, but I can’t imagine it’s all that fun for the studio audience. The curtain is opened and Gaga is singing in a costume which makes her look like giant carrying her own head. Her face looks a bit uncomfortable but the overriding feeling I have is that the whole thing just makes the contestants look like what they are – substandard trainee popstars. Seriously, it’s like the difference between a Rankin portrait and someone’s self taken MySpace emo profile picture. Gaga gets back in the box and takes off her costume. When she comes back out she’s forgotten her trousers and does the rest of the performance singing live and throwing herself around in a way probably not ever seen on this competition before.

She holds her final pause for way too long. Even when Dermot is standing beside her, grinning and clapping. Dermot says hello and asks her how she is. She makes a noise at him, then says “HI KELLY” and waves at someone who’s obviously a lot more interesting than him <3. Dermot reminds her that she’s sold seven million copies of her new album and she says thank you to the audience. I hope she manages to do this interview without talking to Dermot. Dermot asks if she’s heard of Kitty. Gaga does talk to Dermot this time and says that she saw her backstage and gave her a hug, but she gave everyone a hug. Dermot tells Gaga that her performance will give Kitty lots of ideas. Gaga hopes so. Dermot then asks if she’s touring again. Gaga replies that she will be touring next year and she’s just finished designing the stage and she’s so happy, and can’t wait to see the entire GBP there. Gaga blows us a kiss and leaves. Results after the break!

Adverts – Dear the O2, stop trying to make Coldplay interesting. It doesn’t work.

Back in the studio, Dermot welcomes the judges and the contestants back on to the stage. Janet still looks like someone peed on her fags. BixMix look absolutely terrified.

Results! In no particular order apart from the one that it’s read out in. Biscuit is safe, Louis looks pleased for him. Janet is next. Louis looks shocked. Marcus next through and Funsponge is ungracious again. The camera cuts to Kitty and she says “It’s alright” to Louis and looks resigned. Next through is Amelia Lily. She hugs Misha as Tulisa calms BixMix. Last through is BixMix. They all scream.

Both Misha and Kitty look unsurprised and heartbreakingly resigned. Dermot asks them what they are going to sing. Misha replies she will be doing ‘You Are’ by Jesse J and Kitty says she’s happy to be there. Dermot persists with the song question. It’s ‘Over the Rainbow’. Oh Kitty.

More adverts! That, ladies and gentlemen, is what consists a segment of television these days.

Dermot is moving his feet too much again as he recaps what happened five minutes ago. Kitty is first. Louis introduces her, red eyed, and says she’s going to sing her heart out. He looks as resigned as Kitty. Someone in the audience shouts that they love her. Kitty looks really stripped down for this, presumably on Funsponge’s advice. She misses a couple of the notes as she starts off quiet. I keep wanting her to start belting but every time you think it’s going to, it doesn’t. All the judges do their ‘Feeling stuff’ faces apart from Funsponge.

Misha B now, Kelly says she wants this more than anything. JUST SO LONG AS SHE DOESN’T THINK SHE DESERVES IT, EH, X FACTOR?! She sings the Jesse J song that’s not about price tags or DOING IT LIKE A MANDEM. I know that we are Team Kitty round these parts, but based on voice alone Misha B blows her out of the water. The song seems to be about loving yourself and I believe her, even when she’s singing about being true to who she is, when the competition seems hell bent on destroying that for her.

So who’s going home? The crowd are chanting for Misha. Louis remarks that both performances were amazing from two amazing girl singers, and they both killed it, but he’s going to save his own act. Tulisa thinks they are both amazingly talented and that was one of the most dramatic showdowns ever and they are both on a par in different styles, but she can relate to one of them as a musician and would buy their album, so she’s sending home Kitty. Kelly believes in Misha and she needs everyone’s votes, and she knows Kitty is a big talent but she believes in Misha so she’s sending Kitty home. Funsponge next. He remarks on how amazing the sing off was and remarks that they both want this the most. Funsponge has always been a fan of Kitty, but she seems to be missing a connection to the audience (trans. Nobody’s voting for you). With Misha, she’s the only one that would be immediately signed by a record label, so he’s sending home Kitty. Misha B looks shocked and staggers off stage

Dermot pulls Kitty into the middle of the stage, gives her a hug and tells her it’s been a hell of a ride. We see Kitty’s best bits, which are, for once, all amazing. Not a bad performance or a dull moment in there. We’ll miss you, Kitty.

Dermot asks Louis what we will do without her, and an entire nation shouts “FALL ASLEEP”. Louis says that Kitty is the best person he’s ever mentored and she loves music and performing and he hopes she gets signed. Dermot then says to Kitty that the competition has lost a big voice and a big personality and asks her what she’s got to say. Kitty snatches the microphone off of him and says she’s got something to share with the audience. Oh my. This is going to be BRILLIANT. She looks at Dermot and Louis and says that this is the last thing she wants to do. My mind whirrs with the possibilities. I hope it involves revealing a big secret, calling out Funsponge or she’s going to threaten to do something that will cause harm to herself or others. It’s not. She sings the chorus of Born This Way. Dermot’s face is a picture. He’s biting his bottom lip and rolling his eyes, presumably against the barrage of producers in his ear screaming at him to get the microphone back. Louis, because he’s brilliant, LOVES IT, and laughs and claps. [It reminded me of Seamus doing 'I have been promised a show of my own' at the end of the Joseph sing-out. But I would have LOVED her to spill some secrets. That would have been EPIC - Rad] [Seriously. She should've just spilled EVERYTHING, that would have been the best thing since "you know what? Sod it." - Steve]

Dermot snatches the microphone out of Kitty’s hands then practically shoves her and Louis offstage. He didn’t know where she was going with that. Neither did we, which probably made it the second best moment on the X Factor this series, after Saturday’s blank screen moment.

Next week! Six become five and Rebecca Jazznoodle and Rihanna will be performing. One of these will be good [I doubt it. I love Rihanna's records but I have yet to be convinced she can 'do' live - Rad]. Dermot plugs I’m a Celeb, the voiceover man plugs the X Factor tour and it’s all over for another weekend. Join Steve next week to find out how all that pans out.