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...)