The Final, Part one – 10th December 2011
Hello, and welcome to part one of your recap of this year’s X Factor final. It’s been a heck of a journey, eh? Well, it has been for me. I for one have been fired and reinstated numerous times so it’s been a bit of a rollercoaster this end. [You are officially the Louis Walsh of this blog. - Steve] I’m now officially on probation so as long as I don’t mention I like BixMIX or JadeFromFife we should be ok. Fingers crossed!
Did I mention that this was the FINAL? I’m sure we’ll be left in no doubt if the number of times Semi Final was mentioned last week is anything to go by. Did they mention it was at WEMBLEY? Did they mention that BixMIX are the first girl group to make it to the final? They must have mentioned it in passing. That’s how it begins, anyway, with one of the Geordie BixMIXes talking about what an amazing thing it is to be in the final as a girl group. YAWN, HEARD THAT ONE BEFORE. You’re not the first girl group in space. You’re not revolutionaries, BixMIX, you are SyCo puppets whipped up in a storm of scripted publicity and hair extensions. You’re not changing the world. Heck, you’re not even changing your own underwear without someone pulling the strings.
Marcus wants to be known in every corner of the globe. I thought globes were round? Amelialily wants to do her family, and presumably her moderately creepy dad, proud. The voiceover man reminds us we are live from WEMBLEY ARENA (which is not Wembley stadium, let’s get that straight) and does the whole bit about the Saved by the Bell, the New Class of Judges looking for a global superstar. Well, someone to release a single then see how they get on before SyCo pumps any money into them. I wonder how Credibility Cardle the lazy decorator is getting on. Who?! I hear you cry. EXACTLY.
Montage of the mad people. GOLDIE! Montage of the good people. YAWN. The competition is tougher this year, apparently, so we see another montage of everyone going on about how difficult it was. I miss Johnny Robinson. He never moaned, did he?
Three acts remain. We see a picture of Wembley stadium with Wembley arena a dot in the background. We’re introduced to the finalists, BixMIX screech, Marcus doesn’t want to fall at the last hurdle and Ameliallily wants to pay back her family. All good reasons for wanting to win, no? NO.
Time to face the music!
We open on an empty stage and are asked to welcome Dermot. We go to a VT of him leaving a hotel to the Austin Powers music. This is going to be hellish, isn’t it? It is. There’s one brief moment of respite when Goldie appears, but the rest is so bad that I want to cut my optic nerve with a shard of broken mug. He arrives on the stage in a taxi and makes a big show of saying “Hello Wembley!” Fuck off, Dermot. Suitwatch – Meh, it’s awful, you know that by now. He tells us that the acts have got to work especially hard tonight. They’re not going down a mine or anything, Dermot.
He introduces the judges as people whose year would be marked by bitchy critiques. I don’t know about the others, but I’m sure it’ll be more memorable to Funsponge as the year he had to spend some time pretending to like Robbie Williams for approximately a metric fuckton of cash, but who’s counting.
They come out. Only Louis and Tulisa are holding hands. Uncle Louis is looking rather fetching in a black velvet jacket and no tie. Tulisa’s in what looks like a Vivienne Westwood polka dot number that looks nigh on impossible to sit down in. Kelly’s in a grey thing that’s slashed to the navel and Gary is in a maroon velvet suit. You would think that Louis and Gary would have checked what the other was wearing. I can only imagine the backstage drama that kicked off over that one. Dermot says the judges are all hungry for success and Louis is hungry for his dinner, whilst Tulisa tries to find a way to sit down in her dress. Didn’t think that one through, did you love?
Dermot tells us to expect flashing lights and pyrotechnics because it’s the biggest night of Amelialily, Marcus and BixMIX’s life. Moody black and white shots of everyone walking around backstage. Kelly thinks Amelialily has got what it takes, Marcus WANTS IT and Funsponge thinks he’s the winner. BixMIX just scream and Tulisa burbles some shit about it being the Next Generation Next, hold it down, feel the noise, etc.
The finalists arrive on stage from the ceiling in a lift that’s got Health and Safety hazard written all over it. They perform a group song, which is the slow one by Take That which isn’t the Flood. I see what they’ve done here, because this could be THE GREATEST DAY OF THER LIVES! The camera cuts to the judges and Tulisa’s having to fight to keep her skirt out of her face and Funsponge is no doubt counting the money he’s making from this. It ends with a choir appearing from nowhere with torches, presumably to BURN THE BIXMIX WITCHES. Dermot suggests doing Wembley every week when it’s over. Don’t say things like that. Dermot tells us that one act will be going home tonight. Numbers! Adverts!
We’re back. Who’s first? It’s Funsponge, who’s had his baby blues on the prize since the start. He introduces Marcus. Marcus has been to Liverpool in a helicopter this week, for reasons best known to the X Factor. Marcus lands in his old school playground and sings in the hall where he once had assembly. Did I mention that the whole of Marcus’ VT is soundtracked by Take That? Anyway. Marcus goes home and the producers have put lots of Vote Marcus posters in his neighbours windows. He and Funsponge and Funsponge's massive bodyguard go to visit Marcus’ mum and family. Funsponge asks if he can take his coat off and asks for a cup of tea. Funsponge asks Marcus’ nan and granddad for the gossip. Marcus then wants to spend some time, just he and his mum, LIKE IT’S ALWAYS BEEN BECAUSE HE’S IN A SINGLE PARENT FAMILY. Marcus can’t put into words how grateful he is for his mum’s sacrifice. They say they love each other and hug it out. Marcus ends his day doing a gig at Liverpool One to his adoring fans and his crying mum. HE wants this more than everything, and he’s going to do everything he can to make it happen.
Marcus arrives onstage with lots of dancing girls [because the show is STILL trying to turn him straight - although I thought I heard him sing 'he' in reference to 'my baby' - but only the first time and then it was back to straight-acting - Rad] and going “Woo!” and “X Factor final!” He is, and I’m not winding you up, singing Hey Ya by Outkast in front of a giant aeroplane, complete with dancing air traffic controllers. The performance is such good fun that you barely notice that Marcus is singing the same note over and over again. To say there’s tuning issues is a bit of an understatement, but he’s clearly having fun.
Louis orients us to the situation, as he does so very well, buy telling Marcus he’s in the final and he’s in Wembley. Who says Louis is pointless. Louis thinks he ticks all the boxes. Tulisa thinks he did it. Kelly agrees with me that it was clear he had a good time and she was excited. Funsponge thinks that Marcus has got better every week and he loves working with him and spending time with him.
Dermot asks Marcus if he heard any of that because ten thousand people are screaming his name. Marcus seems a bit confused. Dermot then does a Louis and tells Marcus that he just sang a song in front of an aeroplane and is wearing a suit. Marcus says he’s on top of the world because his dreams are coming true. Aww, bless.
Instead of awkward home town satellite links with random Z listers, we’ve got the supporters right here in Wembley with Caroline Mrs Robinson-Flack and Olly unbearable cod reggae shithead Murs. I hope this still means we get Face Pizza? Please? We go over to them and we meet Marcus’ music teacher who says that he and all of Liverpool are proud. Olly Murs shouts that he can’t hear himself. This marks the first time I’ve ever wished I was Olly Murs. Marcus’ brother has got Marcus shaved into his head and Dermot points out he looks like Theo Walcott which goes down really well with the audience of X Factor fans who obviously know who all the footballers are. [Also: racist. - Steve] Marcus thanks his music teacher and all of Liverpool.
Next up, the ONLY GROUP IN THE COMPETITION and the only girl group to ever make the final. Tulisa reminds us that it’s the final and introduces her little muffins. Amelle BixMIX, the BixMIX spokesperson tells us what an exciting week they’ve been having. BixMIX are in the car and Tulisa is leaning on Amelle BixMIX whilst other BixMIX is telling us about High Wycombe and how excited she is to go back to her old school. If I ever had to go back to my old school for any reason, it would be to let them all know that I don’t want anything to do with them. We meet Other BixMIX’s sister who is proud of all of them. Other BixMIX cries because everyone believed in her. Next up we’re going to St Jesy’s hometown of Romford to do a PA in the Liberty shopping centre. A girl with an ill advised hairband cries and St Jesy says some shit about how they wouldn’t be here today without their public. Next stop is South Shields. We’re starting at Zool BixMIX’s mum’s house. Zool BixMIX’s mum pretends that her house is where BixMIX started and that she knows the other girls who are basically strangers to her. Tulisa says that meeting the family has made her want BixMIX to win even more. How so? Have you just realised that they’re human? Amelle BixMIX then brings everyone to a theatre she sang at once and her mum says that she’s a little star. They then do a concert in South Shields and Tulisa cries because they’re SUCH GOOD FRIENDS AND SHE LOVES THEM SO MUCH.
BixMIX are proceeded by someone doing backflips on the stage, then they arrive on motorbikes. They do a rap about how they were put together at boot camp. Really.
“On this stage we formed as one
This is where it all begun
Something something unity
Four young girls that have a dream
BixMIX ONE TWO
Stand up THREE FOUR”
This madness now descends into You Got The Love, which featured in that programme about those four friends who are friends just like BixMIX and never stole each other’s boyfriends. I amuse myself through this double denim atrocity by trying to decide which one is which. I think St Jesy is Carrie. Zool BixMIX is definitely Samantha. Amelle BixMIX is Charlotte which makes the other one Miranda, I suppose.
Louis makes reference to starting off the competition and now it’s finishing and Louis thinks they’re the next big girl band and wants girl power back in the charts. Kelly is happy for them and wants them to take in the moment. Gary thinks its amazing that three months ago they didn’t know each other. Funsponge, because he’s been in a band you know, thinks BixMIX have all the ingredients for being a successful band, the most successful ingredient of which is FRIENDSHIP. OH PUHLEEZE. He even compliments them on their stage spacing. Tulisa is so proud she’s lost for words and tells them that they got here because of their hard work and of course, the votes.
Dermot wants to know how they’re feeling. They talk some shit about the buzz of being here. Over to Olly and Caroline! The BixMIX mums are proud. Zool BixMIX’s mum has VOTE BIXMIX written on her arm. The rest is just screaming.Oh for the respite of some adverts. We’re promised a JLS/WandErection mashup after the break. I bet it’s not really a mashup.
We’re back. Final – check, Wembley – check, ten thousand – check.Kelly introduces us to Amelialily. She’s going to tear the house down, apparently. But first, she’s off to her old school in Middlesbrough. She can’t believe the reaction she got from ‘the kids’. Of which she was one a few weeks ago no doubt. Various random schoolmates scream in her face before she heads off to meet Kelly, who’s pretending to be excited to meet her family. Kelly keeps her coat on in Amelialily’s house and tries not to sneer at the home baking laid out on the breakfast bar. Amelialily’s mum starts crying but creepydad is nowhere to be seen. The pink guy is back though. Kelly tells Amelialily her family is beautiful on the way to the Empire in Middlesbrough, which is apparently cool because Ellie Goulding once played there. Some more people scream in her face and cry. It’s been Amelialily’s best day and she’s going to treasure it for the rest of her life. She wants to be the winner next time she comes home.
Amelialily is doing Christina Aguilera stars in their eyes. It’s like she wants Louis to say that she reminds her of a smaller faced Xtina. Seriously, it’s a straightforward copy, except Aguilera wouldn’t be seen dead in pink DM’s. When the camera cuts to the judges, Tulisa looks terrified. It’s Ameliaguilera by numbers. She’s legs akimbo the entire time. Louis helpfully orientates us to our situation again. She was voted out in week one and came back and he urges Middlesbrough to vote. Tulisa accuses her of only giving 100%. Funsponge thought it was amazing and points out that she’s the youngest and she made it to Wembley beautifully. Kelly is so proud and urges Middlesbrough and everyone else to pick up their phones. Dermot summarises the youngest/comeback situation again and Ameliaguilera urges everyone to vote for her. Dermot then initiates a bizarre conversation about chicken and cheese which Kelly pretends to understand and she just shouts ‘Abso-freakin-loutley’.
Over to the Middlesbrough corner of the arena, Ameliaguilera’s teachers shout about how great she is. Olly talks to the pink man who thinks that Ameliaguilera is a real winner. Ameliaguilera admits to knowing the pink guy who is apparently like a brother to her. We are urged to vote for her so she can make the comeback of all comebacks. I’m starting to liken Ameliaguilera to that person who’s always in the Big Brother final because they’re so bland as not to have made an impression either way. [Come to think of it, she does have a touch of Sophie Dogface about her - Rad]
We are ‘treated’ to a recap of all tonight’s performances, and I notice that Ameliagulera’s set does not involve an automotive prop. I call fix!
Apparently now it’s time for something special. I bet that’s a lie. It is. It’s JLS and Wand Erection. We start out with JLS, who are singing “She Makes Me Wanna”. They say “JLS!” a lot. There’s fire and stuff. Purple JLS is wearing Yellow and it’s all a bit confusing for someone who is 12 years out of their teens. The showmanship of JLS is then sharply contrasted by the appearance of Wand Erection, who bound on to stage like puppies on a sugar rush shouting something about being beautiful. Marvin JLS then says “One D! JLS” and they sing their songs at the same time. This is apparently a mashup. This is not a mashup. It’s two bands of varying talent singing their songs at the same time. NOT A MASHUP. It’s basically a performance designed to appeal to every twelve year old pop fan in the country and is clearly very cynical attempt to do so. [It is also nowhere near the wonder that was 2009's JLS/Alexandra awesomeness. Where IS Alexandra, anyway? - Rad] [I know, right? I was expecting her to be the climactic final that they were all building towards, dammit. - Steve]
To the refuge of advertising, after which, the contestants will be performing with their mentors. WHERE IS MY TAINTED KOOL AID, DAMNIT?
We’re back. Final, ten thousand, Wembley. WE GET IT.
Three of the judges chairs are empty behind Dermot though, that’s because the finalists are dueting with their mentors. Dermot then goes over to Louis NoMates and laments that there’s no over 25’s left in the competition, which is a shame because Louis has been learning the bongo part of Love Shack. Louis says that if he did have a finalist, he would have done something. Dermot asks if he’d like to have performed with Kitty, and Louis replies he’d rather Johnny.
I’m sure we’re going to get vote begging VT’s again, so instead of me boring you all again, let’s just assume that Marcus wants to do it for his mum, BixMIX are doing it for each other and WIMMINS EVERYWHERE and Ameliaguilera can’t believe she’s back, yes?
Marcus first. He’s never met anyone as talented as Funsponge and he’s more than a mentor to him. The song he’s singing means a lot to him because his mum is special to him. TOLD YOU. He’s singing 'Always A Woman' for her tonight. Have you listened to the lyrics, Marcus? Please do. It’s not the song you want to sing to your mum. We’re treated to Marcus’ baby photos again. Can we get on with this please?
Funsponge is on the piano, but he’s so clearly miming he might as well be sat in another room. He takes the first line for himself, Marcus takes the next and they harmonise on the third. And so on. Louis is now missing from his chair though. Wonder what he’s up to? Bad show not watching his ‘buddies’ though. Funsponge and Marcus hug at the end. Dermot calls Marcus Fella twice and asks Funsponge what he’s like to work with. Funsponge likes that he listens. I bet you do. Dermot reels off the final checklist (Wembley, Final, 10,000) and Marcus says dream come true and talks about his mum. Flack and Murs are now with Marcus’ boss in the audience. Marcus’ boss urges us to vote for him because they want him back in Liverpool, which makes lots of sense. FACE ON FOOD KLAXON! Someone has made Marcus’ face out of marmite and toast. It’s no pizza, but it’ll do. It took an hour to make. That’s dedication. Olly eats a slice. Dermot states his disappointment at not seeing Marcus’ mum cry. Dermot loves to see the ladies cry. [He must be Team BixMix, then. - Steve]
Next up, it’s BixMIX! St Jesy says that when Tulisa walked through the door after boot camp they were so happy because Tulisa was everything they were about as a band that hadn’t performed together yet even once. They’re such good friends and Tulisa is like the fifth member of BixMIX. Tulisa is excited to be singing with gels for the first time. We are promised a medley of Empire State Of Mind and If I Ain’t Got You. JOY. I’m suspecting that it’s all a big ruse to get one of the Geordies to say Alicia Keys because that sounds really funny. They’re going to give their best performance tonight. We’ll see.
Tulisa is standing in the middle and has nicked what looks like one of Misha B’s dresses. She’s greased up her legs like Kelly in a Destiny’s Child video. Tulisa is singing lead and BixMIX are her backing singers, which I’m sure isn’t how a duet works, but who am I to question these things? We then get some St Jesy beatbox action and we’re into Empire... It’s all a bit screechy and Louis is still missing. [If he isn't preparing for his duet on 'Bad Romance' with Kitty and Goldie, I am going to SHIT A BRICK. - Steve] That’s how much he cares, everyone.
When they’re finished, Tulisa pretends that BixMIX are her friends and she’s never met more honest, lovely girls. She loves them. Amelle BixMIX says they wouldn’t want to duet with anyone else. Over to their shouty corner. Olly is with the Mayor and the Mayoress of South Shields. The mayor is incomprehensible. Someone has a BixMIX tattoo. Oh dear, that’s a long way to go to get on to television. I bet she’s glad she got that before the name change though [after? - Rad]. As Dermot reads out the BixMIX number, St Jesy and Amelle do a little forehead touch thing that makes me want to eat my own face off in embarrassment. Tulisa then puts her head on St Jesy’s and I’m actually contemplating seriously hurting myself to MAKE IT STOP.
Oh, I so look forward to you, ad breaks. You are my respite.
When we return, Dermot urges us to social network and Jedward sell us the app. Lovely.
One more duet and it’s time for Ameliaguilera and Kelly Poundland (I’ve resisted it so far, c’mon, it’s the final). Kelly lies that she knew Ameliaguilera had something from the start and glosses over the fact that she ditched her in the first week. Ameliaguilera thinks that Kelly is the BEST MENTOR EVER and she never thought she’d be friends with Kelly. Oh Ameliaguilera, she’s not your friend. They’re doing River Deep, Mountain High. This could be amazing. Could.
Kelly is the only mentor with the good grace to let her act sing first. They tell each other to come on, and take it away lots. It’s serviceable, but it’s not THIS. Nothing could ever beat that. Nothing. Come to think of it, it’s not even this, if we’re talking in general, not just X Factor terms.
Dermot asks Kelly why we should vote for Ameliaguilera. She doesn’t have the good grace to say it’s because she ditched her in the first week and she feels bad. Ameliaguilera says that Kelly is the most important person in her life right now. Let’s see what her dad has to say about that... Back to Flack and Murs, and it’s screechy and pink in her corner. Her odd dad says she’s amazing and reminds us that she’s seventeen. Someone’s made a cocktail in her honour and Olly downs it because he’s an arsehole. I hope he gets a mega ice cream headache. Dermot is at great pains to point out it’s not an alcoholic drink. Dermot reminds Ameliaguilera that her dad is very passionate about her and the whole internet raises its collective eyebrows.
Dermot tells us that that is the last performance from the finalists tonight. Numbers! Yet another unnecessary recap of what we saw mere minutes ago!
Leona Lewis time! Dermot tells us that she won in 2006 with a voice that was out of this world. Shame she didn’t have a personality to match. She’s sold 20 MILLION RECORDS WORLDWIDE though, and has had 30 GLOBAL NUMBER ONES, 34 PLATINUM RECORDS and her name is LEONA LEWIS.
Leona Lewis is singing Hurt by Nine Inch Nails, but it’s the version that Johnny Cash did. There’s an artily untuned piano playing. This performance seemed to split the internet in four different directions of rage.
1. How dare she cover a Nine Inch Nails song
2. How dare she cover a Johnny Cash song
3. How dare all the people saying she’s covering a Johnny Cash song not acknowledge that it’s a Nine Inch Nails song.
4. How dare all the music snobs dismiss a cover version just because it’s being sung by an X Factor winner.
Which camp are you in? Please phone in and let us know. I was in the secret sub group of number five which hated it mainly because it was shit and she clearly didn’t understand what she was singing about. [I was in secret sub group number six, which was 'I wish she'd do more stuff like 'Collide'.' - Steve] Her nose is looking a bit different though. Had some work done, dear? The judges are back in their outfits though. Leona tells us that she can’t imagine how nervous the contestants are, even though she’s one of the few people who have actually been in their position.
Dermot issues the five minute warning. This is nearly over! BOOBLAY FOR THE MAMS after the break.
After the break, the voting is closed. Over to the judges table and Louis is asked what he thought of the duets. HE thought they all nailed it and he didn’t know that Tulisa could sing and Kelly put it down. Tulisa is so nervous but it’s out of her hands now. Kelly thinks everyone that performed tonight was incredibly amazing. Dermot wonders if Funsponge is feeling the pressure, but he can’t call it.
Next up, a friend of the X Factor. It’s BOOBLAY FOR THE MAMS! [Bublé's in the fridge. - Steve] He’s sold 35 MILLION RECORDS WORLDWIDE, he’s a MULTI PLATNUM SELLING ARTIST and he’s had 4 SOLD OUT WORLD TOURS and is the BIGGEST SELLING MALE ARTIST OF THE DECADE and he’s here tonight hawking his Christmas album. BOOBLAY FOR THE MAMS seems to be suffering a bit of Aguilera face bloat these days, but that’s the only remarkable thing about the performance. [He's starting to look like Arg from The Only Way Is Essex. - Steve] I’m going to the loo. When I come back, Dermot is plugging BOOBLAY FOR THE MAMS’ Christmas album, and Booblay plugs his Christmas special which JUST SO HAPPENS to star Kelly and Funsponge.
Another break? Already? The X factor competition offers us the chance to see Booblay, Bruno Mars or Jesse J and some tickets for the live shows. OH MARVELOUS. WHERE IS MY PHONE SO I CAN PAY A FORTUNE TO VOTE.
We’re back... Who is through? I don’t know Dermot, why don’t you tell us? Finalists and judges are back on the stage. Who will it be? Stop milking it, Dermot. In no particular order, first one through is... BIXMIX! Oh the humanity. YOU FELL FOR IT, GBP. Kelly looks genuinely pleased then the camera does an upskirt on Tulisa. Second act still in the final is... Marcus! He and Funsponge are as gracious as ever. He hugs Ameliaguilera and she does a very good job at hiding how gutted she is. We see Ameliaguilera’s journey. From shouty sixteen year old to shouty seventeen year old. What a transition! What a journey! If you hadn’t have been out in week one you never would have been here. Dermot wishes her well in her career. She thanks everyone that voted for her, and she’s happy because all she ever wanted was to make it to the final. She’s seventeen!
Dermot brings back the final two. This is your final two, Britain. BixMIX representing WIMMIN and Marcus representing... ER... people who are functionally good but a bit bland. BixMIX are going to try hard tomorrow because they want to win and Marcus promises not to let us down. We’ll see. Lines have re-opened and your votes still count.
So who will win? I don’t actually care. Join Steve for his recap of the final to find out.