Emotional Blackmail and Desperation Week – 1st December 2012
Hello! And welcome to what is blessedly my last live show recap of this series. I’m ticking them off like the nonexistent chocolates in my nonexistent advent calendar. How did this travesty occur? I have no idea. Anyway, we begin with a recap of last week where THE FINAL FIVE SANG TWICE and Louis Walsh called Moroney a karaoke singer. Rylan left and managed to be more of a gentleman than all of the other contestants ever put together.
TONIGHT, however, is the semi final and I can’t let the occasion pass without saying HURRRRRR SEMI and now that piece of business is over we can perhaps all get on with the show. [That's why we hired you, for your class and maturity :) - Steve] Apparently, tonight the judges lose their power which is nice because they’ve taken it to ruddy deadlock pretty much every week bar the first week Union J were there and the week they chucked the bus at District Three, so it’s never really been in their hands, has it? The responsibility of who is in the final is in the hands of the Great British Public and judging on their decision to keep (allegedly) Strangles Moroney in until this week I don’t really think we should be allowed. Funsponge hopes the public make the right decision. Louis tells Union J that this is the MOST IMPORTANT PERFOMANCE OF THEIR LIVES and they’re not going down without a fight. That’s not what I’ve heard, boys. Strangles Moroney says it’s his dream to be in the final and Funsponge urges him to be cool. Jahmene would not like the final to be snatched from him at this late stage and Nicole wants the public to believe in her boys. James’ DNA is telling him that if he doesn’t make the final he’s failed at life. Is it the Bixmix song talking to you James? Is it making you do bad things?
We’re live from London and Durrbot walks in to “Walk this Way” and does his supremely irritating kick. Suitwatch – he’s wearing that scooped waistcoat thing that he seems to have decided is his thing. It’s three different shades of blue and as always it is way, way to tight on the thighs. He welcomes us all to the Semi finals and our Saturday night. He tells us that there are four acts in the final who will sing twice and they’d better be good because it’s all in the hands of the public. He does a speech about stripping the judges of their power that’s too boring and contrived to note here. The judges, even though they’re surplus to requirements, are still in the studio. They come out to the WAR! UH! WHAT IS IT GOOD FOR? Song. Funsponge is in blue velvet trying to goad the crowd. Nicole is wearing some kind of white studded Cleopatra looking thing. Tulisa is in a 50s prom dress looking like her boobs are about to fall out and Louis is looking every inch the gent in a smoking jacket and turtleneck. Tulisa is the only one not wearing a World AIDS Day Ribbon. I JUDGE YOU, TULISA.
Even though they’re completely superfluous, they’re still going to give their opinion OH JOY. Durrbot reminds us that we can give ours on the social networks. By jingo! I did not know this! [Let's hope he hasn't cottoned on to this newfangled blogging business any time soon - Rad] We are also urged to vote because CLEARLY Ella being voted off was not because of her tremendous dullness and ballidry week after week, it’s because the RIGHT people didn’t vote enough. Do you see? That’s both the correct people and the people who are right. They couldn’t make it clearer they don’t want Strangles Moroney in the final.
Someone cheers over Durrbot and he calls them out on it. STAY CLASSY. Durrbot informs us that the first round of songs will be songs dedicated to someone special, and first we are going to the last Over 28 and his mentor, Funsponge who apparently said goodbye to his Arch Nemesis last week. What’s that then? Fun? Robbie? Carbs? Oh no, we’re talking about the real princess of our hearts, Rylan. Funsponge introduces Christopher as the name that sends shockwaves of fear around the world, which is a bit tasteless given his ALLEGED habit of strangling people on Round the World cruises.
Moroney’s VT begins in the ROOM OF BRITAIN where neither he nor Funsponge can believe he’s in the final. They’re discussing what song means something to him and presumably his Nan. Christopher would like to sing “You Raise Me Up” and Funsponge replies “Josh Groban” which is odd because Westlife also did a version and they are much less fun than The Groban who has proven himself to be BEYOND AWESOME on several occasions. [He was amazing on Never Mind The Buzzcocks - although to be fair, so was Tulisa back in the day so it's not really conclusive proof of anything in particular. - Steve] Funsponge thinks this is a perfect choice. Moroney then shouts out, without a sense of parody, “its FOR ME NAN” because they’ve been there for each other. The poor Nan is then wheeled out and Moroney tells her that he’s singing the song for her because she believes in him. Moroney can’t thank her enough. She says that she’s proud of him and her head can’t get any higher. Funsponge then asks Moroney if his Nan is the boss which makes me very uncomfortable and gives me a mental image I really, really don’t want [I just assumed it meant she had an ugly tattoo on her forearm - Rad]. Funsponge reckons if Louis gives them any stick on the live shows then they should bring out the Nan and put her in his dressing room. He then goes on to say that they should give them ten minutes of the door rattling and then let her out after she’s done her business. Can I remind everyone that this is a FAMILY SHOW please and I really, really don’t want to have to think about pensioner sex. ITHANGEW. Cut back to the NanCam and its all Moroney doing soppy sideheads at his Nan as she says she’s going to get Louis.
Moroney singing You Raise Me Up is just as bad as you would want it to be. It’s all bad suits, Jesus lights and sub-Groban faux vibrato. It couldn’t be any more musical theatre if it was Greased Lightning full of Cats Whistling Down The Wind on a Yellow Brick Road toward Jesus Christ Superstar. HOLY FUCK THERE’S EVEN A CHOIR. He even remembers to shake a bit at the end, cos he’s nervous, like.
Nicole’s feedback is that it a hard song to sing. Snerk. He’s earned his place though and he’s sounded better than he’s ever sounded but she’d like to feel it more. He’s done a good job though, with the song and everything. Subtle, I like it. Louis next. I don’t know why they don’t let Louis go first as he gives us all a handy summary of what’s just happened. Louis tells Christopher that he’s in the semi final, it was a good song choice, Westlife sang the song too and he’s come far enough now to make an impact. This is masterful. Louis would like to see him in the West End. I’d like to see him in the West End of some country far, far away. Louis thinks he could make an album and change his Nan's life and his life. Tulisa seems to be on some serious tranquilisers tonight and I realise that I’ve judged too harshly as her World Aids Day ribbon is under her hair. She pulls a face and says she enjoyed his performance in that she could hear his vocals to the max. Then comes the good bit. The performance was very him and he’s done all he possibly can to get into the final. It’s all subtle, but it’s there. Funsponge would like to remind us that it’s all about progression – his voice is sounding better than ever and he’s in the same league as Josh Groban. Louis reminds him that he’s actually in the same league as Westlife which is either a masterstroke or an incidence of the biggest lack of self awareness ever. Who cares, it’s brilliant. Funsponge thinks he could be a million seller like Josh Groban. Durrbot wants to know how it feels to have the judges actually like him and he talks about himself again. Durrbot then reminds Moroney that it’s not about him, it’s about the judges and he replies that the good comments were better than the bad comments. Durrbot then chides Louis for mentioning Westlife four times and Louis replies that they were the ones that had the number one with the song. Fair point. Durrbot reminds Louis that the Nan is after him. Scary.
Durrbot welcomes us back with the numbers and introduces Nicole as the only judge with a guaranteed place in the final and who makes up (awesome) words. She introduces Jahmene and urges us to send him some love as he will need a lot of courage to sing what he is going to sing tonight. Nicole explains the theme to him and he says that he’s going to sing “I Look to You” in memory of his brother Daniel who died. I immediately gain some respect for Jahmene who is only just mentioning this. If any of those other contestants had a dead brother we wouldn’t be able to go a minute without hearing about it, let alone until the semi finals. You may not have a personality, Jahmene, but you have a soul and you haven’t sold it yet. His brother died in 2008 and Jahmene really looked up to him and his imagination and ability to escape the situation they were in. He misses looking up to him and having him there for him. In the ROOM OF BRITAIN, Jahmene tells Nicole that he tried to sing this song at his brother’s funeral but he only managed a verse and a chorus before he broke down. He’s going to sing the whole song in memory of him. Nicole thinks he’s brave to sing it and she’s proud of him. Jahmene wants to show his family that he’s strong enough to take on his brother’s role. I’m genuinely moved for the first time this series. Fire me all you like, Steve. [I like Jahmene in his VTs more and more, even though I hated him in auditions and Boot Camp. I still can't stand his performances though, and I still hate the way this show milks his sob stories for all they're worth. Wasn't this the second time they wheeled out the dead brother? It's not really fair on Jahmene to keep doing this - Rad] Nicole cries in rehearsals and says that only he knows his struggles and he should use this song to release some stuff. Jahmene seems genuinely uncomfortable to see her upset and gives her a big hug. I AM A WOMAN WITH HORMONES YOU CAN’T DO THIS TO ME. Jahmene knows the song will be a huge challenge, but he’s doing it for his brother.
Jahmene sings the song simply on some stairs. He gets a Jesus light too but he doesn’t need it. He does his usual thing of putting in so many extra notes that it’s almost like he’s playing musical note bingo. Nicole is crying by the first chorus. I’M NOT CRYING, THERE’S THINGS IN BOTH OF MY EYES.
Louis is a bit teary and says he’s in the semi finals and he’s never going back to Asda. He’s grown lots and he’s gained confidence. He thinks he’s incredible. Tulisa thinks he always sings beautiful and like he means it but that performance took it to the next level as she could feel his emotions and she knows his brother is watching over him and is proud. Funsponge doesn’t know how much courage it would have taken him to do it as it was so personal and congratulates him on it. Nicole urges herself to keep it together then fails. Nicole says that it wasn’t about singing technicalities, it was about his soul and the BABY JESUS HIMSELF came down in jubilation at him singing that song. It was at this point my mother texted me to ask me what Nicole was on. I couldn’t give her an answer. Durrbot congratulates him on taking on such a big song to him and wonders how he feels. Jahmene says he feels like he’s let go of something. Bless his little cottons! Right, normal service resumes.
Next up is the groups and their mentor is special. Nice, Durrbot. One of them, I don’t know or care which one, says that they had a backstage pep talk where they said that they felt that they had done enough to stay out of the bottom two. They are gutted to have been in the bottom two three times. Only three bottoms for the group? OH COME ON, YOU WOULD DO THAT ONE TOO. They don’t know why the public aren’t voting for them but they’re not getting downhearted. They go to the ROOM OF BRITAIN and speak to Louis about the song that they want to do. They want to do a Sandy Emily song. Can I ask a question dear reader? Who is this woman shagging? Answers in the comments. They all sit on a bed together and have a look at their twitter feed on their SAMSUNG TABLET. They’re dedicating a song about being beautiful to their fans so that they can imagine that they’re singing the song for them. The power of the mind of a teenage girl is strong. I was one. The freaky doll faced one says that fans get in touch with their sob stories. They’ve all been bullied and they hope that people like the song because it’s about being beautiful. [Your prediction from several weeks ago that the show would turn them into BixMix with willies was eerily accurate, wasn't it? - Steve] They admit to being frankly terrified by the prospect that the judges can’t save them this week. As you should be, lads.
The song is a dirge. I haven’t heard the original but I’m sure it’s a dirge too. They all have their own Jesus lights and Pinocchio is pretending to play his guitar again. OH GOD I’M BORED.
Tulisa really liked the performance and it felt different. She thinks that they’ve grown and the performance showed maturity. Funsponge thinks it was a great performance and they’re not four solo singers any more, they’re a band. There was apparently a calm on stage tonight because they know they’re good. Nicole thinks they’re cool, individual and cheese free and Josh started them off well. Louis thinks they did well because everywhere they go there’s hysteria on par with Beatlemania and they’re the next JLS. Durrbot asks George how he’s doing and he can’t form human words. One of the other ones says that they respect all the judge’s comments then urges everyone to vote. Durrbot asks them about the blend and he says they’ve been working on it. Pinocchio still can’t form actual words. That’s going to be good for interviews.
More adverts! I would also like to know who Katherine Jenkins is sleeping with bar Dav (REDACTED)
We’re back! We’re reminded that it’s all DOWN TO US. Back to Nicole, it’s England’s Northern Star [As opposed to Christopher who is the Northern Abomination, presumably - Rad], James Arthur! James is dedicating One by U2 to his siblings as they’ve all achieved stuff and he wasn’t sure if he ever would. In the ROOM OF BRITAIN James discusses that he didn’t have the easiest of lives, but he wants to sing this song so they know he’s there for them. He talks to his family on his SAMSUNG TABLET and they talk about how they’re getting mobbed at school. He says that it’s nice that they’re proud of him and hopes he can be in the final so they can come and see him. They’re proud of him and he loves it. BOKE.
James hasn’t got a Jesus light, just his tiny, tiny head on his gigantic shoulders, like a marble on a mantelpiece. It starts out a bit slow then gets the guitars and the blinky bits like all of his other songs. It may also be worth noting that he’s singing the Mary J Blige version, much like when Matt Curdle sang the Travis version of ... Baby one more time and tried to palm it off as his own.
Louis thinks he brings something different every week and he’s what the show is about. He’s an honest performance and he will have recorded three or four albums in the next year. He congratulates Nicole on a good job. Tulisa has not gained any enthusiasm over the adverts and just says it was a performance worthy of the final. She’s also sick of hearing that James will be ok without the show because why shouldn’t he win, which is a bit off message from the week that he was in the bottom two. Funsponge calls him a musical boxer and hopes he will be in the final. Nicole can tell how much he wants it and how much winning means to him. He’s not the only northerner left so everyone should vote for him too. Dermot says he understands that it’s hard for James to show emotion. James says that his siblings mean the world to him and he likes singing for them because he doesn’t get to talk to them. Or something.
MOAR ADVERTS. We have the same number of performances again, everyone. There’s a pre advert recap. You know, because we’re stupid.
When we return, Durrbot welcomes us back to round two. It’s the song that will get them into the final this time, and he asks Nicole to Jamaze us. She’s gonna! In the ROOM OF BRITAIN, Nicole and Jahmene discuss that they’re going to sing the song he did on his first audition, At Last. The song means a lot to Jahmene because it’s about going for your dream. Nicole says she’s going to make Jahmene smile by showing him on her GALAXY TABLET the time when she auditioned for American Popstars, with stripy hair, beige lipliner and a cowboy hat. It certainly cheered me up. Jahmene points out all these things to Nicole and she takes it in good humour because, you know, she’s famous and shit now. Jahmene says it was funny to see Nicole in the situation he’s in now and he’s inspired by her career. He’s going to get to the final.
His performance is ok, but without the emotion of the previous performance giving all that emoting a focus point it becomes a tad irritating. I know that this is supposed to show us how far along he’s come but all I’m thinking is that he was irritating in his audition and he’s irritating now. They should have left it at the first song. He would have been a cert. My fragile good will has left me.
Louis knew when he auditioned that he was special but now he thinks he’s world class and he’s sailing straight to the final. He even says Jahmazing. Tulisa thinks he’s been consistent but at times he’s held back but he didn’t hold back on the big notes tonight. He brought the fight. Funsponge then calls Louis out on saying Jahmazing, because that’s way too much fun. Nicole wants to hear Funsponge say it, so he does in a comedy camp voice to the amusement of precisely nobody. That’s his fun quota for the year, everyone. He’s reminded of how special his audition was and the semi final is the time to remind everyone else. Nicole just says “I mean dot dot dot, that note, dot dot dot, getouttahere”. I don’t know either. She says Jahmazing again.
Durrbot calls her certifiable then goads Jahmene about how busy the final will be and how he won’t have time to think. That’s nice, when he’s clearly anxious. Jahmene says the show is a massive platform and how he’s showing people you can get through anything. PLEASE VOTE. Jahmene hugs Durrbot who then shudders. I can’t even.
It’s Funsponge next, and he announces Moroney as “Singing for Liverpool”. The “but not for you” is left silent. It’s Moroney! He’s doing Just Haven’t Met You Yet by BOOBLAY FOR THE MAMS because he’s sick of the judges saying he’s old fashioned and dated because he sings old fashioned songs in a dated way. He’s singing BOOBLAY because it’s current. BOOBLAY. CURRENT. BOOBLAY who is FOR THE MAMS because he has an old fashioned twinkle in his eye is the most current thing Moroney could think of. I can’t even... Funsponge seems to think the only danger will be potentially getting good feedback from the other judges. YEAH, THAT’S THE WORRY. He’s not going to say it in case he jinxes it. Moroney says that it’s the most important performance of the competition and he’s going to go out there and sing his head off. I hope it’s literally.
The song choice is ingenious in that Moroney is completely out of his depth. Seriously, he’s like a flea in an Olympic pool trying to out-dive Tom Daley. His performance actually gives me respect for BOOBLAY because he makes this song look easy. I actually feel like applauding the producers because it’s so bad that it’s managed to undo all of the previously borderline mediocre performances. It’s so bad that he would be booed off of the stage at Yates’ karaoke night for being shitter than the man that sings Mustang Sally every week.
Nicole doesn’t think it was his strongest performance, but he doesn’t blame him as it’s clearly down to the rubbish song choice. Funsponge claims that Moroney is in the same lane as BOOBLAY and Josh Groban. PUHLEEZE. He’s a downgraded Barrowman if anything. Funsponge says that the audience enjoyed it as he’s grasping at straws. Nicole agrees on the Groban and says that his first performance would sell albums, but not his second. Moroney looks like he’s going to cry. Louis agrees with Nicole and he’s good at the key change but not at that one. He’s no BOOBLAY but he’s good at what he does. Tulisa barely cares any more as she tells Moroney that it wasn’t as good as his first performance but he’s showed a different side and she hopes his “fanbase” votes for him based on his first performance. Funsponge says it’s all about showing his versatility and he will take the blame for the song, but the people need to vote. Durrbot asks Moroney if he thought it was the wrong song. He says that in a night of ballids he just wanted to get people clapping then claps to demonstrate this. It’s a clap of desperation. Durrbot asks if he will be singing Nicky Minaj if he gets to the final. Chris says he would, because that went so well for Carolynne. Durrbot calls Moroney a nervous wreck. Let’s hope that tomorrow he’s just a wreck, eh?
ADVERTS! I like how the competition doesn’t even have a question any more.
When we return, Durrbot is in the audience with the irrational fans. Louis introduces Union J. They begin the VT in the ROOM OF BRITAIN where they discuss singing “Already There” as their song to get them into the final. Louis’ ears prick up at this because he’s heard of it. He’s heard of it because Westlife did it. They then do a bit about Louis being the fifth member of Union J in all ways but fashion. There’s another bit where they’re all in Onesies and Louis says that he will wear one if they get to the semi final. It all feels a bit contrived. They make him wear it and say he looks like a giant baby. He asks if it’s like something Tulisa would wear, because that’s his reference point for current. They just laugh at him. He wants them to go out and show everyone how special they are because they deserve to be in the final. [That was, almost word for word, the exact same VT MK1 did when they made Louis wear the baseball cap. Lazy VTs are lazy - Rad]
Do they? NAH, of course they don’t. They go out and do boyband by numbers, except that it’s missing the numbers that correlate with fun and interesting. No amount of key changes, directional hair and interesting lighting can save this one. It’s dull, dull, dull.
I thought we’d reached the bottom of Tulisa’s not giving a shitness, but she gives less of a shit here. She says they’re sounding good vocally but they’ve played it a bit safe. She wants to tell them that it’s about their hard work over the last few weeks and she’s glad they’re still standing. Funsponge says that it was “nice” but safe and he made a point last week about how they should have walked Motown week but they didn’t and he’s worried because he can’t save them again. Nicole loved it and she’s taking her lashes off to Louis for 1. Looking shamazing in a onesie and 2. Being a bom diggidy mentor. They’re already there. Louis calls Tulisa out on the safe comment and basically says he’s not taking advice from anyone with no acts. LOL. Tulisa hits back that they’re both chavs in tracksuits these days. It seems like genuine banter though. Louis doesn’t want them to get voted off. He’ll do anything, even wear a onesie.
One of them says that the song meant a lot to them because they miss their families. Durrbot then asks Louis about the onesie and he says it’s his URBAN ROOTS. Oh Louis, you’re the only thing making this shitstorm bearable.
FINAL AD BREAK.
When we return, Nicole introduces James Arthur, who is thinking in his bedsit about how the X Factor has SAVED HIS LIFE and he thought he’d always be playing gigs to one man and his dog and making albums nobody would hear. Now he only has to wait a few months for that to happen again! Just ask Matt Curdle! He feels like he’s on the brink of an amazing opportunity. He went to watch Nicole do a video shoot this week and it reminded him of what he could be doing if he won the competition. He doesn’t want to fall at the last hurdle. He’s chosen his song and he thinks it might be a big risk. Nicole reminds him he’s never done a big ballid before and he thinks it’s the perfect time to do it. He’s going to do it differently and make people say “really?” I say that every time you sing love. He thanks everyone that’s voted for him.
He’s singing The Power of Love, the Frankie Goes to Hollywood version, otherwise known as the song from off of the John Lewis advert. I love the song, but he puts plinky bits in it and over emotes. Meh.
Louis gives us a handy summary. James is in the semi final and he used to sing to nobody and now he’s singing to the nation. He’s original, credible and has the X Factor. I think the latter part of your critique is speculation there, Walsh. Tulisa is proud to be part of a competition with James on it. He’s everything that she wanted to see on the show and he would love to see him crowned the winner. Funsponge thinks it was the performance of the series. Watch out for your neck, Tightpants! (allegedly). Not only is James a great singer, he makes people emo and they stop to watch him. Nicole says James, not her millionaire partner, is the reason she came to the UK and everyone should vote for him. His performance was genius, belissimo and epic.
Durrbot asks James how important it is for him to get through. He says he’s never won anything and the judges have hit him in the heart.
So that’s it! It’s all down to us! Do the right thing Britain! I’ll see you tomorrow for the results. I don’t know who to vote for. A friend of mine text me yesterday and asked me who my favourite was. I couldn’t tell her. She then asked why I was still watching. I couldn’t answer that either. Oh well! At least I won’t be too disappointed.