Sunday, November 24, 2013

I simply can't Barrett

Top 6 Results - 24 November 2013

Everyone's in black as we return to the Grim Cold Open. Dermot, for some reason, persists with the idea that last night's show was a birthday celebration, but reminds us that tonight someone is going home with NO CAKE AND NO PARTY BAG.

First, the bombastic recap. Getting the narrative seal of approval for last night's performances are Rough Copy, Hannah, Luke, Sam and Wee Nick. The boot of failure, however, is inserted into the jacksy of Tameramnesia for forgetting her words. Coming up tonight, we have "X Factor supergroup JLS", and once again I need to tell the producers that that word does not mean what they think it means [Although The Risk kind of were an X Factor supergoup - Rad]. Also, R&B superstar Mary J Blige will be here with Jessie J tagging along for the ride, and also some nobodies called A Direction or something. *shrugs* Meanwhile, the judges celebrate the non-birthday with Louis doing a Dame Edna impression, Gary delivering the most entirely joyless rendition of Kool And The Gang's 'Celebration' you're ever likely to hear, and Nicole finally working out how to trigger a party popper.

Dermot arrives and welcomes us to the show by stumbling over the word "successes" as he reminds us that JLS and One Direction are on later. Before all that, though, we must welcome the judges: Gary's in a wide-check brown blazer that seems to fade at the edges, Nicole is wearing a purple/navy dress where Giant X itself is straining to contain her boobs, Sharon is in a sheer black number covered in black lace, and Louie is wearing a dark jacket and a dotted tie. Nicole appears to need a bit of help getting to her seat. Nobody ever thinks of the practicalities with these outfits once they've made that dramatic entrance, do they?

Time for the group number, now with 100% more JLS: the top six sing 'Everybody In Love', leaving a massive gap centre-stage so that it can be filled by some actual stars when they deign to turn up. Joey Rough Copy gets the "honour" of doing the "ladies and gentlemen, JLS!" introduction. I'd love to tell you what happens next, but I'm afraid I have a rule where I only recap bands that haven't split up. OH DEAR SORRY ABOUT THAT JLS. That's what you get for dragging it out to the point where we've all seen you far more post-split than we ever did beforehand. Stop hanging around like a trapped fart and move on with your lives already.

And here's the recap of the recap: Wee Nick declares this the best birthday he's ever had, even though it got completely overshadowed by a fake birthday, and Gary reminds us some more about how Wee Nick is solid and reliable and other hugely exciting adjectives like those. Hannah put her heart and soul (and cleavage, dayum) into that performance, so she's happy. Luke wants us all to know that this competition means so much to him, and Gary thinks that Luke is "in a complete lane of his own". Maybe because he can't find any friends to go bowling with him. Rough Copy felt it was natural to get back into their R&B groove, and Nicole thinks that they were the icing and sha-sprinkles on top of the birthday cake. Sometimes I wonder if they just lead her to a padded room as soon as the show's over. Tameramnesia says that she just doesn't want it to end, and she hopes her performance showed that. Girl, your performance suggests that you didn't even know where the end was. Sharon says that she's going to make it, but it's just not her time right now. (All snark aside, I do wonder if Tamera might have been unstoppable if she'd just left it a couple more years, worked on her confidence and gained a bit of experience, and then come back and slain everyone in her path. Sometimes timing is everything; just ask Alexandra Burke.) Finally, Sam hopes she did Leona Lewis proud, because it's such an emotional song, and Nicole declares that she ended the party with a SHA-BANG, BABY. Just imagine if Nicole edited the OED. The S section would be heavier than the rest of the tome put together.

After that, it's time for our very special guests, Mary J Blige and Jessie J. OVER 65 MILLION RECORD SALES WORLDWIDE. 8 MULTI-PLATINUM ALBUMS. 9 GRAMMY AWARDS. MARY J BLIGE! FEATURING JESSIE J! Ha, they do not list any of Jessie J's achievements. I was hoping for LEAST SUCCESSFUL COACH ON THE VOICE UK FOR TWO SERIES RUNNING! to flash up at some point. They're singing 'Do You Hear What I Hear', and Jessie is oversinging the shit out of her part as per usual. Girl should know better than to attempt to upstage Mary J Blige. You just do not do that. Also, I bet Mary J and Jessie J are really cross that someone beat them to the group name Union J. Dermot arrives, and Mary J explains that basically she roped in Jessie J for this song because she and David Foster thought it might help to shift a few more units in the UK. Jessie J ticks off the "honoured" and "blessed" parts of the gratitude checklist, and then they're gone.

Ad break, featuring a "very special" commercial in which Gary Barlow teams up with Aleksandr the Meerkat. There's a gag at the end about Gary paying the bill for the fireworks, but I'm sure the accountant who found those convenient tax loopholes can sort that out for him.

When we return, it's the moment we've all been waiting for - the voting lines have closed! Oh, and One Direction are on. 35 MILLION RECORD SALES WORLDWIDE! NUMBER ONE HITS IN 64 COUNTRIES! 2 BILLION YOUTUBE HITS! THE BIGGEST BOYBAND IN THE WORLD! COUNTLESS SHITTY TATTOOS! ONE DIRECTION! They're singing 'Story Of My Life', their new single which is worryingly Mumford-esque. Also, I don't want to think too closely about the line "I spend her love until she's broke inside", because it sounds rather nasty. Perhaps most worryingly of all, Resentful Direction seems to be gradually morphing into Gary Barlow. I know they share a common temperament, but Resentful is much better-looking and far more entertaining, so he should resist this transformation with all of his might.

Dermot arrives, and begins with the usual invitation to shill the album, which Resentful does resentfully. Zayn says it's amazing to be home and be with the UK fans again. Dermot offers Resentful his microphone, and Resentful is all "I've got my own, BUT THANKS" (RESENTFUL DIRECTION ♥) and is unconvincingly excited about having a film and a tour and stuff. Hating every second, and we love him for it. Harry's highlight is being back here, Not So Tiny These Days Nicholas Hoult's was performing at the Brits, and Niall enjoyed being at the VMAs. Dermot does the whole "if a judging role came up, who would make the best judge?" thing, and seriously, stop with the "if" already, Gary and Sharon have already said they're out after this series. One Direction suggest that they just swap Gary for Resentful, and JESUS CHRIST YES THAT WOULD BE AMAZING. Just imagine him seething behind that desk on a weekly basis. That'd sort out the ratings problems in a heartbeat.

Adverts. One Direction have a fragrance out, and Diana Vickers is celebrating this fact by singing 'My Favourite Things' down her nose.

When we return, Dermot explains that next week we have an X Factor first: the contestants will be singing two songs, one of their own choice and one from "the X Factor jukebox" chosen by the public. There's a quick VT to explain how it all works, but basically everyone's picked three ballids and we can decide which one they'll perform by using the app. Yeah, I think I'll not bother if it's all the same to you.

Dermot welcomes the top six acts back to the stage, and the following contestants are safe in no particular order: Luke, Wee Nick, Sam and Tameramnesia, leaving Hannah and Rough Copy in the sing-off. Tamera can't quite believe it, while Hannah rolls her eyes all "oh well, here we are AGAIN". There appears to be some booing in the room, though I wouldn't like to speculate as to whether it's for Tamera being safe, or the other two being in jeopardy.

Final ad break. Apparently Matthew Wright is being a twit on I'm A Celebrity. Who knew?

Upon our return, Dermot refers to this as a "shock result", which...really? Hannah's been here twice already, and as much as I like Rough Copy, they were bound to run out of steam sooner or later.

Hannah's up first, and sings 'I'd Rather Go Blind' with an air of weary resignation, which sort of works for the song in a weird way. Still, they really need to stop letting her sing right down at the bottom of her range, because it's really not pleasant. It's a proper brown note area. Afterwards, Rough Copy sing 'Stop Crying Your Heart Out' in their quest for salvation, and the grand tradition of boy band sing-off performances always being quite rubbish continues unabated. There are some nice harmonies in there from time to time, but it's a bit lifeless. I'd almost be inclined to tip this one to Hannah if this weren't her third time here.

Hannah rejoins them on stage, and it's over to the judges to decide who'll be departing tonight. Nicole's up first and she's quivering with rage, because THESE TWO SHOULD'VE BEEN IN THE FINAL, DAMMIT. She says very pointedly that she's "disappointed and furious with the British public right now" for putting Hannah in the bottom two for a third time. Dermot's all "yeah, that's lovely, just give me a fucking name already". Nicole votes to send Rough Copy home. Gary thinks they were both great last night, and it's surprising that they're both here tonight. He says this with all the enthusiasm of someone reading aloud from the back pages of his vacuum cleaner's instruction manual. He votes to send Hannah home. Sharon thinks that neither of them should be here based on last night's performances, but since this is Hannah's third time in the sing-off, she has to send her home even though she doesn't want to. So it's all down to Louis, who thinks it's amazing to have two talented acts in the bottom two when they remembered all their words. I live for Louis throwing shade at Tamera, I really do. It's so crass, and so wonderful. Again, Dermot has no time for this shit and essentially says "look you goon, you can't vote for Tamera, so who do you want gone out of these two?" Louis doesn't want to send anyone home, but he's going to vote, and the act he's sending home is Hannah.

Hannah takes it with a grin - she knew this was coming, I think. Rough Copy swarm her and refuse to leave her alone even though the show is running late and Dermot is getting angry. We see Hannah's best bits, which include a few reminders that her father is dead, just for good measure. It's basically a montage of a talented girl wearing some awful outfits. God, the stylists really had it in for Hannah, didn't they? Dermot asks a tearful Hannah what her highlight has been, and Hannah says she feels so blessed to be here, and if she had to go out against anyone, she's glad it was Rough Copy because she wants them to win.

Next week: more fun with homophobic slurs as Arthur James returns, and HONK HONK HONK HONK HONK HONK HONK HONK. (That's Rebecca Ferguson for "Rebecca Ferguson will be here too.") Rad will be your guide for the latest iteration of "songs that are songs week", and she has my eternal sympathy. [TWO FUCKING PERFORMANCES EACH.  WHY GOD WHY? - Rad]


fused said...

I was indifferent to Hannah to begin with (and I never thought she was a potential winner), but I liked her more and more as the series went on, she improved in the last few weeks, and I actually think her final sing-off performance was her best. I think she should have been saved this week, but then again,the fact that it was her third time in the bottom two meant she wasn't going to last much longer anyway. I suppose at least she went out on a high.

Rough Copy are really inconsistent. Some weeks I think their performance is one of the better ones, like when they did 'September', and sometimes I think they're awful, like this week. I don't think the show knows what to do with them. I mean, it really sticks out that everyone else got a number one single from a former X Factor contestant, and with Rough Copy it was all "BixMix were a group too, and they topped the vote with this song in week 7 of their year, and they went on to win, that'll totally work again!". I'm not sure why they thought that was a good idea, unless they were really struggling with what song to give them.

Lia said...

LOL Steve!!! Love you to bits and Resentful direction all the way! I was flicking channels today and got to E!News and he was being interviewed. Let me just say I didn't hear a word he said after they showed a picture of him at the beach in Oz. Those abs...
Disclaimer: people know me commenting on this site and they will testify I'm usually not this shallow, promise!

Also on the new XF, can we please bring Brian back? The staging has been pretty shit without him and all these people can do are plinths of all shapes and sizes. No fashion pandas, no bongos, no ghostbusters. He's not even doing USA, it's some Jaime King bloke who's not even close. NotLouis to rule XF 2014!!!

Jen said...

I recently started writing a similar X Factor blog, but mine is kind of like the 'sweet, innocent, genuine love for the show' version of yours! I think the two of them make for great complementary reading at opposite ends of the spectrum!
Hope you don't mind me sharing mine:
I only just came across yours but will be following eagerly from now on, love it!