Top 5 Performance 30 November 2013
Last week! The show decided to have a random tenth birthday party in case it doesn't actually live to be 10 years old next year! Tamera blew her words! (this show is so bizarre this year with its not making its mind up about what we should think of her) Louis became the best mentor of the series by being the last judge with two acts standing! There was a “shock” sing-off (nb not especially) and Hannah went home!
Tonight! It’s “Jukebox” week, which is the latest euphemism for that perennial favourite, ‘songs that are songs’ week! And because I’ve been a jammy sod and avoided recapping the last few mercifully short episodes, my punishment is to recap TIME FOR TWO SONGS EACH WEEK! It’s time to face the thought of this show being two hours long again!
Oh Giant X, please crush me now.
Dermot enters to Salt’n’Pepa’s ‘Whatta Man’ but is sans dancers. He says ‘we are all about the number two this week… two shows, two songs… that’s a lot of number twos’. Well how can I make jokes about the acts being shit when you’re doing it for me, Dermot? Has the show now got to the stage where it’s trolling itself? I don’t even know what’s going on anymore. SUITWATCH: Grey with one of those scalloped waistcoat things again and a brown tie that DOES NOT GO.
Cue judges! Funsponge is in all black; Louis is in velour; Sharon in glittery green-black and Nicole in glittery red with a new, shorter, haircut. Nicole drunkenness state? Well, she’s blowing air kisses and preening herself so I’d say she’s pretty far gone. Dermot tells us that the acts will be singing two songs, one chosen by them and the judges and one chosen by the British public via the app. He gets so excited that a million votes were cast on the app. I’m guessing audience participation levels are somewhat down this year. (If only they released vote numbers and not just percentages at the end of every series).
First up is Nicholas, whose song choices were a bit boring (Amazed, The Prayer and Just the Way You Are). Louis reminds us that wee Nic is from SCOTLAND. Why, he even has a Scottish ring tone! Louis rings him to tell him the public voted for Just the Way You Are. Wee Nic almost cries because it’s a song he’s actually heard of for once and it reminds him of his little sister. He tells her the song choice via the medium of a video call on a HANDY AND ATTRACTIVE TABLET, then watched his performance back via the magic of a YOUVIEW box. He then flips back to the tablet to watch other YOUNG performers like Justin Bieber and Wand Erection to get some inspiration.
His opening ‘ooohs’ are very scratchy with some croaky notes, but he does get better as he gets into the song though it still has some bum notes in. Other than that, I don’t know what to say about it – the lighting was colourful but a bit boring, the staging was boring, the performance was competent but unmemorable, the audience go mental. Sharon reminds us that he is now SEVENTEEN and says he is dependable but the ‘inner wee Nic’ now has to come out and be like a lion. I would have thought his inner animal was a hamster, myself (something which Sharon goes on to imply by telling him to move his little legs up and down the stage). Sharon’s grasp of pig Latin remains as strong as ever, telling him to say ‘nixay’ to anyone who makes him stand still and he isn’t quite there with the performance. The audience both cheer and boo at this. Funsponge says he needs to take a risk and it’s too middle of the road for him. HOLD THE FRONT PAGE. Can there actually be such a thing as too middle of the road for Gary MOR Barlow? Nicole liked it anyway and said he connected with the lyrics more than ever. Louis says he has a god-given gift and has a natural recording voice. Durrbot asks Wee Nic what he thinks about the judges’ comments. Wee Nic wants to get ready for his next song. Durrbot asks if we’ll see his inner lion, and then calls him Simba. Is Durrbot deliberately trolling tonight? (Although he did basically nick that joke off Brucie on Strictly earlier. And when you nick jokes from Bruce, then...)
Sharon says next up is ‘a lioness’ – Sam B. She says Whitney Houston is one of her idols so she is excited about singing ‘How Will I Know’. Now, I’m glad Sam gets to go up-tempo for once, and I love that song, but when will anyone learn that Whitney and this show do not go together? [It does seem as though 80s Whitney is always a risky move on any singing show. - Steve] We’re also reminded that Sam is a MUM and her life has changed because she is on this show – and this show is HARD WORK. And then she gets to watch the Royal Variety Performance featuring extracts from the X FACTOR MUSICAL BY HARRY HILL. [Which, if the clips that have been released are anything to go by, will be shit. - Steve]
She’s wearing a glittery catsuit thing which is quite ‘mum from the 80s’ – the whole thing has that vibe actually. THIS IS IN NO WAY A BAD THING. Or at least where I’m concerned, anyway. I mean, it’s a bit bellowy as is Sam’s way, and there is nothing contemporary whatsoever about it but I liked it. I just wish this show’s 80s week could have had that kind of thing in it.
Gary liked her versatility. Nicole likes the song and invokes the annual female over on a CRUISESHIP comment war. Louis loved it because of course. Sharon says the cruiseship Nicole saw her on was the O2 which makes no sense whatsoever. Did she mean the QE2 or did she mean Nicole will headline the O2 Millennium Dome or…? (We were in that London the other week and one of my friends (aged 35), on going past it, was ‘so THAT’S the Millennium Dome? When was that around, the 90s?’ In her defence, she was tired.)
Ads. I choose not to watch I’m a Celebrity because I don’t like seeing people covered in/eating insects, so why should I have to endure it in an ad break?
Durrbot reminds us there are only two weeks left until the show ends! Hooray!
Tamera is next and Nicole reminds us that she is SIXTEEN. Tamera gets hypnotherapy to help her with her lyric remembering.
She’s doing ‘We Found Love’ and appears to be wearing very visible contro pants under a short denim body, topped off with what looks like a cropped PVC version of the Sixth Doctor’s coat. (I wasn’t on Twitter last night and am only just catching up on the show on Sunday evening but I will be very disappointed if that comment wasn’t made by every person on there). It’s fine – it’s a Rihanna song so there’s not much you can do in a sing-y way, but she remembers her words.
Louis says she could be a pop star in the charts and congratulates her for remembering her lyrics. Sharon tells her to move around the stage more. Funsponge says he wanted to see her having fun and is glad that she did. What has happened to him this week? Nicole tries to do a Louis Walsh impression, saying ‘you look like a pop star, you sound like a pop star’ in the accent of an Italian American gangster, and then she makes woo-woo noises. And now I am imagining Nicole and Bruno Tonioli on a judging panel together and trying to figure out if that would be hysteri-mazing or just awful. [I think it would be brilliant for a couple of weeks but they'd be so drunk by the finale that they'd be entirely unable to speak. - Steve]
Next up is Luke and his hair. He had a choice of ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’, ‘One Day Like This’ or ‘Skinny Love’ and the public chose the latter of these. Luke used to sing this with his friend Sydney who is now in Australia, possibly living up to her name. He talks to her via the power of product placement tablet. Louis reveals that he hates this song, to the surprise of no-one.
Luke is wearing a terrible rug (the kind that you always get on the floor of those hippy shops that sell windchimes and incense and ugly cushions in bright colours with tiny wee mirrors sewn in) as a shirt. Somehow this song, which was always a bit plodding, has been made even slower, and his vocal is all NOISE OVER EMOTION which doesn’t really work for him, because although he can sound OK sometimes, he really isn’t a belter, so it just seems quite strained.
Sharon compliments him on his ‘big juicy love’ and says she can picture him singing it at Glaston-berry. Presumably with his mates around a camp fire at 5 in the morning when everyone else is trying to sleep. Funsponge loves him (quelle surprise) and says he is one of the front-runners. When there are only five acts left, surely they are all frontrunners? Nicole wheels out the dark horse comment again and Louis wants everyone to vote for him. Dermot says it’d be good if Luke went to Glastonbury and Luke says it’s his favourite festival but he’s never been (not sure how that works but anyway). [Ahh, teenage musos, gawd bless 'em. - Steve] Durrbot asks Louis why he hates the song and Louis says he basically has PTSD from three years ago when loads of people did it at the auditions (even though the only example I can find on our blog is from 2012).
Ads! Where are JLS? Have they actually split up now?
Last week you didn’t vote for Poor Facsimile and that was wrong. Their VT features the now obligatory ‘Funsponge tries to have fun and looks in pain the whole time’ bit – this week featuring bad dancing! The group are going to do a medley because they have two musical heroes – Bobby Brown and R Kelly. Wow, the musical heroes this week are super family-friendly, aren’t they? Oh, and on the subject of R Kelly, has the internet had OUTRAGE at Lady Gaga involving him on a song that goes ‘do what you want, what you want with my body’ yet? Oh, GAGA.
Fans of the skirts will be pleased to know there is a reboot of them this week, and the introduction of a backpack as suitable stage-wear. And whilst I love ‘Every Little Step’ (less so ‘She’s Got That Vibe’) this whole thing feels so 1990. Again, not complaining, as the 80s and 90s were very much my era, but if this is meant to be the act with a contemporary flavour, then…
Anyway, the crowd remind them that they were just ARSEY some more. Nicole shouts that they gave her some perspiration and she’s getting excited. She doesn’t want them in the bottom two again because the show needs the arsey spirit. Louis says the competition needs them but the performance was only OK and the vocals were a bit weak. Sharon wants them to ‘nixay’ the hopping and the skipping like gazelles (or as she says, jazelles). Oh Sharon, stand still and you’re damned, move and you’re damned. Make up your mind, woman. She asks why the backpack and the retort is ‘I’m on my way to the final’. The others act as if this was the best response ever, which… not really. It doesn’t even make any sense. But the crowd also seem to think this is an excellent burn on Sharon, and we take those where we find them, so… Sharon tells them they have three weeks so shouldn’t be so presumptuous (I love the idea that in three weeks’ time Sharon will just be rattling around in that studio wondering where everyone is). Gary loved them. Durrbot tells Sharon she can’t have it both ways and want animals and then tell people off for being animals. She says they were like gazelles. Helpful. Although the idea of Wee Nic being a fierce lion grazing on the gazelle-like corpses of Arsey is quite funny. Durrbot opens the voting lines and gives us our first recap of the night.
Ads! It’s HERB, not URB, annoying fake American stalker polar bear creep.
We’re back with the TOTALLY VALID backstage bit with Caroline Flack SPONSORED BY TALKTALK. Arsey say it’s hard to please Sharon because she’s the queen. In the back pack? A SAMSUNG phone and a furry snood. ALL YOU NEED FOR THE FINAL.
Next up, SCOTLAND’s finest
Leon Jackson Wee Nic. Wee Nic was SEVENTEEN last week and got a
fugly cake. Then Louis gave him a
birthday present – his first driving lesson. Aren’t most first lessons free? So generous. Wee Nic is singing a
Take That song and he is worried because FUNSPONGE is a hero and then the vocal
coach tells him it’s a HARD SONG, and we see wee Nic fluffing the lines and
fretting that he doesn’t want Funsponge to send him home.
It’s ‘Greatest Day’, which is, at least, not ‘The Flood’. Maybe they’re saving that for Steve’s recap week. [I wouldn't put it past them. - Steve] Wee Nic stands atop a plinth wearing a NKOTB tribute jacket – seriously, is this whole episode being sponsored by my old Smash Hits yearbooks? - and still muffs the high notes. The rest of it is OK but those high notes are painful.
Sharon says she could feel the inner beast rising within his soul and then patronivoices ‘I still love you little thing’. Funsponge says he is honoured to be Wee Nic’s hero. Wee Nic has his tongue firmly in cheek and says ‘yeah’ in a manner that in no way suggests he was contractually obliged to pretend this was true. Poor Wee Nic, all he wants is to do some gangsta rap or something. Funsponge says this is how you take a risk and get an identity. Nicole fake-sad-voices that it’s a big song and then says he gave a big performance and was SHAMAZING. Louis’ ‘you know who you remind me of’ gets a laugh from the audience even before he says a young Gary Barlow (his quiff reminds me of a young Halo James but there we are). Wee Nic says he knows Funsponge doesn’t like people doing his songs on the show (he loves it).
Durrbot then introduces Sam Bailey by reminding us of what we could have won – Mike and The Mechanics’ ‘The Living Years’. I mean, it’s X Factor in a song, because it’s all about DEAD DADS – in fact, they should have played it as part of the ‘anniversary’ thing last week with a montage of all the sob stories playing over it. Anyway, stupid tablet app voters voted for Emily Sunday’s ‘Clown’ even though we’ve already seen Sam sing this because stupid app voters are stupid. [Also, now this makes me think that people actually WANT to hear Emily Sunday, when previously I assumed that she was just being forced upon us against our will this whole time. I don't know what to believe any more. - Steve] She is reminded of her children and talks to them on a WONDROUS TABLET. They laugh that they are ‘sort of’ looking after their dad (WHO IS ALIVE. Possibly. I mean, we don’t see him and the kids’ ‘sort of’ looking after him could have a sinister undertone to it).
Sam’s hair, which looked lovely in song 1 looks bad her, piled into a messy bun. She’s wearing a short black dress under a long black spotty net curtain. It’s not a great look. The performance probably has a bit more subtlety to it than when she did it at Boot Camp, but that’s not saying a lot – it’s still pretty bellowy and VOLUME=EMOTION. She’s working some proper 80s-looking triangle earrings though.
Funsponge says having two songs has benefited her the most, getting people dancing and then laughing and he is surprised by how high her voice can go because she has great range. Nicole has just one word: astounding and starts semi-crying. Louis says she looks relevant and like a pop star (not in that gear) and she’s a world class act. He says Sharon has done a great job at mentoring because, yes, I’m sure Sharon has so much involvement in this. Sharon repeats Funsponge’s comment about Sam’s vocal range. Sam misses her daughter and hopes she’s doing her homework.
Ads! Oh, my mistake, JLS are still here. Unless this is the new Big Reunion-reassambled version of JLS. Who can tell any more?
Durrbot welcomes us back from the audience where he reads out some tweets from a card. Ed Balls likes Sam Bailey and Rio Ferdinand prefers Luke. [ED BALLS. - Steve] Luke’s mum isn’t nervous and says she’s waiting for the next one. Dermot gets the hump at being told to hurry it along.
Luke tells Louis he’s pleased people liked his One Direction song and he likes to ‘change up songs’. There us then some funny home footage of him as a kid showboating on stage and wearing afro wigs. The signs about the hair were there for quite some time. Luke’s musical heroes? Mumford and Sons. He’s doing ‘I Will Wait’ accompanied by musicians in cage-type things. They could actually be Mumford and Sons, because all these white folky men look the same to me /radio2racist. It’s probably a bit more exciting than the original in that it actually has some pace and energy, but Luke is essentially shouting most of it and it’s still the world’s most boring song. He doesn’t really make the deep note at the end, either.
Sharon declares it his best performance so far and says he’s really found himself and will be in the final. Funsponge says they’re like a broken record saying they want someone who will ‘sell records’ and he’s fantastic. Nicole calls him Mr Great Balls of Fire with Some Hair on Him at which the others laugh. Nicole tells them to shut up because they’re not talking about big hairy balls. Louis hopes all of Luke’s Friends vote for him. Heh.
Durrbot asks him how he feels about that song and Luke says ‘it’s pretty Rad’. INVOKING MY NAME IN VAIN I WILL NOT HAVE THIS. Comparing me to fucking Mumford and Fucking Sons? You are ON MY LIST, Friend.
Again, the British public are idiots – instead of picking a Kate Bush track, they’ve given Tamera perennial Simon Cowell snooze-fest favourite ‘The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face’. She apparently sung it at a talent show at her church and won, even though the clip we see of this event sounds bloody awful.
The performance is like a more boring and screechy and out-of-tune version of Leona Lewis’s super boring version of this song. She’s wearing a crucifix belt and ring though and lots of white. I’m not sure if we’re meant to think she’s the Second Coming or sacreligious. Louis says she looks like a pop star, herself and Luke. Sharon gets the giggles. Louis reminds us that Leona sang that song. Everybody has sung that song on this bloody show. Sharon welcomes her back to the race. Gary says ‘a few people’ (there are only a few people left, Funsponge [in the viewing audience - Steve]) are having a good night, including him. He says that in five years she’ll be the biggest contestant from this year of the show. Given the slim pickings on offer, I would be surprised if we remember who any of them are in five years’ time. Nicole calls her angel in Spanish, because: drunk. Tamera loved singing and showing her softer side.
Hooray! It’s time for the last song of the evening! Funsponge SKYPES Rough Copy via a WONDERFUL TABLET DEVICE and R Kelly gets more money out of this show because they’re singing ‘I Believe I Can Fly’ which us a song I hate so, so much. They are dressed in white like ANGELS. Angels who wear skirts over trousers. And they have the golden firework backdrop the show likes to give to its favourites. I HATE THIS SONG. They pull constipated faces. One of them tries to do some standing still hip-hop moves. They get down off a plinth in the key change. DRRRRRIIIIIINK. I hate this song, I hate this song, I hate this song. And I hate this tedious reality show ballid arrangement with a gospel choir and then finally it’s over because I need to go vomit. The audience agree that that was just arsey, and Nicole says they took us to arsey church. She says they’re the best group the show has ever seen and they are VERY NICE as if it wasn’t already obvious that they’re being groomed as JLS replacements. Louis hopes they make the final. Sharon says it was spiritual. Well, I needed some strong spirits to get through it if that’s what she meant. She calls them eagles. Funsponge implores us to vote and if Carslberg made contestants, this would be it – bland, disappointing, bit cheap.
(I quite like Arsey but I hate what this show is doing to them).
One of them likes church and the Aston replacement one says they’re ON A JOURNEY. Egads.
Durrbot tells us to vote again and we get a recap: SCOTLAND! EVERYONE RELIVING THE 80s AND EARLY 90s! PRODUCT PLACEMENT TABLETS AND ALSO SKYPE AND A BIT OF YOUVIEW! COLIN BAKER SHOUT OUT! TWO OF MY LEAST FAVOURITE SONGS EVER!
So that’s it – tomorrow someone will be going home. I couldn’t really care less who, but I not only have to endure that, I have to endure a homophobe and a goose, so FUN TIMES ALL ROUND. Join me then!