Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Scot and Bailey

Last night! Two hours of bloat, a patented Nicole Scherzinger duet steal, a disappointing lack of face pizza, the discovery of 'haggis pakora' and the end of Luke Friend.

Tonight!  Two more hours of bloat, because we're worth it, apparently, before Sam Bailey wins as well all knew she would from about week three or so.  Gosh this whole series has just felt so valid, hasn't it?  Foolishly, I watched this whole thing live on Sunday, but I was eating takeaway and drinking wine and didn't think it was the best time to recap it.  Now the thought of wasting another two hours on this thing is making me seriously reconsider my life choices.

And also Katy Who? and SrEltonJohn duetting with fucking Funsponge.  KILL ME NOW.

Oh Giant X, I do love your gold glittery costume tonight.  If I could vote for you, I probably would.

Dermot enters, sans dancing girls, in a tux with another of those annoying scoop waistcoat things.  He introduces our judges, making reference to 'GB, Gary Barlow' which I am totally taking as a shout-out to this, so hooray for pissy, slightly-rogue Dermot.  (He was in cracking pissed and uncorporate form on the Xtra Factor - why can't you always be like that Dermot, instead of being a soulless stooge?)

The judges enter to 'Two Tribes'.  Sharon's wearing red lace, Nicole some sort of scaly thing compiled from silver foil put through the shredder (I can only assume Sophie Ellis Bextor is stopping Brendan having ideas), Louis tartan trousers.  Funsponge is wearing an outfit that's as BORING AS BARLOW.

Time for the annual 'which contestant didn't come back for the group song' competition - this year it isn't, perhaps surprisingly, the heavily pregnant SeSe from Missed Dynamix, but Lorna.  And Tamera's skirt.  Oh, and Sam C sounds even more like arse than he did when he was on the show.  They're doing 'Roar' and it's at least more tuneful than that 'thing' Katy Who?  will do later.  Rough Copy appear to have favoured cotton over leather tonight,  I guess they're still raw from the chafing.  Wee Nic and Sam then arrive looking ever more like a mother and son.  And then they stand around for ages before the camera remembers to find Dermot.  SO PROFESSIONAL.

Dermot recaps last night and that was long enough, plus Steve already went to the trouble of recapping it, so that's one for the fast forward button.

Ads!  What is that KFC thing about?  Is it trying and failing to be Lucy Spraggan?  At least the girl has the good grace to look distinctly embarrassed and apologetic at the end.

Dermot welcomes us back by reminding us that one act from this show has had genuine, legitimate, worldwide success - yes, it's another Wand Erection performance because the guest book really has run dry (see also Katy Who?).  Now, I have a bit of a soft spot for Wand Erection these days, but this song is just arse.  It's some sort of 'rock' thing that sounds like a McFly B-side crossed with Joan Jett crossed with Def Leppard and then shoved into some sort of Borelowing blender of bland.  AND they let Louis sing, which is never good.

Dermot calls Harry Harold, asks him if he's having Christmas off and if he's cooking turkey.  Yes, he's having Christmas Day off, eating turkey, but he won't be cooking it.  So now you know.  Dermot then asks if they'll be spending Christmas together, because of course your work colleagues are the people you want around you on your day off.  Resentful says no, they all hate each other.  Dermot laughs awkwardly at this whilst Resentful remains stony-faced.  Dermot asks what presents they get each other for Christmas and Resentful just looks at him like he's something he scraped off his shoe.  Resentful Direction - you just made my evening, bless you. [Resentful Direction gives me hope in a hopeless universe. I love him - Helen]

Dermot heads over to the judges where Sharon and Louis are talking and Dermot tells them off.  They say they were discussing which of them will win and they both think Sharon.  Louis says Shane's duet with Wee Nic was the best bit of last night because Shane didn't pinch the song like Nicole did.  Sharon and Funsponge said Nicole and Sam's duet was the best bit.  Dermot says that no-one thought Wagner was.  I think Stuart Heritage at the Guardian might have [Cosign - Helen], Dermot.  Incidentally, Stuart Heritage's live blog brought to my attention the existence of this photo, which is the very epitome of WE IZ SO HAPPEE HONEST and possibly my new favourite thing ever:

Louis says he hopes if he doesn't win, that Sharon will.  Their names are Wee Nic and Sam, Louis.  Everyone else wants Sam to win, obviously.  You can just see the ghosts of X Factor boy winners past lurking around the place, can't you?

Half an hour in, you say?  Maybe it's time for a song?  Possibly?  Wee Nic talks about wanting to do his favourite songs - which seem to be the ones from the weeks he topped the public vote.  Louis suggests this isn't a great idea as Sam needs to win, so he can sing 'Angel' instead.  Wee Nic says this is his mum's favourite song so he's happy with it.  His performance is perfectly nice, with some random contemporary chair wafting and violinists as distractions.

Sharon reminds us that he is SEVENTEEN (anyone notice that their deramping of him began around the time he was no longer SIXTEEN?).  Funsponge says he has a 'pretty good chance'.  Nicole wants to buy the song on iTunes and curl up to it.  She calls him an Angel with 'butter wings' - slippery and messy?  Louis thanks him for his hard work and pleads for votes.

Wee Nic says it was an amazing moment and he thanks everyone who's supported him and he gives a little wave to his family.  D'awww.


Louis shows us that Louis is wearing ill-fitting Tartan trousers - with that, his bow tie and velvet jacket, he reminds me of a young Second Doctor.

Sharon says it's the last time she'll introduce Sam (apart from the second song, obviously) and she has the 'best voice we've ever heard'.  Oh Sharon, Nicole sang her off stage yesterday.  Best voice of the twelve contestants you cobbled together this year, maybe, but even then Tamera, Hannah and Wee Nic when they're on form would have some claim to that title.  Anyway, Sam Bailey is doing 'The Power of Love' for all the mams and she says it reminds her of being a kid because her mum liked it - and it's nice to remember that she's actually only my age (well a couple of years older) because the show does this weird thing to the over-25s where it automatically makes them all seem middle-aged.  The FUNCTIONAL AND ATTRACTIVE PRODUCT PLACEMENT TABLET reminds Sam of her journey (drrrrrink!).

She's dressed in a dress that's very reminiscent of Sharon's.  With that and Wee Nic looking like a Little Louis Walsh I think the mentor emulation has gone a bit too far this year.  The song is very Sam, volume=good, nice tone, the people on Gogglebox will no doubt love it.  The audience go mental.

Funsponge says she could have sung anything because she's awesome and people need to vote for her, not assume that she's won.  Nicole loves her, Sharon calls her her 'friend forever'.  How are Tabby and Andy Abraham these days, Mrs O?  Sam feels at home on the stage.  KILL THE CONFIDENT MONSTER.  She thanks everyone for voting.

You know what this final needs?  Another recap.  Sharon calls it the tenth "anniversary" series.  That midddle word isn't really accurate, dear.  We then get a SHARON IS FABULOUS montage - to be fair, audition Sharon is quite fun, even if live shows Sharon can be awful.  Funsponge's highlight?  Fil and that time he threw a mug.  Louis highlight?  Melanie McCabe coming back and making him cry.  Sharon's?  Steph coming back and making her cry.  Nicole cried, laughed, danced and says the yodeller 'brought me to life'.  We then see Nicole calling Funsponge a grumpy old fart, but all the judges love each other.  Apart from Nicole, who scha-loves them.  Well, that was sweet and all, but can we have some content already?

Dermot reminds us that Funsponge is leaving which gets a huge clap.  I'm giving it a standing ovation right now, Dermot.  Funsponge says his highlight will be singing with his 'lifelong hero' Elton John.  ALL ABOUT THE CONTESTANTS.

Ads!  Oh look, JLS are still here.  I'm thinking they're the musical equivalent of the Boy Who Cried Wolf.  One day you really will split up, boys, and no-one will care, and then you'll be sorry.

Time for another 'special' guest!  Despite the fact that she's on here about as often as the actual contestants (and more than, say, Lorna)  It's Steve's nemesis Katy Who?  She arrives in a cage, dressed as a bird - which I want to say is a tribute to someone, because surely a Kitty or Katie Weasel or Gaga did that once?  She's performing 'Unconditionally' and it is bad - her live vocals are never great, but this is particularly ropey.  Still, with Louis Direction, her and Funsponge performing, at least Wee Nic and Sam Bailey look like the best singers the world's ever heard in comparison.  Dermot thanks her for coming and gets her to shill her tour and he does a 'we're gonna see you to-our' which is about as tuneful as she was just then.

Dermot asks Sam and Wee Nic how they feel.  Sam says she's blessed.  Wee Nic mumbles something because either his mic has cut out, or he's gone full Leon Jackson.  Sam, in an anti-Scherzinger move, offers him her mic to thank everyone again.

Well, I think that's enough content, don't you?  Ad time!  Never mind, Abi Alton, next year that John Lewis ad could be yours.

Dermot introduces the finalists again as if we'd forgotten who they were and we see their journeys.  Nerves, overcoming nerves, losing weight, being ORDINARY, loving their families.  OK, there isn't much story for either of them, but it's kind of refreshing that this series has avoided 'My dad WHO IS DEAD' (even though Sam's is) and 'I hate my job' stories.

Wee Nic's song is called 'Superman' by Five For Fighting. I've never heard it before although it does suit his voice.  Poor Wee Nic though, for all his 'I want to sing something current' - this sounds like something Funsponge would think is credible.   It has the obligatory lyrics about inspiration and a patented Louis Walsh act key change.  He acquits himself perfectly well, but can people take him singing 'I'm only a man' seriously given he's always called a little boy who is SIXTEEN then SEVENTEEN?

The judges give him a standing ovation, aoart from Boring Funsponge Tightpants Borelow, despite this being RIGHT UP HIS STREET.  Weirdo.  Sharon says he came into the show as a little boy and now he's a young man.  What a birthday can do for you, huh?  Funsponge says he's transformed a lot and he needs to take his experience and move forward.  He congratulates him, because this basically is the 'you're done now, this is as far as you go' pat on the back.  Nicole says he's defined himself as an artist and that's the kind of song he'll be singing.  But Nicole!  He don't wanna be Nic the boy who croons old songs no more!  Wee Nic thanks the judges and his supporters.  Caroline is with his mum who cries and reminds us he's SEVENTEEN and then Wee Nic thanks them all again and we see a video of his family and friends telling him they love him.

Sam's song is Demi Lovato's 'Skyscraper' which sounds like a more traditional winner's song insofar as it has a quiet bit that builds to lots of VOLUME=EMOTION.  (Cue Nicole crying)  It's overblown of course, but it's standard X Factor fare and as these things go, it's perfectly fine, and good on Sam for being the first female over winner, I guess.  I mean, if she wins, obviously.  May she enjoy a long run as Mama Morton as her career path demands and never have to wear an unflattering jumpsuit again.

She gets a standing ovation.  Funsopnge tells her the nation loves her and she's had a massive 'second chance' (at this show, after her audition in 2007?).  Nicole cries (a bit) and says she is 'the voice'.  But I thought that was Andrea thingy that made Abi look redundant.  Louis says that will be a number one record.  Sharon is melting out of happiness that, unlike Funsponge, she's now finally won a series (well, almost).  Sam has GROWN on her journey and says Sharon has been inspirational.  Caroline is with Sam's husband and cute kids.  Her husband uses the son as a puppet to say 'mummy's going to win'.  Her mu m cries and her brother tries to hog the camera some, and then we get a video from her friends and family as well.

We haven't had a recap for a while, so how about another one?  Of last night AND tonight?  Such spoils.

Ads!  How does Nicole magically get a shower on an aeroplane AND come out dry?  No wonder they all want to know her secret.

Next!  Our special guest!  Elton John!  (They've dispensed with the Sir for some reason, disrespectful beings).  Oh and Funsponge.  They're doing some boring thing on duelling pianos and although I quite like some of Elton's stuff, there's no way I need to re-listen to this or give Funsponge any more publicity - other than to say that his smugface here is worse than Andre Rieu's.  (Oh, and Elton's mic is way down and Funsponge's vocal is weak as piss).  Dermot thanks Elton for finally deigning the show with his presence, even though he did a whole guest mentoring thing on Pop Idol 2.  Elton's accent has gone very weird but he's had fun doing the shar and meeting the finalists on the shar and he takes another opportunity to praise Funsponge.  What on earth did he have written into his contract to get all this praise? [He didn't bloody blink. At all - Helen]

And finally!  Dermot closes the phone lines.  So that's the cue for yet more ads!  Why must Olly Murs be in all these ad breaks?

O Fortuna plays as we welcome back Wee Nic, Sam, Louis and Sharon.  The winner is......... Sam, because, duh.  She got over one million votes - given that she got over 50%, it means less than two million votes were cast in the final.  I'm not sure what they usually get, but that doesn't sound like a lot.  Sharon cackles that victory is at last hers.  Sam says she loves 'that boy to pieces, Nicky Macdonald, and he needs to get an album deal'.  Aww.  He says Sam was a hard one to beat and thanks everyone again.  He's like the king of thankful, bless him.  Dermot shows Sam the CD single because apparently they still exist, even when Andi Peters isn't watching them being made and she says she looks thin.

She sings her winner's song again and gets mobbed by the other finalists (except Lorna).  Sadly, despite being in the vicinity, Harry Styles doesn't appear to tell her about all the pussy she'll get.

And so the show can now congratulate itself on overcoming two of its biggest curses: girl bands and over-25s women.  What might they redeem in 2014?  My money's on the most maligned of all the contestant types: the boy/girl duo.  (You may mock, but 'Sing em a song Della' and 'the poor boy's blind, Simon' remain my two favourite ever X Factor quotes.  And don't deny it - you liked that time that Same Difference rollerskated.  Also, boy/girl duets are totally where it's at - I mean: Starship, Roxette, Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes, Rene and Renata, Kylie Minogue and Nick Cave, Paula Abdul and MC Skat Cat...)

So - X Factor 2013 then. The general lack of inter-judge bickering is welcome.  Bringing back the room auditions was a good idea, retaining the live ones notsomuch, the chair thing at boot camp definitely not, forcing Melanie McCabe to audition again absolutely not.  The lack of fun in the live shows needs addressing: more novelty acts, or acts with personality, at any rate.  Better theme weeks.  The return of NotLouis.  And whoever replaces Gary and Sharon to not be AutoPilotSimon or Cheryl (who has become more likeable again since leaving this show, just as she was more likeable before she joined it) and definitely not Olly Murs thnxpls.

To everyone who's been with us this year and suffered alongside, thank you from myself, Steve, and especially poor Helen who got lumbered with those dreadful live auditions [I give and I give - Helen] - and (assuming Olly Murs doesn't get a judging role, because ain't no way in hell I am watching that) we'll see you next year!  


Blake 1990 said...

Have there been any reports about Olly Murs being offered a judging role?! I haven't heard any, but it would be mind numbingly awful enough that I can see them actually going for it...

Rad said...

I heard one that rumoured him and Robbie. Robbie only if he's on 'special stuff', and Olly - NEVER.

Lia said...

Thank you all fir making XF fun to watch for yet another year. See you again next year, Olly Murs or not. And Simon might be back if USA is cancelled.

Rad said...

Yeah, AutoPilot Simon is not my favourite thing either. He got so bad in those last few series.

Rad said...
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