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Monday, 24 October 2016

X Factor Live Shows Week 3 - Diva Week

Only ten contestants left and this week they are tackling 'Divas'. To this end Dermot dances to a Whitney Houston song. His choreography is better than Honey G's. The judges come out and Louis does a dancing X Factor sign. This is the happiest he's ever been. He's also clearly been practising. They introduce all the judges with Nicole last because, what fresh hell is this, she grabs the mic and begins to sing 'I'm Every Woman'. This only makes me fear for 'Louis Loves' week. I'm hoping for Johnny, Wagner and Two Shoes to make an appearance singing Black Lace's greatest hit (s). I may have put the brackets in the wrong place there. To her credit, Nicole can sing. It all just seems a little bit unnecessary. 
First up it's the boys. Cue the sad music, it's Ryan. Ryan is reliving last week when he was in the bottom three. As is traditional in these situations he wants to get back in touch with himself and show us the real him. Because that's why we're not voting for him, because we don't know him. He also meets John Legend who I assume is either performing tomorrow or who has been kidnapped. Ryan sings 'Rolling in the Deep'. I'm not sure that attempting an Adele song is his best idea, he's only going to suffer by comparison. He's not bad but well, it's not Adele. I enjoy his fake band though. The judges don't look thrilled. Louis doesn't like it. Sharon didn't like him but consoles him with the fact that he's only 17. He's 20 so that's that shot to shit. Simon blames Nicole's singing for Ryan's poor performance. Nicole manages to retaliate in such a way that she bigs herself and Ryan up. Impressive. 
They then show clips of the judges being divas and invite us to vote, via the app, for the biggest diva. I'm alright thanks. 
Now Gifty, who is occassionally Gifty Louise. She's singing 'Lay Me Down' by Sam Smith in memory of her mother who died when she was young. It's no secret that I am a fan of Gifty (Louise) but this is very, very good. Very emotional and beautifully staged. I really hope they don't have a choir suddenly appear. They didn't. Good. Louis liked it but doesn't like her hair. Sharon liked it and her hair. 
Oh grief. Five after Midnight. But first they are going to announce who the biggest diva is. Louis is beside himself. This is exactly the kind of holiday camp entertainment he likes. Nicole wins. So that's that over. 
Now to ruin the mood some weird singing and dancing that the judges inexplicably love. They're going to do their own choreography this week and have a row about it in rehearsals. They then explain that they had a storming row because they love each other so much. OK. Someone pointed out that one of 'Five After Midnight' looks like Jake from Outnumbered. Once you see it you can't go back. They sing 'Valerie'. They were clearly too busy arguing /loving each other to practice much. I fast forward. Nicole claims they are relevant. To whom? Simon says it's terrible. Yes, Simon. YES. Sharon says that they make people happy. So does farting but we don't do that on national tv and there's a chance that it could sound better than whatever that was. 5am are thrilled that they got awful feedback so they can learn from it. This is the child on sports day who is happy they lost because they didn't want to win. 
Simon gets told off by Dermot for talking to Louis when he should be introducing his next act. Welcome back Dermot. Olly Murs never did that. 
Sam is up next and starts by making us feel ancient by recalling her X Factor memories. She was six when Leona won. Six. She meets John Legend. There's a man in John Legends room who has been bad and must face the wall (it took me three more contestants to realise that this was the piano player). Sam is of course singing something in a rock style. This time it's 'Earth Song'. Was Michael Jackson a diva? Or simply odd. I think if I lived in a fun fair and wore a surgical mask people wouldn't be saying 'Oh she's such a diva', I think they'd be saying 'stay away children, she's had a hard life'. The song is fine. Could benefit from Jarvis Cocker getting his arse out. A memory Sam won't have, because she wasn't born. She is condemned to sing Rock for ever more. Well until they tell her she only sings Rock and needs to mix it up a bit. 
Now I apologise for this next bit. Nicole didn't like it. So Simon accuses her of being jealous. This is the most infuriating argument men use against women. It is possible to dislike someone or something without being jealous. And the more you have to defend yourself the more jealous you look. So instead let's be rational about this. Do we really think that a platinum selling, broadway artist who has regularly been voted one of the most beautiful women in the world is jealous of a seventeen year old who's been made to sing Earth Song in a Rock style. No. 

Now Matt. Any bets on when the high note is going to be hit? To prepare himself for this week he has a fake conversation with his friends. He's singing 'I'll be there' and he's got Gifty's choir. I think the high note is coming... he's off his stool. There it is. I think he may trap a bollock near the end as there is a yelp that doesn't seem planned. He also looks near tears at the end so either he mucked up or he's in pain. Simon says he has balls. This is true although they may not be plural anymore. 
Oh no. Honey G. Brian tells her that 'the challenge each week is topping yourself.' Harsh. She meets John Legend. He's thrilled. 
 She's going to a dance break in this song. This is generous. She stops her appalling rendition of 'Ice Ice Baby' (was Vanilla Ice a diva?) then stands and looks awkward whilst some dancers, who will not be putting this on their cv, mill around her. Piss off Dear. There's a good girl. Louis loved it. 
Now Relley. She visits Brian Freidman who is dressed as a cow. She also meets John Legend who has met Honey G and doesn't want to play anymore. Her voice cracks whilst she's singing to him as she has a cold. Bless her. It must be annoying when you know that this is your best week and your voice isn't going to hold up. She has a lovely voice. It's not her fault I hate this song. Louis says Birmingham in a very weird way. Sharon thought it was 'clean and predictable'. Yes, she should have dressed up as a fake rapper and done some awkward dancing. 

Now Emily. She's going to John Lewis something to death. The VT is about Ryan and Emily's love. I don't care so I fast forward. She's singing 'How Will I know' and yep, singing it slowly. Unusual staging. She's singing it on a toilet. Now she's finished and is going for a walk. This is dull. And has nothing to do with being a diva. More about being a wimp who wants to flog you a fridge freezer in time for Christmas. Louis liked it. He said it sounds like a John Lewis advert. We've all moved on Louis. Nicole wanted the song to go somewhere. Home? 

Now Four of Diamonds. I hope they've made up with the stylist. They're doing a mash up. Sort. They sing Lady Marmalade (awkward) and then stop and sing 'Bang Bang'. Singing two songs separately is not a mash up. All sounds a bit thin. Simon wants them to be more British so I reckon next week they'll be dressed as pearly queens singing a Chas and Dave/ Oasis 'mash up'. 
Now Saara. Who will be going this week. Saara thinks we're not voting for her because she's not British. I'd say that's rubbish but, you know, Brexit. She sings a Bjork song whilst dressed as a loon. If in doubt, be the joke act. It's painfully awful. I suppose if you're going to go you may as well poo on the floor on the way out. Nicole thought she was dancing with sanitary towels. Simon thought it was incredible. She's going to be made to sing Europop whilst dressed as a banana every week now. She'll still go though, because, you know... Brexit. 

Results update: Saara didn't go. As long as she's insane and makes a tit of herself, she can stay. Relley went. Unfairly. Especially as Four of Diamonds made up their 'save' song as they went along.

Friday, 21 October 2016

X Factor Live Shows Week 2 - MOTOWN!

So last week the randomly selected theme for this Saturday, chosen via the jukebox, was Motown. As such the show opens with a performance from the cast of Motown the Musical. How truly lucky that they were able to book the cast of a west end musical on such short notice given that they only knew the theme six days ago. They aren't picking the themes randomly you say? I couldn't possibly comment. 
Louis dances throughout. It's alarming. 
Brooks Way have been forced to leave the competition due to issues raised about their conduct. Or in my mind they had an urgent decorating job they had to get to. To replace them 'Four of Diamonds' have returned. It looks like one of them has immediately pissed off the stylist. Wet look crop top worn over a halter neck and green silk jogging bottoms. Apologise now. They have a power you can not fathom. 

The boys are up first and Freddie is singing. Freddie was in the bottom three last week. He is being a good sport about it all and promised that he's 'going to bring it'. Gold? Frankincense? Myrrh? No, a karaoke version of 'Ain't No Mountain High Enough'. His Mum and brother have come to visit. And perhaps take a few bits home with them. His version is fine. He's not behind a piano and it's a bit bland. I had to look away when he tried to do some hip hop dancing. I was mainly distracted by his backing dancers who were dressed as tarty office workers. Freddie was allowed to wear his clothes done up, but for some reason wore a Scouts woggle. Louis liked it but didn't love it (always remember that Louis loved Wagner). Sharon liked his hair (don't knock it, Smash Hits Poll used to give awards for that), Simon said it was a million times better than last week (means nothing, we're not judging it against last week) and Nicole said something about balls (who knows). 

Now the Girls. Simon announces that he excited about this. It's Emily, who thoughtfully takes time to explain in her VT that living in the X Factor House is different to living at home. Thank you for your insight Emily. This week she wants to show her individuality and 'Emilyisms'. Out she comes wearing a circuit board. She has gone the John Lewis route of making something your own - singing it really flipping slowly. She's singing 'Stop in the Name of Love' a song I never realised had so few words until it was slowed down to a funeral march. It's fine. Simon claps throughout the comments like a demented seal. Interestingly if you google 'Simon Seal' you get this:

Emily keeps walking off the stage too early. Leaving Dermot to hoik her back and make her do 'vote for me' telephone hands. 
Adverts. Why do perfume ads have to be so wanky. Surely they just need to say 'Do you like flowers? It smells like that.' 

Now Matt. a performance where we are just going to wait for him to hit a very high note. His Nan cries on the phone to Matt then comes down to the studio to throw herself on Simon. I like her. Matt is singing 'Heard it through the Grapevine'. I become obsessed by a backing singer who looks like an estate agent from a nineties sitcom. It's actually quite good. Oh and there's the high note. The judges all love it. And quite right too. This is Nicole's response. 

We move on. Sharon announces Saara. Who was in the sing off last week. And I predict, before she sings, will go this week. It's not actually Saara singing, it's Relley. Simon told Sharon it was Saara for a joke. A HAHAHAHAHAHA. Relley's Dad has come to offer support. They appear to be the same age. She's singing 'Ain't No Sunshine'. I think her jumpsuit may be giving her gip, she's walking very strangely. She is good. She joins the long line of people in X Factor who are very good but aren't going to win. Maria, Mary Byrne, Cassi Compton, Brenda Edwards. 
The camera man is on drugs tonight. Keeps zooming in on people's bottoms. 
The judges like it. 

Next is Sam. Presumably wearing (at Simon's insistence) a bin bag smeared in poo. She's having a makeover this week. Which is kind of over selling a bit of a hair trim. There is NO difference. She's singing 'Hello' by Lionel Richie. She's also wearing her coat. It's being sung slowly in the manner of a serial killer. Weird shadow puppets accompany her. I predict at least one judge will call it 'haunting'. It's fine. I'd rather listen to that than Freddie. There's a compliment there if you look. Simon has discovered her 'rock voice'. This is bad news. From now on she'll have to sing everything in a 'rocky' way. Never have a distinctive style. You'll be made to sing the Crash Test Dummies for 6 weeks then get kicked out for not being versatile. 
Now the problem with typing this up a few days after it's been on is that you have to rely on scribbled notes. I have no idea what this next comment refers to or why I wrote it or even if (given my handwriting) this is what I meant, so I am simply going to transcribe this comment and leave it here. 'Simon praises her Asian experience'. 
Now it's 5 after Midnight. A group who's appeal I simply do not understand. They have the hair of MN8 and the voices of Peter Andre and the dancing is bizarre. They're singing 'Get Ready' which segues in to 'Reach Out'. Both are awful. Why ruin one song when you can bring down two? They get a standing ovation. According to Sharon Daddy Motown would be proud. 'Who's Daddy Motown?' asks my friend. 'Berry Gordy' I reply. 'Like Strawberry?" she asks.  That is all I have to say about 5 After Midnight. A name I still hate. 

Now Ryan. He hopes he can do the song justice. Given he's singing 'Superstition' let's just say 'no, you can't'. He keeps touching his willy. Constantly. He just keeps checking it's there. Leave it alone. The backing dancers have also been made to constantly touch him like he's hot stuff. They've been paid Ryan. Don't get excited. And leave your bits alone or we'll put you in a cone. He's trying to be Olly Murs. He's failing. He claps the audience at the end. Presumably for sitting through it. 
Simon didn't think it worked. Simon is right. 
Now Honey G. Her Mum, Mummy G, comes to visit. This has to be a piss take. She's rapping/singing/performance arting - Mo Money, Mo Problems which qualifies as 'Coming Out' is sampled. It's as dreadful as you can imagine. There are two random men sat on a motorbike on stage (warning Sam, this is your 'rock' future). Honey G's hair annoys me. Always a perfectly blow dried feather cut. Louis calls her 'David Cameron in a wig'. Now I don't like her but that seems very cruel. 

Now Gifty. I like Gifty. She's singing 'Rocking Robin'. She starts slow, I bet she's going to lose her shit in a minute. Oh here it is. She's very good. A proper performer. The judges agree with me and no one compares her to an old Etonian in a wig. 
Now it is Saara, not Relley but Saara, oh Simon too funny. I assume she'll be on a chariot and dressed as Boudecia. Oh no she's dressed as Pocahontas. She's singing 'River Deep, Mountain High'. This is horrible. Do you remember in the 80s they used to give random celebrities their own variety shows and they'd sing a jaunty number. This is like that. Anita Harris and Orville are going to be next singing Downtown or something. I know she's Finnish and so of course she has an accent, but she over pronounces every word, like she's pissed and pretending not to be. Louis thinks the problem is is that people don't like her. Goodness. 
Least slag her off behind her back on a blog, not to her face. 
Now it's Four of Diamonds. Interestingly, if you google image them you have to go through a lot of pictures before you get one that isn't of playing cards. They only knew they were back in the competition on Monday so we'll give them some benefit of the doubt. Especially as they would have to had to spend a lot of the week filming idents and pouting in to a fan. They're singing a straightforward rendition of 'Keep Me Hanging On'. They are literally just singing it. Hmmm. Louis apparently hates Girl Bands. This may be true. Louis says that Four of Diamonds are different because 'they are nice'. Louis you are on fire tonight. 

So that's that. I predict Saara, Freddie and Ryan for bottom 3. Saara to go. 

Monday, 10 October 2016

X Factor Live Shows Week 1

Yes, it's that time of year again. The nights are drawing in, you can finally wear a onesie and you can read a blog that isn't updated regularly enough. 
I had spent the weekend in Oxford with my friends celebrating 25 years of friendship. It was lovely but a lot of alcohol was taken. Saturday's X Factor was therefore watched with my friend Julie on Sunday afternoon when we were in recovery. Hangovers may have influenced some of our opinions. 
So with the return of Dermot comes the return of Dermot's dance. I think I am meant to like this more than I do. That said it's Dermot. Let the boy dance. 
Nicole seems to be dressed as Wonder Woman but other than the outfits are disappointingly tame. I miss the days of Rita Ora wearing an oversize suit with one boob cut out. Made me feel alive. The theme tonight is 'Express Yourself' which means (as usual) the contestants sing whatever they want. Sharon seems proud that the finalists are from all over the UK. The rest of us know that this means that they'll be an appalling group from Scotland who stay in to the final due to the whole nation voting for them just because they're Scottish. 
Oh and Brooks Way aren't appearing tonight because of circumstances. 
First up is '5 After Midnight' 
They instantly annoy me because there's only three of them. Their VT reveals that dancing makes them happy. Good. 
They start from the back of the studio where they are pretending to DJ. They also start in a key not normal heard in everyday life, but they are so free spirited and carried away on their love of dance that things like tunes, hitting notes and having a stupid band name don't matter. They do a lot of creepy smiling at each other. This is meant to convey friendship. It does in a Disney children's programme, we're paid to like each other type way. I also couldn't care less if they're friends. Just sing in tune. There's a dance break. They love it. I don't. Julie's prediction 'Someone will say "What a way to start the show"' 
She's not wrong. For some reason the judges love it. Perhaps they were listening to something else. Simon says it sounds 'like a record'. Perhaps he was listening to that whilst we sat through a deeply mediocre version of 'Can't Stop the Feeling'.
Next is Sam Lavery.
Sam is the one that Simon made remove all her make up. This is because Simon said it didn't express who she really was. That's right. A decision she made about how she wants to look was considered unauthentic. Luckily Simon was there to tell her how she really wanted to look. She looks 'real' now that Simon has told her how she really feels. She's singing 'Impossible'. It's fine. The good news is that she's sixteen so it's a good opportunity for Louis to get obsessed by her age and keep telling us all how old she is. Nicole comments that she is like Evanescence What a compliment. I personally would rather be compared to 'Len' or 'Hepburn'. Those classic bands. 
Saara A is next. Why she has to be A I don't know. There are no other Saara's in the competition. Sharon clearly doesn't know who she is and also thinks that she's from Norway when she is in fact from Finland. Saara's dream is to be a Disney Princess. Grow Up. She's singing 'Let it Go' but in a Gothic manner. It's very, very Eurovision. This is not a compliment. She's trying to be edgy and sexy whilst singing a song from a Disney film. Visually she reminds me of someone from Emmerdale. No one specific just someone with the general look of an Emmerdale actress. But dressed as an evil panto Queen. Again all the judges like it. 

Ryan Lawrie is next. He's Scottish and a wildcard. He's singing 'Perfect' by One Direction. He is also putting far too much emotion in to it. Ryan love, you're singing a throw away pop song, not 'Empty Chairs at Empty Tables'. I was distracted during this as I thought there was a man in the background doing weird hand gestures. He was actually playing the guitar but I had failed to see the instrument. I think Ryan mucks up the end of the song but no one else seems to notice. Given that I can't see musical instruments I am not going to argue my case on this one. My cat licked his bum throughout this song. I am not that flexible but this also reflects my feelings. 
Gifty Louise is up next. For her VT she is made to dress up in a coat made of dead mammoth and look pleased. I have absolutely no idea what she is singing but she looks like a pop star. She could be the Sunday night guest star, they also sing songs I have never heard of but do it well. I thought she was singing 'That's my Goal'. Which I assumed was based on the Shane Ward classic. Turns out it's 'That's my Girl'. By someone. 

I just laughed at a Talk Talk advert. I am hungover. 

Relley C appears next which makes Sharon do a Birmingham accent. She's singing 'Shackles' as apparently a twenty year old middle of the road pop hit is how she 'Expresses herself'. She raps in the middle of it whilst her backing dancers bend on one knee. This is street. I am hip to the trends of today. I thought it looked like a supply teacher proving she was hip at the end of term show. I am guessing the standing ovation she got means I am wrong.

Matt Terry appears. Full disclosure I thought Ryan Lawrie was him. He's singing 'You Don't Own Me'. A song I have only heard through talent shows. I still feel it sounds like a mid musical number which gives people an opportunity to nip to the bogs. He really, really looks like Louis Tomlinson. His thing is hitting the high notes. All songs will be structured around this ability and the group song will have a middle eight where he will come to the front and hit a very high note. Trust me. It's the future. 'Old Man River' will be interesting. 

Now Freddy Parker. He doesn't suit his hair colour. He also likes dogs. 
The song that was originally chosen doesn't adequately 'Express himself' so Nicole is going to choose one that expresses him better. She's changed it to 'Killing me Softly'. Which apparently is more him. It is fantastically boring, even though they're choreographed him getting up from the piano for the woahs. On the plus side I sorted out my bin during this. Simon knows it was shit. His face can not lie. So far I'm predicting him and Finland are in trouble. 
Bradley and Octavio appear except now they are called 'Bratavio' or Bravissimo as Julie insists they are called. I prefer to call them BO. I loathe them. Of course Louis loves them. Simon predicts 'It's going to be awful'. Simon is right. They are singing 'Boom Boom Boom, I want you in my room' which then segues in to 'Barbie Girl'. This could well 'Express themselves'. They sing everything together slightly out of tune whilst zebras move around in the background. 
Dog Shit try hards. 
Emily has to follow that. I feel I could follow that, don't think you'll get an easy ride Emily. She has just turned 18 and in an ironic turn of events she is singing 'Never getting older'. I believe this song only has one note. She is also performing in some kind of polythene tube that slowly fills with gas. This is not her style. She knows it, we know it yet we all sit there politely watching it. Simon liked it or so he says. 
Oh grief it's Honey G. Imagine living with her. Imagine it. I have new found respect for Bravissimo. I am not good with embarrassment. I just want her to stand a bit closer to the flames whilst she wears her nylon tracksuit. She's singing her own version of 'California' she's reached the Chico stage of the competition very quickly. I am not sure they are professional dancers on stage with her. Louis tells her that 'we need someone like you in X Factor'. Why's that Louis? Please explain your work. He also predicts that 'Tupac will be happy'. 'He's dead' Sharon tells him 'And he'll be turning in his grave' Nicole adds. Simon liked it. Simon I expected more from you. He also says that 'Only Sharon Osbourne could do this'. Anyone who wants to watch the world burn could do this. My only hope is that at some point she sings 'Honey to the Bee' by Billie Piper but changes it to 'Honey to the G'. 
My predictions: Finland and Freddie are the bottom two and Bravissimo are in the final 3 to make us think there's a hope they will go.

X Factor Results Show Week 1

Sunday night is results night. James Arthur will be performing  - a mere month ago this would have sounded like a sarcastic comment but he's now number 1. The judges come out and I admire how Nicole and Sharon like each other. Then I get angry with myself - I shouldn't have an opinion on this. They are women at work, it doesn't matter if they like each other or not. 
GROUP SONG. Singing Sax. A song that annoys me as it's about the love of Saxophone but the brass bit is played on trumpets. I think they turn Honey G's mic off for the singing. Finland is once again dressed as a panto villain. Clearly her look now. Matt takes the opportunity to do some squats and 5 am improvise their choreography. It's not where their giftings lie. 
There's a recap. I only watched the show an hour ago so I read the paper. 
James Arthur seems like a nice chap. He has very good skin. He also raises awareness for World Mental Health Day . Well done James. 
I'd forgotten how little content there is in the results show. 
In no particular order: Relley C, 5 after Midnight. Matt, Sam, Ryan, Emily, Honey G and Gifty are safe. 
My predictions are spot on so far. This would seem more impressive if I hadn't posted these at the same time after the results. Viewers now have to give a lifeline to the third act to save them. Results revealed after the break. Be still my beating heart. 
Lifeline goes to Freddie. This heralds the end of my boasting about my predictions. Please can Bravissimo go? 
Saara sings first. Dressed as a warrior on holiday she sings 'Alive' by Sia. It's very operatic. she can sing though. Bravissimo can't. Not that this means they are going. 
Louis promises that Bravissimo will sing their hearts out. Sharon: "Really?" 
I love Sharon sometimes. 
The blonde one of Bravissimo is in a mood. He clearly can't believe he's in this position. We haven't recognised his talent. They sing 'The Only Way is Up'. Blonde is clearly weighed down by his trainers. He has to do a weird crouchy walk. And when he sings 'Up' he can only get one leg an inch off the ground. When they are finished Dermot laughs. He tries to cover it and fails. 
Louis saves Bravissimo. This is because he's their mentor. This is also because he thought it was good. 
Sharon saves Finland. Despite thinking she's from Norway. 
Nicole saves Finland. 
Simon is going to send it to deadlock isn't he? 
But no he sees sense, says 'Nice try guys' and sends them home. 
Thank heavens for that. Quiff takes it well, they wisely don't let Blonde talk. He's livid. They'll be on Celebrity Big Brother in a year. Blonde finally speaks, he's happy people understood his vision. I'm not sure you're as complicated as you think love. 
Now to chose a theme for next week. They spin a wheel and it's 'Louis loves'. Wouldn't it be an amazing coincidence if 'Fright Night' was the same week as Hallo'ween.