X Factor – George Michael & Wham & Elton John Week

Finally, our long national nightmare is over.

Lloyd Daniels : Hurray! My boy is still there! Who would have thought at this stage that I would have such an investment in the continuing success of Lloyd Daniels? Mostly I have to admit it’s because of just how hard the show was trying to shuffle him off into the ether this week. First on? Faith? No dancers? No real choreography? A GIRL on drums?! And yet still through it he perservered, with another decently mediocre performance, with Louis breathing down his neck (metaphorically) with the entirity of the Internet laying bets with absolute certainty that he’d be going home this week. To Top 5. I think deep down I should probably be offended that this guy has managed to reach the same stage as Ruth Lorenzo but whatever, his look of utter befuddlement on being saved was enough for me.

Stacey Solomon : I can’t quite believe that the knives came out for “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me” and yet not for this. It was a cover and a B-side and as blatant an attempt to ferry someone succesfully through a week that didn’t suit their voice as I’ve ever seen. And what’s even worse is that it wasn’t even worth it, because it SUCKED. Out of tune every time she decided to descend from a glory note, and pretty uninspired in the staging. Still, she should be glad that it didn’t put her in the bottom 2, because if any week should have done it this should. I did like her VT most of all though. I’m just wondering why the gasping and gushing doesn’t appear to have really started hacking the public off by this point, because I was fully expecting the Stacey hate groups to be out of control on Facebook by this point. Shows what I know.

John & Edward : THIS IS WHAT YOU GET FOR MESSING WITH WHAM RAP! Seriously, I have been spending all week dreading that eventuality and then they started doing “I’m Your Man” which is awful, and therefore fine for the Jedward comedy-cover treatment. I thought I was safe. I thought I wasn’t going to have to suffer. And then they started RAPPING again and my composure went out the window. YOU DON’T MESS WITH WHAM RAP OR ELSE YOU GET CUT! OR ELIMINATED! IN THIS CASE ELIMINATED! I’m kind of gratified because this week’s performance was kind of Jedward by numbers, but without any comedy interludes or real spark of randomness to keep it going. I think the show had run out of ideas for them (I’m amazed Friedman had enough to keep them realtively fresh for this long to be honest) and it was always going to end up being a load of dancers and lights signifying nothing eventually.

Danyl Johnson : Guys, do you think Danyl’s decision to change his song was part of a totally collaborative and mutually respectful discussion process in a round-table situation with Simon and a bunch of other advisors, or do you think he had a queeny strop and Simon said “oh sod it, he can do the Whisper song”? Because the show was pushing SO hard for the first one that I can’t help thinking they might have been trying to double bluff you into believing the second. Simon was giving it his best “there’s more going on here than I can say” bad-acting sell at any rate. The actual song? Not too bad, even though it’s kind of hard not to do “Careless Whisper” and not make it balls-achingly earnest (needless to say, he didn’t even come close to managing that epic feat). I do love how Simon’s idea of “respecting” a pop song is to slow it down and drain all the life out of it. Given his career, it makes sense that that’s his thought-process on the matter.

Olly Murs : Has our culture just totally stalled? Think back to Pop Idol. 2001. The scary days just after 9/11 when we were trying to make sense of the world, and along came Will & Gareth & Darius & Zoe to make it all better. Make then, could you imagine any of those kids doing a song from 1988 and saying with a straight face that it was “contemporary”? Because that’s the equivalent gap between now and 1996, when Fastlove was released. 1988. Will Young singing I Should Be So Lucky. Gareth Gates doing I Owe You Nothing by Bros. Zoe Birkett doing One Moment In Time. A very special duet of Darius and Rossie Ribbons doing Especially For You. AND CALLING IT CONTEMPORARY? This is wrong people, pop culture cannot be this dead, and I endorse your decision to try to expel Olly Murs violently and immediately based on this very fact alone. Well, that and the shit dancing.

Joe McElderry : After this performance I am so Team McElderry. I don’t care if it means National Treasure Cheryl Cole gets another victory (she’s been mostly bearable after the first few weeks). I don’t care if his career is a big nothing for a year before he treats into the hinterlands of musical theatre. I don’t care if every performance is lifted directly from Glee, or that his upper set of teeth are terrifying, or that he’s still wearing a necklace in 2009. He’s the best singer there, and this is a SINGING COMPETITION isn’t it? Or at least, that’s what Dannii Minogue said. Repeatedly. For about 15 minutes.

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