X Factor – Musical Heroes Week

Bruno Mars can be a hero – just for one day.


Boys :

It all feels a bit weird now that Nicolo is gone isn’t it? Like, these are the three that Dannii has chosen to take her through to the final, and one of them is still Paije Richardson. No offence to Paije (or his chosen musical idol – Alicia Keys – who is clearly the musical hero of the entire industry, like everybody in showbiz would just stand their and plait Alicia Keys hair whilst she composed another song about whatever happens in her poetic daily existence) but as an X Factor finalist he makes less sense than anybody else bar Cher. I guess there was a trend in earlier series for happy bouncy young men who pulled lots of nice faces, but had no conceivable musical identity beyond that, and who couldn’t really sing.

Aiden Grimshaw on the other hand feels a little bit more coherent as a product. He does mildly twisted revenge/apology/more revenge songs that make you feel like he’s Christian Slater in Heathers – sociopathic, maybe the odd cute murder or two, but not, you know, schizophrenic or anything like that. Nothing uncomfortable. Apart from all the twitching. I mean that’s totally not hot. And the singing. Bit iffy. Finally, Matt Cardle who abandoned his whole persona this week, by taking off his hat, and singing a song that was originally intended for somebody with a penis. Such bold and exciting musical directions, he’s clearly the innovator of the pack. He was certainly inventing new notes for that song. If only he’d bought this level of invention to his decorating, he could have done the Sistine Chapel 2 in Woolwich by now.

Girls

So, nation’s sweetheart Cheryl Cole is the only one to shepherd all her acts through to the traditional cut-off of Top 12. Try to look surprised. Even Katie Waissel‘s dice with last week was but a mild graze, and appears to have left some people with terrifying delusions that she has something to offer creatively because she can little girl voice her way through fairly easy songs. God knows why. Watching her take down an Etta James number with all the soul of Katie Melua was frankly terrifying. I wasn’t happy when Beyonce did that crap in her brief, but dementedly determined attempt to win an Oscar. Sure as hell I ain’t taking it from Katie Weasel.

On the front of white girls singing songs associated with black people, Cher Lloyd finally bit the bullet and took on some Jay-Z. Albeit that Jay-Z song from Annie. Although obviously I would be very much in favour of a modernist reworking with Daddy Warbucks being introduced singing “99 Problems”. To be honest I thought it was a pretty good stab at it. She did interesting things with it vocally, maybe over-did the swagger, but it was so nice to hear “urban” (*horrors*) music given any sort of respect on this programme that I’ll let it pass. Likewise on the mentors front TreyC Cohen gets a lot of respect for identifying her musical hero as being Ruth Lorenzo, and was one of the few contestants to possibly out-do the original, as she did a great gospel(/shouting) infused version. As long as she doesn’t touch Ruth’s greatest song – Love Ain’t Here Anymore – I’ll be fine with her.

Finally Rebecca Ferguson who copped out of choosing a musical hero by singing Feeling Good, a song officially covered at this point by every living breathing human being on the planet. We’re all Rebecca Ferguson’s musical heroes, every one of us, and to honest, given the unholy ghostly caterwauling that emanates from her gob, I think a decent number of us deserve it.

Overs

I guess it had to happen eventually. The party had to end eventually, and we took our leave of our first Over this weekend. That’s right Molester is no more. Maybe it was the Strictly clash, maybe it was the piss-weak vocals all over a Bruce Springsteen songs, maybe the public aren’t ready for rock, maybe they all just missed the gimp masks. I know I did. Ride on Molester, ride on. With Matt and TreyC ready to take your place, there are enough Overs to cover your loss. And hooray for Mary Byrne, sod Musical Heros, Mary Byrne chose life, and chose herself, as she paid homage to her era-defining performance last week, by doing exactly the same performance all over again. To the untrained ear, it might have sounded like a different song. More fool those untrained ears.

Wagner on the other hand I think could have aimed higher. Sure Tom Jones is a passable entertainer. Had a few hits, is now so bored he’s doing religious-gospel themed Johnny Cash aping career-twilight nonsense. But really, you can do so much better. How about your name-sake? Condense The Ring Cycle down into a neat 90 seconds. Let Brian Friedman loose on choreographing some pointy titted Valkyries and body-popping dwarves. You can do so much more. Finally John Adeleye who, let’s be honest, can sing the arse off everybody in this competition, this competition being Pop Idol 2. I choose to believe there are secret armies voting for sweet dull John Adeleye, giving him 75%+ of the vote every week, making him the new male Leona. It’s no less than he deserves.

Groups

Oh Simon Cowell. This is all going a bit shit isn’t it? I mean, I know it’s not really worth putting any effort into either Belle Amie (yes dears I’m so sure your musical hero is Ray Davies, jog on to become the Girls Of FHM 2 already) and Diva Fever (look back at what you did in your audition. Look where you ended up – screeching “BARBARA STREISAND!” in tiny tennis shorts and doing off-key versions “I WILL SURVIVE!”. Consider how hard you sold yourself out to try to court the votes of people who unironically say “the gays”). Both were clearly a dead loss (although Simon’s inability to milk any more votes out of the vote shows how truly little he understand gay people, despite limp-wristing around hissing “MISS FRIEDMAN, WHAT WAS THAT?!” and constantly saying how very proud you are of Joe McElederry like you didn’t bundle him up into the closet in the first place).

But putting all your eggs in the basket of One Direction? Given that they have no coherent identity, can’t sing, can’t do all their lines at the same time, or do anything at all really beyond look foetal? When you get to the final, there will be a tidal wave of anti-votes against you, and I can only hope you get buried underneath. Most exciting pop act in the world right now? Don’t make me spit. They wouldn’t be the most exciting music act in the school assembly they appeared to perform in. Personally I’d be far more excited by Mrs Thomas and her organ rendition of “This Is The Day”.

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