/Beatles and John Lennon and Isley Brothers week.
Boys : Has there ever been a more cynical deployment of a vest in reality tv show history than was perpetuated in Matt Cardle‘s performance this week? You can just picture the conversation :
“Oh crap, it’s Friday, and Matt still sounds like the Honey Monster with his bollock caught in escalator. What shall we do? Have we pushed him too far outside his comfort zone? WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR TEAM MINOGUE’S BRIGHTEST STAR?”
“Can we not just change his song last minute? That’s what we do for everyone else.”
“No, we’ve leaked, like, five stories this week that make him look like a bit of a surly git. If we do a song choice change he might appear to have gone Full Danyl”
“Ooooh! Ooooh! I know!”
“Won’t that make no sense at all? And be a massive reversal from everything we’ve seen so far with regards to his self-presentation, and in fact make him look like he has no actual identity whatsoever? And a bit like he turned up without his PE kit and Dannii made him do his song in his pants?”
“Yes, but, HE CAN RAISE HIS ARM AND SHOW HIS ARMPIT AND WOMEN WILL WANT TO LICK IT AND HE WILL BE SAFE!”
“I really think you need to sit down and have that talk with your wife we discussed”
Although that is at least probably more of a conversation that went on regarding Paije Richardson this week, poor mite. Obvious, tedious song choice, rote gospel choir, not even a particularly new fun strain of possibly post-ironic quasi-racism from Louis. No wonder he went out. If there was a conversation, it probably went something like :
“You do realise that he totally blew her out the water in the sing-off?”
“Yeah, but it’s Weasel. Tell Louis to stall for another half-hour then save her ass”
Girls : Although to be fair to Katie Weasel she probably gave her best performance to date, and if any performance of hers warranted being saved from the Bottom Two (which none of them did, mostly because it’s just funnier that way) it was this one. Not that it was particularly tuneful – it wasn’t really – but she managed to tap even deeper into her wellspring of hate than ever before. It really felt like I was Michael Sophocles and she was begging me not to dump her, and then hitting me over the head with a lamp when I looked a bit scared. And really, what prouder, more warm, feeling can a human being have than that? Also, girl sacrificed her hair for this part. Would Wagner do that? Ask yourself that.
Cher Lloyd on the other hand definitely deserved to be Bottom Two. “I’m going to introduce Imagine to the young generation, who need to hear it”? (Yes, yes, I know Cheryl said it, but they’re THE SAME PERSON) Whatever. Does anyone in any generation not know Imagine, a song which somehow manages to make the delicate tones of the piano overwhelming and nauseating? If you tallied up everybody’s “Personal Beatles Nadir”, Imagine would be right up there in terms of picks, along with Hey Jude, Yesterday and (my own personal bug-bear) “Let It Be”. The Beatles contribution to popular culture is such that their most over-exposed songs cause a hideous rash in some, and no amount of dumb-arse arguments over staircases is going to change that, CHERYL AND SIMON. Nice attempt at a distraction, but FAIL.
Rebecca Ferguson however receives and deserves my greatest ire. What sort of audition to be the new Stacey Solomon is this? Good grief, you’re currently on a Titanic sized cruise to third place Rebecca, can you at least squeal and act like an endearing moron? Say “willie” a bunch of time or something like that? They aren’t going to snap you up for the jungle at this rate – you’re not really built just to be the pretty one who stands under the shower until she shirvells up into a bikini-clad California raisin. Be wackier!
Overs : “Something” is a beautiful George Harrison penned Beatles track, about something delicate and undefinable, laced delicately into someone’s personality that just draws you to them, above and beyond others. Like a delicate vanilla scent, carried on a spring breeze, evoking a half-forgotten, half-invented childhood memory. So what better person to convey this message, than the galumphing foghorn hoot of Mary Byrne. I mean, I know the song was covered by Shirley Bassey, but even then it had her touch of slightly quizzical irony in there. None of that for Mary Byrne, just VOLUME. And lots of it. At point you can feel her grip tighten on the microphone, in order to prevent the sheer force of the hurricane spewing from her lungs sending it flying out of her hands into Louis’ admiring face. Simon so wants rid, and he’s not getting it for a little while yet. Marvellous.
And I have no idea if he thought he was losing Wagner this week. I like to think I have a healthily self-impressed cynical grasp on how this show works, but even I can’t tell if anybody involved thought that “Cheryl calls out Wagner” thing was going to end well. I mean, at the end of the day, it’s more attention, of any kind, and that’s what works to keep the…less serious candidates in (Not “joke”, never “joke”, not after that joyous version of Hey Jude), and they know this. And yet part of me wonders if they thought the Nation’s Sweetheart turning on Wagner wouldn’t unsettle him from his perch. Certainly the press seem to be going along with the “brave Cheryl stands up to evil Wagner, who definitely called her a gutterslut chav, or something, it was dead windy, it SOUNDED like that…”. Ah well, it buys Wagner into Rock Week. Good enough for me.
Groups : Really, the true joy of the week in terms of call-outs was Dannii calling out the Zainwreck at the heart of One Direction. I mean yes, she acted like a humourless fanny the rest of the time (calling Paije a “beautiful man”? Get over it Minogue), but she basically all but told him that he couldn’t sing or dance or do anything, so why is he still there? Sadly the hormonal pre-teens were still going gaga over their “ripped from the Blackberry advert, possibly literally, I mean, the entire soundbed and actual vocals and everything” version of “All You Need Is Love”, but the kernel was there. He is now officially the Jason Orange. I haven’t designated the rest of them their full Take That identities yet. I think Laim might be the Barlow though…