Goodbye Louis *sniff*
So…did Matt Cardle mention he was ill? Did Simon mention that Matt Cardle was mentioning that he was ill? Did Dermot mention that Simon was mentioning that Matt Cardle was mentioning he was ill? Has this show in fact mentioned itself right down to China? The answer to all the above is “yes”. I swear, I haven’t seen so many ill-fitting and inappropriate layers since I last walked down Oxford Street. Anyway, yes, Matthew Cardle Is Unwell, and being tended to, in bed, in full make-up, by his mum. What a vote winner eh? Certainly it lended back the frisson that had been robbed by Florence & The Washing Machine from “You’ve Got The Love”.
Originally a song about leaning on God to carry you through times of despair and suicidal thoughts(like so many inherently religious Club Classics, like The Sign, Rivers Of Babylon, or Pull Up To My Bumper Baby (Jesus)), morphed into a song about Florence Welsh trying to show just how loudly she can SHOUT, and then back again into some sort of dramatic dramatised terminal-illness ballad, sung by Matt, drenched in sweat, green even through layers of slap that brought to mind the climactic restaurant scene in Mrs Doubtfire (I half expected Dermot to ask him if he wearing women’s perfume whilst reading out the vote-numbers), hocking up phlegm-balls from the back of his throat. A desperate prayer to God for one more day of life. If he’d done a proper Hollywood AIDS Cough, it would have been one for the ages.
Sadly, “Always A Woman” was a rather awkward signpost for his rushed out Christmas Album O’ Covers (yes, those, are coming back, as we continue desperately trying to dissect what went wrong with Joe McElderry), containing songs that have already sold out enough to be on adverts, so we can’t exactly keep Syco’s mitts off them. I’m hoping for “First Day Of My Life” as the second single. Bostin’
Rebecca Ferguson now, and I’m starting to see her steadfast refusal to move about at all as this year’s Rage Against The Machine movement against X Factor. Screw you Cowell, Screw you Coe, Screw you Freidman, Rebecca’s gonig to walk, at her own pace, expressionless, and that’s the furthest she will go. Really it’s no surprise that, just like with Matt, the Club Classic concept suited Rebecca down to the ground. Really, if this were the early 90s, Rebecca would be right there in the studio, recording vocals to be mimed on Top Of The Pops by some coked-up Portugeuse supermodel who can body-pop. Sadly, unless you’re the Chinese Olympics, that shit don’t fly no more, and you have to try to stamp your own vibrant personality and charisma on your synth-pop (you know, like La Roux), so seeing Rebecca stand there as Cirque du Friedman went on around her was another slip back into the time machine that the show’s been desperate to avoid this series.
Still not as much as “Amazing Grace” though. Jesus please us, what is this? American Idol Series 2? I always look at song choices like this and think “seriously, have you just run out?”, although given the amount of repeats this series, I think that question’s been answered already. Bodes well for filling an album. Although to be fair, with Rebecca, they’ll just dig out some Madeline Peyroux (remember that?) and have her Scouse over the end of each song. “Oh that’s so amazing. You can’ even see, but I’m not even lookin at me feet!”
At least those two did actual bona-fide Club Classics though, unlike Cher Lloyd who once again, was too real for this show, and just did some B.O.B instead dressed like something out of Party Down. Club Classics? Cher Lloyd wasn’t even BORN when clubs existed. She started right at the superclubs and carried on from there. Of course, such a spirit of kicking out against the theme can only be a good thing. No putting Cher Lloyd into a box. No telling her what to do. So what if Boring Conventional Dannii wants her to do a boring ballad. She’s done that! The same one! Twice! And then she did Imagine! That’s enough! Let her do her Eminem & Rihanna, and her Rihanna & Eminem, and her Lil Mama, and her P Diddy and her Jay-Z and her B.O.B leave her be. She ain’t singing no sappy pop ballad for no-one!
Cept if she’s in the bottom two and needs Dannii’s vote obviously. Then it’s SELL-OUT AHOY! Britney Spears? Whatever you say! She’ll even do Crazy if you want, just let her fetch the waitress uniform and the ditz glasses and the Melissa Joan Hart. She’s just as real as it takes to survive yo!
Still, I think better Cher in the final than Mary Byrne. Not that I don’t love Mary and her Foghorn Belt of Doom, I totally do. But the final is officially going to last twenty-seven hours. They’ve given the audience sleeping bags and little One Direction lunchboxes with approrpaite fillings (Irish Direction is represented by a Kellog’s fun-size packet of Lucky Charms, Resentful Direction is three sour grapes, Curly Direction is an arm size sausage sellotaped to the lid and powered by a motor, Stephen Fry’s Boyfriend Direction is some cheese sandwiches. And the Zainwreck is an everlasting gobstopper (we wish)…). All the judges will be full of uppers and prescriptions drugs (you know…more so), the dancers are working in hour-long shifts with deep ice-baths in between, and Robbie Williams is doing sixteen special guest appearances (WAH’S THAT ROBBAY?). This is why they’ve booked Cher incidentally. Cher never sleeps. She can’t. Her face won’t let her.
Imagine them trying to maintain interest in Mary Byrne for more than about an hour of that. Not really going to happen is it? Also, they’ve scheduled in some nice snoozy Matt and Rebecca acoustic-soul performances for the quiet times, to let everyone get some shut-eye. Imagine upsetting that delicate balance with Mary waking everyone up. Can’t have the live tv shame of Cheryl slapping her in the face trying to find the Snooze Button. Her visa for the American Show is in parlous enough a state as it is.
Finally, One Direction. Or Curly Direction And The Woo Woo Boys as I’ve taken to calling them. Really the tyranny of the curly-haired on our society is now complete. The other four don’t even matter. Curly Direction does everything. I will probably wake up in the morning after the final, and istead of the Sun, I will see Curly Direction’s face staring down at me from the sky, like I’m in Teletubbies, the whole Universe finally orbitting around him. And at night, Resentful Direction shall rise as a Bitter Moon, like in the video for “Tonight, Tonight” by The Smashing Pumpkins, covered in cottage cheese and vengeful. (Liked their first song, the second one not so much) (Zainwreck can be, like, that “planet” that isn’t even Not A Planet enough to be Pluto)