X Factor 2011 – UK vs USA Week

Otherwise known as “Somehow Still Auditions” Week.

For the record, before we get started, I quite like the twist. Before the Wildcard rubbish last year (which gave us what? Apart from Wagner obviously) we’d only have 12 contestants in any given series anyway, and this way we get to keep the public vote out of things a little longer, which is always the right decision. Fewer anti-climactic double-eliminations (how much more amazing would Weasel’s kick-off have been last year if it had been a proper one rather than a half-thought dismissal), and more thwarted angry people citing stupid conspiracy theories about how Kelly eliminated Amelia because she knew she was the only one who could stop Janet being the one who bottom 2 bounced past Frankie, thus preventing her favourite from winning. Or something like that. Anyway, only good things have come from this, apart from the elimination of 2 Shoes. Which we will get to. Anyway, by category :

Louis’ LeftOvers : Last year I yielded to nobody in my love for the Overs category. God just thinking of all that raw talent now terrifies me. John Adeleye with a beautiful voice and a charisma vacuum so over-riding it made Leona look like Cyndi Lauper. Great Big Bellowing Tesco Mary. Wagner. Molestor. And the bountious overspill into the other categories like liquid gold : TreyC and Matt Cardle. Never have there been a more gifted group of individuals in X Factor history – you stuff your Laura Shites up your bum quite frankly. Which is why I’m sad to report that this year’s Overs do absolutely nothing for me on any level. I guess the best is Kitty Weasel. I know she nominally has an actual surname, but who can be bothered quite frankly? I’m glad the show isn’t suffering for over-blown staging now that Bryan Friedman has left, but I can’t help wishing Stacey Solomon had got this treatment instead given that she could actually, you know, sing. The whole thing had an accidental vulnerability in its very overdoneness, but those vocals can’t be excused. Nice eye make-up though.

As for the rest…bleh. I don’t know why I can’t get into Sami, but I just can’t. Maybe I’ve become one of those awful people who blame the survivor for the loss of a loved one in a tragic accident. By which I mean Goldie somehow developing a sense of self-awareness and quitting. That must have been quite some hit on the head. But the fact remains that her stomping around bellowing Ultra Nate left me cold, and as for the idea that she’s the best singer in the competition? Even THIS competition? Please. Wobbly Old Gay Johnny was scuppered by poor song-choice, in that Louis failed to find one of the two songs that he’s capable of singing without sounding like a huanted vacuum cleaner. Keep on snuffling for those truffles Louis.

But worst of all was this week’s eliminee Jinjo who apparently had this whole thing where he’s a soldier? Which the show really, REALLY didn’t know how to deal with. I’m glad that he got cut before he emerged semi-naked from a giant poppy surrounded by half-dressed dancing girls to sing Sex Bomb. If he’d got to the final, maybe his Christmas Song (do we do those any more?) could have been “Merry Xmas (War Is Over) (So I Need A Job) (As X Factor Winner) (Gizzit)”. Anyway, it was entirely justified, given that his performance was basically of the quality of a Saturday Night Off-Season Wish Fulfilment Show. I half expected Barrowman or Schofield to wander on at the end to send him back to the check-outs at ASDA with a smile on his face.

Barlow’s Boys : Sounds like a sit-com doesn’t it? Certainly Frankie Cockozza feels like he’s crawled out of some particularly grim forgotten 1970s fairground-set sitcom where he rigs the coconut shy, cheekily molests girls in the Tunnel Of Love, and winds Mr Barlow up something good and proper, but Mr Barlow puts up with it because he’s got a heart of gold really he does. Except this is 2011, so it feels a bit…grubby? I don’t think what the world really needs is another Peter Brame, with a whisper-weak voice singing really earnest songs about how gosh-darned bad drugs are whilst clearly trying to give the impression at the same time that he takes lots and lots.

Marcus Collins would obviously be the hairdresser. You know the one? Oooh, chase him, chase him, never had a girlfriend, HE’S FREE. I don’t know why there’s a hairdresser in a 1970s fairground, but just go with it. I’m also not sure why Gary had him perform surrounded by lots of sexy girls telling them all he was going to seduce them with amazing lady-pleasing sex-moves, but I’m banking on it being because Barlow is a deeply unimaginative human being. Craig Colton would be the official underling to the fairground manager, stuffing himself in secret at the candy-floss stall, mournfully forever sticking pink fluff into his face even though Mr Barlow’s got him on a diet and wailing about his poor heart. Which apparently is in a jar. Of farts. Giraffe arse. Something like that. Oh sure, it’s sweet now how he switches from emotion to emotion with every phrase of a song but eventually it’s going to get…well…tiring. Nice voice though.

Which just leaves James Michael as…the hero, which leaves his early boot a slight mystery. Blandly, edgelessly cute, with curly hair, and a guitar (per Barlow, the only “real instrument” on the stage, like 2 Shoes came out playing invisible keyboards or something), and a solidly working-class sob story, (He has to RENT. He can’t afford to BUY. If only Thatcher would come along and set him free somehow) singing the Beatles. And somehow he loses. Barlow’s Boys is a very odd sitcom indeed, which I guess explains how he has very little concept of what “fun” is. HINT GARY, IT’S 2 SHOES, THAT’S WHAT FUN IS!

Tulisa’s Groups : Oh Tulisa. Really this was a shameful wuss-out. It was clear to anybody with working human ears that The Risk for all their shameful origins, shadowed by betrayal and hurt feelings and smashed plates and used condoms hidden in peoples pillows, sang and performed the arses off Nu-Vibe. Nobody would have blamed you for getting rid of the latter, forcing all your boy-band vote down the same funnel. The former were a boyband (like, erm, that one Gary Barlow had, right Kelly? Or Boys II Men?) and the latter were clear fodder.

Not that Bixmix were much better. In reality they were much much much worse, murdering Superbass horribly and having a lot of drama around their hair-dos, which I’m sure teenage girls definitely relate to and didn’t at all find vaguely patronising. Sadly. Personally I would rather they’d attempted Roman’s Revenge, in the original version, if only for…well all the swearing. I am easily amused.

And so, we say goodbye to 2 Shoes. I mean I know they have the consolation of the fact that Tulisa really wants to keep on contact with them, which we all know is the REAL prize, but it’s just not enough. Someone needs to really sit Tulisa down and tell her that when the public say that they’re sick of joke acts and semi-competent singer being put through at the expense of real talent, they mean “EXCEPT IF THEY’RE TWO LOLARIOUS BEST FRIENDS FROM ESSEX, WHO SAY THINGS LIKE SHUT UPPPPP AND OMG AND WELL JELL AND OTHER HILARIOUS THINGS!”. Especially now that, did I mention, Goldie’s gone? Enjoy your Bixmix/Nu-Vibe Bottom 2 next week Tulisa. Essex is ANGRY. Olly Murs and Amy Childs are hiring out a tank. BE WORRIED.

Kelly’s Girls : Aka, the only category anybody on the Internet gives a crap about. I mean, I know The Internet always goes batshit when any of the women are any good whatsoever. Remember last year? Remember that people actually liked Rebecca Ferguson? REMEMBER THAT! But even through that layer of cynicism there’s surely little doubt that Kelly has the best category right? Personally my pick would be Misha B who has such an eye for public PR that she added an unnecessary itial to her name. People LOVE that sort of thing! Happily her performance was blow-out amazing, more put together than everyone else combined, creative, eye-catching and memorable. I think she might need a little help from the judges scor…oh wait, wrong show. She’s screwed.

Also through are Sophie Hasboobies and Janet Devlin, the former a creature of pure advertising, created by John Lewis in order to keep those nauseating nostalgic adverts running in perpetuity forever. Katherine Parkinson in a Zooey Deschanel wig, she straddled her piano womanfully, and gave Kelly yet another excuse to diss Katy Perry, which can never be a bad thing. Janet on the other hand seemed to be having problems with her accent unit. At least Diana Vickers, her natural fore-runner, kept a consistant handle on her porridgy affectations, whereas Janet couldn’t seem to decide whether she wanted to be Delores O Riordan or Ellie Goulding. One or the other dear, not both. Also don’t sing Coldplay unless you’re a drunken heterosexual male trying manfully not to be borken up with. It just doesn’t work.

The boot? Went to Amelia Lily who sang Michael Jackson in the style of Pink. Also with pink hair. I think there might have been a theme. To be honest, I’m not sorry we were spared this show’s annual attempt to make a “rock chick” happen (spoiler, she wouldn’t have), but given that she was apparently related to Weepy Joseph, I do mourn a little that we never got an appearance by Nana Jean, the greatest Nana in reality tv history apart from Alesha’s. Maybe we can get Sami booted out of the Overs category and stage a last-minute replacement? There’s still time.


15 thoughts on “X Factor 2011 – UK vs USA Week

  1. Emma Holland

    I also said Frankie Coccozza was the new Peter Brame. And everybody went “Who?”. Which says it all, I think. Poor James Michael; any other year he would have been The Hearthrob, but teenage girls in 2011 want their boys to have more than one haircut and trousers four sizes too small. I’m getting old, Chris. So old.

    I miss 2 Shoes already. I WANTED TO STAY IN TOUCH WITH THEM, DAMMIT.

    Misha B won’t win, naturally, for all the reasons you already know, but she may actually have a career! (If she wins it might restore my faith in the X-Factor. And by “restore” I mean “establish”. And by “my faith in” I mean “my grudging tolerance of”.)


  2. PadsterMo

    For the first time this series I missed Cheryl. I really wanted to hear what her opinion of 2 Shoes. I especially wondered if she’d keep in touch with them.

    Nu Vibe gave the impression that they just met 5 minutes before going on stage and were doing a first run through, unlike The Risk who, like, played table football or something. (Having said that, by the final last year Belle Ami looked like they were meeting each other for the first time ever, so I suppose Nu Vibe are more of a unit than them already).

    Misha B (love her!) is clearly hated by the others for being good. Frankie is crap, needs a wash, and a Danyl Johnson Haircut of Redemption, only without the redemption. Craig is too busy thinking about what expressive emotion he’ll be doing next to sell the one he’s doing at the time, which is unfortunate given that he seems to do a new one every 3 seconds. Also, he has a crap sob story – ‘Gary made me eat lettuce’? Is that really the best they could manage?

    Apparently there were other people as well but I don’t remember them, which is worrying as I watched the repeat on ITV2 a few hours ago.

    Bring back Wagner and the bongos. Bongos are a real instrument, right?

  3. Dee

    What will I do without 2 (and a little bit) Shoes? I can sort of understand nobody wants the pregnant lady running around on stage but they were easily second best act Tulisa had. NuVibe look on the verge of self destruction already and The other girls were terrible.

    I’ll admit I was initially distracted by Gary Barlow cleaning up nicely and no longer being The Fat One that I forgot he was also The Boring One, he’s gotten worse and worse every week and the fact that he persists in keeping Frankie around shows he also has no taste. But still, at least I got a laugh from them pretending Gary Barlow didnt write Matt Cardle an utterly shit song that Matt Cardle sang in an utterly shit manner.

  4. Lollypants

    I didn’t get the whole ‘WE HAVE TO MOVE HOUSE EVERY SIX MONTHS’ wangst. Every house I’ve ever rented as had at least a year’s contract. The only people I’ve heard of that get moved on within six months are scrotes.

    Maybe, like Emma Chawner before him, he keeps annoying the neighbours with late night karaoke?

    I remember when Peter Brame was the new, drug free, Pete Docherty.

  5. Julie Bennett (@camis71)

    Two Shoes should have stayed in, if only for the sheer joy of seeing what War Drobe would do with an 8 month pregnant Essex gal who wasn’t the skinniest person in the world to start with (I can say that – I’m fat).

  6. Louise

    I was away last week and was using your blog for an update (far more entertaining than the real thing). Now I find that apart from the girls my favourite from each category has been eliminated! Admittedly (with the exception of 2 Shoes) it was a poor pool to start with, but really? I think I’m going to have to try and watch it now to work out where this came from.

    1. monkseal Post author

      Jonjo went because he was hard to watch (not necessarily trainwreck bad, just hard to watch), 2 Shoes went because the one was pregernant, James went because the show overplayed his sob-story and made him look ludicrous (and because he biffed the singing) and Amelia went because they’re trying to make Sophie Haboobies a lovable Rebecca style “comes from nowhere” underdog.

      ALL FACTS.


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