With such a narrow theme, it’s lucky we got any coherent performances out of any of them.
Barlow’s Boys : Oh Barlow, it was not supposed to end this way. When you were announced you were the new Simon Cowell. The hope to keep the show on an even keel whilst his nibs went and rekindled his very real and very sexual relationship with Paula Abdul. You were supposed to be the star. Not the worst mentor since Sharon Osborne made her song choices by letting a blindfolded Kelly loose in the walk-in freezer with each food-stuff representing a different Frank Sinatra performance. Even La Osbourne at her water-chucking vagina-patting, lip-licking, studio-storming-out-of nadir couldn’t take the pre show second favourite to the brink of elimination in the first vote. Sure a lot of Frankie Cock-Weasel‘s problems were of his own making, but you have to think most people could have done better than pushing him out there plaintively doing Coldplay rocking a pube-stache and a half, fluffy hair and dirty leggings. After it was over Frankie might as well have booked an appointment with his tattooist there and then to get “British Public” tattooed next to his sphincter, because darn if we weren’t going to give him a thorough rogering in the vote.
Quite aside from the near-demise of this year’s Weasel (Boy Edition, and let’s face it, he was already on the verge of pulling a “sod it” in that sing-off), Barlow’s ministrations to Marcus are equally baffling. First sending him out surrounded by sexy girls being all sexy at them when clearly he’d…rather not be, then this week trying to make him sing Russian Roulette. WHY BARLOW WHY? WHAT HAVE YOU GOT AGAINST HIM? NOBODY CAN SING THAT BLOODY SONG! IT’S WRITTEN OUT OF TUNE, AS ARE ALL RIHANNA SONGS! Them throwing up the vote-scare for him this early is probably a bad sign as well. And really it’s hard to argue that he’s doing right by Craig Colton either, given that his Week 1 breakthrough was entirely his own doing, so Barlow leapt at the chance to do the same exact performance again this week but minus the embarrassing “weepy meltdown” break, and minus the excitement. Again in ugly leggings. Oh Barlow, where did it all go wrong? Maybe spend more time focusing things like song-choice and styling and branding and promotion, rather than obsessing over what’s going in these boys mouths. Craig and Marcus both.
Kelly’s Girls : Kelly is doing slightly better for herself, in that she has at least built herself a catchphrase – “I’M SHUTTING IT DOWN ALL OVER!”, or whatever it is – but in terms of how she’s doing by her acts, I’m not sure she’s that far ahead of Gary. For starters giving Misha B a Charles & Eddy song to sing. I mean, at least it wasn’t an albumtrack, but did anyone really wanted to be reminded of those brief few months of Charles & Eddy Mania in the 90s? The dolls, the t-shirts, the phone plans, the new flavours of Fruit Pastilles… Misha gave it her all, but I can’t help thinking she could do with singing a song that’s less…well…crap. Maybe it was supposed to make her accessible and vulnerable or something?
Janet Devlin I don’t really want to talk about because her grand-dad died and she’s 8 years olf and I thought she sounded a bit rubbish, so I’m just going to gloss over it really. Hopefully she’s feeling less wobbly about it all next week. Sophie Haboobies though doesn’t really have that excuse for sounding flatter than the Netherlands. Although again you have to blame Kelly for throwing her out there with a THE CALLING song. This was the week she had to justify herself in the eyes of all those many many many many oddly angry Amelia Lily fans and it was pretty much a busted flush, if only for the THECALLINGness of it all. Still so long as Kelly is yelling nonsense over everyone and hoovering up all the disaffected Minogue fans, that’s really all that matters for her. Good job Kelly, good job.
Louis’ Overs : Louis appears to be on the verge of once again making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear . Don’t get me wrong, if any of his three acts make the final I will give you all £5 each (NB : no I won’t), but every single one of his acts on the night was given a performance that played to their strengths, such as they are. In the case of Kitty Brucknell that was obviously a great big nonsensical Alice In Wonderland stage-set, contemporary dancers and a song she could just about sing. Best of all though was that VT. The Weasel should hope she could produce something so delusional. THE HATAHS DONT MATTER! THE ONLY PEOPLE THAT MATTER ARE THOSE WHO LOVE HER! AND BRIAN MAY! YES, THAT BRIAN MAY! FROM BRIAN MAY AND THE QUEEN! SCREW YOU ALL!
Sami Brookes on the other hand is popular because she’s fat and sings like a helicopter taking off, so Louis got her to talk about how she loves being fat and sent her out to effing SCREAM her way through “I Will Always Love You”. I’m not really sure how the show intends to square her INSPIRATIONAL weight-having with Craig’s INSPIRATIONAL unhealthy crash-dieting, but hey, the show was never internally consistant. Finally Johnny Robinson & The Ninjas sent out to sing…Kylie Minogue in Johnny’s reedy drag queen voice. Admittedly most of Johnny’s vote was probably down to him screaming “VOGUE!” at the end of the performance, which I doubt was Louis’ invention, and doing perverted drag-queen badinage with Barlow, which was possibly Louis’ idea in spirit if probably not in content. We all know from the Cowell Years that Louis’ idea of gay badinage is repeatedly saying how straight someone is. Still, every week Johnny survives is a week of pleasant surprises for me. Ever closer to that week the show gives up and just lets him go out there in full drag, which will truly be the New Era’s final victory over Cowell.
Tulisa’s Groups I know it’s an odd thing to say, given that she just lost Nu-Vibe (although I’m not sure what could have saved Nu-Vibe except possibly the outside chance of the entirity of Norfolk falling asleep on their phones due to a gas-leak and accidentally landing on the right number) but I really honestly think that Tulisa might actually be winning the mentor wars. I hasten to add that I certainly don’t endorse her booting of 2 Shoes for Nu-Vibe any more than I did at the time, but she’s trying her very best with the materials she has to work with. Her arrangements are modern (ish), her song choices are sensible (ish) and whilst her marketing of BixMix bordered on the hysterically weird and anti-feminist (THEY’RE REAL WOMEN! RELATE TO THEM! HERE COME THE GIRL! THEY WON’T STEAL YOUR BOYFRIENDS! THEY’RE NOT LIKE GIRLS ALOUD EW EW EW!) it’s probably sadly what’s necessary these days, and she actually pulled a decent performance out of them (although of all the songs “I’m Like A Bird” probably least fits the category, being mostly about how amazing and free-spirited and undefinable Nelly Furtado is rather than Love or Heartbreak. I guess Nelly Furtado’s self-love is a kind of love.)
But really the biggest endorsement of Tulisa is that she somehow savantishly cobbled together The Risk out of Frankenparts, leading them to sit smugly atop the bookies odds as I type this. More than any of Kelly’s mildly over-hyped girls, The Risk are currently the smart choice to win the show, and break the Groups Curse in the process. They managed to make a Bruno Mars song bearable to me this week – who knows what they’ll do once we all learn their names. Or at least one. Is there a Charlie or was that Nu-Bounce?