My money’s on Carol Decker in the fourth round by knockout. You don’t survive a “Here & Now” tour without picking up a few moves.
BixMix : For people who thought Misha B laid it on thick last week, I present you…BixMix : The Ultimate Pandering. I don’t think it could get more wretched than it got this week, but Lord knows I’m always willing to proved wrong. We were told that Tulisa will be a HERO if they win, like a Susan B Anthony for the UK. The girls themselves appeared on the Surgery, to pimp out further how some people said some mean things about Jesy on the Internet so we all pity-vote for them, with the added extra special side-message that being insecure about yourself is a good thing and a real thing and what makes you you. Then they all sit honking their way through Beautiful but make sure to strip every last bit of defiance from the song to just cry and bleat their way through it, and then talk about how it has a VERY SPECIAL MEANING to them (the meaning being “I am great, bullying is mean” presumably?). And this isn’t even touching on bringing Diana Ross and Justin effing Bieber into the same sphere of reference. It was bad enough when The Pussycat Dolls smeared themselves all over her. I think they’re winning this, which is depressing given that they’re the first Final Four candidates I can barely bring myself to sit through since Meaty Minge.
Janet Devlin : Well, I guess that just about answers the question as to how bad Janet would have to get before the public eliminated her. We’ll sadly never know if it’s better or worse than Frankie would have had to have been before he was cut. And even then in the end it was probably more because her boyfriend would slide right into the One Directions in terms of non-threatening good-looks and therefore it became apparent that she didn’t hate herself like every good girl does. Still that performance of “Mmmm Bop” was a bit wretched wasn’t it? Even without her forgetting the words/dry heaving her way through the chorus. Pop songs turned out to be harder than Janet expected I would imagine. Of course this vaguely pretentious “I like obscure bands that my boyfriend also likes and we listen to them together and kiss chastely” vibe was why she grew on me, because who didn’t know that girl when they were 16? Especially as it climaxed in her brilliantly calling a band who have had 4 platinum selling albums in the UK “obscure” and then singing UNDER THE BRIDGE of all songs (then again this show apparently thinks Aretha Franklin is obscure and up until Series 7 was under the impression that 1992 was “current” so who are we to doubt its vocabulary?). The only thing that could have made it better is her indulging herself with that stupid high pitched tribal wailing at the end of the song. I’m very sorry that she never got to do Nirvana. That would have been an almighty BLITZKRIEG on a par to when Wagner did Radiohead. As it is I will just have to hug her amazing “The X Factor tried to turn me into a PUPPET!” exit-interviews to my heart.
Misha B : Barlow Approved, it’s the Misha B Comeback Special. And as such, it was a bit like watching Misha B’s week 1 performance as described by your nan. Hideous zebra leggings, random hair, “HA HA HA!” every other line, and a rap break that was by far the most exciting aspect of the whole thing (especially as it was a rap about how Ready Salted crisps are boring). It was a synthetic Misha B rather than an actual return to her early form, but at this stage of the series I’ll take it, even with the attendant awful ickly girl voice and fake humility afterwards. Her second performance I wasn’t so keen on, apart from it revealing her musical hero as Lauryn Hill, and therefore providing a tenuous link to the possibility that once existed that Misha B could be batshit and awesome and self-destructive rather than mewling and cowed. She’s gone next week, barring the show pulling a total Cher Lloyd at shoving her through to the final for the sake of controversy, and I’ll be interested to see what proportion humble:misha we’re going to get. Here’s hoping for a blaze of glory, the likes of which did not happen this week.
Marcus Collins : So this was the week. The week that they lined Marcus up for his “Listen”. Removed all the dancers, stripped back the production, and left him very self-consciously alone with a microphone to do a big ballid, pull out the stops praise-wise, and then sit back and see if it worked. And has it? Sort of. He’s wrested back the role of bookies favourite from BixMix (not that has meant anything at all this series, but still) but I can’t help feeling like the song just wasn’t suited to showing off his voice. God knows I love Stevie Wonder, but he’s not really got many big show-stoppers in the X Factor sense, and “Lately” isn’t one of them. We’ll see – I’ve tried not to buy into the whole “let’s write off any male winner as soon as they happen” narrative that’s round this show like bindweed, but I think it might be better for him not to have the weight of that expectation on him. He certainly needs freeing from performance like his first one, in tribute to poor dead George Michael, which was pretty much the definition of “inessential”. Still, at least he hasn’t ramped out any sob stories eh Tulisa? No matter how much you prodded him to.
Amelia Lily : Let’s face it, this is nothing to do with Amelia Lily, and EVERYTHING to do with Gary BArlow deciding to take on one of the definitive dive recordings of the 80s. Why not take a pop at “Total Eclipse Of The Heart?” whilst you’re at it Gary? Say you always thought “Alone” was a bit pitchy? Snigger behind your hand at “I Found Someone”? Take the piss out of “Eternal Flame”? When you take on “China In Your Hand” you take on a whole ARMY of angry gays, as Saturday Night on the Internet proved. Also you got Carol Decker to call you a twat, which was hilarious. Amelia Lily’s take on the song was anaemic to say the least, because it was done with the intention of singing the song “well” which is always an inferior take on an 80s classic than running masscara and torn up pillows and boob-hugging histrionics. Oh yeah and then she did Kelly Clarkson and it was much the same. For a girl who seems so capable of channeling anger in her interviews she seems to do a piss-poor job of expressing it properly when she sings.