What would you do if I sang out of tune? You’d congratulate me on my originality and artistry, if you were one of the coaches on this show.
The show opens with a swift montage of everyone who’s still standing, and I think this show is setting a bad example, because
Vince has clearly seen what the logo is doing and decided that that means it’s fine for him to make offensive gestures at the camera as well. NO, VINCE. Only the big silver forearm can do that. At the end of the montage, we have William, who tells us
“This is the Olympics of singing!” By which he presumably means that no one in Britain can expect to do very well at it, and Londoners will spend the next two months moaning about how it’s ruining their lives.
Holly and Reggie are on voice-over duties to inform us that the coaches began the live shows with five acts apiece, but now they all have JUST FOUR.
Tom was almost down to three shortly after this screengrab was taken, but luckily the paramedics were on hand to pull the microphone out of Ruth’s oesophagus. Clearly she’s the latest victim of the Voice Virus and, in her fevered state, thought it was an ice-cream. Tonight, it’s Team William vs Team Tom again, and you know what that means, right?
MOOLEEN! ❤ (Seriously, I have the best seat in the country when Mooleen are on, because only I get to see Chris’s face. I did attempt to photograph some examples to share them with you, but he’s a bit camera-shy, so here’s Tim Ankers kindly doing a reconstruction:
Thanks Tim.) (He’s not NEARLY appalled enough – Chris) From there we proceed to the obligatory banter between this week’s rivals, in which William declares his team to be
“dan-da-na-nah, champions” with the same amount of enthusiasm you’d expect if “champions” had been substituted with “tiling grout”. Holly tells us that this week, Team Tom are facing their “biggest challenge yet”:
parking an MPV. I can tell they’re on a hiding to nothing right from the start: my dad taught me that you always reverse in and drive out, not the other way around. Meanwhile, Team William’s challenge is
breaking the news to Jamie Oliver that the lasagne recipe in his Ministry Of Food cookbook is shit. I mean, using crème fraiche instead of making a béchamel sauce? What is this, Amish country? And if that weren’t enough excitement for all of you, tonight the teams will be thrilling us with a group performance each.
LIVE! Oh, and there’s just one more thing…
Each team will be losing two acts this week. This is not a good week to be Mooleen, is it? (Is it ever? – Chris)
In the studio – sorry, “arena” – the camera runs from behind the coaches’ chairs up to the stage and right down into
the Willoughboobies. DAYUM, GIRL. I don’t think it’s unfair of me to say that Holly’s cleavage got a far more appreciative reception in my Twitter timeline than any of the actual performances during the show. And my timeline is mostly women and gays. Time for the obligatory nonsensical coach intros, so “with opinions as big as his hair”, it’s Him From The Script!
Oh, please. That is not big hair. My hair is bigger than that most mornings when I crawl out of bed. Still, I suppose they’ve got to try to make him interesting somehow. “If he hasn’t met you, you’re not worth meeting – Sir Tom Jones!”
Fortunately, I have met Sir Tom Jones, otherwise I would be storming off in a huff right now and refusing to finish this recap. I know he hasn’t told an anecdote about me yet, but he’s bound to run out of actual famous people soon. My name will probably come up about 50 minutes into the final. *crosses fingers* Next we have “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth from Jessie J”
Assuming by “truth”, you mean “crotchety complaints about anything that could even vaguely be described as spectacle”. And finally, “wowsers, there’s some pretty dope trousers on William!”
Shame we don’t actually get to see them. (SPOILER: They are pretty dope trousers when we actually get to see them, though, so I’ll let Holly off. THIS TIME.) After an awkward segue about how these people got where they are today (“the support of the public”, in case you were wondering. Not “blowjobs”, surprisingly) Holly and Reggie explain about the voting this week, and how only the act with the most public votes will be guaranteed a continuing spot in the competition.
I am including this picture because their serious business faces are important to the narrative, and I have in no way been encouraged to include as many screengrabs of Holly’s tits (boobs knockers jubblies bazongas – Chris) as possible in order to drive up the site traffic. Anyway, Reggie, King Of Maths explains that this will leave three acts on each team in danger, and each coach can only save one of them.
Tom starts talking and already Jessie J is
so very bored. Just wait until he starts talking about that time he met Sandi Thom, Jessie. We’ll all be self-medicating with chloroform at that point. Anyway, Tom encourages the remaining acts to think of this as being like a world tour with still countries remaining on the itinerary, so they can’t get tired. Speaking of world tours, Reggie reminds William that he’s played massive venues all over the globe, so how is he feeling about performing later in the show’s “arena”?
Kinda hungry, mostly. Where’s that kid with my nachos? William says that he’s encouraged his team to pretend they’re in a real group. He knows what it’s like to be in a group of four, so they’re going to be a group of five, trying to stay alive.
HE’S A POET AND HE DOESN’T KNOW IT! Meanwhile, Teams Jessie and Danny are relegated to the cheap seats
I hope this means Vince and Becky are BFFs. That is something I would dearly like to happen. Anyway, sensibly the show does not attempt to pretend that Jessie and Danny are under THE MOST PRESSURE OF ALL or anything daft like that. Reggie announces that tonight’s performers are waiting in the Vagina Room, so how are they feeling?
I’m going with “ill-served by the wardrobe department”. Right, time for some actual singing, or an approximation thereof.
Tom tells us that Leanne’s first song for the live shows was out of her comfort zone, which is a coincidence because her performance was definitely out of mine. This week she’s singing ‘I Put A Spell On You’
so if she doesn’t come out on stage dressed as Ursula The Sea Witch, I shall be very disappointed. Actually, just go the whole hog and have her sing ‘Poor Unfortunate Souls’. Leanne proceeds to tell a cute and not-at-all-sinister story about how she sang this song to her husband, back when they were still boyfriend and girlfriend, and they’d broken up for a little while. How this did not prompt him to run as fast as his legs could carry him, I am unsure. (I’m guessing it’s because she hobbled him, a la the movie Misery. HRNK HRNK HRNK HRNK *makes stabby motion* – Chris) Apparently it’s hard for Leanne to sing as a result of this, because it gets her all choked up.
Anyway, here’s the husband in question
telling us how he fell in love with Leanne after seeing her sing (perhaps she did indeed put a spell on him) (NB : shattered ankles just out of shot). The VT storylines are now at the “getting to know you” point for the contestants, so we join Leanne on a trip back to meet
her shy and retiring colleagues at the holiday camp. I’m unsure whether I’ve just captured them applauding Leanne’s arrival or right at the point where they’re about to break into a celebratory six-piece jazz routine to ‘California Gurls’. You can never tell with these entertainer types. Anyway, Leanne’s silent pal and her
best gay talk about how Leanne is SO AMAZING that you can’t believe someone like her is working at a holiday resort. I love how disparaging the best gay is of his own line of work. Either that, or by “Leanne” he means himself. Meanwhile Leanne’s
scary best friend tells us that everyone at the “resort” (lol) has been working hard to ensure that all the guests leave in full support of Leanne. Yeah, that’s why you go on holiday – to be brainwashed into spending your money on phone votes for Bluecoats when you get home. Na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-Leanne! Na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-Leanne! Na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-fishing! I mean, “Leanne!”
Back in the “arena”, and the stylists have gone for
the full Adele this week, presumably hoping that the viewers won’t be paying attention and will mistake her for the real thing. Especially since she’s singing a song that’s creepy and possessive and yet everyone’s expected to find it OMGSOROMANTIC. Leanne pulls a lot of
this face, and is kind of shrill. It’s interesting watching this show with the benefit of hindsight though, because I remember being appalled by the liberties being taken with the melody first time around, but now knowing what’s in store in the rest of the show, this feels fairly trivial. Anyway, it’s sharp and screechy but
this lot love it because she was loud. Holly thinks some of those notes “cast a spell” on the audience. (“Cast a spell” tally: 1) Tom thinks Leanne can definitely handle the challenge of performing, and that she just opened the show, but she could also close the show. Excellent idea!
Oh okay, fine. Tom remarks that when Leanne first started in the process, she was lacking a bit of confidence, at which Danny grunts “oh yeah!” and
leans forward in his chair in a disconcertingly predatory fashion. He goes on to say that when Leanne first started, he’s sure everyone felt the same. If by that he means “oh God, not this bore again”, then he’s got me bang to rights. He thinks Leanne cast a spell right over him. (“Cast a spell” tally: 2) Holly then goes to William, who is silent, so she asks if he is spellbound. (“Cast a spell” tally: 3) William then surges into life and growls “she put a spell on me!”
(“Cast a spell” tally: 4) in a tone far closer to the right key for this song than anything Leanne sang just now, and then repeats it for emphasis (“Cast a spell” tally: 5) and says that her riffs and runs were out of this world. Jessie remembers seeing Leanne in the blind auditions (except not, because they are blind auditions and that would rather hamper the gimmick) and how her control has developed so much since then, declaring this her favourite of Leanne’s performances so far. All four of them. Leanne joins Holly for a
boob-off (Holly wins : Boobtality – Chris), the vote numbers are read out, and then she’s gone.
So who’s next?
Last week, Frances was the first person declared safe after the public vote, causing her to do
this face and William to do
this one. Frances admits that she expected to be in the bottom two last week and was thrilled that the public spared her. It is unfortunate that throughout this entire segment she looks like
your dad dressed up as Cheryl Cole for Halloween. Seriously, I know this show is ALL ABOUT THE VOICE and whatnot, but it is still a television show. Can we not allow these people to look presentable for the cameras? Frances’s VT is all about how she’s from
Wakefield! Apparently, if you live in Wakefield, there’s a good chance you’ll have met Rob and Donna, her mum and dad. That’s right, Hannah Berney, people on Team William can actually remember their parents’ names. HOW YOU LIKE THEM APPLES? Anyway, Rob and Donna have been bothering the good people of Wakefield for some time, trying to get them to
vote for Frances. I was in Wakefield just over a week ago for work, and I didn’t see a single poster telling me to vote for Frances. Not saying this campaign was purely staged for VT purposes or anything, but it’s clearly not the BLANKET BOMB they want us to think it is. (I love how they’ve kind of arranged the photos to look like she’s on a crucifix – Chris) Donna recruits somebody who looks like she might be related to
Leanne’s scary friend. Either that or this show just has an endless supply of blonde female campaignbots at its disposal. Is this what my licence fee is being spent on? I particularly enjoy the poster with
“let’s get Yorkshire on the map” written on it, as though without Frances’s participation on this show, all attempts to chart the layout of the UK would just have a giant question mark between Derbyshire and Durham with “here be whippets” hastily scrawled across it. Meanwhile, Frances has been secretly watching Britain’s Got Talent and hears that people like dogs right now so
CANINE CAMPAIGN BRIGADE, ACTIVATE! Frances frets that thanks to her parents, she not only has to make William proud this week, she has to make
the whole of Yorkshire proud. I hope there are other people in Yorkshire who didn’t make it into this picture, otherwise that poor woman is going to be kept very busy when the time comes to breed the new generation.
In rehearsals, Will declares
“Boom! Check me out, I’m Frances!” Oh great, bodyswap hijinks. They really shouldn’t have both been holding that cursed ornamental skull while making that wish.
Frances really wants people to just enjoy this performance, and adds that her parents will there so she knows they’ll be dancing. Whilst covering everyone in the surrounding seats with VOTE FRANCES posters, no doubt.
She’s singing ‘Show Me Love’ by Robin S, and begins with
a monstrously flat held note, which pretty much sets the tone for this entire performance. I don’t even know if I can really blame Frances for the problems here, because the arrangement she’s been given resembles the original song about as much as I resemble Channing Tatum. I almost feel like they couldn’t get the rights to the actual song, so they had to write a near-approximation. (Yes, I know I’ve used that link before, but I can’t help it if it’s always relevant.) Anyway, I have absolutely no idea why Frances is doing a song so completely ill-suited to her considering the contestants aren’t hampered by theme weeks and can pretty much do anything they can get cleared, but they could at least have got the band to play it properly. It gets even worse when she attempts to shift up a key for the chorus. Still, at least it was nice of Jessie J to
lend Frances her throne from last year’s Glastonbury. Frances is also the first of many acts tonight to use the video wall for
an elaborate display of her face. Nice try, The Voice, but it’s no Katie Weasel on The X Factor. The response to her performance is a little more muted than after Leanne’s; William is the only judge to get to his feet. Holly tells Frances “I don’t know if it’s ‘hello Wembley’, it’s more like ‘hello Wakefield’!”
They…both know that’s not a compliment, right? Frances talks about how “the whole of the north” has supported her, which seems doubtful. William tells her she held it down and every note was amazing, and it was YOUTHFUL, which as we know is the only currency that matters on this show. Jessie says that she would’ve liked to hear it “in a higher key”.
I’d have settled for “the right key”, to be honest. Jessie would like to see Frances take more risks, so in two weeks’ time, assuming she gets through, Frances will be singing with a wet hand shoved into an electric toaster. She’s here to push herself, after all! Tom thinks there were parts there where it “looked a bit like Star Wars, but she’s the Princess Leia.” William responds by
making sure he’s top of the list to play an Ewok when they get to Return Of The Jedi. Finally, Danny does an impression of William to cushion the blow that he didn’t actually like the performance that much, but he liked the staging. I am enjoying picturing the off-camera righteous fury of Jessie J here as people are daring to think that anything beyond the voice is relevant to the competition. Frances exits, with some
awkwardly-managed crowd-wrangling on the way.
Holly decides to ask the band to represent how they’re feeling in the form of music. I would’ve thought this would be appropriate the way things are going, but instead they respond with ‘Under Pressure’, causing Holly to honk “UNDER PRESSURE? YOU SHOULD TRY BEING OUR ARTISTS TONIGHT!” with all the natural comic timing of a Mexican cheeseplant. Really, she should’ve said “what do you mean, you’re feeling ‘Ice Ice Baby’?”
MOOLEEN! So, how did they feel about their first performance on the live shows?
Yeah, I hear it. They recall being in the bottom two a fortnight ago and thinking they didn’t stand a chance against Sam Buttery (how low must your self-esteem be to take you to that place?) and then there was a big pause before Tom said their name (there really wasn’t), but when it came, it felt like being hit by a brick. A nice brick, Sueleen clarifies. After all that trauma, they’ve gone back to Canterbury for a bit of R&R.
WOO! CANTERBURY! (Sorry, I’m from Kent, we don’t get on the telly very often.) Various people ask for their autographs, and Matt says that before he used to get “oi, Gandalf!” when he walked down the street (KENT PRIDE <3) and how he gets “oi, it’s that bloke off The Voice, who looks like Gandalf!” Ahhh, fame. Sueleen mentions the huge amount of support they’ve had from their families
who were clearly tactful enough to pretend they didn’t write that on the blackboard after seeing Mooleen’s previous performance, when they were expecting them to come home on a rather more permanent basis. Also, is it just me, or does that smudge in Sueleen’s name suggest it took them more than one attempt to spell her name correctly? This week they’re putting their own spin on ‘Missing’ by Everything But The Girl
and Tom (who’s clearly picked Danny as his new style icon, bless him) tells them that the song sounds different now, because they’ve changed the harmonies and now they’re clashing against some of the chords, and also clashing against nature, truth, beauty, righteousness etc. He thinks you can’t go too far away from the original melody. I wish someone had told that to whoever arranged ‘Show Me Love’ for Frances just now.
I’m not entirely sure what the point of this staging is. Is it so that when they sing about missing each other we can all scream “he’s/she’s behind you!” like at a panto? They’ve gone for their unique folksy harmonies again, and once again it doesn’t really work – the choruses, perhaps, they just get away with, but the verses are just a hot mess. It’s at times like this that I really enjoy the input of the professional singers/musicians currently watching the show, because they make me feel like I’m not actually going mad. I think I might just watch my own version of the rest of the series in my head, where the spinny chairs are occupied by Karen Poole, David Arnold, Tracey Thorn and Betty Boo (Team Boo – Chris). That would be amazing. Anyway, Mooleen continue, and eventually finish, and they receive
“mixed reviews” from the judges. I am quite enjoying how thoroughly unimpressed by everything Jessie J looks tonight. Holly asks Mooleen if there was more pressure on them after being in the bottom two last week and Matt says that he can feel Sueleen shaking in his hand right now.
Either that, or she’s just found a completely new way to signal her disapproval to him. Holly asks if it was weird not looking at each other throughout the whole performance, and Sueleen opines that it was a really good test to see if they could work back-to-back. I’m unsure when exactly that’s going to prove much of a transferable skill (IN BED, WE WERE ALL THINKING IT – Chris) but good for them? Tom thought it worked well tonight, and that people don’t realise how hard it is to do harmonies well (au contraire, after listening to these two, I think most people are only too aware of it) because he’s done a few duets himself over the years. Jessie J is all
“REALLY?!?!” And meta-humour is all well and good, but when the show is cracking jokes about Tom’s inexhaustible supply of name-dropping anecdotes, it does leave me wondering exactly what my role is. I’m just going to have to resort to more obvious methods to get my laughs. That’s right, I’m going to SLIP A NIP. Later. Possibly.
He thinks they should be applauded for the bravery of their harmonies alone. I’m beginning to feel like the show’s motto should be: “The Voice: it’s the taking part that counts!” (Someone should tell Jessie J’s face that – Chris) Give these people some actual useful feedback already, sheesh. I get my hopes up briefly when I think Danny might actually be about to say something useful (even a stopped clock, etc etc) but no, he’s just going to blather on about harmony is all about connection and the reason it didn’t work was because they weren’t looking at each other, and then settle down into YOU TOOK CHANCES, HOORAY FOR CHANCES! William is clearly stumbling around looking for something useful to say at this point, and ends up saying not very much at all other than how pretty the stage looked. He asks whose idea it was, and Sueleen attempts to reply, but her microphone isn’t switched on. If only that had been the case three minutes ago. William thought it looked like “a Harry Potter moment”.
Only in some sort of weird fanfic universe where Hagrid is fucking Bellatrix Lestrange. Despite everyone else taking about an hour to discuss the relative merits of this performance, by the time we get to Jessie, she admits that she’s still making her mind up how she feels about it, because she loved the riskiness but wasn’t sure if it showed them off appropriately.
And that makes her angry! GRR! ANGY! She feels that harmonies like that “haven’t really been done a lot before.” Yes, and there is a reason for that. As expected, she wasn’t keen on the staging – she thinks it would’ve been fine for a music video, but not for a performance like this. Matt attempts to explain that they did the benches thing because the lyrics talk about “not seeing a person there”, and gets all Literal Larry about it. Hilariously, William crows that he TOTALLY GOT THAT, and Danny gripes that “their story has an ending”
and he wanted to see the ending to it. Holly’s all “DID YOU WANT TO SEE THEM KISS, DANNY?” and Danny gets all “no, I don’t want to see anyone kiss except possibly me and Aleks, less is more”, and so on. Anyway, that’s quite enough of all that. Who’s next?
Joelle tells us that she absolutely felt like she belonged on stage last week. The public, as we know, felt rather differently. William thinks that we could be wowed by her, if we’re just given the right opportunity. Joelle has picked a song that means a lot to her this week – ‘I Surrender’ by Celine Dion.
This does not give William an opportunity to be wowed by her. He tells her that he likes the song, and she sings it beautifully, but he’s not sure it’s appropriate for the battle she currently finds herself in. Joelle goes off to think about it, and returns having decided that William is right, so she’s going to sing ‘Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)’ by Kelly Clarkson.
You gotta love the person who decided that was the ideal song to follow Mooleen in the running order, haven’t you? We get to see Joelle rehearsing the song, and the editors very wisely play a bit of her talking over the part where she goes REALLY out of tune. (I love love love love LOVE that she went from a song that might as well have been called “Fine, Eliminate Me Already” to one where she did the same thing just by singing it – Chris)
Joelle takes to the stage,
emerging as a strong candidate for biggest victim of the costume department this week. How many disco balls had to die so that outfit could live? (Oh Steve, they’re still alive – Chris) I sense that Joelle’s days are numbered as she’s the only member of Team William
not to get her face on the video wall, and instead they’ve just sent her out to wobble uncomfortably on a small podium
for ease of upskirting. It’s a disappointingly low-energy performance for such a strident, affirmative song too, despite Joelle’s best efforts at
punching the air. Still, she inspired one person, at least.
Bless. Holly cites this as a fine example of “art imitating life”, as though “art” or indeed “life” are ever appropriate words to use in relation to this show. William goes on a long verbal journey about how he doesn’t really do much as a singing coach, but he’s all about stagecraft and knowing how best to present you so that you look epic and amazing, which is why he gave Joelle a load of fireworks and explosions an ting. If only he hadn’t chosen to say that after a performance that featured Joelle looking so tiny and lost on an empty stage for a good three-quarters of it. Jessie loved the vocal and wants to see Joelle let go more in her performance, and is now very excited for Team William’s performance later. Holly asks Tom if he thought Joelle was a fighter tonight, and Tom says that she reminded him of Mohammed Ali, which prompts William to shout
“he’s sung with Mohammed Ali!” I’m starting to feel sorry for Tom at this point – each show is starting to feel like a pile-on amongst the judges to see who can make him look the most like Abe Simpson. Tom says she was down after last week’s bottom two appearance, but not out. Danny agrees with Jessie, and wishes Joelle had started as well as she finished, because it was nearly a flawless performance, even if she cracked on a couple of the high notes. “You didn’t crack. He’s on crack!” responds William. And to think Tom was worried about saying “hell” last week.
Now we must go to that place I was secretly hoping they’d forgotten about: The Vagina Room,
where Leanne and Frances have already changed for the group performances, if that’s of interest. Reggie mentions that one big subject under discussion right now online is Holly Willoughby(‘s tits) and then reminds the contestants that they can’t relax yet because group performances are still to come. Leanne tells us she was nervous about going first, but she thinks it went well – “it’s the first time they’ve all stood up, so that’s pretty cool.” Reggie asks Frances if she ever dreamed she’d get to perform with William back when she were just a youngling from Wakefield, and Frances responds “All the time. LOL J/K!”
Credit where it’s due – Frances even made humour vortex Adam laugh with that one, so she must be doing something right. Mooleen talk about the pressure they’re under, and how they’re just trying to do their best, while Tyler
sneaks in at the back and blows a raspberry. Then Joelle arrives just in time for someone to tweet
“SOS” in response to Frances’ performance, which seems an entirely appropriate reaction to me, and Matt decides that Frances isn’t the only one who can be hilarious as he
provides Reggie with a new weave.
Then we’re back to Holly, who tells us that “singing solo from Team Tom”, it’s
briefly giving me hope that she would be singing this, which was a CHOON. Ruth tells us that she was just expecting the audience to like her performance last week, not to unreservedly love it as they did. She turns up for rehearsals with
serious nail action going on, and announces that she’s going to sing ‘Next To Me’ by Emily Sunday (which is apparently how we’re pronouncing her name now), who was conveniently on the show last week and stopped by to give her some advice.
This would have looked more impressive if the editors hadn’t left in a member of the production team squawking “THIS IS RUTH!” in the background, implying that Emeli either talked to everyone that night, or was basically just shoved into the room without being briefed. Tom tells us that Ruth now has a newfound confidence, which she demonstrates by getting all assertive and asking for three backing singers, then telling the guitarist
“he’ll go BANGBANGBANG and then it will build up to the chorus.” She tells Tom that she feels like a musician now, not a singer any more, which is good because if this show has taught us anything, it’s that singers are the WORST.
Ruth’s outfit is
from the Pat Butcher For Laura Ashley range, and she’s clearly decided that diction is for losers, preferring to give us lines like “yurwillfine, yuruhvine, dernectarme”. If there’s one thing about this show that annoys me (and there are a lot, but this one stands above all the others), it’s this idea that real artistry is about rendering yourself as incoherent as possible. I don’t know if it’s nerves or adrenaline or what, but the longer the song goes on, the less I can make out actual words in Ruth’s singing. It’s just
spitting and bellowing. I like Ruth, and think she’s one of the few talents this show has unearthed who is actually worth nurturing, but this performance is such a huge misstep, and Tom should’ve reined her in on it. The louder she gets, the more off-key she gets, and eventually we just get to the point where she’s screaming “NECTARNECTARNECTARNECTAR” like she’s doing product placement for a reward card. Of course, because she was loud, no one cares about the quality, so here’s a
standing ovation anyway. Weirdly, as soon as the performance is over, Ruth morphs back into a shy teenager and when Holly asks her if she’s growing in confidence, she mumbles that she’s just embracing what she loves doing and sharing her ideas with Tom. I guess last year’s X Factor taught us a lot about how it’s not helpful for a young woman to be seen as having any confidence in her own abilities. (This was in the top 5 worst reality show performances I’ve ever seen. I was EMBARRASSED. It HURT ME. What was she DOING? – Chris)
Tom talks about how Ruth’s singing gets him all choked up
so he hopes that doesn’t happen when they have to sing together later. He says “I’ve sung duets with a lot of people” again and the audience laughs even before the rest of the judges say anything, so I think this is officially spent as a source of humour now. He says that despite having heard MANY MANY VOICES, Ruth has got something he’s never heard in his life. Danny says that all the hair on “my ha—my arms” is standing up (Freudian slip?) and that happens every time Ruth sings, and the reason he got involved in this show is to find people just like Ruth, which is why his team is filled with bland white guys. William tells Ruth that she’s so amazing when she sings that she doesn’t need explosions. Poor Joelle. 😦 Jessie J, of course, has been
rendered moist by Ruth talking about embracing her artistry just now, and is therefore unavailable for comment. There is a good bit, though, where Jessie does the “how old are you again? 17/18?” and Ruth replies “20” gruffly, and Jessie’s incoming “SO GOOD AND SO YOUNG” train is promptly derailed because we all know that Ruth’s advanced age means she’s close to her sell-by date. William mocks her, and Jessie J pulls a full
“MUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUM WILLIAM’S BEING MEEEEEEEEEEAN” hissyfit-and-pout combo. Amazing. Tom finishes by saying he hopes that Emily Sunday heard that, and then repeats “Sunday” about six more times to make sure he’s getting it right (he isn’t). Whether she heard it or not, I’d be interested to know if Emily Sunday knew who was singing it without a member of the production team yelling in her ear.
Up next, we have
who is singing ‘Sign Your Name’ by Terence Trent D’Arby this week, which I have high hopes about because it’s an amazing song, although I’m mainly distracted right now by
William’s amazing shoes. I WANT THOSE SHOES. (Those are clearly women’s shoes. William is such a Fierce Tranny Goddess – Chris) Tyler admits that the pressure’s getting to him and he’s feeling nervous, and William says that nerves just remind you you’re alive, and promptly relates a story where Fergie was nervous about her solo career until he reminded her that she was fergalicious-def, fergalicious-def, fergalicious-def and D to the E to the LICIOUS and other things. That was always what was great about Fergie’s solo career, you didn’t just get a bunch of songs, you also got a spelling lesson, apart from in ‘Fergalicious’ when William couldn’t spell “tasty” properly, but we’ll just overlook that. To relax, Tyler makes some time with his
non-Winehouse friends, and tells us that he feels happy for the first time in ages. And we got through an entire VT without anyone mentioning Amy Winehouse. At least not explicitly, anyway.
Holly’s mic isn’t working, so we only get the “-er!” part of Tyler’s intro. This
is his face in the video wall, mouthing along in the background like a Wanted poster in a Harry Potter movie, all wrapped around a Union Jack colour scheme to remind us that we are failing in our patriotic duty if we do not support Tyler. I’m disappointed in the performance, because while his tone is just right for this song during the verses, he’s gasping for breath at the end of each line (I know William openly admitted he’s not really a coach for singers, but is no one on this show able to teach these people the rudiments of breath control) and then the chorus is done in his falsetto, which is overdone at this point, and I’d rather hear what else he can do. I dunno, I just imagined this performance better when I first saw the song selections this week. (I imagined it better when I just played “Sign Your Name”. SONG. – Chris) Still, he gets ovated by William and Danny at the end, so that’s something.
Tyler admits to Holly that he was really nervous, and it’s my sad duty to inform you that he
WASN’T WEARING ANY FUCKING SOCKS AGAIN, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD. William is so excited that he remains standing to give his critique, and tells us that Tyler is a true artist. Jessie thinks he’s “very cool”, and she wants to chill with him. Jessie J blates fancies one of his mates from that VT. She adds that she would happily go out and buy an album of his voice, which is
that, apparently, whatever that might be. “Let’s go out for dinner!” she shouts. Okay, maybe it wasn’t one of his mates she was after. Tune in next week to see how things go for Jessie and Tyler on their date on the magical isle of Fernando’s! Tom talks a bit about the strength of Tyler’s falsetto, and how Tyler didn’t do “a Terence Trent D’Arby” on the song, but made it his own. More of a Nottingham Trent D’Arby, perhaps. Danny says that singing in falsetto requires such pinpoint accuracy that it’s easy to hear someone go off, but he didn’t hear any pitching issues at all. (Mental note: make “Danny had no pitching issues WITH THE TENT IN HIS PANTS” joke next week after Aleks performs.)
Next up, it’s
The Dullest Man In The World, who gets off to a great start in his VT by talking about how he was doing “a controversial song” last week. I don’t know how you can be so in love with your own sense of daring while simultaneously being SUCH A MILQUETOAST, I really don’t. This week he’s singing ‘High And Dry’ by Radiohead,
and Tom tells us that Adam has it all because women want to shag him and men want to look like him. I…don’t want to look like him. At all. I don’t think he’s ugly or anything, but I just don’t feel particularly envious of his appearance. ‘Love Machine’ cues up on the soundtrack as Tom asks Adam what sort of reception he’s had FROM THE LADIES so far and Adam giggles that he’s had a few marriage proposals.
Eh, it’s no Holly Valance limp-wrist, that’s for sure. He’s very flattered to have had so much attention from The Ladies, but he is taken.
SORRY ‘BOUT THAT! Anyway, just to give The Ladies a target for their vengeful anger at this news
here’s Adam’s fiancée Celine. And here they are being cute together.
Just remember how upset poor Caroline Flack got, and don’t do anything rash, eh readers? (What is Adam’s crotch doing here incidentally? Is he wearing a safety harness? To defend him from ALL TEH LADIES – Chris) Back in Exeter, Adam’s friends and family have thrown him a big party, and he admits that he worried he would cry, but of course that would be far too interesting, so he didn’t.
Adam’s performance begins, and he’s
far too close to the microphone, so his vocal is all distorted and spittle-y sounding. Other than that, his performance is all-right – it’s incredibly bland, and he doesn’t have the falsetto to be able to pull off the chorus properly, but the curve tonight is incredibly forgiving. I feel Adam’s general boringness is more than adequately captured by the fact that his video backdrop is basically
a Windows 98 screensaver. Still, guess who’s enjoying this in an eyes-closed, head-bobbing sort of way?
That one was too easy, wasn’t it? Once the song’s over, Adam does his trademark
apatosaurus impression that Jessie loves so much in order to speak into the microphone. Holly reminds us that Adam is LOVED BY THE LADIES (PS IT’S STILL ALL ABOUT THE VOICE, HONEST) and tells Tom that he has competition for The Ladies, to which Tom replies that that’s fine, because Adam’s basically his mini-me.
See? UNCANNY. Anyway, Tom tells Danny that it’s hard when everyone hates you because you’re popular and beautiful, but you just have to try not to let it bother you. Danny was less keen, because Adam didn’t have the necessary “fearless falsetto” in the chorus, but thinks that the way to solve this problem was to move closer to the mic. CLOSER TO THE MIC. If he were any closer, he would’ve ingested it. William thought it was dope, “and I don’t just say it’s dope when I don’t mean it, I really take that word seriously.” Quite. Jessie loves his tone, but agrees with Danny that it was a bit lifeless. Tom asks if Jessie noticed that Adam took her advice about his voice, which prompts Jessie to yell “HOW’S YOUR ARM?” at Adam, who admits that it’s “a bit better”. Good, I’m glad we got that sorted out, I’ve barely been able to sleep for worrying about whether he’ll be at full guitar-strumming capacity or not.
And for our final performance of the evening, here’s
who’s still coming down from the high of the last live show. William recalls one particular note that was, I believe, “trickly hickory dickory dock” (your guess is as good as mine) and made him
swoon like the vapors-stricken heroine of a Tennessee Williams play. Anyway, you may be aware (and if you’re not, you’re sure as hell soon going to be) that
Jaz has a wife, and they’ve just celebrated their anniversary, and they’re having a baby. The cameras join them on a
TMI-filled excursion to find out the sex of their unborn child. It’s a boy! Then it’s back to the recording studio, where Jaz is rehearsing ‘Just The Way You Are’. And if you’re wondering whether that’s the Billy Joel song or the Bruno Mars song, it’s both of them. He’s doing a mash-up, or whatever passes for a mash-up on primetime BBC1, which is usually doing a bit of one song followed by a bit of the other. Jaz tells William that he’s tempted to play it safe, and William tells him that he’s a stuntman on the set of Mission: Impossible who can’t possibly play it safe.
It’s such a fun analogy, let’s not ruin William’s morning by pointing out that the whole point of being a stunt person is to play it safe, because they’re the ones who know how to pull off a stunt and survive to tell the tale. William thinks Jaz should dedicate this performance to his wife and unborn child, and then his face
rebels against this utterly cornball sentiment.
So, you know how, before this show launched, we were promised that it would never stoop to The X Factor‘s level of using contestant backstories to manipulate our feelings and make us love them?
Yeah. Even Niki Evans’ deceased father (RIP) considers this to be overkill. (Also, Jaz should take his coat off indoors or he won’t feel the benefit.) I’m not even going to comment on whether it’s a good vocal performance or not, because the entire show just jumped the shark right here, and all singing, past, present or future, has been rendered irrelevant. (I’m still laughing now – Chris)
Saints above, they’ve even left the spotlight on Mrs Jaz during the judging. Holly spells out for the slower members of the audience that Jaz was singing that FOR HIS WIFE and Jaz wishes her a happy anniversary. He says that he told William this would be a hard song, but he just focused on thoughts of his wife, and that brought it all together. Mrs Jaz continues to
bathe in the glow of her own blessèd fertility. Just when you thought things couldn’t get any baser, William starts talking about mum.i.am and how she was a single mother and how he wishes she’d had someone in her life that could sing a song like that to her.
Bet you regret letting Kate Read go in the battle rounds now, eh William? Jessie J congratulates Jaz on his healthy sperms while
shifting out of the way so we can all see what a shining example of womanhood Mrs Jaz is. She bores on about how when someone writes a song it’s mostly personal for them, but then they give it to the world and the world shapes it in its own way and OH MY GOD MUSIC IS LIKE HAVING A BABY LIKE WHAT MRS JAZ WILL BE DOING SOON! Tom talks about how Jaz clearly had someone in mind when he was singing, but didn’t just “do it to his wife, he did it to the whole audience.” Fnar. Tom is impressed that we just had “two love songs and two crowd-pleasers” and Holly’s all
yes, thank you, that’s enough about my breasts. Danny asks Tom who he had in the back of his mind when he wrote ‘Sex Bomb’. Bless Danny for thinking Tom wrote that. He’s glad to see that Jaz took his advice from last week #humblebrag and mentions that he had nothing to write in Danny’s Big Book Of Judging Critiques, apart from on the back page where he was trying out various combinations of his last name and Aleks’ so he can see which one works best for when they’re married. Holly sends Jaz off to give his wife a big kiss from her and OH GOD ENOUGH WITH THE WIFE ALREADY.
So that’s all the solo performances finished: we still have group performances to go, but not before a visit to the dreaded Vagina Room
look there it is isn’t it lovely and we can see what everyone’s going to wear for the group numbers and that’s all we’ve got time for the end. (The Vagina Room is becoming this show’s answer to the dreaded Strictly Come Dancing VTs in that I refuse to acknowledge its existence unless I absolutely have to. Sorry Reggie, nothing personal.)
Ta-da! In the interest of actually saying something positive about tonight’s show, that is a very nicely-framed shot. Well done. (There was a performance recap here, and obviously I’m not going to recap the recap, but I fastforwarded through it using QuickTime and I have to say, having the tempo vastly increased made almost everyone’s performance far more enjoyable to listen to, apart from Adam who somehow became even more boring at high speed. The lesson here for next week’s acts: a bit of BOSH goes a long way.)
Before the group songs, we have some comedy VTs about “team buil–bonding”, per Holly. Unless it’s Team Bill Bonding, in which case, I definitely support him, whoever he is. Anyway, Team Tom went off to meet a dinosaur.
Oops, wrong picture.
There, that’s better. They’re playing mini-golf, and nothing much happens except
Ruth and Tom really aren’t very good at it, and
Adam cheats. Back in the arena studio, Reggie calls Tom a “silver bear” again, and surely he must know about the gay innuendo at this point and is just choosing to ignore it. Anyway, time for Team Tom to perform
‘Hit The Road Jack’, which essentially relegates all the contestants to Tom’s backing singers.
Still, at least Mooleen are enjoying themselves. Oh, and in the middle of the one bit that the contestants do get to sing lead on, we’re treated to
this excellent piece of camerawork. It ends like this
and then we move on to Team William. He invited the team over to his gaff
(previous owner: Wario) to hang out in his studio, where they had fun
singing, and he had fun
putting them all through ProTools to make them sound better. Hooray for technology! Then, randomly
Jamie Oliver turns up with food, and none of them really care who he is, just that he is carrying pizza.
I love how Jaz is all “I’ll shake your hand as long as it means I don’t have to put my iPad down.” I like that at least Team William’s Day Of Fun made some sort of sense in the context of the show. I have no idea what Team Tom’s Dinosaur Mini-Golf Extravaganza was meant to achieve.
They’re singing ‘I Got A Woman’ with William as
the dapperest pianist ever, and Tyler and Jaz doing the vocals. It goes on for quite some time as a bit of a
sausage-fest until Joelle and Frances become rather conspicuous by their absence, and then it turns into ‘Gold Digger’ for the briefest of moments as
William steps out from behind the piano to take the lead on ‘Just Can’t Get Enough’ (the Peas song, not the Depeche Mode one) and finally
Frances appears to play the part of Fergie,
and so does Joelle. I love how they’ve all been given fingerless gloves, just to emphasise the Team William thing. His group number just makes so much more sense, if you can forgive the fact that the girls weren’t brought on stage until quite late – but at least he did his best to make an event of their actual entrance. This is probably the most enjoyable performance of the whole night; it’s such a shame that it only came at a point when most people had probably given up and switched over to the Britain’s Got Talent final. William finishes with a flourish:
“Yeah! That’s how we do it! Ba-bang! Ba-ba-ba-bang!”
(Team William was the best, but would anyone have cared if the women never came out? No. No they would not. – Chris)
And to finish, after the vote numbers have been read out again, Holly reminds the judges that they’ll have to decide which two acts to send home tomorrow night, saying to Tom it’s not going to be easy. “No,” Tom replies. “It’s going to be very difficult.” You just can’t script easy banter like that, can you? Or you wouldn’t even if you could. And you certainly shouldn’t.
Tomorrow night: Scissor Sisters definite, uncontested lead singer Ana Matronic drops back with the rest of those nobodies who play alongside her, and more group performances from Team Jessie and Team Danny. Oh, and four people are going home. Well, five, because no way in hell are Mooleen surviving a double elimination.