And the gold medal goes to…ANDY MURRAY…NO, ROGER FEDERER! OH DERMOT, I JUST CAN’T DECIDE, LET’S TAKE IT TO DEADLOCK!
So this series I’m going to be recapping everyone by category until one of the two interchangable boybands leaves, because I think that’s the point when I can say that everyone is truly unique, not just a mushed-up extension of their mentor. And how appropriate that Louis Walsh’s avatars as a mentor are a bunch of teenage boys with ironed-straight hair, and the butchest white girl ever to land on the X Factor stage. Actually I’m probably being unfair to the boybands – Union J are the one with a closeted member that we KNOW about. So all the fangirls can get a headstart on writing their disturbing slashfic, which really seems to be the entire point of even HAVING a boyband these days. As such they will probably get further. District 3 (previously GMD3, GMTV, SMTV:Live, MN8, LM3AO, P&O, and Sugababes) on the other hand, just seem pointless, outside of the fact that their designated leader looks a bit like Jonathan Ansell. Both groups are a bit pants, and neither of them are going to escape the shame of having Louis as their mentor far enough to be the new One Direction. (I did like the show blatantly calling out what a tragic One Direction rip-off they both are though, with half the “RENAME THE GHB3!” tweets read out being variations of “Another Direction” or “New Direction” or “Two Direction” or whatever”.
MK1 on the other hand have a personality all of their own – it’s a very CBBC inspirational personality, but it is a personality. I can’t wait for the VT where they paint a mural for a Community Centre, or teach an old lady how to dougie. Their performance was really the only coherent one of the category, and also the only one that was ever in tune, but none of that ever stopped the Wandas did it, so let’s move on. Actually, I was very excited by the Wandas appearing (for no reason) in the middle of the Performance Show, just for the chance to catch up with my favourite male contestant in X Factor history : Resentful Direction. He had a new shaved head and visibly recoiled when Dermot touched him. Never change, Resentful.
Finally, Louis Walsh, who was in fine fettle this week, so I’m going to discuss him separately. Of course, he was so amazing this week that Digital Spy are calling for him to be sacked, which is how you know he should be PROMOTED. Firstly you had the classic Louis moment of claiming he was at Woodstock, then getting called out on it, then claiming he had WATCHED THE MOVIE, AND THAT TOTALLY COUNTS. Secondly, DAT POLONECK. Thirdly… what he did in the sing-off. Which we’ll get to later, but I want to throw little scented pink paper hearts around the floor about it now, in anticipation, because it was so amazing.
And so to the girls, and Tulisa. I’m not going to deal with her separately, because she’s a bore, and every time I say her name I feel like I’m about to be spammed by five different unfunny XFACTORPARODY accounts making lame sex-tape jokes. That bit where she snapped that there was NO ROOM FOR ANY OTHER GROUPS now the mighty shitey N-Dubz are reforming was a low though, right? The girls in her category I’m not sure warrant much more coverage. Ella Henderson is obviously Leona Lewis levels of being far superior to everyone else in her series, talent-wise, and she’s rapidly closing in on evens in the betting. Not that she’ll necessarily win, but you can already feel them angling for an Ella-James-A.N.Other Overs final, so it’ll probably happen. She hit a few bum notes in her version of “Rule The World”, but other than that it was pretty era-defining. Now she just needs to fix those lashes.
Lucy Spraggan is a bit of an odd one, in that the show is trying to brand her as the Only Real Artist In X Factor History, and it’s just not happening. These days, most of the contestants have their own material already floating around on youtube, that their fans obnoxiously wave under your nose the second they hit Boot Camp. I’m not saying much of it is better than the sort of nice-enough busker songs about inspiring old dears who hitch-hiked their way to Woodstock (no, not you Louis) that Lucy croaks out, but it’s not that much worse. She seems nice enough, but I’m not in the mood to hear her album, rolled out one track per week, until everyone gets bored and find out her act has no legs. She would have been better off on BGT, where she’d need two songs at best to win the whole show. There is another girl in Tulisa category. Her name is Jade Ellis. She has a baby. Her voice is super nasal. That’s all.
Well done to Nicole Scherzinger incidentally, who is pitching herself at just the right level – convincing but not invested. This, combined with an effortless ability to create drama that almost rivals Cheryl’s, automatically makes her the best female judge this show’s ever had. Sure some of her lines are clearly scripted by researcher, but she delivers them so well. Her category isn’t the best, but what can you do? Jahmene Douglas (aka The Leader) is vocally the strongest, but he sang effing Imagine. Who would have thought that sort of thing would still be going on here, in 2012? Earnest young men singing “Imagine” is so transcendentally tedious that even American Idol only ever tried to get away with it with some home-schooled Mormon shut-in. I presume Nicole is setting him up to be some sort of replacement joke for when Rylan Clark finally gets eliminated (6/10 this week – he let the theme ate the performance, rather than enhancing it, but he can have a bonus point for so transparently shitting all over The Voice).
I feel bad for Nicole that all her hopes rest on James Arthur because…jeez. The only decent thing he’s done thus far is piss off the more mental ends of the Internet by pointing out to them that they’re mental. His “makeover” makes him look like something out of Looper, sent back from the future to kill The X Factor (those EYELASHES!). He limps around the stage like the last survivor of a zombie apoocalypse in some shit film where the twist is that it’s supposed to be ambiguous whether he too has been infected, and at least when Strictly went on and on and ON about Austin’s Gunz he actually HAD some. Also he drained all the life out of a Kelly Clarkson song. On the other hand, it was in tune, which automatically puts it one up on every other performance of a Kelly Clarkson song on a reality show, ever.
It’s going to be a long time before I stop cackling over this first week for the overs. First Gary does the talk show circuit saying he has single-handedly restored the credibility of the Overs category. No more is it the preserve of joke acts and trainwrecks, he’s got some really talented undiscovered artists in there. Then Cruiseship Christopher is voted in as a Wild Card, easily the least essential contestant this series, being Cruiseship Sami from last year, only out of drag. Then his act got voted out first. Then Barlow STORMED OUT THE STUDIO, reliving the “glory days” of Sharon Osbourne. That’s right Gary, you’ve made yourself into Sharon. In four series time, you’ll be popping up as Louis’ hag, flirting with topless waiters. Hope you enjoy it.
It’s kind of hard to see where the NEW EXCITING RAW TALENT Gary sees in his merry gang is. Melanie Medusa is probably the best of them (certainly she gave one of the two performances of the night I’d watch again, even dressed up as a Robert Plant Drag Queen belting out a…Joe Cocker arrangement) but she spends her days off show dressing up as Fairy Flutterby and protesting about inappropriately placed waste incincerators, and it shows. Kye Sones is an enzyme and about as exciting as that sounds.
First to hit the deck though, was Carolynne Poole who was this year’s token “country” contestant. Which seems to be a bizarre genre to commit yourself to, as an English person. Because it’s a genre specific to an individual country, and the HISTORY of a specific country. This is the sort of thinking that leads to things like Paolo Nutini happening, and as such cannot be endorsed. And of course, X Factor being X Factor, they had to stretch it one step further, and make her first Official Performance a country-tinged performance of a Nicki Minaj song. I mean…I don’t care if you’ve found that your voice sounds nice with a bit of a hiccup in it, at that point you have to realise you’re not in Kansas any more. Nor were you ever, because you’re NOT AMERICAN.
Anyway, nobody cared, and Carolunne found herself in the Bottom Two with Rylan, and of course this sent Louis into OVERDRIVE, because it’s become his job to force the answer to questions like this. He saved the Conway Sisters, he saved Daniel Evans, he CREATED Wagner, it’s how he rolls. So of course the Louis Masterplan rolled out, with every stage hit on the passage to controversy.
1. CLEARLY receive instruction from a producer, right on camera, in front of everyone.
2. Blink a lot.
3. Talk about how HARD the decision in
4. Bling a lot
5. Wait for the other judgementors to start shouting obscenities at you.
6. Blink a lot.
7. Say you want to save BOTH artists Dermot
8. Blink a lot
9. Get Dermot to yell at you so hard that he asphyxiates in fresh air
10. Blink a lot
11. Save one person
12. Save the other person
13. Go to Deadlock
14. Blink a lot
Amazing. I can’t imagine Louis is capable of milking a Bottom Two any harder than he did this one, but I hope to be proved wrong.