Well done X Factor. Easiest theme ever. 95% of all pop songs are about love and heartbreak, and you manage to completely miss them all for at least two contestants.
Thank goodness for Tulisa I say. Otherwise I might have had to recap this show properly (under the arbitrary rules I have set myself). Because we (*sniff*) almost lost District 3 this week, and they were only saved by Tulisa stumping for them. I can at least now set them apart from Union J now, thanks to comparing their vocal styles. This was impossible last week, as District 3 sang, whilst Union J jumped around the set squealing “Don’t Stop Me Now” like Freddie himself was trying to bum them from beyond the grave. This week rthey just about managed to make themselves heard over their backing singers for “Bleeding Strings” – an indifferent glomping together of Bleeding Love and Broken Strings – so I could hear that they sound like One Direction minus the parts that made them interesting (and by interesting, I mean awful) (and by awful, I mean the constant crackle of the ZAYNWRECK). District 3 on the other hand I got to hear perform twice (TWICE!!!) first on the All 4 One non-classic “I Swear” (appropriate because they are the All 4 One to Union J’s Boyz 2 Men) and then on the Bryan Adams even-more-non-classic “Everything I Do” in the sing-off. As such, I can determine they sound like Busted with a peg on their nose. And on each nipple. Joy. Anyway, Tulisa saved them because she believes they have the best harmonies in the competition. A competition they are in with precisely one other act. And she was still wrong.
MK1 you see, don’t DO harmonies, because where they’re from, which is THE STREETS, they don’t even have harmonies, man. They grew up on nothing but love, swagger, and Findus Crispy Pancakes. Happily MK1 made X Factor that little bit more credible this week by giving Louis a bona-fide urban makeover, turning him into “Uncle Louis”. That is to say, they put a baseball cap on him. At that moment the X Factor INSTANTLY became 10 times more credible, because let’s face it, a 60 year old Irish homosexual in a baseball cap is equally as genuine street style as Tim Westwood. Fortunately Louis then brought us all back down to Earth again by making them rap a Jackson 5 song. WORD.
Of course Gary hated it, because it reminded him of Glee. A show which, even though nobody watches it any more, is still more succesful than Marcus Collins has managed to be. *sniff*.
I guess we’re all still in the same honeymoon period we always are at this point with the Girls category, when none of them have been in the Bottom 3, and the more “We Only Support Female Contestants” corners of the Internet (eg – all of it) whip themselves into a frothy glee over the prospect of them ACTUALLY BEING THE FINAL 3 before it all gets ruined and one of them gets shock-booted in Week 4. This week was officially Jade Ellis time to shine as she got handed the plum Winehouse song, in this case “Love Is A Losing Game” which this show somehow managed to slow down EVEN MORE THAN IT ALREADY WAS. Given that that song already moves at the same speed as Louis out of the gents loos (*dawdle dawdle dawdle peeky peeky dawdle*) that’s quite some feat. Happily though Jade was nasal and LOUD throughout, which is all this show ever demands of its ladytestants these days. Remember when they forced Alexandra to do Candy Man. Fun times. Ella Henderson was placed on the back-burner this week, with just some barely warmed over showmance rumours with George from Union Jizz to tide us over (YOU’LL NEVER BE JOE AND RACHEL ADEDEJI, SO DON’T EVEN TRY!). That and an ill-advised run through “Loving You” in which she managed to hit the Performing Dog Trick notes and precisely nothing else.
My own personal favourite from the girls this week was Lucy Spraggan, which came as a massive surprise to me because I had, frankly, written her off entirely. All it took was a frenetic 1970s style lesbimazing romp through “Gold Digger” complete with winking suggestively at writhing female backing dancers and I’m back on board. This show has tried as hard as it can to make its male gay contestants utterly sexless (no offence Rylan) and then a stocky lesbian somehow sneaks under the bar and openly perves on her female backing troupe whilst rapping like Victoria Wood and not even pretending she’s about to make the lyrics hetro. VICTORY IS OURS! Of a sort.
So obviously at this point Nicole is the best (/only good) mentor yes? Not in any sort of real sense in terms of picking songs or styling or psychological support or any of that bollocks, but in the very real sense of yelling that she NEEDS A PINT and rambling about wanting to rub baby oil all over everybody. Oh and cackle-hugging Rylan Clarke as he was declared safe, to the surprise of nobody but him. Really this was his week of her boys, as James Arthur did his usual nu-metal-soul stomp through “No More Drama” (which is about moving on from drugs/abuse/grief/general trauma so WELL DONE ON MISSING THE THEME) and Jehmene Douglas…actually I have no memory of what Jehmene did, other than giggle like a haunted fairground ride, but I’m sure whatever it was, it was SPECTACULARLY bland.
But Rylan produced a masterpiece in four acts – first of all trolling Gary by singing the first few lines of “Back For Good” (amazing), then strutting down the catwalk, gay-voicing “Groove Is In The Heart” flanked by dancers dressed as Karl Lagerfeld and pandas (amazing), then laeding the panda dancers around with a riding crop whilst doing two lines from “Pump Up The Jam” (amazing) then just mincing around as it all went to shit as he bellowed out “Gangnam Style” or, as he restyled it “Rylan Style” (brilliance). Welcome back Brian Friedman. This show has missed you SO.DAMNED.MUCH. (Also? NONE of the above about Love or Heartbreak. NONE)
The War Aginst Barlow continues apace then. I guess that is what happens when you try to claim you’ve made a category “credible”. On THE X FACTOR. This week’s SHOCK VICTIM was Medusa Masson who got stuck doing that John Lewis version of “Never Tear Us Apart” which only ever makes sense when Paloma Faith does it, and then only barely, and then who SCREAMED through “Stay With Me Baby” in the sing-off like she was passing a kidney stone. She was actually my favourite going into the live shows, but she is but a minor sacrifice in the War On Anti-Fun, and I guess she answers the question “what happens to a rock chick when she’s not just a sexy 20something forced itno the style against her will?”. The Answer? The same as happens to the rest of them, even WITH the Pimp Slot.
So who’s next then? My hopes are pinned on it being Christopher Maloney. I mean, don’t get me wrong – I’m no fan of Kyesones and what he did to Rihanna this week was Not Cool, but was there any worse sight than Christopher going absolutely MENTAL at being saved, demanding to personally hug all the other contestants, and not a single one of them wanting to hug him back? AND YET HE WOULDN’T STOP. An unstoppable force of shuddering insincerity. As for him doing “Alone”? I feel his version hurt Brian Friedman as much as it did me, given that he choreographed everyone in the background just to carry on drinking in the tragic cocktail lounge Christopher had found himself singing in, ignoring him utterly. No, the votes are in, and the knives are out. YOU’RE NEXT MALONEY.