It’s the new Big Band Week, everyone!
(Except not as amazing)
Let’s be honest, we all know why the ratings are plummeting. It’s because the only reason anybody would watch this show this year is if they enjoy watching Gary Barlow be tortured. And as he’s still (unfathomably) the public’s favourite judge, a whole lot of people aren’t going to be into it. Personally I have absolutely no problem with it whatsoever, so I’m just about hanging in there despite not really liking any of the contestants. This week’s designated victim was Kyesones who was pushed out onto a giant bonfire to earnest his way through a Swedish House Mafia track. Everyone very quickly discovered that the whole “let’s make a dance track acoustic and/or piano-led and boring” only really works when it’s a song that anybody’s heard of. Or at least can recognise. I’m quite like someone, some Club Classics week, to do this instrumental tosh to an instrumental track, just standing there looking tortured as everyone wonders if it’s “Clubbed To Death”. Anyway, Kyesones ended up in the Bottom Two despite indirectly providing the best moment of the week – Barlow standing in a “private” room, going “flat…flat…flat…another flat…that’s another flat note”. Where’s the justice in that? Fortunately at least one person voted for him, and he lives to eye-liner another week.
In terms of Christopher Maloney, I have honestly, truly tried to view him as the Real Comedy Contestant. This worked wonders last year with Frankie Cocozza, who was far funnier than Kitty Brucknell could ever hope to be, but it’s just not happening. Even the incidental comedy of Gary being stuck with the worst member of his category, who he didn’t even pick, as the last remaining member of his Credible Overs Club isn’t enough to make me want to put up with his awful voice and Cheesy Wotsit face for another week. As Nicole said “too much cheese can give you gas”, and I feel a hell of a fart a-brewing.
I’m loving the general vibe eminating from Nicole these days, which is “I’ve won Barlow, but I’m going to keep on steamrollering over you anyway”. Generally this was probably Nicole’s best week yet, as Rylan Clark proved he can survive a combination of the loss of his beard, his worst singing to date, and the most indifferent mash-up the show’s ever done – even the ones they used to force JLS to do. The only good bit was when he shook his toosh whilst sarcastically whining “I’m so SORRY about my BEAHVIOUR”, clearly referencing his joy ride on the Spraggers Waggon earlier in the week. For Jahmene Douglas it was a far more tender week, as he blinked into the camera about how his dad is a convicted rapist and he didn’t want to discuss that with the world at the age of 21 but here is doing it on X Factor anyway, la la la. I mean…there’s a point where the show’s use of backstories gets to be uncomfortable to watch, no matter how important a message about being able to overcome it was. Still it helpfully overshadowed his performance of “Club Classic” ‘I Say A Little Prayer’ which was…erm…a bit pants and oversang.
I think I got James Arthur a bit this week. I mean, generally I’m against the whole “YOU REDEEMED A SONG BY SLOWING IT DOWN AND SQUINTING IT” thing, but some songs genuinely couldn’t possibly be made any worse by the old Indiefication Treatment, and anything by LMFAO is right up there with them. As evidenced by the fact that nothing was saving those bloody verses. The choruses though kind of worked, in a jeans advert “this is is fun for approximately 15 seconds” sort of way, and it’s the closest we’re ever likely to see to James Arthur having fun, rather than singing “You Oughtta Know” to his dead hamster. Especially as his gimmick is now apparently “he has panic attacks WHICH WE FILM”. I swear, I hope nobody on this show ever has bowel problems, because you know they’d have Tulisa manning the colonoscopy with a sad face on her.
Tulisa of course was already manning the sick bays this week, as she nursed Jade Ellis through her Worst Week Ever when she had…I don’t know, a sore throat or something. Everyone told her this made her singing much worse, and put her in danger of elimination, but honestly I could not tell the difference from how she sounds every other week. In fact, whatever was wrong with her, it appeared to be diverting at least some of the notes away from her nose. I’m not saying it was BETTER, I’m just saying it was DIFFERENT.
Then again, it was an experimental week all round for Tulisa’s Merry Army Of Lesbians this week. Lucy Spraggan for instance tried the novel tactic of mixing up the choruses of an amazing song with the verses of her usual schtick. In this case about single mothers and babies and I dunno…busking grannies from Latvia or whatever. As you’d expect, the choruses were the better bit. Really the exciting innovation for Lucy this week was responding to news of her beloved grandmother’s death, not by singing some winsome song (I dunno, a boshed up version of “There’s No-One Quite Like Grandma” or something with an added verse about some old guy on the dole’s cat. SPRAGGERS ORIGINAL!) but by going out and getting OFF HER FACE. This is how I’ve always dealy with tragedy personally. So I can only approve. Also, Winner-Elect Ella Henderson waved her arms about and everyone called it “Dance Moves” and debated whether it demeaned her, cheapened her, and destroyed her chances of victory. I can’t imagine caring, really, but if you do, then go for it. The countdown to her singing Adele and the show disappearing up the wormhole of its own backside continues a-pace.
Sadly, it couldn’t be an Over leaving every week, so this was the show where we said goodbye to MK1. It’s a shame because they had a good week by their standards. Well…half a good week, as the first half of their mash-up was quite good until they TOOK ON A TASK TOO GREAT EVEN FOR THEIR URBAN SKILLS as they tried to do a Tinie Tempah rap. Well… a third of a good week, as they then did The Script in the sing-off. But…it’s better than most people on this show managed. Poor Louis. No more street style for him.
Which means we are now left with the battle of the boybands. District 3 vs Union J. Who won this week? Probably District 3. I think. That’s the one with the blonde in right? They seemed…better. At whatever they were doing. Whatever it was. Something modern and current no doubt. I eagerly anticipate knowing any of their names, and then being able to attach it to a particular face. I think there’s a George in one of them? Maybe?