Sunday, October 31, 2010

X Factor: week 4 results

This was more like 80s night  First Bon Jovi  trots out a greatest hit from, yes, you guessed it, his Greatest Hits album. It sort of started and finished and you sort of wondered where it went. It was so familiar and he seemed to be thinking of the cheque he'd be getting all the way through anyway. Then JK came and went, making absolutely no impression whatsoever apart from doing his best to make up for some badmouthing of the show a while ago. Then Rhianna in red hair and a silly dress that Lady Gaga might have worn in the 80s performed a bland number we'll all forget apart from the fun bun throwing party behind her.At least she was live and nice to see her giggle. Oh yes, she had a single to promote, although hardly much point as Apple made a few more bob from her announcing it was already Number 1 on iTunes. That's another cheque for her too. JK must be wondering why he only got one.

Oh, it was a results show, wasn't it. Belle Amie vs  Katie. Wagner got quite a few boos when he got through. That's just mad as his performance had absolutely nothing anyone in their right mind could conceivably wish to pay money to vote for. Katie was convincing and desperate. Belle Amie were better than I'd expected but still a bit desperate and very nervous. They've used up all their lives now. They'd have been around a while longer, perhaps, if sense had guided voters but probably not that much longer anyway.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

X Factor: week 4

This will be an interesting week. Behind the crazy costumes, ranging from Mary's Tesco horns to others' carefully and expensively applied make-up and costumes lie a few people who are fabulous and a bundle who'd be better baking the potatoes for Bonfire Night. One should even be on the ruddy bonfire. After a brilliant week last week, this was mostly eminently forgettable. Matt battling with the Leona Lewis Bleeding Love was one exception and Cher the clear highlight.

Wagner and Belle Amie are in trouble tomorrow. Having said that, Mary, Paije and TreyC could be in for a shock. TreyC if only for the black lipstick.

Mary 8
You can't deny she puts in a good solid performance. I'm just not sure what for. She isn't X Factor material. At least not what I think should be and she and the old Brazilian bloke are taking up spots that could have given a chance to other new pop talent. She's going to go eventually, though, however well she can sing other people's 70s songs.

Aiden 12
Brave, brave attempt. Total re-working of Thriller.  Intense, again, which seems to be becoming his trade mark. I don't know how much he'll be appreciated. He could be at risk as I feel that the people who vote may not be the type who vote for this type of work.

Belle Amie 6
Decidedly off at times, as some of the girls seemed almost to wait for the right time to start and two individual vocals were quite annoying to listen to. One, I wish I knew which, really showed some effort to pull the others along and make Venus a bit different and their own but how can they survive another week on her efforts? They'll be in trouble again, I fear, and I do have to wonder whether, however nice they look and good they may be individually, they can be serious contenders in this competition.

Rebecca 14
A golden opportunity with this very cool Chris Isaak track. She almost took it. A remarkable, static, performance and mostly in pitch and tune but, maybe it was the backing track that didn't work, something went amiss and her eyes seemed to show she noticed it too. She'll be through for a good few more weeks yet and if Cheryl continues to pick such great tracks then she'll be in the final three. In a way, she showed both Aiden and Mary just what they could have done but didn't.

TreyC 8
I really don't like that black lipstick. Good effort at a complicated song. I remember Lulu entering in the middle of the Take That track and setting it truly alight. This didn't happen as she attempted to lead all the way through. She's always really right on the notes and powerful and talented and deserves to outlast several of her competitors. One or two good weeks could transform her chances, although she's not showing signs of being someone we'll remember in years to come. Not yet, at any rate.

Matt 16
Another stunning performance. How on earth he managed to make Bleeding Love his own and not just a copy is a credit to his ability. Excellent.

Wagner 3
The three points were for the opera bit at the start. Had he carried on he may well have done better. Unfortunately, it switched, and none too smoothly, to Bat Out Of Hell. I was worried that MeatLoaf  might appear at any moment and run the guy down on a motorbike. Actually, I wasn't that worried. The guy's got to go and after such a crap performance, this could be the night.

Paije 8
Paije doing Amy Winehouse nearly worked. He seemed to wake up half-way through and realised that he wasn't just singing along to a backing track. He may have left things a bit late, though. He's a kind of average guy who really isn't going to win.

Katie 12
She's good. Vocally spot on and clearly professional, moving around far more than almost everyone else tonight. I'm not sure she's yet made enough friends to stay for long but she doesn't deserve to go tonight.

1 Direction 15
Great choice of track with Total Eclipse of The Heart. Simon got the two strongest vocals up front and the rest joined in which made the whole performance so much better. As always seems to be the case, Zahn looked around and realised he should be singing at the end and seemed to be apologising to the others before he'd finished the last wobbly note. Still, the crowd totally loves them and I think voters do too.

Cher 20
Absolutely brilliant. One of the best X factor / Pop Idol performances ever. She even looked good. If she can keep that up then the final 3 will be a fascinating Matt-1 Direction - Cher play off.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

X Factor week 3 results

Usual bland start-off song when the vast majority must be wondering why on earth they have to do sing-a-long when they're in a show to become unique individual pop stars. The highlight for me was Wagner whose only line was "Why? Why?" to which, of course, only the coffee and wax people have the answer.

Watching Michael BublĂ© my mind wandered past the Facebook entries I'll be shortly be inundated with from female friends to whatever happened to little Ray? He came second a while ago to the remarkable Leona Lewis.  Or do I remember  anything at all about Leon who ruddy well won the year after? Not a lot and nothing, respectively. On that basis, who knows what will happen this year? John wins and just pips Mary. Louis is beaming and repeating That's what the show is all about to a bemused Dermot O'Leary. I have to say Dermot   is doing a damn fine job in difficult circumstances and could teach American Idol's Ryan Seacrest a thing or two. With his brilliant Radio 2 on Saturday apparently also live from 2 to 5 he must be knackered, but a lot better off, by Monday.

Belle Amie, Aiden and Katie looked particularly worried from the start. They needn't have been as the crazy voters decided not to vote for TreyC in rock chick guise or John because they probably hadn't noticed him. neither should have been standing there at the end of the evening but, of the two, TreyC was the right choice to survive.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

X Factor week 3

Some really good performances again this week, Cher, Matt and TreyC leading the way to the finals. Paije and Rebecca showed they deserved their places on the show and will survive. Assuming we've done some deal to give illegal Brazilian immigrants visas and free mobiles and Wagner doesn't go (which he surely should do by any reasonable criteria) then it's Belle Amie, Aiden and Katie who'll be wishing they'd chosen a better track or slept better the night before.

Paije 14
Pretty good performance, although the cartoon T shirt beneath knee-length rose-crimson jacket did tend to take your mind off the singing. For all that he did a good job and really ought to be safe this week. I can just see him releasing a 78 of 50s deep blues numbers at Christmas.

John 12
Once I'd got the thought of John & Paije doing White Christmas together, and I've no idea where that came from, sorry, his performance of Zoom was good. A tricky track at the best of times but it can't have done him any harm at all to get most of the notes right and to inject a lot of his own personality to the show for the first time.

Rebecca 13
Another faultless performance - 'a class act' as Louis said on the show. It was all a bit old-style, though, and I'm not convinced she's the star that the judges are predicting. She's good, no doubt about it, but I just don't see her selling big volumes. So far I feel as if I'm watching a programme from the 70s: it would have been excellent then. For all that, she deserves to stay and maintained the high standard set by the other two, not quite matching the impression Paije delivered.

Cher 18
Stunning performance of Shout. Strong vocal and she managed the huge staging of the number really well. She seemed to be more like one of the guest acts on the show rather than a mere contestant. That'll take some beating amongst the younger X Factor voters so she'll be back next week too.

Matt 16
The whole idea of Matt singing Brittney's Hit Me Baby One More Time may sound bizarre and it could have gone horribly wrong but it didn't. In fact, it was the best version I've heard of the track. He made it his own and it worked wonderfully. Boy, this is turning into a tough show for someone to lose. Definitely a star in the making. He didn't match the total confidence of Cher this week but is still heading firmly for the final and a new life in the music business.

1 Direction 8
This was OK but nothing like as good as the single acts before them. At one point I thought the good lead vocalist was going to carry them through the whole number and, judging by Zane's late and only just in tune nervous efforts, he might have been well-advised to do so. When they all started blasting the mics together then it was good solid stuff but pretty much instantly forgettable too. People say they've got massive support out there. They'll need them this week.

TreyC 16
Performing Led Zepellin's Whole Lotta Love really well, TreyC certainly made her mark. Not a track that many would even attempt but she hit it and was excellent. My only criticism was that she appeared pretty stationary throughout and really should have been moving around a lot more but I guess you can hardly blame her with all those weird notes to manage.

Mary 10
Ten out of ten for a faultless rendition but no star quality for me. Yes, she's a great singer. No, she's not my idea of an X Factor contestant. Lots of albums sales at Christmas, though. She'll be fine, however long she lasts.

Aiden 8
Diamonds Are Forever never struck me as the sort of song he should attempt. I'm still inclined to think that after watching him deliver his intense style version. He's talented but he's still vulnerable and seems still to have to fit in to this competition. If he gets through and can build up his confidence then he could survive a while yet but any more odd choices of track and he'll not be there for long.

Belle Amie 6
In trouble again, I think, the lovely girls, individually competent, just don't come across that well together and suffered the same sort of wobbles that 1 Direction Zane had earlier. They sang Stand By Me (the more recent one, not the Sam Cooke one unfortunately) and it sort of came and went without leaving any real impression other than that one of the girls is considerably better than the other three. I think they're on their way out, maybe not this week, but soon enough unless some of those I'd considered also-rans fail next time out and they get their act together.

Wagner 1
I'm almost beginning to feel sorry for the guy. He's out of place, out of time and the sooner he's out of here the better. Unfortunately for the other acts, he's getting some perverse following and those people can afford more calls to premium rate numbers than the rest. Either that or we've done some deal with the Brazilian immigrants on coffee prices or visas

Katie 7
Oh dear. What on earth is she doing singing I'm The King Of The Swingers? A big risk which will either endear her to people or just add to the mass that seem to dislike her for some reason. She is talented but will she get a chance to show us how good she can be again? Much depends on how badly people rate the others. Being last might just save her. Hope so as she's got a bundle of super talent to share. We just didn't see it tonight.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

X Factor: early polls and betting put Matt and 1 Direction ahead

Matt and 1 Direction lead both a poll of 15000 X Factor updates site visitors and the betfair tables today. Odds have tumbled to around 3-1 for each. Although the annoying Wagner isn't bottom (he's singing Relax, Lord help us all this weekend!) another two getting kicked out should prevent him reaching the Top 10. Who joins him would be Belle Amie or Katie if the figures are to be believed. I have a feeling it'll be someone else.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

X Factor: the farce continues

Storm must have been worried when he was placed with Wagner (that's Varrgner, Louis, not that that matters now) in the let's all sing along to a modern track intro. Katie got the first slot and Cher the star billing although the camera seemed to linger longest on the eight Belle Amie legs. Paije smiled slightly desperately in the darkness and Diva Fever looked as though they were carrying on the party they probably started last night. Aiden repeated his I'm going to put my head on one side and look terribly serious look and one has to wonder what on earth he'll do in Abba week if he lasts that long.

Who goes tonight will either be the sensible choice for a programme that is attempting to find a real future recording artist or the two that get the least votes from grannies and people with more mobiles than sense.

Just as a reminder about how people can get things wrong, Diane Vickers appeared, totally transformed from the girl on a swing to Britney Spears with longer legs and fewer mental issues. That was the year Eoghan Quigg beat her. Alexandra Burke and JLS deservedly beat her too but she should have had that place in the final.

Katy Perry left Russell Brand at home with the au pair and added to the evening's evidence for the case that fat girls don't make pop stars. She would have been better with a backing track as, despite all the effort, her attempt to promote Fireworks fell way short of California Girls or, for that matter, any of her other hits.

Storm duly exited stage left and may have expected to have been vulnerable. Few youngsters I meet seem to like his 80s revivalist approach and no-one liked the magenta hair and black eyes so he wasn't going to win. Anyone being kicked off the show while the old Brazilian remains must be inclined to lose the will to live though and, as I rather hinted yesterday, the real tears were for Diva Fever and Belle Amie, forced to perform again. With Diva Fever we were taken back to the 70s with a somewhat inappropriate I Will Survive and even less attractive brown trousers. Belle Amie risked Big Girls Don't Cry and did.

My guess is that the public vote would have sent Belle Amie home but they survived and it was farewell Diva Fever. I also reckon, had he had a chance, Simon would have kept them as I do think they could be packaged and appeal a lot, admittedly to a niche market, and I still maintain we'll see yesterday's track in the charts before long. Again, though, on current performance, and particularly Belle Amie's nervous effort this evening, neither looked like winners and Diva Fever probably the least likely and they had to go sometime.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

X Factor: 14 There'll be tears tomorrow

We're used to seeing some absolute crap in the early weeks of X Factor but, with one obvious exception, all the acts did a good job, Matt and Diva Fever spectacularly well and if the mp3 downloads that people can get after the show are eligible for the charts then one or two acts will actually be in the Top Twenty next week. This will be most frustrating for people like Storm, Paije, John and maybe even Katie and Aiden who put in good efforts but, in this year's crowd could be vulnerable. There'll be tears tomorrow.

Storm 10
A brave move to take on The Boss, and with Born to Run which regularly gets voted the number 1 pop song of all time. I like this guy but not so sure many voters will. He made a professional job of it - an almost faultless performance, great stuff. He just doesn't look right but that's largely Louis' fault. Star appeal? Not sure.

TreyC 15
Purple Rain brought back comparisons with Ruth Lorenzo who fought back with this track when in the bottom two at some stage in 2008 (I think). It was a really good performance but still, despite a marvellous vocal and looking good on stage, there was something missing. She's set a high bar for her rival Rebecca to get over, though, and for the next few weeks, that's what it's all about. Dermot took a huge chance with his "Hate to see you go but love to watch you leave" remark. Expect to hear more of that on twitter!

Paije 6½
Neither here nor there really. He won't be topping the polls and much depends on how the others that follow him fare. It was OK but watching him doesn't match listening to him and neither the song nor his delivery did anything for me that makes me say he should be around much longer.

1 Direction 13
Or Wand Erection as they're beginning to get known in other circles. Some very dodgy vocals at the start and from Zane in the middle and at the end but rescued by great performance and the other three generally. In a way, I have a feeling it wouldn't matter much anyway as there is a huge following building up and they'll be safely through. They been turned into pop stars and I predict we'll hear a lot more of them.

Cher 12
A bit weird this week. She can rap and strut well and is great when in her own attitude zone but the intermixing softer vocal was on the edge and occasionally about to fall off. Bags of modern star quality, though, and, like Wand Erection before her, that's what the show's all about.

John 8
This was a nice track and sung well. I just don't remember it now, a few minutes later. Sorry. I rather think that's what'll happen to him unless Louis comes up with something, assuming he gets a chance.

Diva Fever 16
Top performance of the night so far. Brilliant choice of track by Simon and prefect set and clothes. I'd never heard the song before but it's an instant hit and, another prediction, that'll be in the shops just as soon as contracts allow. The real credit has to go to the three girls doing the catchy ooh ooh bits but I have to say that what we did hear from the boys was spot on, albeit mimed for some reason best known to the producers. Pity they didn't lay down a track for Harry and the Wand boys a bit earlier.

Rebecca 15
She equalled TreyC and may have beaten her with a cool performance of a difficult Nina Simone track that was faultless. I don't quite see the star billing that the judges were giving her but, yes, I can see her selling some records wherever she comes in this competition.

Aiden 9
Something tells me he's trying too hard. He could be great but there were important notes that didn't work and that is simply not on for such a great track as Jealous Guy. If he'd taken it with less intensity it would have been more believable. He could be in trouble this week, despite having bags of talent, as so many others are getting so much so right this week.

Wagner 1
That was awful. I preferred the ad break. He has to go - he's just interrupting a show of genuine potential stars. Pointless. Ken Doddio in 70s gear.

Katie 11
A beautiful song. I remember suggesting that Didi Benami, a brilliant American Idol contestant, did I'd Rather Go Blind last year so it's great to see someone picking up on this. She did well and, although, I'd have preferred her not to seem to have been trying so hard and to have given a more gentle, quieter performance which would have come across as more confident than this slightly desperate few minutes, she may have done enough to win back some voters. I hope so, at any rate.

Belle Amie 16
Well done, Simon! Cool choice picking You Really Got Me for the girls to have fun with on stage. It worked and the crowd loved it. All three groups have done well this week but I think the real girls have just beaten the others on this occasion. I'm not sure how they'll manage to hang together as they are quite diverse as individuals still but we should get a chance to see and hear some more.

Mary 14
Excellent performance. Still not someone whose CD I would see kids rushing out to buy but it would make a nice present for Grandma. And if Grandmas across the nation are doing the voting then she'll do well and should certainly be back for another week or three.

Matt 17
He stole the show with an amazing version of Amazing and I'm so pleased that everyone seems to be recognising the talent he has. If anyone deserves to win the X Factor for the current generation then Matt does. I'm just glad I got my bet on him early enough as the odds must be shortening now. Brilliant.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Lady Gaga on CapitalFM some time ago

Note to X Factor contestants: watch and learn. No autotune, no mentor, no band, no dancers. And the most tedious of backgrounds. OK, a silly hat, but here's someone with real 'x' factor.

Find more reactive videos at

That's the sheer unpredictability of XFactor early rounds...

You have to feel a bit sorry for the bottom three on XFactor this week. Katie, FYD and Nicolo have to try and sleep tonight in the knowledge that more people voted for some ugly old bloke who can hardly be described as UK's next big thing than bothered to vote for them.

I had Nicolo and FYD down to go but only one of them and that one would be accompanying Wagner. How on earth he made it through to the next round I have no idea. Seeing Katie in the bottom three was a surprise too on the basis of talent but she really hasn't endeared herself to the public and if Twitter comments are anything to go by she'll struggle to do so still.

Sometimes you just have to sit back and be entertained by the sheer unpredictability of the people making premium rate phone calls. I expect to see ads for hearing aids, long johns and insurance for the Over 60s replacing Yeo Valley before long.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

X Factor: The Final 16

So here we go again. The Good (Matt, Aiden, One Direction, Cher, Katie, TreyC and Storm). The Bad (Wagner). The Ugly (Wagner) The first week is always a bit odd but this year things were pretty well-rehearsed and almost predictable. There are acts that we simply will not remember in years to come, some that will finish up 4th or 5th and could eventually do really well Diana Vickers-style and one or two potentially good long-term pop stars which is what the whole thing is supposed to be about.

As predicted, a further 4 were brought back and I expect to see two of them, TreyC and Diva Fever around for a lot longer than many of the original 12 first choices. Two of the 16 go tomorrow.

Dermot finally gets onto the stage and shows Ryan Seacrest how the job should be done.

Here's how they came across in my living room. Points out of 10. Video links for the ones that I might want to see again.

FYD 5½
Difficult to tell which were the group and which were the dancers. Nervous start but they didn't make any mistakes in a song that not many will recognise. Disappointing but I suppose it's early days. Simon's weakest entry by a long way. Odds of 100-1 were available on betfair at the time of writing which kinda sums up their chances.

Matt 16
Fabulous. This guy has to be around for a long time. Superb song choice and as the first solo act of the season he set a standard others will find hard to match.

John 4½
Er, no. Right at the end we saw something of his performing personailty but it was too late as people had gone to wash up or something. I do hope they don't ask him to do Eurovision either like they did Andy.

Rebecca 7
Over the top make-up and styling not to my taste, ageing her unnecessarily. Pity. Competent performance, well, nearly. Great dance tune but her version didn't work for me.

Storm 9
An excellent vocal performance marred only by Louis' ridiculous presentation, set and, basically, everything else. I really hope he gets plenty more chances to prove just how good he can be without all that.

Belle Amie 6½
Nerves times 4! They could be good - just need to get used to the big stage. Tricky song to start with as mistakes easy to spot but they didn't make too many and will appeal to lots of viewers too.

Cher 11
Everyone's been waiting to see her. She confirmed that she does deserve to be there. A cool performance and she's one to watch as I guessed at the very start. Not the best tonight, though, but safe enough.

Diva Fever 8
A great track choice by Simon. Not so great was his dressing them up in purple bin bags then stripping them down to dreadful shorts. Camp fun and glad to see them in the competition. One can certainly sing well and seemed much more confident than several others tonight. They won't be his first group to go (unless those shorts reappear).

Paije 6
Another of my contenders for the Top 12 who just scraped in with a wild card. He had a great song but didn't deliver the goods consistently, sounding nervous and breathless when he tried the moving around bit which was actually quite embarrassing. If he drops the decorations and plays it straight he'll last a lot longer.

Katie 15
Possibly the best performance of the night. Near-perfect vocally and original phrasing of the Queen standard worked well for her. She presented herself really well but I feel she's still got a lot to do to persuade the audience and, thus, voters

Mary 10
Full marks for the vocal and song choice - her experience showed. But really, do I want to hear her on the radio or see her in the charts in 2011? She'll be singing covers. No. She did get a remarkable reception in the studio, though, so may be around a while yet.

Nicolo 5½
I don't get this guy. Better than I expected but still a mystery as to where he'd fit in and I simply can't think of anything else to say about him.

One Direction 14
The girls'll love them. I realised while watching them just how much older everyone else seemed! great performance from most of them once they got going. They'll do well and stand a real chance of entertaining us for the kllonger term.

Wagner 3
Simply not interested in this guy. He's pleasant enough but should be on Brazil's Got talent or something. He'll be going tomorrow. Actually typing this during his performance as no point listening too closely.

Aiden 14
He looked terrified. He almost seemed to be trying to hard and I preferred Alex's interpretation of the classy track - she genuinely seemed to feel the words of Mad World. However, this guy was spot-on vocally and certainly made a mark and will be back for sure.

TreyC 15
Very, very good. far better than Rebecca, who must appear to be the first person she has to remove to get on in this competition. She is following in the 2008 winner's shoes, though, (the other Alex), so no winner here but she deserves to be around for a long while yet.

Wagner, John, FYD and Nicolo seem to be in the dead zone, in that order.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Wild cards and wild rumours as 12 may be 16 on X Factor

Looks like there'll be more than 12 in the 'Final 12' on Saturday with all kind of fascinating digital rumblings about wild cards. I'm only guessing but it seems like a good idea to get some more publicity and also maybe run along the lines of Simon's "I think I've made a mistake" in years before or someone who's name I forget now rushing after a bunch of lads who thought they'd failed auditions for Joseph.

There's also bags of fun to be had with Tesco references for Mary but no McDonalds name drop for Raquel, Mary's sales of a massive 19 in the first week for a record she released after winning an Irish talent show in 2008 and some seem to think she's a Westlife member's aunt. Gee, that'll help her a lot. Add to that Katie's several akas and having performed with Storm some time ago and no doubt more I haven't found yet.

The ramblings worth some attention, though, are those of people spotting the judges in some of the reject's home towns giving legs to the story that Paije, TreyC, Diva Fever and Wagner (Wagner??!!) will get some kind of second chance. If it weren't for Wagner's inclusion in that list I'd have been more impressed but I'm still reasonably content to spread the gossip.

And the Gamu thing's a separate matter altogether! More tears I fear.

X factor: at the judges houses Pt2 The top 12 confirmed!

One day they'll think up a new format. An hour and a quarter of long pauses, annoyingly rehearsed explanations that give nothing away, the vast cutting and editing and Dermot relegated to standing outside doors and hugging people has to be the one programme you'd happily miss if you knew the results. The only chance to learn anything more about the contestants is in the last few minutes when you see them several months later and can only but applaud the talents of the make-up teams.

I really should have missed it too. I did peek at the results a few minutes beforehand. What I wanted to know was why Paije and Keri didn't make it and how I could have been so wrong about Nicolo. I'm still none the wiser.

Louis's choice was simple enough. Storm is one of my personal favourites. The guy's tremendously talented but whether he'll sell in 2011 I don't know. If it all comes down to who sings some final ballad better then Mary will be on just before The Queen in December but I rather suspect that all three will have departed before then.

Simon chose well, and I'm sure he'd have put through four groups if he could, Diva Feva being the pair I reckon he so nearly preferred to FYD. He's taking a big chance with both the home-made groups 1 Direction and Belle Amie but absolutely right to do so as 1 Direction I predict will be in the final. The other two should have a long shelf-life too.

Danii got Matt and Aiden right and Matt's got to go all the way to the final. Big shock one for me was her choice of Nicolo over Paije. Her explanation made little sense to me nor apparently to them either. Unless I'm seriously out of touch with the voters or he is totally repackaged for next week, Nicolo won't be around long.

Finally, the tearful and scared-looking Cheryl and her tearful and really scary and scared-looking girls. I'm astounded at the omission of Keri, who I'd tipped to win, and TreyC. Admittedly, TreyC would be following in the footsteps of 2008 winner Alexandra and there may not be room in the market for both. Alex has totally justified her win with brilliantly-written material and can now relax that no-one's likely to be sharing that next year. Comparing the collapsing faces of the three she did put through, Rebecca, Cher and Katie to the pretty composed Keri and TreyC might worry ITV producers to the point of asking Cheryl if she's sure she didn't get her papers mixed up. From the glimpse of Rebecca several months on (and currently 3rd favourite to win), it does look like Cheryl's performed some transformation. We'll have to wait and see. Katie is going to annoy people, I think, and, despite singing well with originality and passion her appeal to the Saturday early evening crowd is a query. We all said Wow! when Cher first appeared and visions of a totally 21st Century X Factor started to be drawn. Since then, though, not a great deal. Maybe the producers are holding out on us just to give us some surprise. I really do hope Cheryl's seen something we haven't. Unique, though, Cher ought to last a while.

And then there was Gamu. Did you notice how she was the one contestant not shown after rejection? Even though I'd predicted her going out I couldn't say why. Simon will get her signed for a CD of 60s covers for Christmas.

So, they're off. And here are the (fascinating) starting prices:

  4-1 Matt 
  4-1 1Direction
  9-2 Rebecca 
  8-1 Cher 
11-1 Aiden 
24-1 Belle Amie 
25-1 John 
29-1 Nicolo 
30-1 Mary 
33-1 FYD 
35-1 Storm 
40-1 Katie 

They'll be changing a lot over the weeks! A good time to get some decent odds on the outsiders and if Cher and Storm do perform well you won't see 8 or 35 again..

Saturday, October 02, 2010

X factor: at the judges' houses Pt1

I still haven't opened that link that I published in mid September with the actual Top 12. So here's my review and I guess tomorrow I'll either be very embarrassed or relieved to be still vaguely on the ball!

Danii has by far the toughest job but possibly the best chance of choosing the ultimate winner if she selects Matt, Aiden and Paije. Paije is a certainty. Matt is brilliant but she may feel he doesn't fit the X Factor mould. If he gets through then he's my current bet to win. Tom would be a decent alternative to Aiden. Either will be so disappointed not to get through. I expect to see whoever she chooses from these being there pretty much up to Christmas.

Simon's task looks hellish too and for some reason best known to ITV we've seen little of any of the groups so I find it almost impossible to predict on such flimsy evidence. However Princes & Rogues and One Direction shone tonight. Bella Mi too and FYE but then I wonder whether he'll go for ratings and book Diva Fever for entertainment value? Twem would be the dark horse. Husstle disappointingly average. The Reason - competent but so 90s!

Cheryl has the girls and I rather suspect the tears will be flooding Astcot (well, have flooded Astcot whenever it was recorded) as well as a few living rooms tomorrow as Gamu fails to make it through and Cher does. Keri and TreyC could join Cher. I've hardly noticed Raquel or Rebecca - either would be a real dark mare if they have shown something to Cheryl that I missed. I don't see Cher winning now unless the image team straighten up her expression and song choices are inspirational enough to let her prove she has a wider range. Top 4, yes. Anastasia would have walked through any other year. She'll be sad too.

Louis, poor old Louis has the odd balls. Some are just mad and their presence must depress those who didn't even get this far! Storm deserves a place - he can sing really well, with passion and can entertain. Forget Johann, Stephen, Spock - I mean Justin - and Julie. That only leaves John, Mary and Elesha. Mary seemed inevitable but I'm not so sure she'll sell records and Louis does have some sense. So he could go for the other two. To be honest, though, it won't make much difference unless one of them suddenly comes to life live.

So, it's Paije Matt Aiden, maybe Tom or Marlon | Cher Keri TreyC or Rebecca | One Direction Diva Feva FYE maybe Princes & Rogues or Bela Mi | Storm Elesha John maybe Mary
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