Sunday, November 28, 2010

X Factor Week 8 Results. At last...

The problem with tonight's show was always going to be having to listen to Wagner and Mary ruining good songs again. Before that, though, we could gaze at Nicole from Pussy Cat Dolls and wondering what had happened to the Cat Dolls then.

The Wanted already looked slightly ridiculous climbing steps and then bumper cars appeared for no apparent reason at all. This was a boy band who'd managed to avoid the naff limelight but I guess the dosh from kicking off a show watched by millions is enough to influence anyone. In the 1960s we could have had Grateful Dead. One thing they did was to show Wand Erection just how much better they'll need to get to get more than a Christmas hit and an album or two. This is going to be a tough night to watch, not just the miming but with two going, one of them not being Wagner would mean talent like Rebecca and Katie being vulnerable.

Justin Bieber follows and the intro seems to take longer than his actual performance, if you can call mouthing along badly to a backing track. Pretty smart dance routine, though. You have to hand it to them, that was well-produced.

Dermot is just one cool host for this show, with just the right amount of cheek and unscripted lines. He also manages an expression at times which says exactly what he's thinking but daredn't say, such as "We'd better get Justin out of here before he gets torn about" but with an expression that implied it wouldn't be the girls in the audience that would be doing the grabbing. One great leer that the person choosing which camera to show live will probably get fired for showing so finely.

Breaking the news to Katie was fairly easy and she went, victim of just about every tabloid newspaper's muck-raking. Well-spoken, calm in exit and probably relieved not to have to sing-plead yet again. That left Wagner v Mary and at last, at long, long last . . . he's gone.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

X Factor Week 8

It looked being another less than inspiring week. Only Cher and Katie seemed to shine in the first half and get into the mood in the first half, the others, including Wagner, doing OK but not a lot more and, in Mary's case, quite a lot less. Then Matt did "Nights In White Satin" and Cher finished off in cheekily fine style (for a girl singing the lyrics meant for a guy!) doing "Walk This Way", booking their places alongside Wand Erection for next week. But who will join them? Katie, or maybe Rebecca if she actually moves, should, but I have a horrible feeling someone else will.

Wagner 6+2
Remarkably, his rendition of Creep wasn't at all bad. I never imagined I'd ever write that. "I'm a weido. I shouldn't be here." Too right. Well done, though. Oh dea, that means he'll be back again.
Back to usual rubbish with Addicted To Love done very badly. Yuck.

1 Direction 8+14
One of my All-Time Top 20 tracks, Summer of '69 was always going to be a crowd pleaser. There were OK but didn't do the track any justice really and nothing very inspiring. It was also truncated ridiculously which largely reduced the meaning of the lyrics to garbage which was a shame.
Not sure where "You are so beautiful" fits into rock week but never mind. Three of the Five lads crooned well and that was quite a smart move. Improvement on their first effort.

Mary 5+4
All I Want Is You is a brilliant U2 track which worked quite well for the old bat but I still don't want to watch her wrecking any more tunes I like. She was distinctly off-key at times which I hope the voters notice.
A horrifying version of Brass In Pocket that I couldn't watch all the way through followed. Desperately trying to restore the vision of Chrissie Hynde that I should have lodged in my brain. Ah, that's better. Mary should be in the bottom two this time, at last.

Cher 16+13
Cool version of the young Girlfriend track. Lively and spot on. We'll be seeing lots more of her, one way or another. Followed up with Walk This Way. Interesting lyrics for a girl but coolly done.

Rebecca 7+7
U2 again. Another Joshua Tree track too with I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For. Effortless and very smooth but pretty boring and not something people would rush out to buy. Don't know whether that'll do her much good. Luckily she has another song this week.
Who can sing "I Can't Get No Satisfaction" and stay rooted to the spot? Rebecca can. Not bad, not brilliant. A bit different which might help and she's quite original.

Matt 7+19
He sand "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" but really wasn't very convincing. Neither here nor there. Sung well but uninspiring and that won't be on his first album if Simon has anything to do with it. Nice girls on stage with him, though. That helped.
Second half: Wow! What an incredible version of "Nights In White Satin". He sounded like all the Moody Blues. Excellent.

Katie 15+11
Sex On Fire worked very well for her. I would like to have seen her coming out even stronger and louder but that was enough to get Jamie Afro out of my head which was quite an achievement. Could she have made it back into this competition? Dunno. Hope so.
Everybody Hurts, another of my Top 20, so she'd damn well do it justice. Good effort - way too short but impressive and believable. The dress was dreadful. Someone do something about her appearance if she's still there next week.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

X Factor: week 7 results: Brazilian Bucket stuffs the Jacket Potato

A complete farce with Wagner getting more votes than Cher. Farewell to the Jacket Potato. I really wouldn't object if someone did fiddle the votes and get rid of Wagner now as it's totally spoiling the show and even I'm beginning to thinking about giving up whilst Rage Against The Machine or whoever's behind the Brazilian Bucket continue to get away with this mad mangling of the vote numbers.

Nice to see Olly back and bringing some much-needed chirpiness back to the stage. His vote went to Wand Erection so it's really now down to which the other two are going to be for that all-important final.

Mary's miming on the Heroes track was rubbish. Aiden reminded us that he shouldn't have gone last week being one of the two recognisable elements on the single, Cher being the other.

I'm posting this before Cher stops singing. If I'm wrong then never mind. I can fix it later.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

X Factor: week 7

Why does Beatles night have to be the same flaming tracks every year? They wrote 100s of fabulous numbers and we get Yesterday, Let It Be and if Wagner does Mull of Kintyre I shall use language that will get this blog banned in schools. Oh shit! He's started Hey Jude and totally destryoed it. Sod the schools. "Could've gone worse" said Dermot. Not a lot. Wand Erection clear favourites now.

Matt 9
Come Together. Looked like he'd come in to do some painting and got caught when the stage lights came on. Big production didn't suit him, or the song. Looked like he'd been 'packaged' for the show. Better just as Matt with a mike. Should be safely through but not exactly a memorable performance we'll be searching YouTube for next week.

Cher 11
Imagine. Just like Joe last year, Cher's looking increasingly like Cheryl, well, from one angle at least. Nice performance that should pick up some of the oldies' votes to add to the bag of teenagers' she's got already. Simple, but effective. I did expect her to get up and do a bit more with it but the restraint was probably not a bad idea at this stage.

1 Direction 16
All You Need Is Love. Danii spotted what I've been going on about every week and that is the way Zahn seems to be a bit of a spare prick at the Fab Four wedding, looking like he's wet himself and wondering whether he should sing now or hang on until the next line starts. Smart re-working that suited them down to the ground. These boys are on a roll. Looked good, sounded modern.

Rebecca 8
Yesterday. Competent but not a great deal more going on. Most of the compliments weren't about her performance. All a bit predictable and another track that's neither here nor there unless the artist really grabs it and makes it mean something. I'd never have chosen that one but I doubt if she'll need to worry too much.

Mary 8½
Something. You could have heard that in several halls around the country this evening and not be particularly inclined to pick up a phone and spend money. Like Rebecca, good in so far as she hit the right notes and came across well but nothing special. It'll probably turn out to be her best shot in the competition and shouldn't be her last with old Wagner around but you never can tell with Brazilians.

Paije 6
Let It Be. Oh, is Paije still in the competition. I'd forgotten the Jacket Potato. Bang it out, that's all you have to do, said Danii before he went on. Hmm. Wobbly start. Odd middle. Banged it out at the end. Pretty pointless.

Wagner 0
Oh dear. Oh dear. Some weird concoction of Get Back, Hippy Hippy Shake, Hey Jude. Totally wrecked them all. Horrible.

Katie 9
Help. There's a pixie on the stage. If she wanted to be singing a couple of songs again tonight she may have chosen the wrong one first. It'll be help she needs to battle against whoever she's in the bottom two with. Reminded me a bit of Petula Clark. She can sing although the first two thirds were less than convincing. I think she's on her way out before long but not because she's a bad singer.

And the winner of X Factor 2010 is . . . . . . . . . . . . W . . . .

Fast forward a few weeks and we've thankfully got rid of Varrrrgner and Rebecca, Matt and Wand Erection are the final three. They've each already recorded the Christmas single which they then proceed to deliver again before Dermot does the Big Pause and we watch his lips move forward to form a W and Louis, for a moment, reckons Wagner's won before we get And Erection as the suffix and the place erupts.

Simon's been searching the archives for a decent track that hasn't been a major hit here for a time and could have landed on O Holy Night which would give each of them a fair chance. He may, of course, insist on the Monkees'  Mary, Mary  track just to make sure Matt and Rebecca get shafted and give Louis something to sing along to, but, as he'll be managing them all afterwards anyway, he plays fair and goes for the sparkly Christmas song.

Lee Dewyze, one of the last standing in American Idol last year, gave me the idea. This was his performance yesterday at Gracelands in the cold.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

X factor: Week 6 results

Harry's getting all the camera focus in Wand Erection. Paije seems to have caught the Zahn bug of suddenly realising he should be singing and starting a second after he should. Of course in the mime-to-the-track we get at the start it's even funnier as the Jacket Potato was mouthing but forgot that he should be mouthing into the mike so double-take 1 'oops I should be singing' followed by double-take 2 'oops I should be using the mike'. Hilarious.

Katie is finally getting some good make-up and style advice. So much better with Russell Brand on his honeymoon and someone a bit more traditional taking over while he's away. Reminds me a bit of Siobhan from AI9. How on earth she's going to get enough votes to survive, though, with Rage Against The Machine supporters prodding their mobiles every weekend for Wagner and keeping him out of the bottom two, I don't know.

Christmas must be approaching with JLS, Westlife and Take That featuring Robbie Williams on the stage one after the other. Remarkable. I have to say Robbie stole the show with a fabulous piece of writing by Gary Barlow. Howard Donald. Just thought I'd give him a name check as he never seems to get a mention. Nice to see the production company spending some of the profits though. Kylie can't have been cheap last week either.

Now it ought to be Mary and Wagner in the bottom two (again) but my prediction was that it'll be Paije and Katie (again) and Louis saves the Jacket Potato by allowing it to go to the public vote numbers. A better racial mix for the XFactor tour too although they may have to give Edgware, Bradford and Luton a miss.

Up until Wagner's name was called it was almost as if the voters were being sensible. I thought I'd got my prediction right but it was Aiden that was dumped this time. I guess that made it easier for the judges at any rate. As they wandered forlornly off the stage to prepare for the sing-off you could almost hear them saying 'How on earth can the public believe Wagner and Mary have more 'XFactor' and could possibly be more suitable for a hectic teenage XFactor tour next year than us?' Oh well, I suppose they can now include a few care homes and village halls on the itinerary.

Expecting Katie to do one of her pleading, begging things but I guess she realised she didn't stand a chance against Aiden who cut down on the weird stuff just to be on the safe side too. Less likely to be emotional, Aiden was thrown on first and pranced slightly oddly, showing an Olly move or two, giving a very solid performance. Katie has an ability to produce just the right songs for the occasion and, for what it's worth, I thought she was excellent. Preparing to write Sad to see her go I was genuinely shocked that it was Aiden who went and Katie lives to fight again. Watch the headlines tomorrow.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

X factor: Week 6

You could have turned on at 9:24pm and not missed anything. Apart from Rebecca's outstanding Candle In The Wind, which could have been downright boring but seriously wasn't, this was a pretty tedious show tonight. I suppose you can't expect much with Mary and Wagner still there. Even Dermot seemed tired.

Paije 7
Crocodile Rock. I bet he's scared of balloons bursting. Maybe that explains why he was looking nervously at them all over the stage around him. He didn't seem to be having much fun and it was a pretty average, well, below average job.

Aiden 9
Naturally talented this guy. He adjusted the flow of the song and it worked although walking over the specially set-up planks on top of the piano was a bit strange. He's an intriguing entrant, a sort of quieter Adam Lambert / David Cook from AI9 and 8. They did well. He's yet to come alight, you know, give that totally winning performance that is needed to close the gap on Matt, Rebecca and Cher.

Mary 6
Yawn. a whole load better than last week, though. Notes good but she's just not got that X factor unless you're over 70. Seriously, can you imagine thousands of X Factor fans rushing to dial her number? They'll need wheels on their zimmer frames.

Katie 8
Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting. Looking a lot better this evening but this girl's not the rock chick I expected. I really did think she'd have come out fighting and socked it to us in style, especially as, if voting stats are to be believed she's going to be struggling anyway tomorrow. Pity.

Matt 10
The Yellow Brick Road. Damned difficult track to sing. He did OK but nothing magical tonight. I guess we're all expecting better after what he's done so far. He'll be safe, though.

Cher 12
Sorry seems to be the hardest word. No-one seems to be doing well with Elton's numbers tonight. Nice variation as we've come to expect from this girl and the most relevant so far but still not exactly right. She's surely still in the running, though, for the top spot and we'll hear a lot more from her yet.

Wagner 1
I feel sorry for all the youngsters who go to the XFactor shows which he is seriously going to ruin. At least #jedward were funny. It would work far better if he didn't actually try and just giggled instead of leering at the ladies. I thought this guy was supposed to be an opera-style singer. In which case, why the hell didn't he do something with Circle of Life. Honestly, the 1 point was for the girl in a red dress appearing to walk him to his spot making me smile.

Wand Erection 12
Harry and the boys kept Zahn out of the limelight sufficiently well to put on a nice performance. Nice, rather than groovy but, boy, do the girls love 'em! Glad I put some money on them when the odds were reasonable.
Peter Dickinson (the Voice) has obviously been told to emphasise the Die in Direction but Dermot still keeps the Wand alive.

Rebecca 18
Classy performance. In fact, the performance of the night. By a mile. By a hundred miles.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

X Factor: Week 5 results

You have to hand it to the X Factor production team; the set, backdrop, and lighting are visually damn good. I'm getting a bit tired of the judges having to go through the motions of walking out at the start of every show and wasting five minutes but I suppose that's cheaper than getting someone to perform.

The contestants must be hoping that if they win they'll get some better songwriters than Shayne Ward has had since winning in 2005. Peter Dickson (the Voice) beefed him up as best he could but by my calculations all the boomed plaudits were due almost entirely to earlier this century.

Kylie would definitely get my vote even though the new single sounds like something Pete Waterman wrote in the bath.

I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that only about 40 people can be bothered to vote each week so there's just a vote or two at most between Matt and Wand Erection at the top with 5 each and the bottom two, with 3 each. That has to be the only reason Wagner's still there and 'voted' as better than TreyC and Katie. Ridiculous.

Katie showed some cool nerve with a highly personal Don't Give Up On Me simply sitting on the stage after quietly announcing "Sod it" and I can imagine how it must have felt to watch Mary and Wagner in the safe seats. The right decision, in my view, was made and Katie must have been so relieved that it didn't go to the public vote.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

X Factor: Week 5

Matt and Wand Erection totally out-performed the other 8 tonight. Cher and Aiden tagged along and ought to be safe. Mary, Paije and TreyC stumbled and may have to call their supporters up themselves to remind them to vote to avoid the awful Wagner getting through once again. which he certainly shouldn't. In fact this is becoming a show of two halves: Pop Idol and What Konni Did Next with the also rans being more entertaining on ITV2 just chatting.

Cher 14
New York suits her and she tweaked Alicia Keys track well and will sail through this week. Having said that, it wasn't a performance that was stunning.

Mary 4
That didn't work. It was like she'd forgotten the words, the tune even but realised she hadn't got much choice but to carry on. Luckily the musicians knew the tune and she followed it a second or so afterwards. Not good. Lousy choice by Louis. Not quite sure who on earth was screaming for her in the audience unless large 50-year-old women now appeal to teenagers. Very odd. The only reason I'd like to see her survive is that if she doesn't then the Brazilian old bloke will still be there.

Katie 9
Nice version of No Doubt's Don't speak. Again, she shouldn't be anywhere near the bottom two. I could actually imagine her doing New York as well as Cher, which is interesting. Not sure how many new votes she'll have got, though.

Aiden 15
He's sort of got through unnoticed so far. Odd performances that, luckily, have appealed to enough of telephone land so far. Now he's the young one that isn't in Wand Erection. Tonight really ought to change that. Anyone thinking he'd listen to Danii and drop the intensity forget it as he launched into Prince or Sinead's Nothing Compares To U, one of the most intense songs around short of some REM numbers (Everybody Hurts next week?). Apparently all at less than 24 hours' notice too.

Paije 8
I'm a Believer merged with something else in the middle. Fun but hardly winning material. Neil Diamond is probably glad he's just got back to New York and missed this.

Rebecca  9
All very competent but, just minutes after she'd finished I have genuinely forgotten what she sang. The judges were terribly impressed and I guess she must have been good but somehow I don't see where she fits in yet. She'll be around next week anyway when perhaps I'll get another chance to latch on to whatever it is everyone sees in this girl.

Wagner 3
The Wonder of You bit was vaguely reasonable. The Viva Las Vega bit was rubbish. Really, the whole thing was rubbish. I have no idea why he's still there.

Matt 20
Now that was stunning. Roberta Flack's The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face is one tough song at the best of times. Quite extraordinarily well delivered.

TreyC 5
Off-key at the start and missing the beat most of the way through. Some very painful notes further on didn't make up for a couple of good ones. I think she's probably got as far as she's going to go. Whilst she wasn't the worst tonight, she could well be at risk tonight.

1 Direction 16

Kids in America was a brilliant choice by Simon. Zahn was late as usual but he's improving and this suited them absolutely down to the ground and will have bags of appeal. They'll be back, no problem. 

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