Sunday, December 12, 2010

X Factor: the Final 2010 The Winner is . . .

Farewell Wand Erection. They'll make a fortune sure enough so no worries about their 3rd place. Onto the final Matt v Rebecca.

Matt starts well. I still think his best were in previous shows but there you go.

Rebecca had a massive chance to steal the show with the beautiful Distant Dreamer. Unfortunately nerves seem to have taken over and she missed all sorts of really important notes and opportunities to blow us all away and get people punching the buttons on their mobiles.

To be honest, this is the first Final where I haven't been that bothered. It was Matt, by the way.

X Factor: The Final 2010 Pt2 One Direction 3rd place

I had some bright orange trousers in 1969. Matt's neon yellow pair were quite worrying. He did Firework fairly well but didn't set the stage alight. Confusing shades of blue dancers took our gaze away from the pants luckily.

Wand Erection did Torn quite nicely. They had nicked the firework background that Matt should've had but never mind. Standing up and shuffling around on a plank made them look smaller, strangely enough. Nice shot of one of them slapping Harry on the shoulder in the middle as if to say, "Hey, it's Zayn's turn." Luckily, Harry carried on regardless.

Rebecca Sweet Dreams Are Made of This delivered with her now trademark stationary static stance. Cool and classy. According to all the odds and polls that wasn't enough to beat the Tweenie vote but it did. Remarkable.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

X Factor: The Final Pt 1 Cher takes 4th place

Cher and Rebecca made their mark from the start - just as well as for a moment I thought they'd got the Glee cast back again. Whoever wrote What A Feeling must be getting a fortune in royalties. Matt seemed a bit less than enthusiastic but that may have been because he had Wand Erection behind him. I seriously think they should be renamed 4+1 as Zahn never ever seems to be there when he should be.

With ads at a rumoured £¼ for 30 seconds I'm surprised there were any but, sure enough, they came thick and fast after virtually every song.

Matt kicked off the real competition tracks with Dido's Here With Me. He seemed a little uncertain and not appearing as if he felt great. A tricky time for him. An extraordinary outside broadcast from Stacey Solomon, who seemed to be thinking that she was calling all the way from the Australian jungle was odd to say the least.
The guy's going to be around for a while and is more appealing than James Blunt and one or two others he'll be likely to compete with. He needs to pull something really impressive out of the bag, though. Another Nights In White Satin, perhaps?

Rebecca sang Just Like A Star by Corinne Bailey Rae but didn't inspire as she had in the intro. It was very laid back and, a bit like Matt, she almost seemed to be holding back for later. Neither can really afford to do so if they want to win, with Wand Erection's massive appeal and Cher's determination.

Wand Erection appeared and did a Christmassy rendition of Elton's 1970 Your Song. Pretty dull, really. Competent enough but dull.

Those outside broadcasts definitely have to go.

Cher's mash-up of The Clapping Song and something else was, indeed, something else quite brilliant. Dancing around and having fun, she was just so much at home on the stage and seemed totally natural. Way out in front for the first round.

Into the duets bit we go and Matt almost swoons at Rihanna and clearly can't believe his luck. Rebecca introduces Christina Aguilera and that tear that rolled down her cheek may well have bought her a load of extra votes. Showing them how to do it really well were Wand Erection and Robbie Williams. Great entertainment and you could see he'd rehearsed it all with them and they got it just right, blending so well you could have called them Take Them.

Cher actually outperformed the Black-Eyed Pea,, who may well have scared off anyone over 50 from voting unfortunately. Totally at home, though, she had the time of her life.

I'd hate to have to choose one to go based on all their performances to date but my bet is it's Matt or Rebecca who'll be in the audience tomorrow.

In the meantime, Rihanna kept all men everywhere wonderfully entertained and you could almost hear the camerman being told "Zoom out, Zoom out!!" as she re-created some of the Kylie manoeuvres from that performance with memorable verve. Dermot needed a handkerchief afterwards.

Not to be outdone Christina Aguilera created an on-stage version of something not far removed from a 60s Jimi Hendrix album cover. All good stuff and you had to wonder just how any of the contestants could compete with either. Sort of put things in perspective.

Nothing changed the way things have been going so far, though, and Cher took the 4th place this year. Not bad. Not bad at all. She'll be fine.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

X Factor: Semi-finals results

The big girl in the Glee troupe must have been told to plant her self six inches away from Simon to prove they were singing live. You could have told that from some of the nervous guys but, as always, it came truly alive when the pretty girl started and, miming or not, she's gets my vote every time.

Only this show could follow Glee with the Black Eyed Peas doing a Dirty Dancing number! Something for everyone, I suppose.

With four potential winners, and I really wouldn't want to choose between them at this stage, I was dreading Mary being declared safe. Great to see Matt making it through after a pretty lousy couple of performances which everyone realised he'd never have even attempted in any other circumstances. No judge was going to choose Mary over Cher. Louis had to but that didn't matter.

Nice to see the right four acts in the final. Amazing to see Cher at 44-1 this evening. She's getting better and better as she proves that she can handle an emotional ballad in a modern way, not just in the traditional way someone from the 70s might have done. Another performance like that and a dumb song selection by Wand Erection could change those odds a lot next week.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

X Factor: Semi-finals

After a bottle of plonk, my friend Sarah could do better than Mary did this week. Tescos really ought to be getting the P45 ready for whoever's been manning the Mary till for the last few weeks. However, I worry that the maths might be against Matt as Mary is really the only conceivable person that the Wagner vote could go to, ridiculous as that may be. With a bit of luck they're all be out protesting about Brazilian student fees or selling grit to Scotland.

Rebecca and Wand Erection should be safe and sound. Cher has always been a Top 4 candidate in my book and I have money riding on Matt to win but neither set the place alight tonight.

Rebecca 17+19
Very cool. Still not moving a great deal but spot-on vocally and showing quite a different side to her undoubted talents.
Followed with one of the most impressive performances of the evening. 'Amazing Grace' will go down as one of the classic X Factor performances of all time. Excellent. I had once thought she would struggle to reach the last 4 but this has been effortless.

Mary 4+2
This was rubbish - something quite a few people I know do better at parties.
Followed with a dreaful first and oh-so-important first line of 'Memories' and, quite frankly, a pretty awful set of lines afterwards.

Matt 11+7
Clearly strained tonight after an illness but also clearly determined to do whatever he possibly could to stay in the competition. A good upbeat performance but not one of his best this week.
Second song was easier on the old tubes, and the ear, although still a bit wobbly which is not what he would normally do. Not a patch on last week's amazing rendition of the Moody Blues number and not the best of choices.

Cher 9+17
Another not initially showing her best talents tonight with their first song. She's fun and is good to watch, always with an original streak and very much 2010
The second track was sheer brilliance and she reminded me of a young Madonna, a little raw, a little edgy and probably totally unmanageable as she gets more successful. It wasn't a safe number to get through with, though, and more credit to her for that - if she gets away with it. She should as she well out-performed Matt tonight.

1 Direction 16+17
Great, smooth and natural performance that was always going to appeal to the girls. Still don't find Zahn convincing, he's either late or looking desperate when singing alone. The other four more than made up for that though.
Spot on second time around too with the classic Coldplay track. They're through, no worries.
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