Saturday, October 15, 2011

Week 2: Wailing, warbling and a white rabbit

The boom of Peter Dickson and cheery professional tones of Dermot O'Leary still beat the USA version hands down to get us started although Love Is In The Air as the judges enter isn't quite as impressive as the previous devilish theme.

What certainly wasn't in the air were in-tune notes (with one or two notable exceptions).

NuVibe kick off the show hoping it's not first on, first out. The bookies don't offer them much hope, odds dropping from 2.1 when they started to 1.8 by the time they'd finished. To be honest I thought they'd improved no end and the whole act seemed pretty together and not the sort of rubbish that usually needs to get kicked out in week 2. Gary was very critical but the guys may well have attracted a good number of teen votes, although the U2 number, With Or Without You was a little safe and is one of those tracks that everyone does at some point. Maybe getting it out of the way now was a good idea.

Sami looked over 10 feet tall in a massive pleated blue dress with the camera down on the floor somewhere. Very odd. Her song was the tedious I Will Always Love You but delivered in what Gary described as Cruise Ship style. Good old Louis was playing his cards safe and is clearly going to keep her banging out the easy big numbers for as long as she can get away with it. Looks like the strategy paid off with her odds leaping briefly to 20 at one point before settling back at a point which should still mean she's safe this week. The audience loved her but maybe they'd been giving away free tickets at Bingo this afternoon.

Craig warbled through a Beyonce number I'd never heard of and made a mess of it. He's not easy to watch either as his mouth goes one way and his fringe another. I can't see the voters being that impressed but everyone seems to think he's brilliant.

Janet did Falling In Love With You but didn't actually do it terribly well. Maybe we've got used to the amzing numbers she's already given us in the auditions and last week. She'll be safe for a while although I'm not convinced, as many others are, that she's this year's winner.

Last minute change by Gary has the guy doing a ColdPlay number. He's the kind of act you can throw almost anything at and he'll perform. Casual style but a lot more going on in the emotions than some give him credit for. Looks like an accident waiting to happen, or possibly having already happened and involving a hedge and backwards but, hey, who cares? He'll survive for a while yet.

Johnnie has Kylie Minogue not only in the backing track to the la la la, la-la la la laa number but also has her tweeting in support! Check out @kylieminogue for yourselves. So what can I say. I mean, she's adorable and I couldn't bear to upset her. Johnnie Robinson is a sort of stick insect who has been taken completely out of his environment and stuck on a stage. The funny thing is he loves all the camp stuff and, of course, with Louis as his mentor, they're both in their element here. A totally ridiculous helium-injected voice and some bizarre stuff going on had the audience cheering their loudest all evening. Odd but beats Wagner from last year for entertainment.

A Rihanna track I didn't recognise. Tough song. It could have worked but it didn't. Marcus clearly not on top form tonight and a final note that was neither here nor there. He won't want to remember that performance so maybe it's best if I don't write about it any more.

Nice job of the Nelly Furtado song. Not a lot more to say really. They're a bit vulnerable according to the bookies but I reckon that'll see them through safely. A cheery bunch who seem to get on well and have some fun. XFactor USA's Lakoda Rayne could learn a lot from them. One or two have great voices and we might get some surprises from this bunch if Tulisa works them well.

Professional performance. Only one of a few this week. Looks dreadful but sounds good.

The Risk
Cool guys. Sat on stools. Looking a bit uncomfortable as if Gary had glued them there. Sang really well and still up there as possible winners. Dermot O'Leary dropped the name #Riskettes for some reason I missed.

Eh? She was really not good, wobbling all over the place and Kelly really did send the wrong girl home last week. Strange choice of track and dress and, well, everything. I guess she might survive but by no means certain.

Great. At last, someone who can put on a great performance, in tune and look like someone that could make records. She needs a lot of work still in the make-up department but a considerable improvement on last week's masculine horror look. The audience really don't seem so keen and if that is translated across the nation then she's not going to be around long. Great set on the Alice In Wonderland theme for the Oh So Quiet number - and a white rabbit. Not that I recall a white rabbit at the table in the book but never mind. Anyone who does Alice In Wonderland deserves a break!

This was not a good week, I'm afraid. If you've got the programme recorded, you'll need a stiff drink and occasionally something else to do for a couple of hours.

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