X Factor 2011, The Big Twist: Tulisa Sacks Her Cleaners

Were you ready for THE BIG TWIST that was dangled before us ahead of this weekend’s X Factor live shows? What was it going to be – Napalm Death week? The revelation that Kitty is packing a penis? Sadly it was none of these...
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Tulisa's cleaners are a happy bunch

No. It turned out that THE BIG TWIST was that the judges would be deciding who left the competition, giving us all an extra week to save up and vote for everyone except Frankie ‘The Complete’ Cocozza. That and ITV taking something that would reasonably last for five minutes and brazenly stretching it out across an entire hour. Namely, the elimination of four acts – the identities of which any semi-alert viewer could have comfortably predicted in half a nano of a nanosecond.

Still, there was plenty to keep us enthralled before the BIG TWIST. The judges were individually introduced to us with video clips before we saw them striding mournfully on to the stage. Then they were introduced to us again, lest there be any confusion about who they were. Next came the highlights of the previous night’s never-ending musical fiasco. It was all a bit like Goal Of The Month on Match Of The Day – gawp all you want but you can’t vote.

Matt Cardle performed his new single, showing that you really can make a little bit of talent go a very long way indeed. Afterwards, he described the X Factor studio as being ‘like home’ – he must be feeling very, very afraid and alone right now. Cee Lo Green then did some of his usual diminutive roaring – it was crying out for Louis to tell Cee Lo that “you remind me of a black Boss Hogg”, but there simply wasn’t time during this breakneck hour of decisions and product-selling.

The over-25s were first to learn their fate. A more ramshackle bunch you couldn’t possibly hope to come across. In truth, it was always going to be between JonJo and Johnny, following their disastrous efforts on Saturday. And it was soldier boy JonJo who was dispatched by the metaphorical firing squad, the joyless squaddie numb with disbelief at the decision. Possibly as he realised that he was about to be thrown back into conflict, but more likely as he realised that he’d be spending the rest of his army career having the piss hauled out of him by his mates.

What was it going to be – Napalm Death week? The revelation that Kitty is packing a penis?

Next came the boys. Any chance we could continue with the idea of sending the loser off to war? Frankie would be perfect for some hardcore Afghan action. No? A well. In truth there was no chance of Wanky Frankie getting the push anyway. Not after the piss-weak rendition of Ticket To Ride offered up by James, who nevertheless had a bit of a sob as he was sent back to whichever branch of Burger King he’d emerged from. At least his hat and scarf meant he was equipped for being turfed out into the unforgiving autumn night.

After that non-shock, it was the turn of Tulisha’s groups, all of whom are fucking dreadful. Unfortunately, the ones who went were the 24/7 18-30 duo Two Shoes, the only group who were even vaguely distinguishable from the rest of them and were good for at least another couple of weeks of pointing and sniggering from the viewing public. “I want to keep in touch with these girls,” said Tulisa. “I need a couple of cleaners” she possibly imagined.

Finally, with the studio a seething ball of emotion, it was time for the cruellest dismissal of the lot. One of Kelly Rowland’s girls had to go, which was a disgraceful notion, as they’re easily the strongest category this year. Janet and Mischa were obviously going nowhere so it was between 16-year-old Amelia Lily and Sophie for the axe, with the shouting child being ordered back home to Teesside. Still, she got a nice pink hairdo for free before getting kicked out so she can’t really complain.

James popped up on Lorraine Kelly show this morning, trying to put a positive spin on it all. “Two hundred thousand people applied and I got down to the last four boys,” he proudly said. Yes James, but you’re still eminently less recognisable than the naked hedge-trimmer from Saturday night’s TV Burp. Now fucking do one.

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