X Factor 2011, Week 10: Kitty's On The Edge

Kitty clung desperately to the edge of a nervous breakdown, Louis had a bit of a cry and a nation readied itself for a lifetime of Sami's singing.
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Previously on The X Factor: Gary lied for Frankie, Johnny’s suit was sponsored by Bacofoil and the X Factor production team clutched at some fairly predictable straws.

Ooh X Factor loves a bit of controversy doesn’t it? Alleged racism and bullying, thinly veiled homophobia, glamourising a bit of man-whoring; this family show has it all! If only they could find time in between all the dubious headline grabbing stunts to showcase some talent. This weekend the X Factor press office will be giving themselves a pat on the back for a job well done. Humiliating one of the best singers in the competition and creating tension between the judges may not be the best way to entice millions of viewers back to your TV show, but it does detract from feral boy Frankie’s singing. Very much a win win for ITV.

It’s worth noting that the Misha behaviour issue has been rumbling on in esteemed publication The Sun for a while now. Which means either a) there’s some truth in the matter or b) the whole thing has been scripted from day one. I’m leaning towards b, I always did love a good conspiracy theory. But these high brow matters of media manipulation shouldn’t trouble our telly minds. Lets get on with the business of pointing and laughing at this weeks results show.

ITV, with not two, but three special guest stars you’re really spoiling us. No, really, you are. One extra turn showing up meant we were spared the sphincter-clenchingly deplorable group song. Never have I been more grateful to see Kelly Clarkson. The American Idol winner shared her latest single ‘Mr. Know It All’ and twelve(ish) drummers drumming turned up a little too early for the X Factor Christmas show; but it was good to see them putting in some rehearsal time. Next week, eleven pipers piping the judges to their chairs?

Time for a recap montage! After seeing Kelly singing live with seemingly little effort, the reminder of this week’s eleven performances only served to make some of them seem worse than I’d remembered. Points of interest were the judge’s complete failure to understand the concept of rock, barely a note sung in key and Janet’s hair growing ever larger, like Susan Boyle’s wig in Peter Kay’s ‘I Know Him So Well’ video.

Speaking of interesting barnets, Professor Green had brought along a friend that can sing to help him fill in the bits between rapping. To sing ‘Read All About It’, Emeli Sandé had borrowed Jedward’s hair for the evening, but thankfully not their voices. Man that girl could sing. This is what we want on a singing competition - some decent singing. What we don’t want is the totally unnecessary cut-aways to the judges bopping along like bespangled Churchill dogs in an ill timed insurance ad.

In between doing an Irish jig in his judges seat, Louis managed to issue an apology for using the word ‘bully’ when referring to Misha, but in reality it will do little to stem the tide of column inches that will be devoted to it in the coming days. If a red top hasn’t found a ‘source’ or school friend of Misha’s that she allegedly relentlessly bullied by Tuesday, I imagine heads will roll.

What we don’t want is the totally unnecessary cut-aways to the judges bopping along like bespangled Churchill dogs in an ill timed insurance ad.

In an attempt to gloss over Louis’ ham fisted apology, they quickly brought on the third performer Bruno Mars. He’d turned up (complete with matching dancers) but somehow left his sound engineer at home. I’m sure he was giving us quite the rendition of his latest endeavour but he was barely audible. He even brought out a loud hailer, which only seemed to make him quieter. Why this can’t happen when Kitty takes to the stage is one of life’s cruellest blows. Bruno was surrounded by a sea of red suited individuals and in between muttering something into the mike he gave us his ‘James Brown’. It was a fine display of footwork and shimmying, no doubt a ploy to snatch some viewers back from Strictly. I was keeping an eye out for Ann Widdecombe descending from the ceiling on a wire, but may have missed her while admiring Bruno’s towering quiff.

With the tension in the studio reaching almost tepid levels, all that remained was to announce this week’s results. Dermot had his serious face primed and ready, the acts walked on holding hands and the lights went down. The nation crossed everything hoping Frankie was once again in the bottom two, but sadly he’d trained the festering bunch of crustaceans and woodlice that live in his hair to operate a phone and racked up some serious phone bills in an effort to stay in. Screaming “Fuckin' ave it, Get in!” he scampered off to celebrate with the other 8 acts leaving just Sami and Kitty to sing for their place in next week’s show.

Sami waddled on stage shoeless (why does everyone do that in the sing off?) and gave us her best Jane McDonald impersonation yet. Singing ‘ A Natural Woman’ her dress rode up at the front and left the judges in no doubt about the naturalness of her womanhood. Something you’d never see Jane do, she’s all class is McDonald. That aside, Sami gave it her best and left Kitty needing to impress to keep her place in the competition.

Surprising precisely no one, Kitty chose to belt out the Lady Gaga classic ‘Edge of Glory’. If Kitty wasn’t quite so odd, she’d have a chance this year as she can actually sing. Unfortunately when she was belting out “I’m on the edge” the words you expected to follow were “of a nervous breakdown”. Both acts did themselves proud, but one had to be sent hurtling back to reality.

Gary and Kelly sent home Sami, Tulisa sent home Kitty, so it was down to Louis to make the final choice. Would he cop out and send it to deadlock? Of course not. This year X Factor needs Kitty more than ever to keep making headlines for them. With her own particular brand of crazy she’s a poor man’s Jedward, but someone had to be this year. With Kitty botoxed to the hilt and rendered unable to express any emotion the final words were left to Sami. “I may not be able to sell a million albums, but I am going to sing for the rest of my life.” You tell ‘em Sami, but do us a favour love, sing far far away.

Next time on The X Factor: WillCher Lloyd’s return for ‘Fright Night’ spell the end for X Factor? Will Sami’s turban launch a solo career? And will Gary's beard need to be fumigated if he gets too close to Frankie?

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