Nothing gives me that Sunday night feeling like the X Factor results show, and tonight’s review really does feel like doing last minute homework. I just need my Dad to ring up and berate me for leaving it all to the last minute before offering to drive out to a 24 hour Staples to get me essential stationery supplies.
To paraphrase my esteemed ST colleague and girl crush Emily BW, it’s got to that point when the shows become a bi-weekly Christmas run up advent calendar. So why isn’t it made out of chocolate? Why is it sponsored by a bloody broadband company when Simon Cowell’s associates could be beaming Dairy Milk into our homes, Mike TV style? I believe the festive synergy would be far better.
Anyway, here come the judges and for once Gary’s look is the most attention grabbing. I think his stylist took him to a retail emporium called “Twat in a Cravat”. To be fair it’s possible that he came to the show straight from a wedding. His pockets are probably crammed full of sugar almonds in little drawstring bags. He introduces the song, When You’re Gone “which features a very special Over” - actual Bryan Adams. I’m not a BA fan, but this description seems a little disrespectful to a pop elder and better. The Adult Contemporary version of nursing home abuse. Bryan gives Amelia Lily a shout out and gets an old fashioned look from Dermot - the public still believe this is a competition, Bryan! You wouldn’t sit down to Titanic with someone and say “I love the bit when the ship sinks” would you? (If the producers wanted to take the show in a Sixth Sense twisty direction they could have Wagner win it after a stage invasion.)
Now we have a performance from last year’s finalist, Rebecca Ferguson. When the Black Eyed Peas have wrung every last dollar out of David Guetta and dismiss music as a mug’s game she can take the Fergie name from Stacey Ferguson. Love her - but six syllables are too many syllables for me. She sounds gorgeous. Lush and breathy and clear and controlled all at once. But she looks like she might have been to the same wedding as Gary, and was pissed off that the car came to pick her up just as the hot buffet was starting. She does like a potato wedge. Dermot wanders over for his chat. “You co-wrote the album? Good for you!” Dermot I’m sure you don’t mean to sound like a condescending arsehole but this is a big deal. You’re not congratulating her for finger painting the sleeve notes.
Then the contestants do the traditional pouting, gurning, vote-for-me! shuffle as animated banners with telephone numbers float past. I’m trying to think where I have seen this set up before other than X Factor and I realise that it reminds me of Babestation. In fact, there’s a less desperation and a lot more dignity on Babestation. Back to the judges and Louis refers to Tulisa’s remaining act as Little Risk. He does have an awful lot to remember - perhaps he wrote everything on his hand in biro and it got a bit smudged. There’s absolutely no way it was a bitchy Malapropism. Dermot just calls them “Tulisa’s girls” and I hope EVERY telly owner in the country was pointing at the screen going “Tits! HE SOUNDS LIKE HE’S TALKING ABOUT HER TITS! Tee hee hee!”
A tale of bumming gone wrong. It’s just as painful as unrequited love but you need more Savlon
The second celeb performance of the night (if you don’t count dismissed pop geriatric Adams) comes from Rihanna. I’m expecting - well, hoping - to see the stuff she’s famous for. Full frontal flange on the big screens. Perhaps a spot of DP with a couple of the backing dancers. But no. She’s wearing a tartan dress with a lacy collar - it’s very similar to a frock I ruined when I was three and got over excited at a party. Is this the new subversive thing? Is she going after the paedo pound? For a brief and exciting moment I think I spy a massive dildo on stage but as the camera gets closer I realise it’s just a giant lipstick. There’s also a huge landline telephone with a cord. Any viewers born after 1990 will need that explained to them. When she’s finished, Rihanna tells us “I was thinking of moving to London...anyway, my album’s out tonight!” I’ve seen subtler on screen sales pitches in the JML Magic Rake videos they play at B&Q.
Anyway, it’s time. Craig is going head to head with Amelia Lily. The well cushioned one is interpreting “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?” It should work - you can imagine him having a spot of post one night stand emo angst - but I think he accidentally picked up the lyrics from the Walsh pile and wondered what would happen “when the night meets the morning stye-arse”. A tale of bumming gone wrong. It’s just as painful as unrequited love but you need more Savlon. Amelia Lily does that song about whisky and cigarettes and wistfulness (I’m a bit vague on the actual title. As is Google.) Technically she’s very very good, but she seems a bit...well, the song is suggestive of listening to Bessie Smith, working your way through a bottle of Scotch and smoking through a sash window until 6AM rolls around. The furthest my imagination will take her is to a basin in the ladies at Tiger Tiger where she might sit swinging her legs and swigging Cherry Lambrini. Oooh, imaginary Amelia Lily, that’s no good for your diabetes!
Anyway, Gary not a fan, obvs, Kelly hearts it (again, obvs), Tulisa goes for Craig’s bumming ode and Louis takes it to deadlock. Mysteriously Amelia Lily has the most “public” votes (I imagine the people involved in allocating M&S ad spend were dialling furiously) and Craig is sent back to the biscuit factory. Never again will we hear K-Row call him Creg! Still, whatever his old job lacks in glamour and karaoke, it makes up for it with hair nets. Gary urges Craig to call him “any time” - but I’m betting it will be Gary who gets in touch first, jonesing for some Custard Creams.
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