Previously on The X Factor: Janet Devlin lost a grandfather, but now has a promising career impersonating Sonia, Frankie Cocozza lost his ‘swagger’, but has a promising career as ‘that knob off The X Factor’ and Gary lost it when Johnny offered him an alternative career as a ‘lamp rubber’.
Week 9 and we finally got the chance to vote off one of the unfortunate pop crooning contenders before they could ruin yet another timeless classic. Well, I say we, once we’d forked out our hard earned cash voting it was down to the judges to dole out the final gladiatorial thumbs up or thumbs down in front of the baying crowd. Disappointingly last night, instead of someone being terribly mangled by Russell Crowe in fetching sandals, they just sent one of the acts home. It seemed more of a reward than a punishment after Saturday’s two hour fest of flat notes, foppish hairdos and frippery. But, before anyone could forlornly check Groupon for singing lesson discounts in preparation to peddle their pop based filth on the unlucky mugs who attend the X Factor tour, we had to sit through 55 minutes of adverts, recaps from last night and guest appearances. Does anyone have Dr Murray’s number? I sense an impending need for Propofol in the weeks ahead.
Sidenote: Is anyone else concerned by Sophie Habibis’ receding hairline? It gets further and further back each week. The stylists are covering it up with a ‘winge’ (off of The Apprentice), but I fear next week her hairline will be waiting for her in the green room while she’s on stage singing.
That minor issue aside, last night was an epic display of milking every last second of airtime out of very little content. The judges were introduced seemingly incessantly, the voting numbers were repeatedly scrolled across our screens and the production team went to town on ‘O Fortuna’ and the pyrotechnics. After last week’s ‘big twist’ the show is now back to its usual results format of guest stars, voting preamble and final showdown sing offs.
But, before all that merriment could commence we were treated to the final twelve miming their way through Martin Solveig’s ‘Hello’. A totally unnecessary rap was thrown in and Johnny emerged from a phonebox with the campest ‘Hello’ ever sung. Why he was in a phonebox we’ll never know. I suspect he was putting up flyers for Louis’ endless quest for ‘talented boys’.
Speaking of which The Wanted, introduced as one of Britain’s biggest boy bands, came on stage to show Nu Vibe and The Risk how it’s done. Weaving their way through some fluorescent office lighting tubes the boys performed their latest single ‘Lightning’. Any prospective pop singers take note; if you look like The Wanted you can sing any old tripe, hormonally imbalanced teenage girls will buy it just to get a glimpse of your chiselled features on the album cover.
Up next to show the hopefuls backstage that millions of dollars and a team of stylists still can’t buy you a decent haircut, was Katy Perry. Sporting dirty pink hair and a sensible outfit, she gave a credible live performance of her latest single, ‘The One That Got Away’. Sadly for Katy no-one wanted to see her give a credible performance. We wanted the Katy that kisses girls, shoots fireworks from her funbags and frolics about the stage covered in cake. There was certainly no need for an acoustic guitar. Disappointing.
A telling sign of just how pedestrian the show has become came when voice over man had to sex up the following words; “It’s the X Factor competition, brought to you by Marks and Spencer!” Even he, the man who can make everything sound amazing, struggled with that one.
But lets not concern ourselves with that, it was time for the results! Though not before we were reminded again who the judges were. Am I the only person in Britain who’s capable of remembering who four famous people are? Granted, sometimes Tulisa’s a bit dull and forgettable, but I could probably point her out in a police line up after seeing her mug on my telly for eight weeks.
Dermot dragged out each announcement, allowing each safe contestant to jump up and down with glee before scurrying off backstage to call shotgun on the departing contestants room. Twelve were whittled down to ten until we were left with just Nu Vibe and Frankie Cocozza. No big surprise for Nu Vibe, but Frankie’s been cock-sure of his place in the contest since the audition stages; this must have been quite the kick in the (somewhat infested) crotch for him.
First to sing for their place in the competition were Nu Vibe with their version of Cheryl Cole’s ‘Promise This’. Promise me this Nu Vibe, NEVER sing again in public. Wailing like five men who’ve collectively caught their tackle in their zips, the dismal effort ensured Frankie just needed to turn up and sing to secure the judges votes.
Still, we had to be subjected to his survival song and with the disappointment etched on his grubby little face, Frankie performed a strained version of Daniel Merriweather’s ‘Red’. It was awful, but it wasn’t as bad as Nu Vibe’s assault on our aural senses. All the judges (apart from Tulisa) voted in turn to send Nu Vibe into early retirement.
Tulisa wept, Gary breathed a sigh of relief and Frankie and his nest of nits hairdo lived to see another week.
Next time on The X Factor: Can Sami make it through to the finals and bring us a much anticipated duet with Jane McDonald? Will Johnny and Gary’s love blossom in time for a spring wedding? And can Sophie’s winge stand up to the obligatory wind machine they bring out for the big ballads?
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