Properly Amazing Songs and Rather Boring Musical Heroes week
26 November 2011
Last week! Film week proved to be the new Big Band week in terms of its usefulness (bodes well for Strictly next week, eh?)! We had only one song from everyone for the last time this series! Borelow was an inconsistent mess! Amelia LILY made the bottom two, we had the first DEADLOCK of the series and Biscuit crumbled!
Tonight! Everyone has to sing two songs! Oh “goody”!
It’s Time To Face the Decision of which girl joins Marcus and BixMIX in the final three! [And since it's pretty much guaranteed not to be Misha, most depressing final three ever y/n? - Steve]
Dermot enters to ‘Holding Out for a Hero’, accompanied by dancers in their pants again. He does some terrible punching. Suit – silvery grey, undone with a really unflatteringly shaped waistcoat underneath that sits awkwardly against his stomach. ‘The Only Way is Up’ plays before he introduces the judges. Why do I feel like we’ve already heard the two best songs of the night?
The judges enter to the theme to Star Wars, for reasons unknown unless the theme tonight is ‘let’s actually be awesome for a change’. Spoiler: it won’t be.
Tulisa rebuffs the ‘product placement’ accusations about her tattoo salute by offering up the other arm as well which says ‘vote for BixMIX, representing WINNINZ EVERYWHERE and PLEASE GOD A GROUP HAS TO WIN AT SOME POINT’. This has the unfortunate effect of making her look like she’s about to do The Birdie Song/tell us she feels like Chicken Tonight. She’s wearing a deeply unattractive tiger print dress. Louis is wearing a shirt with a print on, Kelly a purple quality street wrapper with a huge silver ruff over her arm. BORELOW is a Victorian schoolmaster as ever. Dermot waddles around a bit to remind us that his outfit is really, really bad tonight. ‘Waiting for a Star To Fall’ plays in the background – which is one of the best songs of ALL TIME. [On Friday it was playing in the café where I bought my lunch, and I was singing it for the rest of the day. - Steve] This is where I genuinely feel excited about tonight. And then it all comes crashing down.
Apparently the theme is Guilty Pleasures. Fuck the fuck off show, as we have said before, never feel guilty about liking anything. And who in their right mind would be ashamed of liking Bonnie Tyler, Yazz, Star Wars and Boy Meets Girl? Well, other than Matt Cardle and old Funsponge, anyway. These are not ‘the songs you’re not supposed to like but do’, Dermot, they are songs 'you like because they're great songs'. Therefore: fuck off, fuck off, fuck off. I was all happy and in one sentence you’ve put me in a bad mood.
Up first are the little ‘muffins’ [Boke- Helen], BixMIX. They went to something called Winter Wonderland this week and ITV1 is getting Christmas wars in early with some Mariah Carey on the soundtrack. I might think about forgiving this song if it reinstates Christmas songs in the final, especially now Biscuit’s gone, but still, it’s a wee bit early for the festive season (although it’s Advent Sunday this weekend, I still like my month to say December before I get Christmassy. Once that calendar flips, then I’m up for as much mincemeat, mulled wine and Mariah as I can get). Mini Amelle says they’re doing a mashup of Justin Bieber and Diana Ross (er?) and she once played Diana Ross in a school production [...of what, exactly? - Steve]. It was all shepherds, angels and wise men back in my day. Times have changed. BixMIX reassure us that they’re practising hard, but fail to remind us they won’t steal our boyfriends. Fail.
Their set is 1950s’ diner-esque and Leigh-Anne starts the verse of their version of ‘Baby’. It’s not so good – they do get the customary backing singers in the chorus though, and then it clumsily segues into ‘Where Did Our Love Go?’ and then back into ‘Baby’, which makes this more of a medley than a mash-up, but I believe we’ve made our feelings on such things known before. Unwisely, they all have a little solo bit. Only Jesy and Perrie can sing, and Perrie over-sings, Jesy’s still a little nervous and shaky and their vocals don’t seem to actually blend as a group unless the backing is turned way up as in their choruses. The ‘Where Did…’ but is so brief and pointless they may as well just have done the Bieber song – they seemed more comfortable with Bieber as well. [My hatred for BixMix now burns with the intensity of a thousand suns for daring to suggest that anything by the Supremes would ever be a fucking "guilty pleasure". Eat a bag of dicks, BixMix. - Steve]
Louis says something was missing. Yes, the dayglo lights and a constant backing track. Kelly says ‘you know how much I feel for you’, whatever that means, but she doesn’t think their dancing was great and she wanted Jesy to do a beatbox and if you’re going to do the Supremes, then nail it. Bit late now. Borelow loved it. Tulisa panders to the audience like the lowest common denominator she is and accuses Louis of sabotage. Louis points out that he has no acts left. Tulisa says the audience like them, because that is always a guarantee of quality. No mention of them representing my gender. I might have to turn against them. Dermot perpetuates the lie that they’ve gone further than any other girl group. Somewhere out there, Phoebe is still stabbing pins into her voodoo woo woo dolls and crying.
Next up is ‘Ireland’s sweetheart’ – really? [Eoghan Quigg neva 4get - Steve] – Janet. She goes home to turn on the Christmas lights and she tells us she’s not a Christmas person (boo!) but still likes Christmas lights. The Christmas lights in Janet’s home town look a bit rubbish. She’s doing MmmBop which ‘no one would normally think I would like’. Except she'd have been about three when this came out, and unless she was born a hipster, of course she would like it. When this song came out, I was at college, and we did college radio. My friend Jodie was very indie-ish and she used to play this claiming it was her sister’s CD but we all knew it was hers. It took her until she was thirty to admit it. Anyway, this anecdote is merely here to provide a distraction from the trainwreck that is the performance, with Janet looking white as a sheet and repeatedly losing the words and the tune. Tonight will prove that pop songs are often a hell of a lot harder than another Adele style ballad, and a much better test of versatility, not that this show would ever admit it. To be fair on Janet, she may come across as a bit of a twat in her VTs, but she’s the only contestant who’s tried to step out of her comfort zone this series, and who’s tried that more than once. Admittedly it’s not always worked, but can you imagine Biscuit trying to do that song? [I hated this train wreck, because it made me feel sorry for her. She very much came across as the SEVENTEEN year old that she is. Shame, but it is about time she went - Helen]
Louis points out that she messed up and she’s all ‘yeah, thanks for reminding me’. He said it wasn’t great, but he loved her. Tulisa reminds us she made mistakes. Borelow whines that it was a real mess and the song didn’t work because, I kid you not, ‘it had a percussive nature’ and ‘a groove’ and she should not be singing songs with a groove. FUCK OFF BORELOW. He demands Horlicks and slippers with her second song. Kelly reminds her she has another song. Dermot rubs in that she got it wrong some more and Janet says ‘she feels sick’ and Dermot reminds her that she better not fuck up the second song. Well, that was awkward.
Ads. Christmas overload.
Kelly tells us that Misha B will be dedicating her next song to her ‘aliens’. Oh lawdy, don’t let that be a thing. Her VT is about trying to be happy again. Borelow snorts that Misha was too safe in her performance last week, but given what he just said to Janet, his opinion is invalid .
Misha stands on a huge platform wearing some leggings she got down the Sunday market with an adidas hoodie spliced with a breast-plate. Or something. It’s very odd. She’s singing ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’ and starts with a slowed-down verse before the beat kicks in. Her dancers are all in odd pink body stockings and wigs with cropped gold bomber jackets circa Neneh Cherry on the cover of Smash Hits in 1989. Misha loses the tune a bit in the chorus as she tries to negotiate stairs in huge shoes, but she gets to do a weird rap about Ready Salted crisps or something which helps her get herself back on track, and then she does a slow chorus again before the beat picks up. It’s much better when it’s on its normal beat without any of the tempo changes.
Louis thinks she’s found herself again, Tulisa has nothing bad to say about it, it was all ‘on point’ whatever that means. Borelow says ‘now the show has started’ and likes that Misha is being herself, and she’s not thinking of the final (because she expects to go home tonight) but thinking of 2012. Is Misha going to be in the ‘lympics? Or is she going to be bringing on Armageddon? I feel we must be told. She baby-voices that tonight was her ‘bestest’ performance and was only a small part of ‘what Misha B can do’ and then hilariously remembers her humbleness training and says ‘what I can do’. Dermot points out that she did a ‘good save’ after referring to herself in the third person, although it’s not a good save if you tell us all, Dermot. [It was nice to see FierceMisha back, at least in performance terms. I was so disappointed when the humbleshoulders remained - Helen]
Dermot says we’ll be going back to the 80s with Marcus and Amelia (because Misha’s wasn’t just an 80s song?) and as we haven’t had any ads for a good three minutes, ITV1 are going to bless us with some more. Please let it be M&S. I want to see how they edit Craig out of that one. Oh look, there is M&S, but only the party food one. Boo. I suppose I wasn’t specific enough in my ad requesting.
Dermot babbles some piffle about guilty pleasures and then shills to the audience like the corporate whore he is. We then randomly get him dragging Amelia LILY’s dad in front of the camera, and we segue into Gary wishing George Michael a ‘get well soon’ and get Marcus’s VT. That was a very random segment of telly, right there. Marcus, rocking a Sarah Lund jumper, says he misses BISCUIT and is from LIVERPOOL. Gary takes him to his recording studio. BORELOW tells us singing live is not the same as singing in a recording studio. Well, I was fascinated.
Marcus finally has a bevy of male dancers for his ‘I’m Your Man’, which is a TUNE. Honestly, this would be my favourite theme were it called ‘awesome pop songs’ theme. Even if the performances are a bit ropey, such as this one. Tonight really illustrates how unsuited these people are to actual pop music rather than drippy ballads – although Marcus does improve on the ‘I don’t need you to care’ bridge, which is actually rather good. He then does some jumping on the judges’ desk.
Louis says he’s a potential pop star, Tulisa says he goes on a JOURNEY (my my, it’s been a long time since we had one of those, right?) in each song, Kelly liked that he raised his T-shirt so we got to see his abs and she loves him. Borelow says he’s about to say his first ‘negative’, which was that Marcus said he was happy to be in the top five, and that’s ‘not good enough’. Dermot reminds us of Louis telling Marcus he was a postie, albeit a once-a-week one. Can we call him Lazy POSTMAN, do we reckon?
Kelly tells us that Amelia LILY is still operating as a health and safety exec and is coming to SHUT THE BUILDING DOWN. I’m assuming that’s what happened that week when we had fifteen minutes of audition recaps. In Middlesborough, some bloke has apparently been paid by this show to look like an idiot with ‘vote Amelia Lily’ on his chest. She doesn’t want to go home.
In another TUNE moment, she’s doing ‘China in Your Hand’. She starts kneeling down with a spotlight and a window on the stage for atmosphere (I love a part with a happy... etc). She stands with her feet apart shouting a little as is her wont, although it is one of those songs that kind of fits that. This is fine, as performances go, but it’s at this point that I looked at Carol Decker’s Twitter from the show because I was interested to see her response. You should so follow her if you don’t, by the way. She’s hilariously outspoken.
Louis likes Amelia. Tulisa said her vocal was beautiful and she looked like she could be in a music video. BORELOW reminds us that Amelia got sent home and then came back in case we’d forgotten. Kelly said she’s never heard this song before but you have to know this song and it’s amazing to hear her sing it. Borelow then chips in to say he remembers the original and it’s nice to hear it in tune. Over to you, Carol Decker:
- @GBarlowOfficial what's your fucking problem ? I actually have perfect pitch
- Gary Barlow you twat! & I had to suffer a Take That concert for the sake of my kids this summer
Dermot opens the phone lines like anyone cares. The problem with this final five is that none of them are, well, anything. I don’t actively hate any of them that much [I HATE BIXMIX AND AM ABOUT TO HATE THEM EVEN MORE WHEN THEY SING FOR THE SECOND TIME - Steve], they’ve all done OK performances, but since Misha went a bit rubbish and Marcus went a bit repetitive, I don’t actively like any of them that much either.
Dermot tells us when they come back they’ll be doing songs by their ‘musical heroes’. Apparently there is still an hour left. Oh goody.
Next up, a mentor ‘who will be a hero of her own if her act wins’. Oh Dermot, so much you making the sense there. BixMIX suddenly rediscover their mission to REPRESENT WIMMINZ EVRYWHERE by deciding they’re going to sing Christina Aguilera’s ‘Beautiful’ and going on Radio 1’s Sunday Surgery to be agony aunts, which basically consists of telling callers they are beautiful, no matter what people say. Deep, that. Jesy reassures us that she’s in team Sami CRUISESHIP when it comes to weight loss narratives on this show. I now have visions of Sami and Jesy trying to sneak Hob Nobs through the bars of BISCUIT’s cell late at night when they hoped BOREWLOW wasn’t watching.
Egads, this performance is a hot fried mess. They do most of it on stools, Perrie tries to oversing and dominate as usual, Jesy gets the last line and the other two continue in their quests to be the Zaynwrecks of BixMIX. When they try and harmonise, it is actively horrible. So now we know why they have backing singers. But St Jesy cries at the end SO THAT’S ALL RIGHT THEN. [Such a horrible mess of pandering and sub-par singing. God, BixMix are wretched. - Steve]
Louis lies that they have four lead singers, rather than a Perrie/Jesy supremacy battle to rival the one between Curly and Resentful Direction and wants GIRLS TO VOTE FOR THEM. Borelow lies that they’re all friends. MAKE IT LAST FOREVER, FRIENDSHIP NEVER ENDS. Tulisa wants us to vote for them. Dermot reminds us that they are REAL WIMMINZ with REAL EMOSHONS.
Perry Geordiebabbles that they’re doing it for people on Twitter. I’m on Twitter and I didn’t request that. I would like your fluorescent lighting and plinths back, ta very much.
There were rumours on the internet this week that Janet would be doing Nirvana, but it’s actually Red Hot Chili Peppers. For shame, as I would have loved to hear ‘Serve the Servants’ on prime time ITV1. Still, let us all take a moment and be thankful we don’t have BISCUIT doing Adele. Or Coldplay if he was having an ‘edgy’ day. She says she doesn’t want to ruin a song she loves. Ha. But then she ruins her goodwill by lying that the Chili Peppers are obscure. Mind you, this is a show that thinks Aretha Franklin is obscure, so IDEK. Her boyfriend likes this as well and she says she and her boyfriend have obscure music taste. Damn, and I thought they’d almost cured her of that hipster streak. Now I have to hate her again. I then get excited because I think I hear Roxette’s ‘Wish I Could Fly’ on the soundtrack before I realise it’s that Coldplay song that has wholesale ripped it off.
Unsurprisingly, it’s ‘Under the Bridge’. Surprisingly, I quite like it. It’s a bit yelpy in places, but I like The Cranberries, so I’m not averse to a bit of that. They keep a beat going, rather than slow it down to All Saints pace, which is a nice surprise, and then they bring in rock guitars at the end. I’m not entirely convinced she can do rock vocal – Dolores O’Riordan would ‘oh-oh-oh’ her off the stage, but kudos to her for trying something different even if the producers are probably spitting feathers given how they’ve been trying to bus her for weeks and she just won't die, dammit (Janet).
Louis doesn’t like the Chili Peppers but thinks Ireland is voting for her. Tulisa nonsenses that she’s sometimes predictable, but she’s Janet Devlin, that’s who she is and you either love her or you don’t. So is that because she’s not in her box and she should be or what? Gary says fair play to her for ignoring him and doing whatever she wants even if he thought she sucked. Backhanded compliment, or what? Dermot points out that she’s the anti-BORELOW. If a vote for Janet is an anti-Borelow vote then I’m potentially sold. Janet panics that she might not seem humble, as she’s not really sure where BORELOW currently sits on the national sweetheart barometer. Neither am I - is the nation still in that weird froth it got its knickers in when he got slim, or are they all collectively over that now they’ve realised what a knob he is?
Competition. Ugh, Olly MURS is made entirely of DO NOT WANT, isn’t he?
Ads. TalkTalk ad bumpers also think it’s CHRISTMAS. ITV1 ad bumpers still have buttercups on. CLING ON TO THAT INDIAN SUMMER DREAM, ITV1.
Misha B’s entire VT is about how much she loves Kelly. This is really weird. Did Kelly’s people demand some kind of retribution for the way this show’s publicity machine slagged her off that time she had a sore throat (/"sore throat")?
Disappointingly, tonight Misha B will not be our Commander and is instead doing ‘Killing me Softly’, pitching it somewhere in between Roberta Flack and the Fugees. It needs more ‘One Time, Two Time’ but it’s perfectly fine. It’s just a disappointing choice for Misha given all the potentially interesting places she could have gone, not least because her VT set up Kelly as her musical hero. [She should've done 'Work', that would've been amazing. - Steve]
Louis says she wants it more than anyone else (Boo!), Tulisa thinks it was her best week (I’d put it squarely mid-table myself), Gary’s a bit meh. Misha does the pick up the phone mime. It’s been a while since we had one of those too.
Dermot calls BORELOW the nation’s hero. So I guess that answers my question from earlier. Also: for SHAME, the nation, if this Funsponge is who we aspire to be. [Representing boring Victorian squires everywhere! - Steve] Marcus’s mum spends her VT telling us how proud she is. Last time someone wanted to make his mum proud, he was called Leon Jackson. Just putting that out there.
Marcus is doing ‘Lately’ by Stevie Wonder, a brave choice for this show if it finds ‘Think’ a bit out there – like that time Kim-fom-Pop-Idol-2-what-I-went-to-college-with-along-with-one-of-G4 (as is her full name) did ‘The One’ in Elton John and the judges were all ‘what unknown song is this?’ because they’d decided Michelle was the ‘big girl’ they wanted to endorse.
Marcus’s performance – competent. Bit dull, but not my favourite Stevie song.
Louis thinks Marcus is versatile and this week thinks this is a ‘talent show’ therefore Marcus should be in the final. Tulisa says Marcus wouldn’t want to admit it, but he would have been as emotional as she was during that song. Err? She then says he doesn’t like to shill a sob story (like some BixMIXes we could think of) – although I think we have heard a few Leon Jackson memorial ‘my mum who is SINGLE’ narratives haven’t we?, but he has had a TOUGH LIFE like an Apprentice candidate getting to interviews and revealing their super-series-winning-special-superpower-of-humble-beginnings. Kelly loves him and wants to be constructive to ‘keep him here’ because she hasn’t realised that’s not how this show works. Her constructive criticism extends as far as saying the opening was a bit rubbish but he got better. Top notch critique, right there! Borelow lies that the nation knows him as the entertainer, rather than knowing him as ‘the other one’ for several weeks until he became ‘that one that did Reet Petite that time’ and then ‘that one who’s going to be in Hairspray in nine months’ time’. He then says we will know him as ‘the voice’, when at best he’s going to be ‘the boy one’ in the vagina party that this series is becoming, and at worst ‘yet another boring boy winner’, which, for his sake, I hope won’t happen. [I was genuinely confused at this point. We've had VOTE BIXMIX thrown at us so much these last few weeks, but now we're getting VOTE LAZY POSTMAN. They need to make up their mind otherwise I don't know who not to vote for out of spite - Helen]
Dermot then says he got ‘great comments, but a little destructive criticism’. Or it may have been ‘constructive’. Dermot can’t enunciate for toffee.
Ads. How is Fearne Cotton still a thing? Kill it. Kill it with fire. [Legal disclaimer: not literally. Except in a Simon Cowell sense. The Bitch Factor does not advocate murder or arson].
Dermot welcomes us back and says ‘the prize this week is a place in the semi-final’. Oh Dermot, that’s not a prize, that’s just an inevitability that comes from the passage of time and the scheduling of this show so that there are mercifully only two weeks left. A weekly prize is something like you used to get on Bullseye when the big dartboard swivelled round to reveal if it was a beige Golf, a beige new kitchen, a holiday to Spain or a speedboat that week. [Also, technically it's four places in the semi-final, surely? - Steve]
Kelly says Amelia needs ‘all of her lillies to pick up the phone’. That’s worse than calling Misha’s fans aliens. Stop trying to make fan clique names happen. She says her idol is Kelly Clarkson because BixMIX have already pinched Christina Aguilera but as they are REAL WIMMINZ they're not getting the song thief edit Misha had. Amelia then she waxes lyrical about how awesome Kelly Rowland is. Kelly’s people really have been after something this week, haven’t they?
Amelia starts another performance sitting on the floor. Girl doesn’t like standing around waiting, clearly. It’s ‘Since U Been Gone’, and she doesn’t really have the range to do it justice, so it gets rather shouty and shrieky and it becomes a bit of a caterwaul by the end. [She wussed out of every single demanding note in the song. I've done pissed karaoke of that song better than that, quite frankly. - Steve]
Louis loves that she can do power ballads and then rock (except that power ballads generally are rock, aren’t they?) and Tulisa then overshares about this song reminds her of an ex-boyfriend and says Amelia strained a bit too much (which she did) and Borelow thinks her songs were pitched a bit too high. Kelly says she can hit the notes in her sleep. Unfortunately not while she’s awake though. Ba-dum-tish.
Dermot reminds us to vote and there's a recap of tonight's performances. A load of AMAZING songs we're meant to think are LOLariously crap followed by a load of worthy songs that were A BIT DULL! BixMIX acting like teenage girls and singing Bieber before remembering their need to REPRESENT WIMMINZ EVERYWHERE! Janet not giving a shit about this show any longer! Misha B-ing a bit mediocre! Marcus not being in the 1950s! Amelia SHOUTING! Kelly Rowland BEING A MUSICAL LEGEND AND HERO now please don't sue the producers for those news stories, ta.
Tomorrow night! Jessie J will be doing her boring new single and I will be enacting penance for something I did in a former life as my nemesis Olly MURS will also be gurning the place up. Bring me a bucketload of drugs and a barrel of booze and join me for the results!