Live shows: Final 12 – Saturday 12 October 2013
This year! Everything on the show is ‘all change’! They brought back the audition room! Yay! But for some bizarre reason kept the arena auditions which had the sole purpose of serving as some weird torture for our own Helen who recapped ¾ of them! They had all new boot camp with added stool material! Then last weekend it was judges’ houses which was basically the same as it always was!
Tonight! There is a new shock! twist! Not really, it’s just that flash vote at the end of the night thing they’ve been going on about. Oh, and it’s also 80s night, which seems unfair. What did the 80s ever do to this show to deserve such treatment? Louis Walsh loves the 80s. Who ever would have thought?
It’s! Time! To! Face! Who will be in the slots of death for twenty minutes against Strictly!
Cue Giant X! (philosophical conundrum - If Giant X flies on screen when everyone is watching Strictly, does it still land OK?)
Dermot enters to ‘Rio’. Suitwatch: a Funsponge-last-year-tribute waistcoat. I’m not paying any attention to the trousers because THAT’S WHAT THIS SHOW WANTS.
The judges enter, clearly mistaking this for Halloween week, as Sharon has come as Poison Ivy, Nicole as a slutty Mummy, Louis as a little Louis Walsh, and Funsponge as that bloke who phones the police because someone, somewhere, is having a party and FUN MUST BE STOPPED AT ALL COSTS.
The flash vote is introduced with with Queen’s ‘Flash’ – basically at the end of Saturday whoever has the lowest votes goes into the sing-off. Not sure whether that will rend Sunday pointless, but we’ll see.
By the way, Dermot’s dick is apparently a thing – so much so, that the official X Factor twitter account tried to get it trending, and all the judges point it and laugh. Dermot: ‘there’s nothing wrong with my southern hemisphere’. BAN THIS SICK BBC FILTH… oh wait, that was last week.
Hannah is first. Her VT reminds us that she has spent most of her time on this show crying, and the rest of the time working in Greggs and not wanting to be Hannah the Greggs worker from Leicester (or wherever it is) no more. But now! X Factor has saved her! She laughs so much you’d think she was a Natalie Gumede VT! But! What’s this! X Factor has also damaged her! Her voice is broken! She has to wear an official show lanyard with ‘I am on voice rest’ around her neck like she is a leper!
She is wearing a purple jacket, yellow top, bad skirt and bad hair for her performance of ‘What’s Love Got To Do With It’ although I do like the backdrop of apartments. Overall though, it’s a bit mediocre and ploddy, and I do like Hannah, but if her voice is this shot to buggery (the backing singers take over in a few places) and she’s got the slot of death then maybe her ‘journey’ isn’t going to be what I thought it was. [It really doesn't bode well for her voice to be shot to piece this early on. - Steve]
Louis says she is SIXTEEN YEARS OLD and has a lot of potential. Sharon says she has a rich, powerful voice for sixteen and something incomprehensible about titties. Funsponge says she’s raised the bar for the series. Nicole says that’s how to open a live show (mediocrely, while no-one’s watching). Dermot says ‘like the judges said, seventeen years old’. Well no, she IS seventeen (I think), but the judges said she was sixteen, Durrbot. Oh yeah and some app thing whatever mumble.
Wee Nick who your granny likes is on next. Dermot reminds us we are all OLD because none of the boys’ category were even born in the 80s because even 1989 was 24 YEARS AGO. WEEEEEEEEEEP. The VT is all about how he was born in 1996 DAMN HIS YOUTH and how he ‘hilariously’ thinks Spandau Ballet are called Spandex Ballet or Spandau Belly. The editors totally didn’t script that, honest. I’d watch it, wee Nick, you might have the whole of SCOTLAND voting for you, but Tony Hadley won Reborn in the USA, so he still has it (the love of a certain reality-show voting demographic). Fortunately by the miracle of a HANDY AND FUNCTIONAL Samsung Tab and some EXCITING SOFTWARE called Skype, he’s able to ring his mum who knows the song (obviously).
He is wearing a James Arthur tribute shirt as he sings ‘True’. The stage is dry-ice festooned and the dancers are paying tribute to the erection section (why? Why must everything remind me of Anton Du Beke? LIFE YOU ARE CRUEL). I’m quite surprised Wee Nic and Hannah were on in the slots of death. Sofabet had them as their 1 and 2 and I would have thought the same. But myriad are the ways of X, I guess. The performance doesn’t desecrate the song enough to vex the demographic whose votes he needs so I’m sure he’ll be fine. BUT HARK! WHAT IS THIS MADNESS? The judging is happening after the ads! ALL NEW X FACTOR! EDGY!
I don’t notice the ads because I’m too busy googling the history of What’s Love Got to Do With It and finding this which I thought would be super-campmazing but is as boringly turgidly ballidy as what is to come on this show (whoops, spoilers).
The judges’ comments are so lazy this week and we’re only on act two. Basically the feedback is, in tribute to Ella Henderson, who sadly is no longer SIXTEEN: SIXTEEN SIXTEEN SIXTEEN. Sharon mishears him as being ‘almost SIXTEEN’ when he says ‘only SIXTEEN’ (and presumably, born in 96, almost SEVENTEEN). Anyway, for now, he’s SIXTEEN and YOUNG and all of us from the 80s are OLD and MUMS like him and he makes everyone MOTHERLY because he is a WEE BOY who is lovable and SIXTEEN and a little kid who is SIXTEEN and shet.
Durrbot reminds us Gary was famous in the 90s and shows us a picture of him in the 80s which looks exactly like a portrait of “classic” comedian Billy Pearce. Wacky!
We’re reminded that Miss FrankEnDynaBixMix are franken and that CeeCee/CC/CeCe/SeSe/CiCi/SiSi/that shameless band abandoner is PREGNANT and we all know how well that worked out for 2Shoes NEVA4GET. Their VT is soundtracked by Bananarama but sadly they’re not doing a Bananarama song. Boooo! Their name is not pronounced ‘Miss Dyna-Mix’ as I imagined, but ‘Missed Dynamics’ which is somewhat LOLerific.
Their Girls Aloud version of the Pointer Sisters’ ‘Jump’ is slowed down and lacklustre. The vocals are awful but the backing music is quite quiet so I wouldn’t be surprised if they can’t hear it. It’s a fun poppy classic been slowed down to MOR sludge, which is not what you want, but is still livelier than most of what follows (SPOILERS). CC has stage presence, the one of the other two wearing yellow is cute, the other one might as well not exist. There’s one bit where they’re on a plinth but instead of jumping off, they’re yanked down by male dancers, which didn’t look quite so great for CeCe. [They even did all the same ad libs as Girls Aloud. It was the acme of laziness. - Steve]
Nicole wanted them to have more fun and actually jump. Louis likes them but says they will need to work harder. Even Funsponge wants them to have more fun – so if they’re here next week, expect a BALLID. SO MUCH FUN. Dermot reminds us that they’re a Frankenband as a bus screeches to attention outside the studio. Yellow dress one wants to stay. The Other One is barely in shot.
The overs are next. Dermot asks how Sharon keeps looking as young as she did in the 80s. Sharon says she has a very good doctor. Heh.
Sam Bailey is next – lest you forget, she is the prison officer – I wonder if the show is going to use this to its full potential given that, with Orange is the New Black and Wentworth, prisons are kind of in vogue at the moment (I know, I know, she works in a men’s prison, but women’s prisons are hotbeds of lebsbianity and we all know how this show runs a mile at such things). Because she is a mum, she is singing that perennial mum favourite, ‘The Power of Love’. Obviously not the Huey Lewis one or the Holly Johnson one, the Jennifer Rush one. (The 80s guide to titling songs was a bit short, sadly). She is the one who looks the best after the show makeover, not that that’s saying much. Her hair looks lovely.
As for the performance, it’s exactly what you expect from an alpha female over – a touch of Celine, a smattering of Jennifer, a bellow of Meaty Minge – she’s one of the best singers in this series and this is more likeable than some of her performances, but it’s hardly original. Gary thought she was off the clock, Nicole is amazed that she can do that in the first week, Louis thinks she hit every note, Sharon says she nailed it. Again, I’m surprised at the order of tonight’s acts – I’d have thought this would be the kind of thing they would want to end on – if their plan A is Hannah and/or Tamera, then surely Sam would be plan B – a woman in the year of vagina, and the first over woman to win, plus the first over in ages to win. So why throw her away mid-show?
Ads. Katie Price’s face. KATIE PRICE’S FACE.
Time for the much-discussed Caroline Flack appearance. She is backstage interviewing the acts in what looks like one of those shipping containers they had full of dead immigrants on The Wire – so now we know what happens to X Factor contestants once they’ve outlived their usefulness. Sam makes a joke about her tits. That is all that happens. This section is so totally valid and not at all random. [I like to think it's because they're contractually obligated not to leave Caroline unsupervised with the contestants in case she tries to SEDUCE them, so this is how they get around having a camera on her at all times. - Steve]
Up next, boy Sam! His VT basically is all about how everyone thinks he’s a bad singer and only got through because of his looks, but he wants us to know that also, he’s KERRAZY. He has a tattoo! He once ate a big pizza! So mental! We also get an insight into the misery of the X Factor house – it may look like a mansion outside, but inside the bedrooms have cheap-ass bunk beds in – it’s like one of those tabloid behind the scenes SHOCKERS.
He’s doing ‘Summer of 69’ and one of his dancers looks a bit like Flavia Cacacae which really disturbs me for a bit, but fortunately it’s not. The vocals are mediocre – standard worst-boy-of-the-finalists fare – it’s all a bit dull and nothing yet is making me get excited.
Gary says his vocals were ropey, Nicole agrees but says he has the eye of the tiger up him, which sounds like a very niche kink. Louis says he works hard unlike him at the age comparisons – Sam looks like a little Bryan Adams. Because he sang a Bryan Adams song. Everything about this episode is lazier than lazy. Dermot tries to create some excitement because Sam has lipstick on his cheek from one of the dancers.
Eton Road 2 are up next. They used to live in a flat with beds on the floor and airbeds and now they’ve made the leap up to a temporary place of residence with bunk beds! So much of a journey!
They’re doing ‘I’m Your Man’ which is the best song choice of the night, and yet they’ve taken out all the soully bits and yelps and oohs and it’s the blandest thing ever, with the One Direction memorial backing vocals already in employment. They’re all wearing different variations of black and white, one wearing a Choose LIFE T-shirt in “tribute” (/pissing off) to Wham! mode. Their hair is as ridiculous as ever. A few people in the audience shout KINGSLAND. Oh, the ‘Road’ thing. The ‘Road’ thing is never going to happen, except when it’s the mechanism for a double decker with their names on it in week eight or so.
Nicole calls them ‘Hairland, not Kingsland’. Note: not Hairland Road. Louis says they have the most energy but it’s not difficult. Sharon says they were fantastic and the blonde one (Connor?) looks like Leonardo Di Caprio… I would say he looks more like a junior version of Philip Seymour Hoffman in The Master if anyone. Gary liked it too. The judges can’t even be bothered to make an effort in their comments. This episode is so sluggish. Dermot reminds us that various acts have to make their ‘debuts’ still (which is both wrong – we’ve seen them before – and lazy – it’s live show one Dermot, we know how this thing works after ten series).
Ads. All those lovely 80s songs! Done properly! What I wouldn’t give to be out dancing to those tunes right now. I’d even much rather be in that apex of awfulness, Reflex. And that’s even despite the fact that the one in Sheffield burns down every other month so I’d be taking my life in my hands. But at least I’d hear music that was faster than 6bpm.
Dermot reminds us we’ve had ten years of this shit AND YET LIKE FOOLS WE STILL WATCH. He then burbles something incomprehensible, which I think is about Simon Cowell’s baby or something.
Shelley is next and actually has a lively VT! Hooray! She enthuses about the 80s as is right and proper and there’s more life in her VT than in the rest of the show put together so far.
She’s doing Heart’s ‘Alone’ which even young people know as that song their mum always does from Karaoke / Singstar / Lips etc. And you just know Shelley is one of those mums – this is in no way a criticism, as I am one of those mums as well, except for the slight problem of not having any kids. And, indeed, it’s very mum-at-karaoke. But she does get to stand on a big fuck-off raised plinth that looks a bit like a glittery version of a JCB carriage at the end, and I’m half expecting her to launch it in the direction of Waterloo Road.
Funsponge bleats that 'Everyone here is doing a modern twist on the 80s' – yes, if ‘modern’ means slowing it down to fuck and bleeding the life out of it. But then that WOULD come from the king of beige. I can’t imagine how he coped in the actual 80s with all that pop music and dance music and neon and goths and e-numbers in everything. I like to think he locked himself [yeah sure, he "locked himself" - Steve] in a cupboard at school and kept saying to himself ‘Don’t worry Gary Barlow. One day neutral colours will be in. One day people will buy music by the likes of Mickey Bubbles, Susan Boyle and the Military Wives, and that will be our time. Don’t touch those weird Discos crisps. Not only have they got a name that represents all that is evil, they come in a weird circle shape AND there’s even a salt and vinegar flavour’. Sharon tells him to shut up. Nicole loves her and her Stanna stair lift. Louis thinks it was cheesy but he loved it and that Shelley had welly. Sharon says we love cheese and with the lift, the wind, the everything, it was properly 80s. Shelley says you have to throw a bit of cheese and shoulderpads in for 80s and wiggles her leg about a bit. Dermot says nothing says X Factor like a random stair lift. Shelley says she was scared but loves it.
Ads! What have the other members of JLS done to Aston? Have they eaten him? And when are they actually splitting up? The mystery continues.
Abi is next. Her VT is a lie because it’s all about how she wants to have fun and not work in a supermarket despite the fact that she makes music exactly designed for supermarket customers who think Tesco Mary is a bit edgy. But Funsponge will like this because she’s taken one of the most awesome poprock hair metal classics of all time, ‘Livin on a Prayer’ and has ballided it for sod all reason except Funsponge thinks it’s modern or whatever. FUCK YOU X FACTOR. THE 80S WERE MY FAVOURITE OF ALL THE DECADES AND YOU’RE JUST MAKING THEM ALL KINDS OF BAD.
She’s wearing a purple shirt with diamonds on. Louis and Sharon like it and Gary says the audience were quiet, yes, probably out of shock because they wanted to sing along to Bon Jovi. He says she’s his kind of artist. Yes Funsponge, she sucked the life out of that song and made it a turgid ballid, OF COURSE it was your kind of thing. Nicole says she was the only artist that ‘made it her own’. It’s like they’re all deliberately doing this to fill in X Factor bingo cards, isn’t it?
Next up, it’s Lorna WHO? Her VT is all about how no-one knows who she is (apart from followers of ZOMG! Tabloid Scandals!’, even though that’s entirely the editors’ fault. She’s going to be doing ‘So Emotional’ which reminds me of playing drunken karaoke with my friends Katie and Claire and Lisa and Tracey when we were thirteen when we sang along to that and ‘Sloop John B’, which was a song none of us knew and so we made up the tune to it but collapsed in fits of giggles every few seconds because the lyrics are so bloody daft. Anyway, our tuneless desecration of the Beach Boys was still more deferential than anyone on this show has been (except possibly Shelley).
Lorna’s performance is all about her topless male dancers, and her VT shows her being giggly about them. It’s not a bad performance, at least not by tonight’s standards. And yet again, we’re getting comments after the ads because apparently this is a new ‘thing’. The only ‘new’ thing about this series that’s worked so far is the old thing of room auditions. The rest of it I could happily leave.
Ads! I’m quite surprised at Lloyds Bank criticising right-wing politics in their advert, given how their recent branding has seemed quite conservative. I’m not sure if this is a smart move on their part or one that will alienate their fanbase. Do old-skool bank brands have fan bases? I mean, I’m glad TSB are back if only because every time I mention them I have to say ‘The bank that likes to Sayyyyyyyyyyy YES’ because mentally I’m still in the 80s but it doesn’t mean I’m actually banking with them or anything. Also – I’m wondering if whether your Lloyds TSB has become a Lloyds or a TSB is one of those measures of social standing like the newspapers claimed when they ran all those ‘what is your Woolworths now?’ articles.
Gary says Lorna’s pitch was all over the place at the start when the song had been ballided but when the beat kicked in she knocked it out of the park. Nicole says she agrees, Lorna has to watch her pitch and that she didn’t remember her from before but tonight she filled the stage. Louis says Sharon was ogling the dances. She says ‘wouldn’t you?’ Heh. Gary tries to get in on the fun party by saying Take That’s early videos were a bit like that. Yes, and you had a huge rictus grin the whole time. Lorna tells Dermot that she’s always wanted to be here. *Shrug*
Dermot reminds us that now we have a thing called Twitter which they didn’t have in the 80s and says Sharon has the biggest buzz and Gary the least but not sure by which measure they are checking this. They then show some of the most inane tweets ever. Bet they don’t show my tweet telling the show to fuck off (around the time Abi was performing). Then they have a tweet from David Schneider talking about Dermot’s package. Why is the show trying to make this a thing? I mean, better Dermot’s than Anton Du Beke’s, but still.
Tamera next. She has a little sister whom she misses and the other girls tell her off for being messy. Apparently their bedroom has one double bed and one set of bunk beds. I would LOVE to see who gets which bed. Nicole asks Tamera what she thinks the 80s would have been like because Tamera wasn’t even born for THE MAJORITY OF THE 90s. Just let that sink in, people. She says neon colours and tutus. And 3 million unemployed lest we forget. [Bit p’litical there – Ben Elton]. #so80s
She’s doing a slowed down ‘Ain’t Nobody’, wearing a black leather jacket with a denim jacket tied around her waist in case it gets a bit nippy later. In places it’s OK but in other places it’s ropey as all hell. Her dancers are waving lots of fences around in what I can only assume is a slightly strange tribute to the miners’ strike.
Louis likes it. Sharon says she looks exotic and has an exotic name. Really, Sharon? We’re going down that road? Funsponge says she has the X factor. Nicole says she is a ‘forced’ to be reckoned with and tries to strain out some tears for all those playing XF bingo at home. Tamera grimaces to Dermot that the atmosphere is great whilst looking like she wants to die. I know how she feels.
Dermot introduces Luke as the boy whose hair every mum wants to wash. His VT is all about mumsy women being obsessed with his hair and someone on the Twitters having a spoof account for his hair (betcha it’s an X Factor producer because HO HO SO FUNNY). The background music is ‘Walk Like an Egyptian’. I wish they wouldn’t use all this awesome music on the VTs because it reminds me how shit tonight is.
He’s doing ‘Every Breath You Take’ (aka the stalker’s anthem) and his tuning goes way out, I mean, really, really badly. And I actually like the tone of his voice compared to some of the others – but this is dreadful and he really needs those backing vocals when they kick in to help him back on track. They’ve also made him look a bit like a tubby teenage Michael Hutchence crossed with Mick Hucknall’s dress sense, which is weird.
Sharon says it had great performance value and was entertaining, even though his voice wasn’t the greatest and he has the ‘performance skills of a true… person that should make it through to the end of this show’. There’s daming with faint praise and then… Gary moans about his hair needing a wash. Screw you Barlow, I remember that time Take That went grubby and said they didn’t wash their hair, even if it was really only Howard and you kept him at a foot’s distance. Nicole loves his raw energy and Louis loves his hair. Dermot asks if they cut or keep the hair. Gary snipes ‘it’s up to him’ in that way your mum does when she’s passive-aggressively telling you to do what she wants or she’ll gripe at you about it forever.
Ads. There are a lot of ads for fish products during The X Factor.
We’re back with Caroline Flack in the storage container of doom and it’s very packed in there, and I don’t think there seems to be a source of air. She interviews Shelley who says if she gets through next week, she can do a modern song if Gary likes, but it was 80s week. Rough Copy are singing in the background, the TRY HARDS. They’re singing ‘In the Air Tonight’ though, which isn’t going to impress me if that’s coming up. They want to ‘kill it’ tonight. Oh, I have no doubt that they will. THIS SECTION REMAINS SO VALID and worthy of all those DS headlines about evil Caroline Flack sneaking over onto the main show to steal Durrbot's job.
Rough Copy’s VT reminds us that it has been tough! One of them had to leave because of visa issues! Then he came back! Now they want to kill music to please Funsponge! Oh, and they want to be SPOKESPEOPLE for da yoot because it’s TOUGH out there. These sob stories are so shit, I kind of wish they’d put Melanie McCabe through just to see how desperate the VTs could get. Rough Copy then try and act like a Phil Collins song means something to them. Oh boys, even Phil Collins doesn’t think a Phil Collins song means anything to him.
I hate this song anyway, because it’s a turgid pile of old toss, and they don’t seem to have done much to improve it. Their vocals are better than they have been though, and they blend OK. Oh, and for all Funsponge’s bleating that Shelley didn’t revolutionise the song, the only difference between this version and the original is that three people are singing it, not one. SO CONTEMPORARY IT BLEEDS. One of them looks a bit like an edgier Aston JLS. Their clothes are a bit ridiculous – one of them appears to have pinched his jacket from Eton Road 2.
Nicole says they might be the best band she’s seen on this show. Anyone got a full house on X Factor bingo yet? Louis says there’s nothing ‘rough’ about them (DRINK) and loves them, and there’s… altogether now… a gap in the market for them - one just vacated by JLS, maybe? Sharon says it was perfect, especially Konye/Kanye in the middle - I assume this is his name and she wasn’t comparing him to Kanye West, but who can tell. Funsponge reminds us that this is his last year on the show and he’s fighting to the death with Sharon to avoid being the worst mentor ever. But hooray, for it being his last year on the show. Maybe now Brian Friedman can come back from wherever he’s been exiled.
Dermot says the 80s are now over, but the flash vote is now open! Vote lines are open for less than ten minutes, then he will tell us which act will be in the sing-off. He doesn’t say what will fill those ten minutes, which suddenly feel like a huge chasm of time.
Recap time! A load of old shit, a desecration to the memory of the 80s and your soul weeping at what a long three months this is going to be!
Dermot drags the acts on stage and says the lines are frozen although that didn’t feel like ten minutes to me.
Ads! Natwest to me means those pigs, but not enough that I ever had one! 80s advertising is so firmly lodged in my brain and yet it had very little effect on my life!
Dermot welcomes us back and says the acts are all terrified. The judges come onstage to join them. Sharon is proud of her girls and hopes the public feels the same way and LOLDERMOTDICK. Dermot: ‘Louis, you wanted the boys, you got the boys’. I don’t like it when this show makes deliberate innuendo. It feels so forced. Nicole wishes her acts well. Dermot says Gary hated the groups at first, but hopes they won him round. Gary says he hates Saturdays and Sundays. We hadn’t guessed.
Fortunately, this isn’t dragged out that long – we’re told that whole categories are safe: the girls, the groups (which surprises me, I thought Miss FrankEnDynaBixMix were a shoo-in for the boot) and the boys, which means one of the over-25s is in the bottom. I would imagine it’s Lorna WHO but then Shelley and Sam are effectively the same person so might just cancel each other’s vote out. And so it proves. Shelley is the act who got the least votes tonight. Poor Shelley, I love her a bit. Dermot says the flash vote was only eight minutes long. He said ten earlier, so I expect this very second about eighty furious members of Digital Spy are creating threads demanding people CALL OFCOM ABOUT THIS FIX FACTOR FIX. Dermot says we can now vote again. Thanks, but you’re alright, Dermot.
Tomorrow night! The Actual Cher! Ellie Goulding! Join me then!