The X Factor: Semi-Final 2010 Review

Posted by Judy Johnson On Sunday, 5 December 2010 00:46 0 comments
They have rather cleverly got it down to the best of a bad bunch now that Katie and Wagner have left (though Aiden or Paije should be in here instead of Mary, tsk), and now that it's crunch time all the excuses are coming out. The mentor wasn't there, a bandmate was missing, someone has had the flu, etc etc. It's a little sad that we still need sympathy votes this far down the line, no? The judges are now also being more catty (except Louis, who lives in a dreamworld where everything is pink and shiny and perfect), and accusing each other of 'tactical' voting. I think they'll find this is called an OPINION.

Before we start, I had a little trouble working out the theme. After checking the website, I found it was 'Clubland Classics and Get Me to the Final' songs. I have no words. 


Rebecca
It started so well. Well, ish. Singing Show Me Love, I actually thought Rebecca sounded good on this and could do well in this genre - the only problem being she still changes the notes of songs as and when she pleases. I liked the staging of it but she still didn't move - the most exciting part was when she put her hand on her hip at the end. Groundbreaking stuff. 
Then it went wrong again. When they said it was going to be a big song, I thought I Will Always Love You? Hope not. Titanic? Hope not even more. Instead, she decided to ruin Amazing Grace. The only amazing thing about this performance was the level of annoyance that her singing of the wrong notes brought out in me. I have heard this song done so well by so many people, and love it. Thankfully this won't be my lasting memory of the song as it sounded nothing like it. Also, bringing out the choir? How very Joe McElderry. 

Cher
Yes, no, yes, no... I just cannot decide whether to like or loathe this girl. I am sure her eyebrows have been drawn differently this week, which was quite distracting - but she did look a little more natural and down to earth too, so I am fairly sure they are all reading my blog over there and taking note. Yes. Anyhoo, she started off with Nothin' On You - not sure that this is a club classic, but it did suit her and show her voice off pretty well. I'm not buying her 'the arrogant thing is part of my act' though.
Singing Love the Way You Lie to get through to the final, she may have a chance as it wasn't terrible. However, she really needs to learn how to transition between rapping and singing - it is so abrupt it emphasises that the song is meant for a duet. More importantly though - she backtalked to Dannii. This, my dear little teenager, is so not cool.

Mary
I think it's safe to say Mary is out this week. She is way out of her depth being in the semi final, bless her, and the disco theme is bad news because it has given her even more excuse to be a shouty pub singer. They are also still failing to style her hair in any way that is flattering to her face. She starts with Never Can Say Goodbye, which is basically a cruise-ship shout-athon that hurts my ears. Then Louis started talking about flu for no apparent reason and he and Simon started bickering. Honestly, it's like they want to give us a headache. 
Mary bounces back for song two with The Way We Were. Ok, 'bounce' is not the word. This would have anybody sobbing, partly because it sounds a bit dodgy on some notes and also because it's not nice to see Mary cry. She's a nice old lady. Still, they could do without constantly pointing out that she's a checkout girl, and also listening to what she said about the tears before wading in with their 'stop being sad and start being grateful and happy' speak. One week it's all 'you put the emotion into it and it was amazing', next it's 'dry your eyes mate'. 

One Direction
They've done a little hand-made card for Simon and his manflu. Seriously. Do we need reminding that they are twelve? It's like being back in the days of Live and Kicking where they had the photo gallery of stuff babies had drawn. The tweenies are back in my bad books this week because they sang Rhianna's new song, Only Girl in the World and sang it with no oomph whatsoever. Cheryl was right for once when she said it didn't work - it was soooo karaoke, they'd be better off going down to Lucky Voice and singing it there.(I love Lucky Voice by the way - this is not an insult). 
Secondly, they couldn't sound more pissed off that Zayn hasn't been there this week. Have a little heart guys. It's all hunky dory again when it's time to sing though - Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol. I could have cried. I love this song. They didn't do it too badly, but it was a total cheesefest, complete with painful key change, and didn't do the song justice as it made it sound all flat and boybandy. I think they should just go through the S Club back catologue and re-do those - then no one would mind too much and we could all bop along. 


Matt
Yes, I saved the best 'til last - even with a sore throat/tonsilitis/manflu Matt outsings his fellow contestants. He does look terrible though. He started off with You've Got the Love. I'm not sure anyone understood why there was a need for a guitar in this, but no one cares because we're all just glad he made it onto the stage without his mum popping on to wipe his nose. The vocal would have been better without the sickness but still, he nailed it, and should do this kind of track when he has his own album. Oh, and be quiet Simon, no one cares if you had a cold - you're a judge not a singer.
For his second song Matt did She's Always a Woman - it felt a little old fashioned (dammit, I agree with Simon) but he does suit these ballads and, though the staircase was unnecessary, the performance was faultless. Now go home Matt and have a Lemsip - we've got a final to prepare for.


Final? I don't even know how many go through but I think One Direction, Matt and Rebecca have the final three in the bag. I wonder if Rebecca will move her feet if she wins?

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X Factor: Live Show 8 Review

Posted by Judy Johnson On Sunday, 28 November 2010 14:45 0 comments
Rock week. 'Rock' week. Urgh. Should I stop there? I'm glad, based on my Twitter feed, that I am not alone in thinking this year's series is getting a bit ridiculous. This week Louis surpassed himself in being the most irritating person on the show (yes, even more than Katie), Cheryl upped her loser status with as much ghetto speak as possible, while all the contestants returned to their usual selves - apart from Wagner who didn't do a medley. Shocking. Whatever next? Cher sporting the 'natural look'?


Wagner
For song one we were made to just listen to him, while he stood there not doing very much. It was all very dull, not fun to listen to and frankly perfect proof that the only reason he's there is because he's a jolly-looking Brazilian. Sadly, the irony was not lost when he sang Creep, with lyrics like 'I'm a creep, I'm a weirdo, what the hell am I doing here'- yes Wagner, we all think that too. Every week. Poor guy.


The dancers were back in force for song two (though Matt borrowed them later) where he killed Addicted to Love while looking like he was going to a funeral.  It might as well be his own given the crowd's boos but then they don't seem to be the ones voting, the silly sods.  The 'creep' lyrics came back to mind when he mentioned that he loves working with the dancers on stage.... euw. I hope he doesn't win, just because all the comments after will be so awkward, but at the same time it would be great just to declare this series a write-off much like the Michelle McManus days of Pop Idol (you know she's a TV presenter now? Bit of random trivia for you.)


Cher
Not one of her best performances because it doesn't suit her at all, Cher takes on Girlfriend to start off. They've dressed her in a weird little prom dress which just looks really creepy - it reminds me of (I think this is where it's from) the Gremlins when one is dressed up as a girl and has scary red lipstick on... it's just like putting a little monster in a dress. She was also trying to look a bit sexy and pouty in this but that will never work - unlike Fergie who is tough but sexy, Cher is just tough and looks like she carries a pen knife. She cannot do sultry and I hope she doesn't ever try again.


Song two - singing Walk this Way, Cher ends the night on a better note. I'm not sure if I'm alone in this but I prefer her when she does her 'rap' as for me it actually works and suits her. I just wish she wouldn't dress like a chav, and do that thing with her mouth (see where she says 'kiss' in the lyrics) - it's like a gurning snarl. If she wasn't so full of it, I would like her after this performance.


Rebecca Ferguson
Rebecca starts off with Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For, and I couldn't agree more. I am still waiting for her to stop finding the floor fascinating and to move her feet at least shoulder-width apart. Even without a microphone stand as her friend she looks a little lost. More importantly, she looked utterly bored to tears during this song (as was I) - it's almost as if she knows she can sing so she's become a bit lazy, or at least that's how it comes across as she has no performing skills. I think she should be heard and not seen. 


Song two is Satisfaction. We are led to believe that Rebecca is learning some choreography and 'performing' for this number in the VT, but what this translates to is her standing still waggling her finger with two overly-jiggly girls either side of her. As Twitter, the voice of reason, collectively agreed - she took the sex out of this song. How, I do not know, because this song oozes sexiness, but she did. Ruined. 




Katie Weasel
Oh, the victim is back. The new look just screams psychologically damaged model to me - a little Winona Ryder in Girl, Interrupted even (also, Julia Roberts as Tinkerbell - seriously, that bugs me) - and if we have to hear that this is the 'real Katie' one more time... *scream*. I think the judges have a script to read for Katie's comments, only Dannii doesn't play ball; Louis and Simon seem to be trying too hard (wonder where they got that from?) to promote her and make people think they love her. Sorry guys, it isn't working. Song one was Sex on Fire, which aside from nan-jokes was absolutely terrible. She doesn't have a big voice, she can't control it, she tried to get the audience to 'woop' with her while we all fought the urge to kick the TV, hard. Yet another Weasel fail.


Song two is Everybody Hurts, and now I think we all do thanks to that performance. As my flatmate quite rightly said, all these people should have to sing bad songs so that we don't get as cross. Nothing about her singing style or performance is natural - it is all try-hard and just too much effort for her. If she isn't out in the double elimination, then I don't think anyone is actually voting and it's all just a game of Who Simon Likes. 




Matt Cardle
YES! Matt is back with a bang this week (still no hat though). I feel better about the vest incident knowing that originally there was a jacket involved over the top. We can forgive him for this. First up he was singing I Love Rock n Roll, yet another Britney classic eh? If anyone else did this it would probably be awful but Matt can pull it off. I didn't like (quelle surprise) all the dancers around him with their legs in the air... what is Brian Friedman up to this year? Has he turned straight or something?


Secondly Matt sang Knights in White Satin which I'm sure I should have heard of and probably lose all rights to comment for not knowing it, right? Anyway, it was Matt at his very best. Guitar, stool, voice. This is what I would want to see if he did a tour, none of this swaggering around the stage malarky - it doesn't suit him. He's back in the game this week and I think he should win for that last note alone. He didn't look too well though did he?




Tesco Mary
I do not understand the hype for Mary - other than being a genuinely nice person, quite a rarity on X Factor, I do not see the appeal. To start off she sang All I Want Is You, which is yet another Louis fail. She was a little less shouty for this song, but that is the only plus I can find. Image wise, it's all wrong too - with the silver hoop earrings and too much gel in her hair she looks like someone out of Shameless. She looks so much younger with her hair down, so it's weird that they never style it that way for the live shows. 


Oh lord help us. Mary is going to move for song two. Though, hats off to her, she does a better job of it than Rebecca doesn't she? Take note Ferguson, if you want to take baby steps towards performing, this mum-dancing is a start. Singing Brass in Pocket, Mary is back to her shouty self while doing little side steps that anyone can imagine their mum or perhaps gran doing. Aww. It's almost worth staying awake for. 


One Direction
These cocky kids think their main competition is Matt and Rebecca, the best singers in the competition. Still, it's probably true. One Direction singing rock is like getting the Andrex puppy to bite, it just can't happen. Which is why they sang Summer of '69 oh-so-sweetly and continued on their pop boyband way. Just to make it clear, I cannot stand the one who constantly wears a scarf (the one in red). Not that I like any of them really, but he bugs me the most. It also didn't sound live to me for the chorus - hope Simon isn't cheating?


Later on they came back for the snoozefest that was You Are So Beautiful. Very clever of Simon to give them a ballad because he knows the teenage girls across the country will be kissing the screen with yukky underage lust. It bothered me that only three of them seemed to sing for this one, and never together - bit odd for a band but still, it's X Factor and this isn't even a rock song so who am I to question it...



I am very pleased that two acts will be out this week, and am hoping for Katie and Wagner to be out so that  we  can be put out of our misery. This is unlikely though. I'd like Mary to go next as I find her very dull, and predict a One Direction, Rebecca and Matt final three - assuming Wagner's social network support doesn't work. I'd actually be fairly happy for either One Direction or Matt to win - though Matt is clearly the best and should take the prize - as it would be good to see a band win it for once, and funny because it will make Westlife look even older than they already do. 

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The X Factor: Live Show 7 Review

Posted by Judy Johnson On Monday, 22 November 2010 22:43 2 comments
It's a little late this week because I was busy getting out of the house. Unheard of, I know. I then tried to explain to my non-X Factor-watching friend that the show is actually good and does produce good singers. Problem is, I played some of the videos to her and found my argument weakening as I was making excuses for all of their fairly average voices! The truth is, the standard for me has dropped considerably this year; even my favourites (Matt and Aiden, poor guy) aren't actually as amazing as I thought they were - it's just all relative in that they are better than the likes of Wagner who share their stage. 

This thought is a bit depressing and probably ruins it for everyone but hey ho, we get what we're given and this week the amateurs battle it out with some Beatles songs. Which sounds about as fun as listening to Westlife's one hundredth cover album...

Matt
Let's start with a little fact about me: I like a man in a vest. The Bruce Willis, Matt Damon, action man style vest that says 'I have good arms, I'm tough, and could save the world with my little finger'. They make me swoon a bit. OK, a lot. Now here's another fact. Matt should never wear a vest, ever. He is not a vest man. This was a bad, bad, baaaaad decision that should render the decision-maker unemployed. He looked terrible. He also came out and growled 'Come Together' like a drunken chav (the 'chav' part is likely down to the vest). I did wonder if he might be taking the mick because he saw that lovely Aiden was booted out, so he's thought 'sod it' I'll do something ridiculous to prove this show is rubbish (I am still clinging onto this theory with hope). This week also failed horribly because sexy little wiggler Olly Murs from X Factor past sang this song with so much sexual energy he probably impregnated half of England. I hate myself for saying it but Matt, you've lost me. Try and get me back next week and wear the goddamn hat. 

Rebecca
Rebecca fans, avert your eyes. This girl has a lovely voice but my god it needs work. She really needs to get herself to a vocal coach and learn a trick or two, because though the raw quality of it is sweet and treacle-like to listen to, the wobbles are too much and I still don't think that changing notes of Yesterday altogether makes for 'your stamp' on a song. (Judge notes - Dannii is spot on this week, if we can forget - please let's forget - the Matt performance we just witnessed). Rebecca is also wearing some sort of jumpsuit that I do not like and is drippy as ever. NEXT!


One Direction
This week the toddlers are standing on a block to make them look taller. Singing All You Need is Love is a bit weird for these boys because whereas Simon commended Rebecca for believing in the words she sings, these little ones probably don't know what love is and are therefore jumping around on their little building blocks and singing it with as much conviction as fish would. Loving Dannii's comments this week - losing Aiden has woken her up a little. Still, One Direction are probably going to do well because boybands are very 'in' this season, and they can hold a tune as much as any of the others. Westlife, watch your backs...

Cher
Cher is singing Imagine, badly. I've realised that the reason she sounds a bit odd is because she doesn't open her mouth properly when she sings so it comes out very strained while looking like her jaw is stuck. Possibly the most dull performance ever, as I was watching the whole thing wondering if she might topple off the stairs to liven it up a bit. That song is so beautiful, it deserves a Leona-esque voice to do it justice (or, of course, they could just leave it well alone). Dannii liked it. She's off my Christmas card list. Also, why was Cher dressed as a doll? Her weakest week yet by far.

Katie Weasel
There are no words to describe how gutted I was when for some insane reason, the public had saved Katie and not Aiden last week. Un-be-lievable. Literally, I do not believe that to be true. But anyway, the girl is still in, sadly, and singing Help. Funnily enough, Miss Weasel, dying your hair does not make you unrecognisable and therefore I still dislike you, very much. Katie is another one who does actually have a nice tone to her voice but it's not enough - some notes are off, some are just too wobbly, and her try-hard attitude is just so wearing. Plus, we get it already - stop singing songs that are about helping you and saving you - there's nothing less attractive than desperation. 

Wagner
Watching Wagner makes me miss Fame Academy, which despite its name had real songwriters and real singers hoping to do what they love and taking it seriously. What is hilarious though is when we watch him having conversations with Louis, who he clearly cannot understand and doesn't have the time of day for since the bumbling Irish idiot still can't pronounce his act's name. Wagner sings a medley, again - can you imagine his album? It's going to be HOURS long because every song will be a mental medley. I hope he does a Mr Blobby number combined with Everybody Wants to be a Cat, finished with I Will Always Love You. He's the king of bad medleys, he'll wing it. Also, hated Cheryl's little rant - that was completely unnecessary, and if we're not to believe the press in regards to her little witches Cher and Katie then why believe the press about Wagner? I don't know what the truth behind it is, but Simon and Cheryl have clearly decided it's his time to go (probably rightly so) but are going about it very cattily. Someone needs to get them de-clawed.


Paije
Favourite to go out this week based on that thing called the Internet, dear Paije probably felt defeated already - but his was my best performance tonight. Let it Be was a great song choice for the lovely Paije, and I think he may just be my favourite (out of him, Matt, and Aiden... no one else matters) simply because his vocals are strong, smooth and consistent, and there have been no vest incidents (though he does wear some questionable jackets). Do I sound like Simon? Anyway. I feel his square Gerald-from-Hey-Arnold-hair is unnecessary but apart from that, he should have been an outright choice to go through to the shows and not a wildcard - remember Nicolo? No. Paije, you are a legend. I would buy your album. 

Mary
Last week it worked because Mary has a heart, according to Simon. I'm more distracted by her lungs to be honest because Tesco Mary is a shouter. This is my only problem with her - she has a strong (loud) voice and could be good but for some of the lyrics she just speaks them, particularly at the end of a line. Still, it was better than the past couple of weeks and it can't be easy working with Louis, who has also picked up the shouting vibe. Perhaps they are both going deaf in their old age? Mary will be safe for a while because all the mums are voting... I have resigned myself to that. Sigh.


Bottom two - it should have been Wagner and either Cher or even (I'm so, so, sorry husband) Matt this week. Of course, I am writing this a little late so we know Paije got the boot - which we knew would happen given that he was up against Cher. I feel that choosing to sing Stay again was very lazy on Cher's part - perhaps she hadn't even bothered to rehearse a sing-off song as she's convinced she's too cool. Paije's performance was pretty shakey but you can't blame him for that, and I was sad that Louis didn't keep him given that he forced the others to see him again at auditions. I look forward to his album, a few years down the line...
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Friendship and the City

Posted by Judy Johnson On Monday, 15 November 2010 00:42 2 comments
Sex and the City is brilliant, but I think they got the title all wrong (though I suppose theirs is more catchy). I've always been lucky to have some great friends around me. But moving to London for uni was tough to start with, as while a lot of my friends went to the same unis together, I was off on my own to a grotty area of south London that looked like the set of Crimewatch.

Five years on and obviously, I made a bunch of bloody brilliant friends at uni and am keeping them for life (shhh, don't tell them). And I also kept hold of another brilliant bunch from home, because they weren't getting rid of me that easily. But during that five years, I finished uni, was thrown back into singledom and everything changed.

When you're in a relationship you become so reliant on that one person or at least the knowledge that they are there if you need them, that you can lose sight of your friends and the fact that they are very much there too (apart from when he does something wrong and you go running straight to your mates for a moan).

So when suddenly you become single, it takes a while to train yourself into realising that though he's not there anymore, there are people you can reach out to. I couldn't have got through my break up without my best friends who were always at the end of the phone, in the next room or reading essay-long Facebook messages about how much it hurt. This is no easy job if you're the listener, especially if you have a few friends who have got the blues at the same time - not to mention your own problems - but the age old saying that men will come and go while friends are for life (or something like that!) is definitely true. It just takes time to get used to texting your best mate first when you feel sad, or when you have news - instead of calling the guy who's been on speed dial for four years.

Non-singles find it harder to understand, and I say this based on being one, once upon a time. I know so many people now (myself included) who find 'coupley' couples REALLY annoying... and yes, those people are all single. As soon as you're with someone, you tend to forget what it was like to be single, the feeling you'd get when someone told you something about your ex that you didn't want to hear, and what it was like to feel the odd one out because everyone else is loved up. Instead, you flaunt your new-found romance, casually mention something about your mate's ex without thinking, and smooch in public while your mates sit there feeling uncomfortable/jealous/lonely. 

My friends and I had this chat after a few bottles of wine and decided that for those of us who are single, we were all we had - none of us felt able to chat to our families about how lonely we sometimes felt, and with no boy to give us a hug we now need each other more than ever. So, to those of you who are living in singlesville - make your friends your priority. There's a reason Carrie had her best friends around her at all times.  And those of you in relationships - don't forget what it was like to be alone. Your one single friend might be in a room with a whole bunch of you, but they could be feeling completely isolated at the same time. Now, even if I do grow up to be a spinster with cats, at least I'll know I have friends who will listen, don't have four legs and can use a phone...


Image from Jezebel.com
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The X Factor: Live Show 6 Review

Posted by Judy Johnson On Sunday, 14 November 2010 16:53 0 comments
Last week the judges failed us yet again and kept Katie Weasel in, sending home poor little Treyc who has no identity (which apparently isn't as good as being known because you're hated). This week, it's time for them to offend Elton John a little more by making him the theme - oh Simon, you really shouldn't have. No, really. I wasn't looking forward to this week (not the biggest Elton fan) and can't see how they're going to make this work. The judges' new buzz word is 'thread' too, which is still annoying. Here goes...

Paije
They're all excited about Harry Potter and Paije was an extra in one of the films. I wouldn't know because I can't stand HP and haven't seen a single one, sorry Paije. You were probably the best thing in it. After last week's very good upbeat number, they've kept with it and given him Crocodile Rock to sing.  The judges hated it. I didn't really enjoy it either - he was singing about some girl called Susie and it all felt a little children's entertainment to me, but it's Paije and I like him. Plus, the 'you focus on your other acts' comment from the judges is getting boring... new criticism please?

Aiden
I can't help it, I love Aiden. He does a little nose-wrinkle thing which is unbelievably cute. Sorry, anyway... our little intense performer was on top of two pianos (tick) singing Rocket Man (er... tick??). I don't know the song too well but he seemed to nail it, and Simon was right about him having 'presence' (though he should NEVER say 'swagger' again) - he completely commands the stage and draws you in. Tick. Hopefully enough to keep him in - I do worry that other Cheryl-type muppets won't get him.

Mary
Tesco Mary was terrible last week. In my opinion she's not been that great since forever but people still seem to love her - it's SuBo all over again. Singing Can You Feel the Love Tonight was a mistake because it was a total snoozefest. I'm surprised the overly noisy audience didn't deafen us with a collective snore. Then again, it's hard to sleep when that racket is going on. Mary is one of those singers who is a bit too shouty and a bit too plain. Also, Dannii may not be the best singer in the world but she knows when something is in tune, so pipe down Louis. Meanwhile Simon said it worked because she has a heart, which to me is like saying you fancy someone because they are breathing, no?

Katie Weasel
It wasn't a bad dream, she really is still here. And she sang Saturday Night, which I'm sure thrilled Treyc wherever she is. I'll give her one thing - she looked better tonight, as she looked more like the (annoying) girl we met in the first audition, at which point I thought she was going to do a Madonna tribute act but at least she had a 'look'. Though I think they are probably just trying to get us to like her by making her seem down to earth. It's not going to work thanks to the media attention and the fact she can't sing though, so she may as well be voted off now.  Please?

Matt Cardle
Sigh. He forgot to put the hat on again. My patience is running out a little on that one. He better wear it when he wins in the final or else there'll be trouble. Matt sang a lovely song that I haven't heard of (told you I'm not a fan) and, assuming that's the tune, he did a pretty damn amazing job. After last week he could sing Postman Pat and I'd still love him but he really does perform like someone who has been in the industry for a while. I would quite like him to do a song with less long, drawn out notes though - what with that and the barmy audience it can be a bit much sometimes.

Cher
Obviously Cher is special and couldn't possibly just sing one Elton John song, so they mixed it up in what is to be known the series of mash-up mania. The singing bit wasn't bad - apart from the close-up that reveals just how much makeup is plastered on her face. Seriously, this girl does not look 17 and will probably be on Botox by next year. I also dislike the facial expressions (all two of them) that she insists on doing as she sings - either she is scowling or she's trying to look sincere, but actually looks like she's spotted an audience member she wants to beat up. Simon reckons she isn't cocky so obviously wasn't paying attention to the VT where she yet again talked about winning the show. Humble as a mouse, this one. 

Wagner
He's still trying and Louis still can't pronounce his name. The irony wasn't lost on us that he sang I'm Still Standing, and then of course he had to make it a medley (he is Louis' act after all) with Circle of Life. Yes, I know that one, it's Disney. I'm not sure what was supposed to be happening behind him at this point because when I wasn't distracted by the awful singing, I was distracted by the terrible dancers that were grinding around him, but I think some woman was being lifted up in a hammock. I feel very sorry for Wagner these days and love that he grins through all the bad comments as if he's happier than ever. Maybe he is?

One Direction
If you don't already, you have GOT to be on Twitter when One Direction sing, if for no one else. Wand Erection as they are known by tweeps were busy drooling over Emma Watson this week and then chose a ballad complete with microphone stands to 'prove they can sing'. I have issues with these boys. Firstly, they are actual boys. None of them look a day over 12, and who wants to see 12 year olds sing? Not me. Curly is cocky but does have a lovely voice, Lee Ryan 2 looks like he's going to cry when it's not his turn to sing, and the one with what could be a growing-out bowl cut has the most annoying face that I can't get over it. No Simon, I don't think they will win... 

Rebecca
Rebecca is pretending she's concerned she might mess it up in the VT, which we all know is rubbish because no one has disliked her yet. Candle in the Wind is a very touching song so I guess they had to give it to someone who wouldn't ruin it. So why not give it to Matt? Sorry Rebecca but I don't think changing the tune is the same as making it your own. I do however like that she looks so classy, and then speaks and completely isn't. I know everyone loves her but she still has no oomph. Someone give her a red bull or something. 


Bottom two suggestions? I'd like to point out I was right last week, ahem, clap clap. I think time may be up for Wagner and Katie but that would be in a world where stuff makes sense - not X Factor. We shall see...

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X Factor: Live Show 5

Posted by Judy Johnson On Sunday, 7 November 2010 14:21 0 comments

Oh, what's the point? That seemed to be the feeling among a lot of the contestants last night as the fifth live show limped off to a terrible start, beginning the night as the most underwhelming show since Flashforward. It was like being back at week one again in terms of talent only without the excitement. Despite the grim faces, everyone kept saying 'I'm having the time of my life' tonight, so I assume they watched Dirty Dancing during the week for cheesy pointers. My highlight was (apart from Matt) when Wagner thanked the judges for being there as if they were doing it out of the kindness of their hearts. Bless you Wagner.

Cher Lloyd
ASBO girl is back! We heard she was going to kill - sorry - sing Empire State of Mind before last night but I have to say I expected more. They dressed her in something a twelve year old girl from Peckham might wear and sat her on top of a piano where she looked very uncomfortable, probably because the notes were a bit off and a bit too long for her. She seems more confident when she raps and others are on stage but all in all, I agreed with Simon - after last week, this was rubbish.

Tesco Mary

It had to happen sometime. Mary started by saying she's done 'pubs, clubs, dumps' - all right Mary, no need to go that far. Then she came on and tried to sing There You'll Be and it was terrible. It didn't suit her voice at all, the notes seemed flat and she sounded bored to tears (or perhaps just petrified at knowing how bad it sounded). I swear she even spoke a bit of it, rather than sang. Louis was seen clapping like a complete fruitcake while Mary looked like she was going to crumble on stage. Also, how annoying are the audience?

Katie Weasel
As if we haven't been punished enough already, it's Katie's turn next. And she's going to murder, with her bare vocal chords, one of my favourite songs:
Don't Speak by No Doubt. I assume this is based on the weak comment Simon made that she sounds like Gwen Stefani (she doesn't, and poor Gwen probably swore never to sing again after that comparison). We had to watch an awful video of her trying to act in the background, while on stage she looked, again, like a lost sheep whose head hadn't been sheared yet (the hair was bad). She was dressed like sexy Sandra Dee pulled through a bush backwards, and her husky-voice card can only be played so many times. She was also cocky enough to talk back to Simon, who then said she's not a whinger. Errrrm...

Aiden

Thank goodness for Aiden, I was beginning to lose the will to live. Lovely, intense, slightly scary but still hot Aiden came out next and sang Nothing Compares To You - an awesome song and he did it justice. They'd obviously told him to smile more because he kept throwing in a little grin, which was sweet but a bit weird for the song - but his vocal was amazing. Not sure why they felt the need to engulf him with flames halfway through the song though. Chezza has changed her mind after seeing that, actually, everyone loves him, and says 'she accepts' that the intense thing is 'his' thing. How gracious. And we accept that the try-hard ghetto Barbie thing is your thing, Cheryl. Carry on, won't you.

Paije

The show just gets better with Paije up next - maybe this was a smart move after all. Bore us at the beginning, let us get our dinner, then complete the show with all the goodies. Paije is so underestimated in this competition - he is consistent in his vocals and always performs well, and he's even sorted his clothes out and has a decent image. Singing
I'm a Believer and Hey Ya (mash ups are just so 2010), he kicked some energy into the show and even did a little Olly Murs wiggle. Love him.

Rebecca
So, I think they put Paije on before Rebecca as a little caffeine boost to keep us going. Her voice is so. slow. I. can't. stay. awake. If they could just put what Paije has in a bottle and forcefeed it to Rebecca, we'd be OK. Anyway, Rebecca's American anthem is Make You Feel My Love which is a very sweet song but it makes me snooze. Plus, wasn't it overdone in bootcamp or did I just watch too many repeats? I don't dislike Rebecca - she's my kind of singer, but I need more from my music than a voice. Wake me up when she's putting some oomph into it.

Wagner
Poor Wagner is complaining to Louis that he doesn't pronounce his name properly and Louis just looks at him blankly then carries on. What a good start.
Viva Las Vegas is the song of choice for Wagner tonight, not that it really matters. We all know what to expect by now. Bad styling, half naked women and out of tune singing... yes, that'll be Wagner. I still feel sorry for him and I thought Cheryl's whiney 'what can I say' moment was very rude. Meanwhile Simon liked it, much like when he changed his tune for Jedward, so we know it's not the end. Shame...

Matt

I believe I applaused at the television when this was on last night. Matt has now got star status after nailing
The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, a very high pitched, slow song which deserved the Matt treatment as he has the perfect range for it. He really looks like he means it when he's singing (probably because he is singing it to me) and everyone was standing for him by the time he'd finished. Tiny details - his trousers were weird and the hat is still missing. Is anyone actually looking for it?

Treyc

Treyc thinks it doesn't matter if she has an image, she just knows she can sing and that's enough. Treyc is wrong - otherwise why would Cher be there? Singing
Don't Want to Miss a Thing by Aerosmith, another favourite of mine, Treyc didn't do that great this week. The judges said it was flawless as a vocal but I thought it was slightly off in places and weaker than her usual performances. She did look stunning though so her image from now on should maybe be ballgown and ballads... Leona, look out! Sadly I think that's the path she's on, so my hope of her forming a feisty girl band isn't going to happen. Also, Simon said something about wanting a lion to bite you and not lick you... that was awkward.

One Direction

For some reason we were subjected to at least one of them wearing only boxer shorts in the VT... urgh. The cocky sods also reiterated that they want to win. Well, tough shizzle little boys because you can't. Can they? God I hope not. Singing Kids in America, badly, the Justin Bieber quintet prowled around the stage and all bent down a lot at the same time, kind of like they had synchronised stomach cramps. How the judges haven't noticed they can't sing is beyond me. Simon did look like a proud dad at the end though, which was quite cute. Until he said they were like sunshine on a beautiful day and we all threw up.


Who's out tonight? Based on the show it should be Mary, Katie or Wagner, but I think it will be Katie and Treyc in the bottom two - sorry Traik, but the image is fairly important. Though if that happens, Cruella de Vil should be evicted, obviously...
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X Factor: Live Show 4

Posted by Judy Johnson On Sunday, 31 October 2010 22:25 0 comments
Oh god, it's Halloween. You know what that means. A lot of fake lashes, bad makeup and bad songs where being scary is an excuse for being bad...

Tesco Mary
Could it be magic? No, probably not. Louis' idea of updating Mary to the 21st century is giving her a very old Take That song (not that it's not awesome - based on the video alone), but she still shouts it out as if she's on a theatre stage. Also, her dress did nothing for her (again) and the judges have already used their favourite word: 'class'. Shall we count how many times they say it?

Aiden
OK, let's start with the look - Aiden, enough with the makeup. You're starting to look less Johnny Depp, more Winona Ryder. Aesthetics aside, this was easily the creepiest performance of the night, though I'm sure we all expected that (I assume Katie will be singing Poor Unfortunate Souls from The Little Mermaid or something?). Choosing Thriller was either really stupid or really clever, but definitely brave. I loved that he made it his own and you know exactly who he is as an artist - and don't want to see him smile anymore because that's scarier than the intensity...

Belle Amie
Bearing in mind I watched this on catch up, I would like to say I only bothered watching this for the purpose of this blog. I'll try to stay awake. Easily, one of the worst song choices of all X Factor history - Venus was murdered (though it was half dead already) by the girl non-group. Who wasn't thinking of the razor advert? No one.  They should have stayed in those coffins or gone trick or treating instead. Personally, I think they should ditch the blonde - or 'the pretty one' who can't sing, as she likes to be known, and become a trio. The other three are less annoying and can sort of sing in tune so long as they don't have to dance at the same time. 

Rebecca
Little miss perfect up next, with a witch's hat on already in the VT, isn't she a good sport? Wicked Games was, to be fair, a genius song choice.... too genius perhaps - are they trying to make sure she wins? If she's not careful she'll be known as 'puppet hands' like lovely Diana Vickers was soon, as she seems to be glued to the spot whenever she performs (so yes, Simon, she is very much like the next Leona Lewis). Can't fault her voice though and she would actually be perfect if only she had a personality, but who cares because as they are all saying, she is CLASS. So, like everyone else then. Also, her earrings hurt my eyes.

Treyc
I keep thinking Treyc is in Louis' group because they make her seem so old. I think she'd be better off marketing herself as a Jamelia style, kitten-ish pop star, because at the moment she's just... Treyc with the good voice. Or, she could head up a new girlband a la Eternal. That would be fun. Anyway, she belted out Relight My Fire (Take That night, anyone?) and made us think she might dance but really only wiggled from side to side. Still, her voice wins every time and she looked pretty damn good. The most exciting thing of her performance was after when Simon and Cheryl had a tiff, and Simon agreed with Dannii. First time for everything...

Matt
I admit I cringed when I heard he was singing Bleeding Love, because it is true - Leona is pretty much the only person who can sing it. He didn't own it this week and it felt like he just wanted it to be over and done with. But his voice is still so enjoyable and he's the kind of artist I could listen to for hours on end, so he still gets my vote - and Simon praised him (yay!) and was right in saying that he never does karaoke, it's always pure Matt (swoon). Also, police - I'd like to report the hat is still missing. Getting quite distressed now.

Wagner
Wagner compared the X Factor to Hollywood. Then Brian said for the first time we really get to hear him singing this week. I nearly switched off there and then - the things I do for blogging, eh? His apparently 'operatic' number was supposed to show us how great he is but I didn't understand a word of it and was distracted by the bondage-wearers humping the floor. On the other hand, I feel so sorry for him being Louis' little puppet that he gets to play with each week (now that Storm's gone, double the fun) and worry that he really really wants this and we're all just laughing at him. Ouch. 

Paije
I adore Paije even more, if possible, after this week's performance. Back to Black was pure and utter genius (obviously, because it's Dannii) and just like Matt, he manages to turn it into his very own song that makes me want to press 'play' again. The cinema boy definitely stepped up his performing skills this week (but let's not give too much credit to Brian), but I don't think he's got the clothes right yet. What should he wear? I honestly don't know...

Katie Weasel
Sorry Aiden, I was wrong. This was the creepiest performance of the night because Katie has been turned into the White Witch a la Tilda Swinton, for an annoyingly bouncy version of Bewitched. This girl cannot dance and I think she should probably go into fashion instead, since she clearly likes playing with the dressing up box. Whatever she does, I'd rather she did it away from cameras because I am fed up of seeing her on my TV. Meow. 

One Direction
Do these guys not have colleges to go to or something? Time for the second non-band band of the night and One Direction are pouting already. It makes me feel a bit sick. The curly hair one only has one angry expression when he sings, the moody one has been practising his Lee Ryan face again, and the one with the sweepy hair is acceptable but either way, Total Eclipse of the Heart was NOT built for a wimpy boyband. Give it some welly for goodness' sake.

Cher
Shall we just call it the Cher Factor? Clearly they kept her 'til last because they knew everyone heard she was going for something completely different (what, no lamppost watering tonight?). But, I admit it - this performance was incredible. I absolutely love this Shakespeare's Sister song and was petrified she'd kill it (in a bad way, not a 'street' way) but she seriously pulled it off. She can't hold her notes for long like the other female vocalists can (no, not Katie) but I am impressed with her voice and would probably buy her album. She can be in the top three easily. Never thought I'd say that...


Given that I wrote this a little late I caught the results show already and yes, the voting public have redeemed themselves and Katie and Belle Amie had to battle it out. But then stupid Louis went to stupid deadlock which means we have to listen to Katie/Cruella de Vil/White Witch sing yet again... another reason to find Louis annoying, if you needed one.
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The X Factor: Live Show 3

Posted by Judy Johnson On Sunday, 24 October 2010 01:14 4 comments
This week I did X Factor sans Twitter. I KNOW. It was very tough. I was at my friend's house and had to be sociable. Though I'm not sure talking to the television is particularly sociable... thankfully, this is where I can vent. Feel free to join in...

Paije
I am totally on the same page as Paije.To sing Ain't Nobody was complete genius and we should all bow down at his and Dannii's feet. He still dresses like a pimp/Smartie but I love him. Wondering if he could be the sneaky winner, that would be fun. What have they done to his hair though? It's a bit tall. I'd quite like to see him get with three other soulful singers and recreate Boyz II Men.

John
Poor John. Is it just me or is he living in the wrong era? Watching him is like watching TOTP2. Enjoyable, but something you watch with your dad. His idea of commanding a stage is standing there waving his arms (and head, so annoying) around, though I guess you can't blame him. And yes the dancers were distracting because the camera wouldn't leave them alone. He's also been given somewhat Jedward-like hair.... hmmm. His days are numbered. Maybe he could join Paije for Boyz II Men the Second?

Rebecca
Dammit, Cheryl chose well for Rebecca this week. 'Why Don't You Do Right', made famous by the sexiest cartoon character ever, Ms Jessica Rabbit, was purrrrfect for Rebecca's voice. What was disappointing though was that they pre-empted it with talk of her performing a bit more, but she only tottered about two yards to the piano and back again. We wanted her to launch into the more recent Gramophonedzie version, that would have really knocked our stockings off.

Cher
Oh I want to hate her. I do hate her a bit. But I think she might be my guilty pleasure. It's like watching a chav that I went to school with getting to play dress-up on national television. She looks like a dog cocking its leg to water a lampost when she dances but she can, annoyingly, rap reasonably well. She looks very at home up there with those fat eyelashes that make her eyes disappear and her Cheryl-esque red tinged hair (which Rebecca also had....spare hair dye anyone?). Sulk. 

Matt Cardle
Swooooooon. Sorry, er, I mean, wasn't he good. Like really good. Lovely Matt brought out the guitar this week, but forgot to bring his hat (which I moaned about for roughly ten minutes). He looked far more himself with no penguin suit on, just a laid back look for a laid back guy - swoon again. Singing Britney's Hit Me Baby One More Time (better, it has to be said, than when my ex sang it to me once, avec guitar. True story.), we met Matt the musician. I like him, obviously. However, next time they go to Topshop, may I suggest he spends more time in the accessories section. 

One Direction
The five individuals who have to sing together are still not in my favourites list. And singing Nobody Knows is pushing it, boys. That song is too good for you (and as Dannii said, not a guilty pleasure). I do however have a soft spot for the curly one (I refuse to learn their names) and still despise the one who thinks he's Lee Ryan. Can someone tell them that's not a good thing?

Treyc
This week Treyc became a Rock Chick, as is compulsory in all X Factor lifetimes. She appeared to have pom-poms on her shoulders and had also dipped into Cheryl's hair dye, presumably in order to not feel left out. They said this was a big performance number, so I expected lots of dancing. But she mainly stood there belting out the tune until the cringeworthy moment when she had to get down on her knees while not flashing pants, breaking her knees or twisting her ankle in her heels. Round of applause for getting back up again without doing herself an injury. 


Mary
All together now... cheat! Cheat! Mary cheated! Miss Mary sang a song that we have heard her sing before. This is cheeky. And boring. I could hardly stay awake, sorry Tesco. We spent the time during her performance deciding whether she had a bra on or in fact had nipple-less boobs, and discovering that my friend owns the same earrings. Then the judges started talking and when Dannii asked for a more recent song choice, Mary basically said she can't do current stuff, which kinda kills the hope of winning. 

Aiden
This little Johnny Depp lookylikey had some damage control to do and I'm not sure he pulled it off. I feel so nervous watching him that it's not really enjoyable. Next week, I will watch with my eyes closed, as what with his twitchy awkward performance and him doing it on that platform, I was scared he was going to jump off throughout his (very good) rendition of Diamonds are Forever. Oh god, and when he spoke to Dermot and did his 'moves'? I stopped fancying him right there. 

Belle Amie
They're like The Saturdays aren't they? Only they're more like The Tuesdays because everyone hates a Tuesday. Most boring song choice ever, they sang I'll Stand By You in a way that allowed all of them to sing on their own as much as possible. Further evidence that they are the least group-like group ever. Likely to leave this week. 

Wagner
Ricky Martin must be making money out of this guy, surely? Livin' La Vida Loca, for some unknown reason, was mixed with Spice Up Your Life (though glad Spice got into the show!) for this face-palm causing performance. Sorry Wagner lovers, but I think this burst the bubble a bit as he didn't seem to even try singing properly. He also wore a very bright vest which wouldn't be deemed good enough for a fishing net let alone to wear. The judges comments were awkward, particularly when he did a little jig. Risky. 

Katie
Well, you can't say Katie isn't trying. Weirdest song choice of the night came from the girl with roots that everyone loves to hate, who sang King of the Swingers. No, really. She's clearly not a dancer, so having to see her potter around the stage in her heels was a little painful, but I have to say (with gritted teeth) that she pulled it off, despite looking like a cross between Marilyn Monroe and Big Bird.


So, the boys all seemed to have Jedward hair (except for One Direction, who have hair that must sweep a certain way or else you're fired), the girls all got the Cheryl treatment (except for Katie, disappointingly) and the dancers are more randy than ever. My predictions - John, Wagner and Belle Amie are not safe...

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The X Factor: Live Show 2

Posted by Judy Johnson On Sunday, 17 October 2010 22:02 2 comments
Just as Big Brother made Friday nights in more bearable (well, every night in, actually... that show was on a lot), we can now not feel so bad about turning down the chance of drinking into the early hours in a bar somewhere on a Saturday because instead we can shout at our television for over two hours while enjoying a cup of tea. Thank you, X Factor. 

Live show number two was a little less exciting because the hatred for Cher and Katie is already old news... until they sing of course, and then we remember why we want to tear their hair out and hit them with a microphone. A lot of wobbly performances, a wardrobe malfunction and more... it must be 'heroes' week...

Storm Lee
Oh no, not again. As my tweet at the time said, he looked like he'd been raped by a glitter ball. And still the pink hair... why? It does nothing for that pasty face of his. His performance wasn't too bad - he sounds a bit like a weaker, less cool Bryan Adams - but, it's not working. 

Treyc Cohen
I'd like to point out that my dad's comments on Treyc were 'She should really have had that dress made in a different fabric. The quilted look makes her look very fat.' Thanks, Dad. 
Dress aside, Treyc was amazing. She clearly has the strongest voice in the competition - which would have won it for her a few years ago, but nowadays it's all about image and she's lacking one. 

Paije
I still don't get the dress sense but I don't care. Paije is cool. His voice was a bit shaky but he chose a very hard song to sing and as Simon said, he's like 'sunshine' so it doesn't matter. The only thing I'm not sure about is the way he performs - it seems too old for him and a little bit camp. Don't pout Paije, you're cute enough. 

One Direction
Sigh. One Dimensional more like. The problem with putting the band together (and the same for Belle Amie) is that they all act like individuals. If the camera goes to just one of their faces, you'd think they were singing alone, complete with dramatic and cliched moves and facial expressions.

Cher
The chavvy mini Cheryl still can't speak properly (has she got all her teeth?) but is still trying to rap. To be fair to her, she can rap better than she sings. I'd quite like to see her come out and try to do an Eminem song just to see if she can still do that awful gorilla-like crooked leg lift at the same time. She's only 17 - can they calm her down a bit, remove some of that terrible make up and take away her MASSIVE ego? Then I might like her...

John
He's a bit Stevie Wonder-esque in his head wiggling, is John. And so, so nasal. I was surprised when the judges gave him good comments; I still think he's lacking in charisma and needs to stop grinning at us as he sings. It's creepy. 

Diva Fever
I normally hate duos unless it's a Twix but I really enjoy these two. They're more camp than Louis (that's saying something) and always look ridiculous, but they belt out their lyrics with such enthusiasm, hating them would be like hating a pair of cute toddlers giggling - impossible. You have to laugh along with them. Possibly while wearing sunglasses. 

Rebecca
For some reason I'm convinced this girl is called Rachel - I cannot remember her name still (see previous post). However, she does have a lovely Macy Gray/Sade-esque voice which, as Cheryl said, is instantly recognisable as being hers - which is a pretty good talent to have. Her dress though, which looked like a blackcurrant going scuba diving, was bloody awful. 

Aiden
The one most people were talking about last night, Aiden messed up. His John Lennon song was all a bit much for him and his awkward, nervous, shaky performance style from last week was still there, only this time it didn't suit the song. He also sounds a bit like Placebo. This is a good thing. But bad comments from the judges left him saying 'It was a bit rubbish' - at which point I wanted to run on and give him a hug (tricky to do from my living room) - but he's still got a great voice when he controls it, and is getting cuter by the second. His suit didn't look too good though - a few people agreed with my tweet that he looked like a guy who had just got drunk at a wedding and wandered off singing.

Wagner
Watching Wagner is like when you're on holiday and the guy in charge of the restaurant you're eating at decides to start singing. Or like watching the hotel's entertainment show. It's painful. I feel a bit sad that he seems to be the joke of the show. And the dancers are still rubbing themselves - it's not good. But, it's got Louis written all over it. So let's blame him instead.

Katie
Yep, we still hate her. Despite the judges begging us to give her another go, she's still an arrogant little so and so with bad roots. She did do well in the sing-off last week - well, it was only the second time we'd heard her sing, what with all her failed auditions - so it came as a bit of a surprise that she has a voice in there. But I still can't like her, or think she deserves a place in these finals. Gerroff my telly, blondie.

Belle Amie
The clips for this so-called group pre-performance were embarrassing - with the blonde one claiming she didn't want to be the 'pretty' one who doesn't sing (they were all arguing over who gets to do a solo bit). If I were you girls, I wouldn't want to do a solo bit - you weren't good enough on your own, remember? Oh, and one had a wardobe malfunction. She didn't hide it well, doing the oh-so-classy 'must keep my bra up' move.

Mary
Tesco's Finest was less shouty this week, but she is starting to remind me of Miss Trunchball from Matilda all the same. She'll be safe for a while though. I don't dislike her, but she really would have got a record deal without even being on these shows thanks to the hype she had in auditions and bootcamp. Snore.

Matt
MATT'S HAT IS MISSING. But that was my only issue. Talk about saving the best 'til last -  I am ashamed to say I didn't know the song (Just the Way You Are by Bruno Mars, I am now informed) but I've had it on repeat on Spotify since I found out. There's something very cool and individual about Matt and I love him. But I love him more with a hat on (though this is true of all men I like). My only other teeny weeny criticism is that I would quite like to see him with a proper band behind him, after seeing clips of him in a band when he was younger - it suits him somehow.


The Results
It was another double elimination, with Storm getting chucked out straight away while Belle Amie and Diva Fever battled it out. Obviously, Diva Fever left because they are a duo and not as press-grabbing as the cringeworthy Jedward. What's the stylist going to do with all the left over glitter? I vote they put it on Cher and dress her like a girly girl. That'd piss her off.
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The X Factor: First Live Show

Posted by Judy Johnson On Sunday, 10 October 2010 17:56 4 comments
I'm not a bitchy person, honest. I just really like television/entertainment programmes/music and am thinking that what we really need is 'The Judge Factor' so that we can vote for and elect judges who will do more than just try and create buzz in the press... sigh. That said, I still love Dannii Minogue.

Since I'm not a close friend of Simon Cowell's and that probably won't happen, it's on with the show and my first ever X Factor blog post. The first live show kicked off last night, and having just watched it online I had to write about it... or else lose all of my Twitter followers and Facebook friends with incessant delayed-reaction status updates.

I'll try to be brief. I miss the days of Pop Idol where all they had to do was stand there and sing in the spotlight, with maybe the odd side step and air grab thrown in for good measure. Now it's all gone a bit Gaga (more on Katie later) and everyone has to have weird dancers and silly props to distract you from the fact that some of them can't actually sing. The judges have a new buzz-phrase of 'S/he is making a point tonight, they have a point to make, they have to really make their point....' just in case we needed reminding that they chose mostly wrong people to go through. But it's ok, because all the judges had a wildcard and picked decent acts to bring back (well, apart from Louis, but it's to be expected).

So... I was cringeing, my jaw comically dropped and stayed there for a good five minutes at one point, and I already want to see tonight's show. Here's what happened on live show number one...

F.Y.D

The boyband which was not created by Simon's ego started off the show. On first look I was disappointed... they were way too grin-ny, the one with the punk haircut sounds a bit like a (bad) Boy George and in general they annoyed me. But, on second watch the song really suited them and they looked fairly comfortable up there. Plus, at least they're a real group who have known each other for more than five minutes, right?

Matt Cardle

Ok, ok - I'm biased because I've loved this guy since day dot, but Matt done good. This one can sing, you see. He did a great rendition of When Love Takes Over - not something I'd expect him to sing and he nailed it. He didn't have twenty dancers behind him either, as he doesn't need it... my only issue was that I was begging him to put the microphone stand down, as he was hanging onto it for dear life, but I imagine we can blame Brian for that one. Oh, and he had his hat on. Good lad. 

John Adeleye

I had high hopes for this one, having decided I don't really like anyone other than Matt. It's about time we had a good soulful voice from someone a little bit cool (sorry Andy Abraham) and despite being in the over the hill category I thought John could do well. Enter, Louis. He chose One Sweet Day and it was so cheesy, obvious and boring that I'm surprised poor John didn't yawn his way through it. He needs to be cool rather than sickly, and the pretty nasal vocals didn't help. 

Rebecca Ferguson

I keep struggling to remember this girl's name... couldn't she have changed it to something more star-like? Anyhoo, Rebecca does have a memorable, dusty, syrupy voice that probably deserves to be in the live shows. She sang pretty well but she should slap the stylist for making her look about 80 and needs to learn to own a stage. She looks like she's meant to have two band mates with her to take a share of the spotlight, and it's a bit annoying to watch.Oh, and she seems to find the floor fascinating. 

Storm Lee

I don't really have an opinion on this Storm guy... he's in Louis' group so is there any point? That said, the song suited him, his voice is quite good and he would have been fine if he hadn't been spray painted and dressed up like a Barbie doll. It was so camp and try-hard, all I felt was sorry for the guy. I hope he's old enough to stand up for himself and get the image sorted before next week. He's been humiliated enough, no?

Belle Amie

The 'created' girl group were dressed a bit oddly in my opinion but were blessed with a song that everyone likes right now (Airplanes) so they could yell 'WE'RE CURRENT! WE'RE SO NOW!' without actually yelling it. The arrangement was a bit off but I think they 'made their point' enough to stay a little longer, and could work well if they don't want to scratch each other's eyes out.

Cher Lloyd

Oh, Cher. Cher-yl. Look at that. They're practically the same. Except that Cheryl tries to be gangster while also selling hair products and maintaining a squeaky clean image, whereas Cher sings a bit like she's on crack and looks like she could be about to topple over from the weight of her eyelashes at any minute. Blaming tonsilitis isn't really good enough to explain why she oh-so-failed at judge's houses, but anyway, that's all in the past. And press. Last night she had a point to make too, and she may have pulled it off... only votes will tell. Cheryl's all excited because she's got someone who can rap and look a bit 'street' (everything she wants but can't do). But all I see is someone out of their depth who has one single bony-hipped dance move. She also can't speak properly - odd considering she can rap.


Diva Fever

These guys are so sweet. I can't stand duos. But they are sweet. In all their neon-campness, they can sing a bit too. But their performance was a lot like something Louis would put together after eating a special brownie. All bright colours, most of the vocals from one of them (presumably because the other was blinded by all the colour) and a few giggles. But this from Simon? I think he's just playing with them like a kid with dolls because he doesn't see them going far. 

Paije Richardson

My favourite comeback kid, Paije's performance of Killing Me Softly was as good as we all expected. His jacket was hideous but apart from that, he's winning material. I think he'd do better over on American Idol though... they seem to love this kind of artist and appreciate them much more than here in the boring pop-loving UK. I'd love a Paije/Matt final, but it probably won't happen.


Katie Waissel

Worst performance of the night, easily. Not just because I'm biased and think along with the rest of the world that she shouldn't be there in the first place, but because she is not the star she thinks she is and also looked like Cruella de Vil. I 'get' Simon's comment of likening her to Cyndi Lauper, but her 'quirky' look (i.e looking like someone who frequents Shoreditch high street) was pushed, er, a bit far. Like Gaga far. It was embarrassing, she looked awful, the keyboard stuff was awful, and the whole thing was ridiculous, which sums up every performance she's ever done on the X Factor. I hope she's put out of her misery (and us too) by leaving tonight.

Mary Byrne

The token 'super normal' act, Tesco Mary has got a huge following already so I won't moan. Much. I do like our Mary, but really, what's going to happen? If she wins, she'll have an album of covers and all the mums will be happy. Great. But I want fresh talent, something different, someone who brings something really individual or at least something that fills a gap in the market. Personally I think Mary would do fab as the next Jane McDonald (that's not an insult, I love Jane) on the cruises, but if Top of the Pops were still around I wouldn't want her on it. Sorry. But she should definitely keep singing... just not on television, much.

Nicolo Festa

I don't get it. I really don't understand where this guy is coming from or why he was put through, other than for being memorable as a weirdo. I adore Dannii but this year I think her mummy brain might have made her make some booboos. He's very aloof, doesn't have a memorable look and I don't understand how he can make anything 'his own' as Dannii says because I don't understand what 'his own' is. Giving him a Gaga song was not wise, though it did help him scream 'European' in case we hadn't got that already. His voice isn't really there (or at least last night it wasn't) and he looked completely wrong doing choreographed moves... though I'm not sure what he should be doing instead other than pouting. 

One Direction

The teenyboppers. I'm sure if I was in school I'd feel different but these guys are just... no. What's with the one in the leather who looked angry throughout? And the terrible dance moves that looked like they were being shocked via mini vibrators? There was a mixture of dad dancing, nervous twitching and drama-school faces in there, and I didn't like it. They do look right as a band, well done Simon etc etc, but that's sort of where it ends. I think they should have said, 'You're a band now - now come back next year and audition when you know each other and have grown some face fluff'. Then they could have come up with a better name too.

Wagner

So good he only has a first name? Or... not. I assume Wagner was put through purely for comedy value - I missed his first audition so don't know if he ever wowed us, but the only thing that wowed me was the fact that they were allowed to have female dancers rubbing their own boobs and bums like cheap porn, at - what? 8pm on a Saturday night? Oh dear. If that's what he needs for us to think he's a keeper, then... fail. 

Aiden Grimshaw

I was anti-Aiden until today, when I finally saw what everyone was on about. I think it was the hair that distracted me before. This little boy can sing rather well, and the vulnerable look he's working could, well, work for him. He's a bit like Joe McElderry but with an edge, and an evil rather than angelic smile. I might like him. His nervy, shakey style suited Mad World, but I couldn't tell whether it was part of the act or if he was just shaking with nerves. Either way it was a bit awkward to watch (Dannii looked petrified) but the voice made up for it. Final three please.

Treyc Cohen

Finally, someone a bit normal. Treyc has the voice, a rather large but pert (so she's ok) bottom and a hard time ahead to compete with the press-attention-grabbers Katie and Cher who are alongside her in Cheryl's group. I quite enjoyed that she openly said when the others found out about the wildcard they didn't seem best pleased, and the clip of her talking to a worried Katie made me cackle. I think they tried to give her Tina Turner hair which wasn't necessary but One was a perfect song choice and despite what Simon said I think she's got an ok look. He's probably just not used to seeing people with curves, being next to Cheryl and all. I think Treyc is this year's Alexandra Burke: she'll be consistent throughout and may be the one to watch, in the background while everyone else is having diva moments. 


Obviously, everyone has their own opinions (please do comment with yours) and these are just mine... it depends what you want from the show. Personally I love a big voice from someone who can perform whether it's sitting on the floor next to someone with a guitar or while being catapaulted in from a different studio... so long as it suits their own style. To be honest, I'm more excited about Usher being on the show tonight than who's to go out in the double elemination...


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