Well, last week was dramatic with a capital ‘D’ wasn’t it!? With Big Band Week being ditched for good and Rock Week being replaced with a more *ahem* genre-specific “American Anthems” week, thought were already exploding in my head about ther song choices.
Song choices are fun because the mentor should give their act the kind of song they can – and would want – sing with the utmost conviction and credibility, so when we learned that yet again half of the acts didn’t have American Anthems (namely One Direction, but they’ve got Simon as a mentor, and rules mean nothing to him), I’ve finally come to the conclusion next week’s theme should be “X Factor Eats Itself” and the contestants should perform the classics ‘Please Don’t Let Me Go’, ‘Start Without You’, ‘My Wicked Heart’ and ‘If That’s OK With U’, to name a few. They’d nail it.
But then again. What comes into your head when you think ‘American Anthems’? I see Bruce Springsteen/Aerosmith/Bryan Adams, not Kim Wilde, Prince/Sinéad O’Connor, and Bob Dylan (he’s not really the anthem-y type). Oh well, I suppose they can;t really go wrong with next week’s theme: Elton John Week. Oooh, that’s gotta hurt.
Anyhoo, flaws were in abundance in Judgeland once more, namely in Dannii’s dress but the less said about that, the better. And I know that the Judge’s are there to give feedback but recently they’ve become as entertaining (or more so in Cher Lloyd’s case) as the acts themselves, and most worrying, is that I’m now beginning to fear for the male Judges’ mental health, with Simon quipping that “If you’ve got a lion, you want it to bite you, not lick you”. REALLY!? Why would you have a lion in the first place m’dear? And then Louis goes harping on about how Paije reminds him of a “young Lenny Henry” and how Wagner is still “the most fun we’ve had”. Clearly he’s never been to Butlins, I mean, seriously, I need sedatives if I go there. I doubt he’s find Wagner half as funny is Tesco Mary got the boot and he was his only act left.
Although, what I found particularly funny is that the show (see: Simon and Louis) always seems to neglect to mention that it isn’t him being “the most fun we’ve had” that saves him every week, it’s Facebook. The reason obviously being that Simon wouldn’t want to give the impression the show can be so easily manipulated, and another thing I’ve noticed is that he’s beginning to at least pretend that he likes Wagner, so he doesn’t look like a complete sour grape when he finds out he has to sign him. No, I mean seriously, just LOOK at Simon’s grinning on last Saturday during Wagner’s “performance”; grinning like a Cheshire Cat he was. Or maybe that was Wagner’s booby dancers again? I bet he enjoyed their can-canning.
Oh look at that. I’ve spent so long chatting about the judge’s I’d almost forgotten this high-profile high-integrity- (images of Katie on the floor pop into one’s mind) er… yeah, we’re moving onto the acts anyway.
*Peter Dickinson voice*
Hmm, back to the rapping I see. This time I seriously doubt her mentality. Why, if given the choice, would you try to ever take on an Alicia Keys song? She starts off alright, with an obligatory gangsta backing dancer in plain sight pretending to play the piano. She just about convinces on the chorus but it still sounds like a poorly funded school’s annual “Talent” Contest, but then… Oh God THEN, she comes out with her rapping. The schtick has well and truly worn off now, and when she raps she comes across as a four year-old girl trying to put together a sentence, whilst tripping over her own tongue as she tries not to suffocate with the fast pace of the lyrics. Theatrics are a-plenty, she takes a ride on a tricycle for about ten feet, then does the wobbly thing well ‘ard people do, and finito. Obviously Cheryl dies with joy at the sight of Cher on stage but Simon and Dannii are more “on the money” with their comments, realising she’s becoming a little less original each week.
Up next is Ireland’s and all large supermarket brand’s favourite, Tesco Mary. Earlier in the week it was reported that Wagner walked in her whilst she wasn’t wearing all that much and the result of said experience was locking herself in her room and refusing to come out. I feel the nerves showed massively. She sounded like she couldn’t get the key right for the most part, and that trembling vibrato she suddenly picked up clearly wasn’t intentional. All in all, last week was an improvement but this week the wheels have well and truly fallen of the Tesco Mary bus. Let’s just hope there’s a spare wheel-jack nearby.
And here comes Katie, demonstrating why you should never listen to what the Judge’s say because performing a No Doubt song was easily one of the worst decisions the show has made. I’ve thought from the moment I saw her that ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ would’ve been brilliant for her, instead Aiden got it.
She didn’t help her cause either, as she was speaking to Dermot like she’d already been voted off. If all else fails, she can still say she’s got herself a music vide (the rather cheap looking one in the back of her performance that would’ve suited Halloween night better).
And whilst Aiden is in our minds, his rendition of PRINCE’s ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ (note: NOT Sinéad O’Connor’s) was actually, rather fantastic. It was nothing on Irish-born O’Connor’s version, but she’s not American looks like The X Factor used “Prince wrote it” as the loophole (one of very many on the night’s song choices). Sure I could use Louis’ staple right now and say “he made it his own”, but what was best about it was the fact his tomes actually suited the song, although surrounding him in fire probably gave every child in the country nightmares.
Round about now is when the show gets a little more than tedious, because Paije is about to grace the stage with his funny hair and fashion sense more distracting than Katie Waissel on a trip. But actually, he’s quite a surprise this week, managing to perform a medley of The Monkee’s ‘I’m A Believer’ and Outkast’s ‘Hey Ya’ and being completely engaging and enjoyable throughout. Still, neither songs are American Anthems in the slightest form of the phrase and his backing dancers were completely barmy.
And round about now in the show is when Gamu Nenghu should feel a little more than slightly betrayed, as once again The X Factor uses ‘Make You Feel My Love’ and pushes it back up the singles chart despite her media debacle when she sung it first. None-the less, Rebecca’s vocal was flawless, and it is nice to see (and hear) her actually talk to Dermot at the end of her performance with some confidence now. That said, I do spy a little Leona – she even has the same hand gesture when she sings. *waves*
Now, grab your children and run for the Anderson shelter because the Brazilian bombshell Wagner Carrilho and his booby dancers have been let loose with not one, but TWO Elvis songs! He murdered both and painfully missed the high note on ‘Viva Las Vegas’, and like Cher, the theatrics were pasted on more liberally than Paddington Bear’s marmalade, including a random Minister who looked more awkwardly out of place than Dannii’s half-dress, half-bow thing she had going on.
Do you really think Louis has told Wagner about the Facebook campaigns or is Wagner just a bit of a refusenik who fails to realise?
Moving swiftly on the Matt in the Hat, and he’s on top form, absolutely stunning, though, in the words of Perez Hilton, he needs to fire his stylist ASAP people!
Lastly, and more ways than one, least, One Direction. And Simon is still being as ignorant of the rules he clearly sets out every week as he is arrogant. As Louis kindly pointed out, in one of the few things he said on the night that made cohesive sense, Kim Wilde is a London-born singer who had a British hit with ‘Kids In America’, and didn’t even dent the American charts. It should’ve been expected though, this was coming from the guy who though an eclipse was something exclusively Halloween-related.
And don’t get me started on the actual performance, I mean seriously, it was a set-up even Same Difference would flinch and cringe at, and with Harry doing his microphone punchy thing again the whole thing just seemed like a bunch of mis-co-ordinated Justin Boobface wannabes gurning at the audience whilst singing tuneless a song sung by Kim from Chiswick.
A “joke”, is the word for that, ladies and gents. In fact, y’know what? Sod it. *Sits on floor*
Best Performance: Matt Cardle
Best Song Choice: Aiden Grimshaw – ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’
Worst Song Choice: One Direction – ‘Kids In America’
Best Vocal: Matt Cardle
Biggest Improvement: Paije Richardson
Most Boring: Katie Waissel
Biggest Gimmick: Katie’s video whilst she performed ‘Don’t Speak’
Resting On A Plateau: Tesco Mary
Who I Wanted To Leave: Wagner Carrilho
Who I Thought Would Leave: Katie Waissel