‘The X Factor’, Week 6 Review

I know you all hate him here, but I love him s here’s my piece on aiden Grimshaw’s departure:

X Factor just lost it’s most real contestant since it’s inception. Aiden, I’ll buy you that beer. You were the most hardworking contestant with the most unique voice. But we should know by now, someone unique will never win The X Factor: Simon wants a tasteless, unoriginal copy of a greater popstar than anything his show will ever produce, just so he can sell a couple of million records while they’re hot. Don’t waste your time Aiden, get out there and get writing and recording. One thing is for sure: it’s going to be plastic, 2-dimentional pub singers and puppets from here on out for that vile exploitation of glorified karaoke.

Wagner all the fucking way, and take that up your pipe Simon fucking Cowell.

Well, now that that’s out of my system, I’ll start with Saturday night’s performances, then?

Well, I took the X Factor for a lot of things – namely trashy Saturday night entertainment that I only watch because I’m to young to go out drinking and clubbing but you get my jist – but I never took it for something that would be so back-stabbingly self-confident that it would theme a week around Elton John, a man who, not two weeks ago, slammed the show for producing “brain-crippling, mind-numbing rubbish”, which prompted Simon to mount his high horse and challenging Elton to say that Rebecca wasn’t talented.

Well considering Elton is a performer as well as good singer and Rebecca is just a good club singer, I’m with Elton on this one.

And with it being the week of the pop legend that is Elton John, the song choices are bound to conform aren’t they? Wrong. Cher Lloyd only had to go and interject a bit of Eminem into ‘Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word’ didn’t she? But even so, now that most of the dish-dash has been given the boot (glares at Wagner) it should be a decent night of glorified karaoke, if X Factor would care to get someone to sort out that stupid sound system; you could barely hear the acts over their backing tracks this week, and the choirs, which are making their first regular appearances. Oddly enough, everything seemed to miraculously fix itself by the time One Direction popped up, only to go all distant and echoey once again for Rebecca Ferguson.

Anyway, here’s the show starting, Peter Dickinson going all dramatic-like to the backing of ‘O Fortuna’ yada, yada, and OH! The Judge’s finally enter stage to a song that isn’t Katy Perry’s ‘Firework’! They choose ‘The Bitch Is Back’ (Oh God, don’t tell The Mirror, whatever you do). Which judge is the song referring to, hmm? Considering the backlash Cheryl got for not voting for either Katie or TreyC, she’s probably the one on everyone’s mind; she’s got to be on best behaviour tonight and tomorrow, but it’s interesting to note that Simon didn’t half this stick when he abstained from voting between Diva Fever and Belle Amie on Week 2.

Back in Judgeland, Dannii’s hair looks ‘nice’ and Louis seriously isn’t behaving. Just what is the man smoking? Sure it makes for good television but listen to these hand-picked quotes from last night’s episode:

(To Paije) “You’re like a little Luther Vandross”

As Simon pointed out, how do you go from Lenny Henry one week, to Luther Vandross the next?

(To Wagner) “You remind me of a young Elton” 

Oh my God, I think we just lost another pop great. Someone get the defibrillators for Elton! Now!

(To Rebecca) “I’ve got to know you very well backstage”


*Ahem* Now that Louis’ judge-y foibles are out of the way, shall we crack on to the first act? Yes, let’s. It’s Paije “Official Harry Potter Cast Member Not Good Enough For A Named Role But I’ll Mention It Anyway” Richardson, singing on of my favourite Elton songs ever: ‘Crocodile Rock’. He was alright, he’s definitely finding his stride in the faster pop songs, but as even he knows by now: at the stage in the game, being “alright” is the kind of standard that just paves the way for acts like Rebecca, Aiden and Matt to trample all over you. I’m beginning to like him, but can you, in all honesty, see him winning the series? I doubt it.

Oh look, interval time. And on that note, what’s an ad for Woolworths doing during the X Factor break!? Aren’t these slots supposed to cost over £200,000 now? Actually… all the adverts in tonight’s intervals seem conveniently placed. First, there was the Woolworths ad, then there was the new Christmas 2010 John Lewis ad, which features Ellie Goulding’s new single, which is a cover of Elton’s ‘Your Song’, and then, there was an ad for a Greatest Hits album for the man himself once the show ended, which played songs that were just sung on the X Factor show. Coincidental? I think not. Mind you, I have no quarrel with the John Lewis ad being included. At all.

Ah, now it’s time for Aiden “Don’t Let Him Near The Knife Drawer” Grimshaw to shine. And shine he does. He actually moved away from the mic, by about five feet, but he was absolutely amazing. Over the ridiculous amount of reverberation in the auditorium, his voice was very well-tuned and a lot more powerful than it has been, and I love his interpretation of ‘Rocket Man’, another favourite of mine. Unfortunately, he didn’t impress enough, as he was kicked out in what was, for me, the most shocking X Factor elimination in the show’s history. Katie’s obviously blowing Simon to get his vote every week.

Oh Lord, the sound system is getting worse. Even Tesco Mary had a hard time being heard over her invisible choir as she sang ‘Can You Feel The Love Tonight’. Her performance was a spectacular return to form and easily one of her best performances so far. My only worry with Mary this late in the game is that now we’ve seen what she can do: Sing. A she does it well. But other than that, is there anything else to be learnt from her? Can we expect any surprises anymore now that we all know she has a voice that could call down the Heavens? I hope so, because my patriotism is forcing me to love her, regardless of her performances.

Okay, so by now, the sound system is well and truly fucked, and as a consequence, Katie was barely audible. All I could hear was the backing track and the occasional “1, 2, 3, 4!” from her tiny voice. That and the fact my oh-so-clever neighbour thinks it’s a good idea to send some fireworks up round about now. I agree with what Dannii said about her performance: she’s a raw, soulful singer, with a sweet ringing vulnerability to her voice. She needs to drop the theatrics, strip it all back; the wigs (or big hair, I’ve no idea), the costumes, the dancers, the lights, and just sing. She lost all her soulful qualities with ‘Saturday Night’s Alright (For Fighting)’. What a scandal that Aiden got kicked out.

Ah yes, now it’s Matt’s turn, all the ladies were taking to Twitter and Facebook in a frenzy of oestrogen-fuelled hot flushes as he almost gave the impression he was about to take his jacket off. Soz, gals, it’s staying on as he sings ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’.

Everyone say it with Louis now! “You… are… a real… singer…”, and he was right, because Matt’s vocals were once again on top form and, complete with some A-Grade stage wandering and that pointy hand thing he does when he uses his falsetto, his was the performance of the night so far; he’s up there with Mary and Aiden for me.

And here comes Cheryl’s favourite, Cher Lloyd and… wait… is it? No… it’s… IT IS!! I knew they’d shoehorn ‘Firework’ in somewhere – in Cher’s VT! Recycle, re-use and ermm… something else. She’s singing ‘Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word’ with a bit of Eminem’s ‘Mockingbird’ thrown in.

Hmm.. Yes, what HAVE you got to do to be heard? SOMEONE FIX THAT SOUND. On second thoughts, from what I could hear, she sounded awful. She actually sounded very squawky this week, she was quite strained and far too often she squeaked a little falsetto in. It was like I was witnessing Justin Bieber’s puberty in the space of two minutes.

Still, it was better than Wagner, eh? “And now for something completely different…”. You said it Louis! He’s got some great lines hasn’t he? Aww, someone give him a hug from me.

Something tells me Simon is having to fork out hundreds to pay for the dancer who linked arms with Wagner for the most-part, considering all the bad press about him being a “sex-pest” he’s had lately. But now I’m Wagner’s biggest supporter seeing as everyone else in the competition is a two-dimensional puppet, I’m going to be more lenient, But all that’s starting next week, because this week, he sung my all time favourite Elton John song – ‘I’m Still Standing’. And he mauled it.

It’s something I’m going to have to get used to I suppose, but on Saturday he was truly awful; he’s not even funny anymore. His vocal range of about six notes didn’t have a cat in Hell’s chance of managing the vocal acrobatics of ‘I’m Still Standing’, and his bass warbling on ‘Circle Of Life’ was just as embarrassing.

Moving swiftly on to One Direction, and I’ll never quite understand how five teenaged boys can sound that full-bodied, considering none of them are vocal powerhouses. Interesting to note that the music system fixes as soon as One Direction are on. Maybe I’m just being stubborn in my hunt to find something redeemable about anything they put their ten hands to, but they’re yet to show me (with the exception of Liam and Harry) that any of then can sing well on their own. They sing ‘Something About The Way You Look Tonight’, and they do the typical boyband stuff; nothing that hasn’t been done before, on The X Factor alone. But the best part was hearing Scissor Sisters’ ‘Fire With Fire’ used in their VT.

Rebecca’s closing the show with ‘Candle In The Wind’. When will this girl be given something upbeat? She’s being moulded into Leona before she’s even finished her stint on the X Factor. I found her performance, like Cher and Paije’s – despite being vocally superior – really quite forgettable and dull. She performed very strongly, but after the performances I’d just seen, I wasn’t that interested in her and she couldn’t keep my attention for more than a minute.

Best Performance: Matt Cardle

Best Song Choice: Aiden Grimshaw – ‘Rocket Man’

Worst Song Choice: Wagner Carrilho – ‘I’m Still Standing’

Best Vocal: Tesco Mary

Biggest Improvement: Tesco Mary

Most Boring: Rebecca Ferguson

Biggest Gimmick: Katie Waissel’s ‘crew’

Resting On A Plateau: One Direction

Who I Wanted To Leave: Katie Waissel

Who I Thought Would Leave: Katie Waissel

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  1. Irina Popescu-Smith

    Your review is so funny! I’m with you on your message to Aiden. I think singers (and I do mean singers, not just puppets with backing tracks) are actually better being booted off sooner rather later and then trying to get a record deal on their own. They’ll be around for longer I think. Not to mention, last years winner got a first single that was extremely bland and mediocre, didn’t get enough publicity (cause it needed a LOT of it to make up for the song’s faults) and to be honest, I even struggle to remember its name.

    And I am also happy that there is someone here on the internet that doesn’t think Cher Lloyd is awesome and amazing just because Simon said so. That doesn’t think Cher is awesome and amazing because OMG she raps and, as pop music listeners, they’ve never seen that before. It’s so frustrating seeing opinions like that when all she is, is an utterly mediocre singer that needs backing vocals like air. What diminishes my frustration is knowing that opinions like that are expressed mostly by 12 yr olds that think X Factor is life itself.

    Now, as for Katie, it is very hard for me to believe there were more people voting for Katie than there were for Aiden. Impossible actually. Either the votes were rigged, either Simon had the Syco machine working and had voted for her like crazy (he’s not going to lose his investment, is he now?).


    And, in one word, the show is extremely disappointing. And fixed.

    1. Dara Hickey

      Thanks! And I completely agree with you comment. I too find it hard to fathom how Katie garnered more votes than Aiden, who is clearly the most real singer and shows more promise as an artist than any of the other acts left on the show.

      He seemed very down after finding out he’d been ousted by the public vote, I just hope he doesn’t give up now.

  2. RandomEnigma

    I know you guys love Aiden and don’t get me wrong, I think he’s brilliant too! He has a great voice and I can see him become a very successful indie singer songwriter – like a less generic Paolo Nutini or a male Florence + The Machine.

    But I have to say this…I really got annoyed with him on The Xtra Factor. When Konnie Huq interviewed him on his shock elimination, he whined “Nobody likes me!” and when interviewing him later, she asked would he like if his voters now started voting for Matt and he replied “Nobody voted for me!” I understand that he is upset and maybe his confidence isn’t all that but those wimpy replies just pissed me off to no end! Of course people liked him and voted for him! He generated virtually no bad press and he made it to the Final 9. The guy needs to stop feeling sorry for himself and man-up!

    Just my opinion of course!

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