Halfway through tonight’s X-Factor final we got an advert of former contestants saying how much of an impact appearing on the show had on their careers. The majority of those that appeared in said advert, such as One Direction and Olly Murs, didn’t win which basically gave the message winning The X-Factor doesn’t really mean that much it’s what you do afterwards that counts.
Therefore there was very little reason to care who won tonight’s final contested by emotionally scarred supermarket worker Jahmene and intense former pub singer James as either could be the next big superstar.
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I sometimes don’t notice the product placement concealed within The X-Factor, which is alluded to by that ‘P’ sign popping up at the beginning of the show, however in tonight’s final it was apparent that the show had been paid an awful lot of money by Virgin Trains to advertise their services. So in tonight’s programme we saw finalists James, Christopher and Jahmene travelling from their hometowns to Manchester, where this year’s final was being held, while they later used the trains to see their local fans. Whether these clips were enough to convince anybody to by a return ticket from London to Manchester is unsure but it certainly delivered all of the contestants in one piece to tonight’s event.
Somebody else who was on fire tonight was Dermot O’Leary, as he started off tonight’s show on an entertaining note when when we saw him perform an awesome extended dance routine which saw him waltz into the Rover’s Return, where Nicole was working behind the bar, while later he caught Louis in his dressing room with glamour model auditionee Lorna Bliss… Read more & comment »
So last week we got the annual big X-Factor shot as potential winner Ella Henderson went home over other strong candidate James Arthur, while the less popular Christopher Maloney and Rylan Clark lived to stay another day. Interestingly this week there was no big diatribe from the judges about voting for the right people, or Tulisa delivering a eulogy for her fallen act; instead we just got on with things, which was probably a good idea as each of the final five had two songs to sing.
We did get a slight reminder about Ella’s exit in Rylan’s opening VT as he did feel a tad guilty about staying in the contest over her, however these feelings didn’t last very long as he set about making Thanksgiving dinner for Nicole. While Rylan seemed comfortable participating in this skit, in which he wore an apron that read ‘fancy a stuffing’, James Arthur really didn’t look up for pretending to cook a turkey with the Essex lad while Jahmene only turned up at the last minute, presumably bringing the deserts that he bought from ASDA using his staff discount.
As the first of tonight’s two themes was Abba, I presumed Rylan would do a full-on megamix, but he restricted himself to just singing one hit that being Mama Mia. This of course was given the full Rylan staging which this week saw a full complement of human chess pieces having a battle, which was presumably a tribute to the fact that the men from Abba wrote the musical Chess. Rylan’s first load of feedback was surprisingly positive, with Louis praising the production, telling everyone that Rylan wasn’t a joke act, and adding that his performance could be a big hit in the dance charts. Tulisa praised his energy while even Gary told Rylan that he respected him for going out and putting on a show week after week. Read more & comment »
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been complaining that Dermot O’Leary hasn’t been dancing as much as he had at the start of the series, and at the start of tonight’s show, I did the same. Then something glorious happened and he burst into MC Hammer’s classic ‘Can’t Touch This’ routine complete with parachute pants. This of course was to signify that we’d got to Guilty Pleasures week, which Dermot had to explain to Nicole was a musical term, as we saw the final six acts tackle songs that they wouldn’t readily admit to liking.
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The biggest news coming into this week’s ‘Number Ones’ themed edition of The X-Factor was the unplanned exit of singer-songwriter Lucy Spraggan, who left the show after a continued bout of illness which already saw her miss last week’s programme. Personally, I think leaving the programme at this stage was a good idea for Lucy, as she didn’t seem entirely comfortable performing cover versions and her exposure on the national stage will inevitably lead to her securing a record deal. Tulisa’s reaction to Lucy’s departure was fairly solemn as she eulogised her fallen act by describing Spraggan as an amazing person who was incredibly talented.
Someone else who had good luck wishes for Lucy was her good friend Rylan Clark, whose week saw him take Nicole to his hometown of Essex which he described as the Hollywood of Essex. Crazy metaphors aside, Nicole’s trip instead took her to Amy Childs’ beauty salon as she watched Rylan get his eyebrows waxed and have a spray tan.
In a rather comedic segment Amy and Rylan tried to teach Nicole some Essex slang and I have to say I found it slightly amusing hearing her say ‘shat ap’ and ‘well jel’. Nicole’s Beginners Guide to Essex was infinitely more entertaining than anything Rylan did in his performance tonight and it seems now Brian Friedman’s gone our Essex lad’s routines just aren’t as exciting any more… Read more & comment »
Despite it being the 27th October, both of last night’s TV talent shows would like you to think it’s Halloween so they can add a sort of spooky theme to this week’s episodes. X-Factor’s Halloween episode usually sees one of the contestants sing ‘Thriller’ however this year, we saw dancing Dermot O’Leary giving his unique interpretive dance performance of the Michael Jackson hit. Lucy Spraggan performed a spooky disappearing act by being too ill to perform, receiving a bye to next week’s episode which sort of made Dermot’s comment about nobody being safe fairly redundant.
First up this week was Kye Sones, who didn’t have to look back at his bum notes with Gary as his mentor praised his performance and his flawless turn in last week’s sing-off. A lot of us, including myself, equate Kye with slow songs, but this week he got a bit more energetic with Robbie Williams’ ‘Let Me Entertain You’ and luckily, he also got to perform it in front of Robbie himself. It didn’t seem to me that Robbie was that bothered, though he did applaud Kye’s enthusiasm and energy, something that he believes we hadn’t seen from him before… Read more & comment »
When most of us go out to a club the first tune we like to hear is obviously a bad rendition of Boy Meets Girl’s seminal 1988 work ‘Waiting for a Star to Fall’ followed soon after by a mash-up of Crystal Waters’ ‘Gypsy Girl’ and Tinie Tempah’s Pass Out. If that’s not your cup of tea then it seems you wouldn’t like the sort of club that X-Factor wants to create as we enter the dreaded ‘Club Classics’ week for the third live show.
Judging from the tweed suit that Gary was wearing the club in question was in fact a golf club, while the now urban ‘Uncle Louis’ was ready to embrace his new favourite genre of music despite the fact he’d left his Timmy Mallet glasses at home. Dermot was also on fire from the start of the show by getting a stuntman to perform his opening dance before saying that Tulisa lives in a club as she doesn’t even own a home.
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Coming into the second live show of X-Factor, all the emphasis was on last week’s result show and the ‘controversial’ exit of country girl Carolynne Poole over this year’s comedy act Rylan Clark. Just in case anybody missed it, we got it all replayed in detail with Gary telling us that he couldn’t even look at Louis but that’s mainly to do with all that horrible Botox he’s had. However the drama they’d built up then fell flat when Louis and Gary shook hands and got on with the show however I’m sure they’ll have another bust up tomorrow night. This week’s theme was love and heartbreak so essentially another vague theme that the judges can fit most songs around.
First up this week was Jahmene Douglas who was on cloud nine after last week’s performance of ‘Imagine’ especially after Yoko Ono tweeted him presumably to ask him when he’d pay her the royalties for singing John’s song. Jahmene did something a little bit more upbeat with a rendition of Amy Winehouse’s ‘Tears Dry on Their Own’ though, as we saw in his VT, this was hard for him as he’d never been in love. Read more & comment »
We’ve sat through awful auditions, endured pointless boot camp challenges and seen the most overblown judges’ homes round in X-Factor history, but thankfully now we’ve arrived at the live shows, so finally there’s something to talk about. I want to kick off by discussing host Dermot O’Leary who I always think is great but went back on his word after promising not to dance this year. Having said that I thought his quick moves with those sexy milk-maids gave the show an opening oomph.
Though Dermot’s dancing remained intact, there were a few changes tonight, namely that the seat arrangement has been changed, with Gary no longer on the far right as he’s sandwiched between Nicole and Tulisa, a move which will obviously provoke the tabloids to insinuate there is some sort of friction between the pair.
While I had no problem with the seat-swapping, what really threw me was the order in which the judges delivered their verdicts as it usually used to go left to right before ending on the mentor but instead this year it was a random order that I found oddly unsettling. Read more & comment »
If there’s one episode of The X-Factor that I feel is somewhat of a paradox then it’s the second episode of Judge’s Homes as it is an instalment of a singing conquest where there’s absolutely no singing. Yes as we heard the final performances from the 25 remaining acts in last night’s show it was decision time tonight as Louis, Gary, Nicole and Tulisa chose the acts they wanted to represent them in the Live Show. When the Judge’s Houses stage started to be split over a weekend it used to be that two categories were aired on each day so we got a mix of decisions and performances on each show however that isn’t the case anymore. Instead the gap has been filled with clichés, hugging and lots and LOTS of crying.
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So we’ve made it through auditions and last week’s never-ending boot-camp stage, and now finally we’re one step from the live finals as we journey to Judge’s Homes (not houses). Yes it’s a globe-trotting adventure as we first head to St. Lucia where the girls were waiting by the sea for a boat to come by and reveal to them that Tulisa was going to be their mentor, which resulted in the usual bouts of hysteria. And Tinie Tempah was going to be helping out, which he started by giving a rousing speech where he said there was room for only one or two more incredible female artists in the UK which I basically read as ‘sorry girls, there’s too many of you.’
The groups landed in Las Vegas where outside Caesar’s Palace, Louis got out of a car, inevitably receiving the least spectacular entrance of any of the four judges, he then introduced the always-manic Sharon Osbourne as his co-mentor at this stage of the contest. In Dubai, or just ‘Dubs’ if you’re Rylan Clark, Nicole Scherzinger also got to come in on a boat before Ne-Yo arrived to help her out. Meanwhile Gary stayed in London but did get a lovely stately home to hear his finalists as well as an entrance in a helicopter. Like Louis he’d drafted in somebody with X-Factor experience as he introduced Cheryl Cole who obviously was taking a bit of time off from shooting all of those L’oreal commercials. Read more & comment »
One bootcamp show down and one to go and with most of the favourites still in the final seventy what better to do than to hear them all sing again. Yes with that very expensive giant clock still ticking down we saw all of the acts from yesterday once again only this time they got weren’t edited as much as they were in the first show. In fact the only thing that the first Boot Camp show did was to make us think that some of the early contenders may be sent home after dodgy performances.
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So the auditions are over and now The X-Factor is heading back to Liverpool, thankfully without Geri Halliwell this time, as Echo Arena hosts the Boot Camp stages of the auditions. Though there were already rumours of her being axed Nicole Scherzinger finally took her place alongside Louis, Gary and a now blonde Tulisa as the over-200 acts who passed their auditions gathered in a nightclub for a pre-boot camp party. Little did they know that a third of them were going to be cut, though if they had watched last year then they could guess that this was possibly coming, as the judges relived the horror of the auditions once again. Thankfully at least they had a good day out as JLS turned up to serenade the guests and tell them that this was there one shot at stardom that is unless they come back again next year like Joe Cox, Melanie McCabe or Carolynne Poole. The news of the cull then came with a lot of bemused acts that we’ve not seen before being sent home to up the drama quota for the next hour in addition the producers have installed a giant clock so the contestants can see the 72 hours countdown which must be just one step up from watching paint dry.
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The one thing that is winding me up about this year’s X-Factor the most, after those twitter hashtags which thankfully seem to have disappeared, is the constructed reality segments at the opening of the show which continue throughout the programme in the backstage area. These skits are so obviously rehearsed and poorly acted plus personally they do nothing for me though they are obviously there to get over that these people are characters as well though I’d just like to hear them sing if I’m honest. The opening of this episode, the first to be aired on a Sunday this year, saw people pretending to take taxi rides or just chill at home as they talked about how good last night’s show was and how you were a fool to miss it though not a lot of people got this message as the ratings went down once again.
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Award-winning comedian Peter Kay is to host The Royal Variety Performance 2011 which will come from the birthplace of many of Britain’s greatest entertainers, Manchester. The Lowry Theatre in Salford Quays will play host to this gala evening in the presence of Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal.
Peter Kay will preside over the show which promises to be an unforgettable evening of the best UK and international musical performances, show-stopping theatre, comedy and speciality acts as well as a number of sensational surprises.
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