The X-Factor Live Show Two: Attack of the Dancing Fashion Pandas from Rylan Clark & Gary Barlow and Louis Walsh shake on it!
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.
The whole thing was a little bit lounge singer for me as Jahmene was bathed in Gold wearing a dapper little suit and accompanied by some drums as well as a piano. Throughout the song Nicole randomly got out of her chair to start dancing and in doing that took the Sharon Osbourne role of drunken auntie at a wedding. Personally I don’t think upbeat songs suit Jahmene however I was in the minority as Louis piled on the platitudes telling him he’s one of his favourite ever X-Factor artists though to be fair there isn’t much competition.
The main criticism levelled at Chris Maloney is that he sounds like a club singer, so what better way to counter that accusation than to stage his performance in a mock bar. As Chris crooned his way through ‘Alone’ by Heart the people in the bar behind him started to dance together as if his singing was some sort of aphrodisiac that attracted them to each other. To me though this came across as just a little bit cheesy and reminded me of those ‘sexy singles in your area’ adverts that used to play late night on Channel Five. I’m not quite sure why Chris got the wildcard vote as he does nothing for me, but I can see him appealing to the older generation who usually vote in their droves so I can’t understand why Louis Walsh doesn’t like him. Louis went with the old ‘lazy song choice’ criticism, though this was mainly to have go at Barlow, however Tulisa agreed saying that Christopher didn’t feel current. To me I think Christopher is a one-trick pony though as he’s been presented as the underdog he will stay in the show for a few weeks yet.
Union J were up next and as we saw got some motivating words from Louis Walsh who essentially told them to ‘rehearse, rehearse, rehearse’ which I’m sure helped them massively. They also met One Direction which, judging by how entertaining they were in their brief appearance last week, would’ve been a scintillating experience. Union J’s performance this week was miles better than what they delivered in the first episode as they did a dreaded mash-up of ‘Broken Strings’ and ‘Bleeding Love’ while dressed in what seem to be the new Topman autumn/winter collection. The judges’ comments were a lot more impressive as well Tulisa was impressed with the vocals while Gary noted that Kye helped them with their performance adding that they obviously do better when they’r not listening to Louis.
In Ella’s VT, we had the first mention of Tulisa’s video shoot which seemed to get as much promotion as her acts did this week. Ella was also complaining about all the gossip magazines linking her with the bargain basement Harry Styles lookalike from Union J however all of their flirting seemed to be when the cameras where around and I wouldn’t be surprised if they actually hated each other behind closed doors. Despite being dolled up like Adele, Ella ended up singing Minnie Ripperton’s ‘Lovin You’ though the whole set-up was very reminiscent of Adele’s performance of ‘Someone Like You’ at the Brit Awards last year. Again this was an astonishing performance from Ella, who if you haven’t heard is only 16, with Nicole describing her as classy, timeless and talented though Louis did pick up on the Adele comparison.
It seems that James Arthur is just a normal bloke, as we saw when he took Nicole Scherzinger down to the pub getting her to sample a pint of real ale and some pork scratchings. This allowed Nicole to do ‘a comedy bit’ where she absolutely hated the pork scratchings but you knew that off-camera she’d already spat them out. Once again James wasn’t given much staging though he did seem to have been given one of the many jackets that Craig Colton wore last year. James was one of the only acts of the night to get unanimous praise with Louis already wanting him to get a record deal, Tulisa picking up on his inner pain and Gary complementing his fantastic performance.
Back to Tulisa’s video shoot now with an emotional Lucy revealing that her grandma had passed away, although she didn’t want anyone to feel sorry for her and she just wanted to deliver another great performance. For once, there was no original song from Lucy, which some would see a mistake after the ‘Moves Like Jagger’ fiasco, however her take on Kanye West’s ‘Gold Digger’ entertained the crowd. What I would’ve liked though is just Lucy on the stage playing her guitar, however this week, she was flanked by four female dancers who gyrated in Lucy’s direction during the final stages of the song. The other element I wasn’t sure about was the woolly hat she was wearing as it didn’t fit the performance plus she won’t feel the benefit when she goes out. The general consensus from the judges was that they weren’t sure about her performing a cover version, but she pulled it off or in Nicole’s words she ‘swagged it out’.
Like Lucy, dodgy headgear was also the go-to of one member of District 3, who seems to have to wear a hat wherever he goes whether it be a bobble hat or a Bieber-style baseball cap. In the VT, we saw Disrict 3 arguing with Louis as they wanted to perform a One Direction song although Louis thought this was a mistake instead picking All-4-One’s ‘I Swear’ that they feared would sound dated. I don’t know why they thought that as they bought out those fake American accents to deliver corny harmonies before climbing on a rotating disc and being pelted by rose petals. I was surprised then that Tulisa like the performance praising the strong harmonies, predictably though, Gary wasn’t as kind telling them that he was very disappointed. Nicole’s comments were a bit weird, I think those pork scratchings had made her go a bit insane, as she compared them to a slice of warm apple pie before telling them they should rub baby oil all over their bodies.
For the last time tonight we return to Tulisa’s video shoot as Jade told us how much she enjoyed working with her mentor. Up to now, Jade really hadn’t done anything for me but that all changed as her stripped-back version of Amy Winehouse’s ‘Love is a Losing Game’ was absolutely spectacular and was the best performance tonight by a country mile. The judges agreed with Nicole comparing her to a rare exotic flower while Louis described her as a sophisticated lady adding that he thought she was incredible. Talking of Louis he was also given urban lessons this week by MK1 who dressed him up in a hat and fake glasses which made him look a lot like Timmy Mallet. Uncle Louis, as he has been dubbed the duo, selected ‘I Want You Back’ by Jackson 5 for MK1 to sing, however I wasn’t as impressed with them as I was last week. The energy was still there and Charlie’s vocals were better, however the song just didn’t play to their strengths and the judges let them know this especially Nicole who wanted a little more depth from them as she felt they were out of their element.
It seemed that Kye had spent too much time helping Union J with their performance, as his own efforts really fell short, which was a shame as I rather enjoyed his take on ‘Man in the Mirror’ last week. The stage gradually was set on fire as Kye performed a mash-up of ‘Love the Way you Lie’ and ‘Thank You’ to the extent that by the end of the song he was completely eclipsed by flames. The judges were generally underwhelmed with Louis dishing out the vague judgment that he got a bit bored in the middle of the performance and I have to agree that it was far from his strongest outing.
Everybody had forgotten Kye’s performance by the time Rylan took to the stage, presumably to give us a fairly low-key performance after his Egyptian-themed number last week. No, of course not, as Rylan teased that he would sing Take That’s ‘Back for Good’ he instead broke into ‘Groove is in the Heart’ and later combined it with Gangnam Style. It seemed to me that Brian Friedman had devoted most of his time into styling Rylan’s performance as the Essex-boy strutted down a white catwalk while being flanked by what was described by Nicole as Dancing Fashion Pandas. While Louis was full of praise for Rylan, Tulisa also had kind words for him saying that he was a cheesy karaoke act but she can’t say he wasn’t entertained. Predictably though Gary Barlow was full of criticism commenting that Rylan had managed to kill a number of songs within the two minutes he was on stage.
The night was finished by Melanie who performed INXS’ ‘Never Tear Us Apart, or as most of us know it now, that song from the John Lewis advert, while she was dressed in a rather funky white trouser suit. I felt the stage arrangement was fairly odd as there was a large white cube on the stage with abstract silhouette images of a couple dancing being projected on to it. Though I do have a soft spot for Melanie, I wasn’t as impressed with her as I have been in previous weeks and felt that the song really didn’t suit her style, however it seemed that I was in the minority as the judges loved it. Nicole praised her for hitting those ‘righteous notes’ while Louis told Melanie that she could sing anything but it was Tulisa who got into trouble after describing her as a ‘MILF’.
Overall this second live episode of The X-Factor 2012 will probably be remembered for Rylan’s performance and not much else. For me the best performances came from Jade, James and Ella while I feel MK1, District 3 and Kye may find themselves in the sing-off. I’m surprised though that the drama between Louis and Gary has already seemed to fizzle however I think their feud may reignite in tomorrow’s results show.
What did you think to tonight’s show? Who were your favourites? Leave your comments below and check out our X Factor charts!
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