X Factor Judge’s Homes: The Final 12 are revealed and there’s a LOT of crying.
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.
Firstly we journeyed over to St Lucia to hear Tulisa’s decisions on the girls she would be bringing through starting with Ella who kicked off an evening of cheesy comments by saying she’d hate being told that she’s not good enough at the thing she’d loved doing. I’m guessing Ella was put on first as nobody thought she wasn’t going through, at time of writing she’s the bookie’s favourite, and indeed Tulisa described her as ‘a little star’ and she was the first to go through live shows. Next up was a three-way decision between Leanne Robinson and Jades Ellis and Collins and even before anything was said I knew it would be Ms Ellis who would succeed based on the story we’ve heard about her wanting to make a better life for her daughter. Out of the three I would say Leanne was the most talented but she was the first to hear bad news while a tear-soaked Jade Collins also knew that this was the end of the road.
Jade Ellis meanwhile was ready for hard work though for me I would say she’s the filler member of Tulisa’s group and will inevitably become the forgotten member of the girls’ team like Sophie Habibis was last year. Finally it was between Essex’s own Amy, who told us she lived in a council house about a million times, up against singer/songwriter Lucy in a battle for the final spot. While Amy was better vocally it was Lucy’s original style that has made her a talking point up to this stage and she was able to get the last spot while Tulisa seemed to be instantly regretting her decision not to put Amy through.
It was over to Las Vegas next where Louis set on a throne atop a balcony waiting to deliver the news firstly to either MK1 or Mitsotu. Seeing as MK1′s story has been told in detail, with the exit of Will the singing accountant early on, while Mitsotu have only featured in montages it seemed like an easy choice to make and indeed it was MK1 who triumphed while apparently we haven’t seen the last of Mitsotu another great cliché that is often heard on these shows.
Now Louis Walsh is known to repeat himself but I don’t think I’ve ever heard him use the word potential as much as he did in deciding between Poisonous Twin, Duke and GMD3 with all three apparently displaying the attribute in their first auditions. Again for me this was a fairly easy pick as Poisonous Twin were fairly weak singers while Duke were a little different for Louis so it was classic boyband GMD3 who got the second spot in the group. Finally it was between second chance groups Union J and Times Red who both also had plenty of potential while at this point I was convinced that Louis wouldn’t pick too fairly interchangeable boybands but he did prove me wrong by picking Union J, who are incredibly similar to GMD3, which meant ditching the more original Times Red for being too old in what was a very pot-kettle-black moment. Louis also bought out another great go-to line of The X-Factor when he did the it’s not good news… it’s great news bit while telling Union J they were through.
Nicole though topped this in her first reveal as James Arthur, who described himself as the gamble of the competition, was also told it wasn’t good news but this time it was ‘frickin’ amazing news’ and I bet watching this back Louis Walsh was seething that Nicole topped him in the double-bluff stakes. I was surprised that Jake and Jahmene were put in the same group as I thought they both had a chance to get through while Nathan, another act who was presented as an also-ran, was shown the door early.
As Jake told the rather harrowing story of his terminally ill brother yesterday I thought he’d got the advantage over Jahmene, whose nerves would be a possible reason for him to be eliminated at this stage, however it was in fact Jahmene who made it through as Nicole described him as a gamble. Though I’ve not been a fan of Nicole up to this point my opinions changed somewhat when she told Jahmene to ‘grow some balls’ something we’ve all been thinking since he had that terribly dramatic breakdown at Boot Camp.
I think there was plenty of outrage when Rylan Clark got through to Judge’s Homes and as he was up against Adam Burridge, a singer who always delivered, I’m guessing they were thinking this was his final straw. But seasoned X-Factor viewers will know that there’s always one hate figure who can’t really sing and has been put through as the novelty act and Rylan is filling this role as he did indeed go through as Nicole’s final pick. Rylan’s reaction to this news was possibly the most memorable part of this episode as he had a complete fit crying all over Nicole’s cushions, which looked terribly expensive, before falling to the floor while continuing this farce when he met Dermot while the host really struggled not to laugh.
After Rylan got through there was plenty of outrage throughout the social network sites however this was obviously the outcome the producers were looking for as at least people are talking about this Essex diva who I predict will get at least halfway through the contest.
Finally to Gary’s pad where Kye Sones was the obvious first pick when he was shown in the same group as Nicole, Gary’s least favourite act, and Brad someone who’d only come to prominence in this final stage of the competition. Though Gary tried to play up the tension, based around the fact that Kye messed up a note in his final performance, it was obvious that the chimney sweep would go through as he has a look about him that will appeal to a large number of female voters. Also straight through was Carolynne Poole who was told by Gary that his worries were that she was held down by her knockback last year but of course this was her time and she joined Kye at live shows.
Like Gary I’d struggled to pick between Melanie and Christopher both had been given a lot of TV time and both had great voices but for me I find the latter a little cruise ship though I did know that Gary had a soft spot for him. I was somewhat surprised then that Melanie got the final spot over Christopher and we were even given a chance to see a rather sweet scene of her telling her families.
As is always the way nowadays we also got a dreaded twist which once again saw each act bringing a wildcard through with only being given a chance to be the thirteenth act. This was a great ploy to get us the public spending money before the live shows have even started and the choices were between Amy, Adam, Times Red and Christopher with my personal feeling being that Amy will eventually succeed. The last portion of the episode saw the final 12 given their customary makeovers but for once there wasn’t the famous wind tunnel but instead they performed a rather impressive burst of ‘Read All About It’ which was really the only bit of singing we got during the whole show.
Call me a cold-hearted person but there’s only so many times I can see someone cry before the impact is taken away and by the time Rylan had hissy fit I’d already seen enough. Sure a few memorable emotional moments will cause the viewers at home to tear up but tonight I felt it was simply overkill and as I mentioned before I think the better thing to do would’ve been to have two categories perform and find out if they’re in the contest over each night. As far as each section goes I would say that Tulisa has the strongest group with Ella being the firm favourite, Lucy the original pick and Jade the outside bet while I reckon she’ll also be the successful recipient of wildcard Amy. It seems Louis has stuck to his strengths selecting two fairly traditional boybands, with Union J just edging it for me in terms of vocal ability, while I struggle to see what he can do for an act like MK1 who seem entirely out of his comfort zone. Nicole’s best hope at the moment seems to be Jahmene although I do like James also while I think we’ve talked about token novelty act Rylan enough already. Finally I think Gary’s success lies with Kye though Carolynne has a lot of support from people who felt she deserved a shot last year and though I like Melanie I can’t see the audience voting for her on a weekly basis. Though at the end of the day I can never predict the outcome of the competition but for me this has to be the strongest final 12 in a long while.
What do you think of the final 12? Did you find this show a little over-the-top? Leave Your Comments Below.