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Posts Tagged ‘X-Factor’

Apologies about posting a little late this week but I’ve only just managed to compose myself after the worst weekend of TV for a long time. Ok so I’ll kick things off with Strictly on Saturday night…

Unbelievably, Ally Bastian was given the boot sending Chris and Ricky through to the final. This was after Ally and her partner Brian Fortuna were given a perfect score of 50 by the five judges.

I was a bit miffed at this to say the least and Ally should have definitely made the final over Chris and I genuinely thought that she’d walk away the winner, partly because I can’t stand the sight of Ricky and his Desperate-Dan-chinned partner but mainly because she has been by far the most consistent dancer throughout the show. Chris was ok but good enough for the final? No way. You could tell by the look on his face when the results were given that he couldn’t believe he didn’t get the chop.

Anyway, Strictly is a good bit of fun and although she should have gone through, the whole drama was nothing compared to the shit storm brewing on ITV1…

First up was an evening with Cheryl Cole. Now I’m not sure when the Earth turned into Cheryl Cole World but I’m absolutely sick to the teeth of her, she’s getting far too much time getting rammed down our throats and this show highlighted the fact that she isn’t talented at all.

Usually when we’re subjected to an evening with… the star in question at least has enough source material and is charismatic enough to be able to handle singing and chatting with the audience for an hour.

Cole on the other hand managed to sing a couple of (crap) songs (didn’t sing live), had to be helped with presenting duties by the beautiful Holly Willoughby (can’t complain there) but the whole show needed padding out with other celebs (purely because Cole didn’t have enough talent  to drag herself through her own show).

So I’m sat there thinking surely this isn’t the best that the UK has to offer on a primetime slot?. Apparently it is, X-Factor or as it should be named, Cole-Factor was just as bad. The three remaining contestants only sang one new song each and went back to sing previous weeks’ efforts.

The big story here was that the three finalists were going to perform duets with three stars. Wow! Or not, as it happened.

Stacey was stuck with Michael Bublé who actually seems like a pretty cool guy, he’s got an amazingly powerful voice judging by how far away his mic is from his face but c’mon! This was supposed to be the equivalent of Shock and Awe!

Bublé isn’t really a well-known star here in the UK and there was a fair bit of headscratching from me when he came out mid-way through Stacey’s song. That’s not to say that it wasn’t a good performance, they both sounded excellent, but if I know one thing it’s that the morons who vote for the X-Factor year in and year out wouldn’t be having any of it, so it spelled bad news for Stacey.

Stacey’s two solo performances were sang almost to perfection and if you ask me, even now, she’s ten times the singer that Leona Lewis is.

Olly sang ok but nothing special, his duet was with Robbie Williams (surprise surprise) and it was all just a bit erm, weird.

Robbie looked as if he’d been caning the ching again and he managed to fluff his cue and came in way too early for his line (which is really disappointing considering that he’s supposedly a world-class singer).

The remaining minute and a bit were spent with Olly and Robbie hugging constantly (?) and Robbie looked every bit the contestant whilst Olly was giving him reassuring glances throughout.

All VERY strange.

Next up was pride of Britain, Cheryl Cole’s adopted brother, little star Joe McElderry. Looking like John Barrowman’s younger twin, he did his thing (which is fine) but for fucks sake, let’s try to push the boundaries a bit and make some decent music!

The excuse that he’s got a great voice isn’t a valid argument. If you go to the church and listen to the choir on a Sunday, most of them have fantastic voices – but would you buy an album with ten tracks of them singing? No.

Joe was partnered up with George Michael who came out looking very out of shape. Obviously years of hanging out in public toilets haven’t been kind to ‘Ol George.

They sang don’t let the sun go down on me (maybe George should have sung don’t let your sun go down on me, to Mr & Mrs McElderry snr) and it was a great song choice for Joe’s voice but again, very strange seeing the two of them up there together, I thought at one stage they were going to do a Robbie/ Olly and spend the time hugging each other.

Nothing special at all from Michael and he didn’t look too comfortable at all during the duet. However, during the Sunday night show he absolutely nailed his solo, so I’ve got to give kudos to him there. His voice sounds as good now as it ever did.

I’m pretty sure that this really was a plan to get McElderry to win. Usually, the contestant who sings with the biggest star, wins.

Need proof? Alexandra Burke sang with beyonce last year whilst JLS and Eoghan Quigg (Yeah, who?) had to perform with Westlife and Boyzone respectively.

Another point to note is the opening VT’s were the contestants travelled back to their home towns to perform. Stacey went to Dagenham working mens club (!), Olly went back to a small shack in Colchester, but McElderry and Cole managed to ram The Sage in Newcastle center full to the hilt, even though Joe comes from South Shields, a place much smaller than Stacey or Olly’s hometowns.

I’m not going to ramble on too much about it but the bottom line is, Stacey got the boot on Saturday and Joe won on Sundays final. I’m absolutely astounded that this happened because let’s face it, Stacey was the real star of the show. As much as I like Olly, it would have done him no harm whatsoever coming second and I’m sure he’ll have a much more succesful career in coming second place than if he’d have won.

To give John Barrowman’s mini-me the win is an absolute travesty. Even more so when you look at the cover of Miley Cyrus’ (!) shitty song that will no doubt launch into the Christmas number 1 spot. I am absolutely gutted and apart from watching the idiots audition next year, I’ll be turning over as soon as the live finals take place because it’s obvious to me that X-Factor has lost that smallest shred of credibility that it had this year.

I can’t knock Cowell, he’s only making money and to be fair to him we were given the opportunity to have a winner in Stacey that could have actually done something decent but yet again, the pond life in the UK that voted completely let me down.

It’s emerged that McElderry was the clear public favourite and bagged the majority of votes from the sixth week so it was a foregone conclusion that he was going to win, I’m just gutted that whatever tiny hope I had in the great British public would come through and we might have had the first ‘recording artist’ to win the contest that music fans could be proud of.

I’ve got my fingers crossed that we haven’t heard the last of Stacey and I’m sure that Olly has got some really good times ahead of him. As for Joe, the sooner he slips from existence the better.

Ok, so the final WTF was that Ryan Giggs was voted BBC Sports Personality of the year. Granted, it was a weakened line-up this year but I’m gobsmacked that he beat Mark Cavendish to the top spot.

I know cycling isn’t the most popular sport over here but his achievements in world cycling far eclipse Giggs, who is way past his best and it seems was given the award as default for services in previous years.

I shouldn’t expect anything less though, it was only two years ago that Zara Phillips beat Joe Calzaghe to the top spot. Luckily, Joe won the award a year later but seriously, some toff who rides a horse should never be put above a reigning boxing champion of the world. Or should they?

Enough from me, I feel as though I’ve vented sufficiently and feel (a little) better now. Thanks for reading and I’d love to hear your comments on this weekend’s media circus

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If you don’t fancy lining Simon Cowell’s pockets even more this Christmas and can’t stand the way that the X-Factor bags the Xmas single every year without being in the slightest bit festive, make a statement and purchase Rage Against the Machine’s single ‘Killing in the Name’ next week.

The single will be available to download on Monday and music lovers in the UK are being urged to pick the tune in a bid to release Cowell’s stranglehold over the charts.

A similar thing happened last year when Jeff Buckley’s ‘Hallelujah’ was released during the same week as Alexandra Burke’s awful cover of the Leonard Cohen song. Unfortunately, Cowell won last year but maybe, just maybe we can make a difference this year.

As much as I enjoy watching the X-Factor, the format is looking REALLY tired now. It’s great to watch the morons who can’t actually sing during the audition process but it’s terrible to see whichever muppet wins the show go straight to the top of the charts every Christmas (usually followed by the inevitable hype – “fastest selling single in the universe” etc. etc.)

I reckon that the year that the X-Factor winner doesn’t get straight to the No. 1 spot at Xmas, will be the final year for the singing show. Cowell’s not daft and I don’t think he’ll flog a dead horse, so if you genuinely can’t stand the shit that pumped out by the likes of Leona Lewis and Alexandra Burke, splash a couple of quid on a digital copy of Killing in the Name and see what happens.

This year’s X-Factor has probably been the strongest one to date with a couple of people who can actually sing but it’s come under fire from Sting, who said that the music show has put British music back a decade and the reason why Calvin Harris jumped on stage during John & Edwards’ performance last month was in protest at Simon Cowell (He’s got some nerve considering the second-rate, re-hashed pop/ dance crap that he releases).

The bottom line is this: I think people are getting wise now, but I don’t know if enough can be done this year, we may have to wait another 12 months before we see the back end of Cowell and his minions.

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This week was Queen week on the X-Factor and Saturdays show was an absolute stonker. Jamie Archer was the sixth contestant to be shown the door on Sunday after finding himself in the bottom two with Lloyd Daniels, and the biggest surprise of the night was the fact that John & Edward went through on public votes.

Archer sang a mediocre performance of ‘Radio Ga-Ga’, whilst Daniels sang what I though was a decent version of ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’. I must say I was shocked when the bottom two were announced, not due to the twins going through because I actually enjoyed their mash up of ‘Under Pressure’ (more on that later), I thought Lloyd would have been as safe as houses because the song choice was spot on for his voice.

Jamie ‘Afro’ was quite rightly sent home on Sunday evening and it’s fair to say that (not including the twins) he was well out of his depth and a definite one trick pony. He’s not marketable as a pop singer so if he were to win the competition he would more than likely be a pop-rock singer and he would have absolutely no credibility at all. Lloyd must know his time is nearly up, I think that John & Edward will probably go home this Sunday, but Lloyd will be following them shortly after.

Joe McElderry sang ‘Somebody to Love’ and although he’s got an ok voice, he’s not a pop singer. Joe will no doubt have a career in theatre but if you’re looking for a singer who will shift hundreds of thousands of Albums, he just isn’t the man. Danyl Johnson sang ‘We Are The Champions’ in his usual over-the-top, shouty way, and the judges have done a right number on him. Seeing him in the VT before his song and on the stage after the judges comments, he looks a broken man. He’s had his hair cut and has changed his demeanour in order to please the judges, especially Cheryl – who’s getting more and more annoying every week.

Cole is 26 going on 56, and it’s as if she’s conducting some sort of in-house joke with Cowell about how many times she can say ‘little’. Every time she introduces her acts it’s “up next is my little……”. Her comments after a performance inevitably include a “You looked like a little star up there” or something along those lines. I’ve really had enough of her now and whilst Danni and Cheryl were only brought onto the show for a bit of eye candy and didn’t really have any input, Danni has come into her own this year. Her comments seem much more constructive whereas Cheryl just seems to be after raising her profile via the X-Factor. Cowell should call time on her once this year has finished and get Sharon Osbourne back, a lot less annoying and she had much better chemistry with the other judges.

The best two performances of the night were Olly and Stacey. Olly sang ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ and Stacey sang ‘Who Wants To Live Forever’. Both performances were sheer class and Olly & Stacey managed to put their own spin on two tracks that are extremely difficult to do anything other than sing Karaoke style. No-one sings queen like Freddy Mercury. Fact. Even the fantastic Paul Rogers has had a tough time making his mark these past few years whilst touring with Queen. If you’ve got a frontman as charismatic as Freddie, it’s far too easy when singing his songs to imitate rather than perform fresh.

What we have with Olly and Stacey is two contrasting styles, Olly the Showman and Stacey the singer. I honestly don’t know which one I prefer more. The Judges keep banging on about Olly reminding them of Robbie Williams and I can’t help thinking that they’re missing something.  Olly reminds me of a young Jay Kay. His voice is full of soul and his dancing is more than a nod towards the Jamiroquai frontman. I think he could bring credibility as a pop singer and I would genuinely buy his records. He could be the first Male since Will Young to actually make something of himself. That’s why I would rather he came second. If Olly finishes as a runner up he’ll be obliged to tour with the X-Factor and there will be a clause to say that he can’t release anything for about 12 months so he doesn’t clash with the winner. This could potentially give him a little more control over what sort of music his Album is made up of, and that could do him wonders.

Stacey on the other hand absolutely NAILED her song on Saturday, not only that but it looked effortless. To me, she’s a much better singer than Leona Lewis and what’s refreshing about her is her style of singing. If you look at 99% of female singers nowadays they try to emulate Whitney and Mariah, with most of them delivering scrunched-up-faced, half angry performances whilst trying to rape every last note out of a tune. There’s a time and a place for a big voice and Stacey has got the balance spot on. I didn’t like the comments a few weeks back where she was told to be more sexy and move around more, the fact is that she’s got such a great voice that she doesn’t need to be prancing around the stage trying to detract attention from her voice (Alexandra Burke anyone?). I’m more than happy for her to walk out on stage and sing in front of a mic, there’s something satisfyingly simple when she just sings, it harks back to female singers of the 1960’s where the voice was the most important part of a performance.

The most bizarre event of the weekends two live shows was the appearance of Celebrity Tit, Calvin Harris invading the stage whilst John & Edward performed on Saturday – sporting a pineapple on his head. More on that later….

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john and edwardIn an extraordinary turn of events yesterday, the Police had to be called to the X-Factor house after an invasion of teenage girls trying to get a glimpse of their favourite contestants John & Edward.

The girls were allegedly flashing at the double take brothers who promptly answered with a bout of crotch grabbing. Police were called to move on the crowds and local residents are furious after the residential street was left trashed by gatherers. I reckon if the Irish twits have got the teenybopper vote, we may have to endure them for a good few weeks to come…

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MissFrankLast night Miss Frank followed in the footsteps of Kandy Rain and Rikki Loney by being voted off X-Factor. In a dramatic turn of events Miss Frank found themselves in the bottom two alongside Danyl Johnson, who had arguably performed one of the strongest vocals of Saturday. This means that unbelievably, the twins John & Edward are actually still in the running for the ITV ‘talent’ contest.

The theme for Saturdays show was Big Band and the standard of singing was just as good as last weeks Diva theme. Olly Murs gave another fantastic performance and although not as strong as last week, Stacey Solomon did more than enough to secure her place in next weeks show. Jamie Archer went from hero to zero this week. It was always going to be a struggle for him to top last Saturdays A1 vocal but he fell short by an absolute mile and I’m actually starting to think that he’s out of his depth. Cowell kept Archer in the competition at the expense of both Treyc Cohen and Daniel Pearce who were both stronger than the Afro man. It makes me wonder whether Cowell picked an act that would fill a gap in the pop market and not the strongest vocalist.

Lloyd Daniels and Joe McElderry gave sickly cute performances and I think that Cheryl should start being worried now about their future. Rachel Adedeji gave another average performance but top marks go to her eyebrows, they didn’t stop moving once during her two minutes on stage. Lucie Jones gave another really good vocal but took a good beating from Cowell during the judges comments. John & Edward did their thing to ‘She Bangs’, every week looking like more like Louis Walshes’ bumboys. Miss Frank went back to their roots and sang that’s life, a great performance but they really don’t look comfortable up on stage as a group. They definitely haven’t bonded well together, but that’s understandable seeing as they’ve only had a few months to get to know each other. After their exit this week, maybe we’ll see an older and wiser Miss Frank during next years auditions.

That leaves us with Danyl Johnson, who absolutely Nailed ‘With a little help from my friends’. Great vocal, great performance and the one thing that can be said of Johnson and no other contestant is that he makes every song he sings his own. So what happened? Well, there are two possible causes of him ending up in the bottom two this week. Firstly, he may be that good that Joe public didn’t feel the need to vote for him assuming he would sail through to next week. Or (as I suspect), people can’t connect with him because he hasn’t got the likeability factor. It’s all good and well nailing songs left right and Chelsea but if you’re not liked, prepare for a few more bottom slots (pardon the pun Danyl). He runs the risk of doing a Jamie Archer if he carries on to sing songs in a similar fashion. Maybe a slow song with less shouty vocals would do him wonders.

Big boo’s from the group sing last night – again, another week of lip-syncing from the contestants! This is a really poor effort and if the show wants to retain any of the little credibility it has left, the singers should be made to perform live during the Sunday group sings. Mickey Bubble was the guest this weekend and although he’s not my cup of tea, I have to admit he’s got a damn good voice – but he really should work on his pronunciation whilst singing, I found it very off-putting to say the least.

So that’s week three done and dusted. My tip for next weekend? John & Edward and Rachel bottom two, Rachel to go after the publics votes are counted.

theoriginaljj

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Cole

Looking like the lovechild of Michael Jackson and M Bison from Streetfighter fame, Cheryl Cole appeared on Saturdays X-Factor to ‘perform’ her first solo song, Fight for this love. There’s been a lot of talk in the English press this past week about Cole, with newspapers (quite rightly) in an outcry over her decision to Lip-Sync rather than sing live.

On Friday it was reported that Cole would in fact sing her song live on Saturday and for the past two days the same newspapers are heralding her ‘live’ singing as spectacular. Surely I can’t be the only person in the UK to realise that she wasn’t actually singing live can I? Justification has been made that she had ‘a little’ help from a pre-recorded track but come on – she’s a judge in a competition that is all about singing live! I really don’t know how she can sit in front of the X-Factor muppets and tear through their efforts when she isn’t prepared to put her money where her mouth is and give it a shot herself.

The performance described by Simon Cowell as “Incredible” was below par by anyone’s standards but i’m in no doubt whatsover that by Sunday she will have knocked Alexandra Burke off the top spot to claim her first UK No.1 single. This is a tragic state of affairs, the last thing the UK pop industry needs is another talentless female ‘vocalist’. Overlooking the fact that she didn’t sing live, she couldn’t even complete her dance routine without the help from what looked to be about 300 backing dancers.

If Cole is the best we’ve got in the UK, we’re in BIG trouble.

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