Happy New Year? Latest "Sh*t my Dad Says"

I love this guy!!!!
"No thanks. I don't need a party to celebrate New Year's. All I need is a bottle of bourbon and a t-shirt that hangs down past my balls."
It's uncanny, that's JUST what I was thinking.

Happy New Year!
Bonne année et bonne santé !
Feliz Año Nuevo
Felice Anno Nuovo
Gelukkig nieuwjaar
Kul 'am wa antum bikhair
Geseënde Kersfees en 'n gelukkige nuwe jaar
 नये साल की हार्दिक शुभकामनायें (Naye sāl kī hārdik śubhkāmnayeṅ)
સાલ મુબારક (sāl mūbārak)
 Ευτυχισμένο το Νέο Ετος (Eutukhismeno to Neo Etos) / Καλὴ χρονιά (Kalí hroniá)

Oh and if you're looking for ideas for New Years resolutions, how about resolving to leave a comment ?!!


Top 5 (well 6 actually) reality TV characters in 2010

With 2011 almost upon us, I thought it was the right time to say goodbye to 2010 and all the reality TV characters that made us laugh.  So my top 6 reality TV characters (tried to make it 5, but couldn’t leave any of these people out!):

6: Mark Wright – Mark helped us to determine that the only way is definitely not Essex. In fact, he is the poster boy for not going anywhere near Essex, ever, in your entire life. (Especially if you are an intellectually challenged, vaguely good looking girl/woman between the ages of 19 and 24). Mark is basically an arrogant, two timing (actually three timing), ignorant rat. That said, the show (which after the Essexmas special, I’ll have to admit, I am now a fan of) would be considerably less interesting without him. “Marge’s” bromance being one of the high points so far for me. Roll on the new series in 2011.

5: Gillian McKeith – Surely the definition of ‘Drama Queen’. Apparently she came to the Jungle because she needed the money, despite being scared of absolutely everything (she only stopped short of claiming to be scared of air!). She whinged and moaned, pretended to faint and for her pains was made to do trial after trail. (The British public are so cruel, bruh-ha-ha-ha). Her piéce de résistance was claiming to be pregnant at 51!!!! Gillian, as per the joke that has been doing the rounds, also gives females across the land a perfect reason, NOT to worry about pigging out over the festive season. She has to get some credit for that!


The Only Way is Essex Christmas Special - Loved it, loved it, loved it!!

The Episode opened with Lyd and Lucy having a natter and Lyd indicating that she’s not happy because Mark and Arg are spending too much time together. She vowed to break up Mark and Arg, or “MARGE“ as she called them!

Cut to MARGE buying a Christmas tree and the first of a series of Arg’s truly awful Christmas jumpers that we were to be subjected to during the hour. Where on earth did he buy them?? (Side note: How did Arg manage to put on so much weight in such a short period of time???? Lyd is not a good influence…) Arg told Mark he had to see less of him to keep Lyd happy, Mark was horrified (quite rightly I thought…) “ First time I’ve ever been dumped," he said “and it’s by a bloke...More importantly, lets get you 'ome and get that jumper off ‘cause its ‘orrific.”


The Family - Discord and sexism

So the focus of tonight's episode was the family business and Julie (as usual…), which apparently isn’t doing as well as a few years ago. The associated worry is causing tension in the family, particularly if people are not felt to be pulling their weight. Julie mentioned that the business had been put in her and Olu's name, but she didn't feel she had carte blanche to do as she felt with it. Cut to her arguing with her Dad (Julie arguing? Surprised, not....) She feels her Dad thinks “I should make the pies and serve people…I’m sorry, but I’m smarter than that.”  So smart in fact that when she was supposed to be working a shift at the shop a couple of episodes back, she stayed at home to clean… You can’t have it both ways Julie, you’re either in or your out.

Julie spent the entire episode arguing with and disrespecting her Dad (it was his turn after all, she has already done the rest of the family), ostensibly because he isn’t running the business the way she feels it should be run.  She of course would know better than the man who: (a) set the business up from nothing, with nothing; (b) actually bothers to turn up when he has a shift and thus would be in a better position to understand what is right for the business.


Best Quotes from The Apprentice 2010

One person dominates - yes, you've guessed it - Stuart Baggs "The Brand'!! He may have been an annoying little shit, but no one can deny that he was good value. This series would have been considerably poorer without him. The Producers are a canny lot, keeping him in for as long as they did.... Enjoy!

“Everything I touch turns to sold” Stuart Baggs ‘The Brand’
“I am Stuart Baggs the Brand. I have a certain kind of Charisma”
“My first word wasn’t mummy, it was money”, Shibby the Surgeon
Chris the investment banker insisted that he is "...supremely intelligent in business, I am a very charismatic individual".
"Even though I've only known you all for 2 minutes, I can already tell that failure is not an option for you all". Laura (aka Verrucca) to the girls in the first task
"I'll lead the team, you'll do all the work". Dan (aka Paul Pot)
“Excuse me Sir, you look like a sausage connoisseur." Stuart Baggs ‘The Brand’
Melissa (aka Lookey-Likey) on fellow Apprentice Joanna Riley: “I find it very difficult to conversate with her”
On doing business: “There’s no room for manoevrement” Melissa (aka Lookey-Likey)

Apparently, blue is gay...

Some b’stard on Twitter stole my line. Admittedly, I noticed his was already there when I posted mine: ‘No more Stella for Chris’. his was better – so I stole it back: 'Chris will never drink Stella again'…so well done @timpricebowen who, to add insult to injury, appears to be doing something worthy for charity (whilst I sit on my ar*e drinking red wine. Embarrassed? Whilst I should be… NOT).  Then I decided I shouldn’t use it on principle. What all that has to do with the fact that I had to dig my car out of the snow it was covered in this morning, before deciding to take the bus instead, is anybody’s guess… 

Back to the plot, the finalists had to: create a new alcoholic drink, aimed at the over 25’s; cost approx £20; design bottle and create a marketing campaign. Cut to the Langham where a subset of the original 16 candidates were invited back to help out (or hinder, depending upon your point of view).  Surprisingly, Stuart Baggs ‘The Brand’ wasn’t part of the contingent, can’t think why…. Paloma, got picked last, like the kid who isn’t great at sport that no-one REALLY wants on their team. Unphased, she continued to look evil, but inexplicably beautiful at the same time.  Stella’s team, who she picked (just so we’re clear, no one forced her, she chose them..), comprised of Lookey-Likely (Melissa), Paloma, Joanna and Army guy (Chris Farrell). You had to wonder on that basis whether she was as committed to winning as she claimed to be….

Cut to the Brainstorming session where Alex the unemployed communications manager, (who apparently is now employed), in a shock departure from script, said some sensible stuff… On that basis, Chris’s team decided upon a rum based cocktail that had pomegranate and lime (I think).


So the conclusion of The Apprentice tomorrow night. Are you as excited as I am?

Kara Tointon won Strictly tonight, so there is justice in the world Smile That MAY mean we get the right result tomorrow night, but we'll see... Meanwhile have a look at Stuart Baggs 'The Brand' defending himself on Radio 5 live post his firing - Demonstrating the fact that, (in his own words), he's still a little bit of a cock!

Just to ensure that no one on Britain is left in doubt, he does it again on BBC breakfast (skip to 1 min 54 secs)

Finally, some insightful person has noticed the striking similarity between Stuart and David Brent.

Roll on tomorrow and Stella to win!!!


The Apprentice - 10 weeks too late, but better late than never.

Tonight was the much anticipated interview episode. Not just for the opportunity to see the candidates squirm as their houses’ of cards toppled before their eyes. Not just for the potential to see another Pterodactyl impersonation a la Lee Mcqueen (“Thaas wot I’m talkin’ abaht”), reminder below. No, but because marvellous Margaret Mountford was going to take on Stuart Baggs 'The Brand'. She did not disappoint...

We kicked off with the candidates waiting to be picked up and transported to the scene of what was to be a damned good mauling for them. Joanna, as appalled by Forrest’s suit/tie combo as I was, felt compelled to point out just how sh*te it was. (In her defence it was a very bad suit).  A pointless exchange followed about the relative merits of Forrest's vs Chris the boring Investment banker's suits, during which we learned that: John Major dresses like an Investment Banker; and that New Labour, (all of them), dress like a Butlins redcoats  - except in ill fitting baby blue suits with clashing red ties. (Such an educational and informative series this has been, I don’t feel as if I have wasted many hours of my life on it at all…)


The Family - nice but more than a little bit boring

Tonight's episode focused on Ola's summer holiday, or lack thereof and Ayo's continuing attempt's to prove what a terrible rapper his is. You can stop now Ayo, really, we are all convinced, but we'll come back to that...

So, Ola is made to work in the family business during her school holidays. In theory, this isn't a bad thing as, as summarised by Vicky: "if she want's good things, she has to work for them". By her own admissions she likes to shop and didn't seem to begrudge working per se, but to expect her to work everyday is more than a tad unreasonable.  Give the poor girl a day off people! To add insult to injury, Julie bullied her a bit, Mum and Dad told her off unnecessarily and it was implied that she didn't get to spend anytime with her friends. Olu, (the younger brother, who thus far we have seen very little of) indicated that she is always counting the days until she can go back to school when she comes home on holiday. Frankly, I can't say that I blame her. On the upside and in a shift of paradigm that I really wasn't expecting, Julie was actually NICE to Ola!!  No need to get too excited about that though as the preview of next week's show suggests that she reverts to her usual modus operandi, (i.e. loco), next week.


Harald Glööckler, camper than Campy McCamp…

Well I watched Harald Glööckler “Prince of Fashion” on Living tonight and I’ll 
have to say, I ended the episode feeling slightly bemused. Harald is a German designer who in his words has: “…so much gifts from God and so much ideas and so much talent. I want to show people that.” To that end, he designs, well, everything it would seem: clothes; furniture; jewellery; handbags; shoes, sunglasses, you name it, his Pompöös label does it. All extremely outlandish and over the top (think “Empora Catareena ze great” and double that, you won’t even come close), yet he seems to have a dedicated following. Including several fading celebs such as Brigit Neilson – who looks fab by the way and Bonnie Tyler – not so fab… (I don’t know whether that’s a good thing?)

He is ever so slightly obsessed with himself and I guess his ‘brand’. Cut to him at the hairdressers (in a bit of a strop because the camera crew filming the documentary were late to come and watch him mill about basiically), where he goes EVERY DAY.  I repeat EVERY DAY for a wash and blow dry, or a colour, or to colour his beard because: “I am like a piece of art, that is my success. I am glamorous”.  He mentioned without seeming particularly distressed that he is often compared to the “child of Liza Minnelli and David Guest..You are Bruno.’ As and aside the narrator indicated that, Harald is the ‘inspiration’ for the Sacha Baron Cohen’s character Bruno. What he should have said is that, in fact, he IS Bruno. He is so Bruno’esq’ that, had today been April 1st, I would have written him off as an elaborate ruse.  Sacha Baron Cohen has basically ripped his personality off. If I was Harald, (but with my bank account…) I would be demanding a share of the royalties. There was one comedy moment where we saw him exercising in a green glittery tank top!! (Camper than Campy, Mcamp)  Exercise being required because, “people expect me to have a nice body. People tell me, “we like your ‘beeceps’ and your chest”. Apparently the exercise is working as his ‘tits are getting beeeeg’.


X Factor the results - So, Cage against the machine for Xmas number 1 then?

The show opened with another hideous Group song (whose idea was the 'group song' thing anyway?). The remaining contestants and 'Take That' singing 'Never Forget'. (New album/tour soon to shamelessly plug anyone?) Robbie, appeared to be trying very hard not to lose it and seemed to have lost the ability to blink. Odd. The two of 'Take That', that aren't Gary, Robbie or Mark, have not aged well. This worries me slightly as I have just shelled out a not inconsiderable sum to see them next July, I hope there will still be 5 of them at that point.
Group Song with Take That

If I'm honest, I wasn't that stressed about who won, Daddy Snow was gone and as far as I am concerned all is now well with the world. That said, I expected One Direction to win, given that they had the teeny bopper vote and I wanted Becks to win because I actually think she's talented. Yup, Matt the Hat, despite his singing becoming progressively worse over the series (last three weeks being worse than dire), still won. Konnie read out the results of the votes over the live shows on Xtra Factor and Matt the Hat walked it, with Becks and Mary a close second. Not sure what that says about the British public (it says I should probably have put my money where my mouth is and voted, but to be honest I wasn't THAT bothered). Simon was as flummoxed as I was, he looked genuinely surprised. Bet the producers lose their jobs now, I'm sure that wasn't the plan...

One Direction were on a hiding to nothing as soon as they came out dressed like extra's from Oliver Twist. I expected them to launch into a rousing chorus of "consider yourself at 'ome" so it was a pleasant surprise to hear 'Torn'. At least it would have been, had they sang it as well as they did in Judge's houses. I think the reason for their demise was twofold:


X Factor the Final - Those "Creationists" might actually have something...

So to the finals, Becks, Matt the Hat, One Direction and Mary... Sorry, Daddy Snow.

Is Rhianna really tall or is Matt a lot shorter than we thought?
Missed the  beginning of the show (and thankfully, Matt the Hat's first performance) so wasn't aware that the first set of songs were intended to be "songs that you can win with". Imagine my surprise when I realised it was a Dido song???? Sung really badly. Is he still ill? His second performance was with Rhianna, where he vied with her to produce the worst vocals in X Factor history (Wagner get's an exemption as we "Lorb" him). They sang her hit "Unfaithful' which included the line: "I don't want to do this anymore". Which was uncanny as I didn't want them to either.  For a fleeting moment I thought it was going to get interesting, with the two of them barely stopping short of a soft porn 'moment'. So bad in fact that Dermie felt it necessary to inquire as to whether we were "disturbing something?" Matt the Hat could only dream..

So first performance for me was the gorgeous Becks, wearing a peach dress (yes, I did actually say Peach and no one was getting married...) and Cheryl's hair extensions (cut to relatively bald Cheryl). A deathly dull Corrine Bailey Rae song which she sang very well, whilst standing completely still. No surprise there I hear you cry. Not so fast people, there was a twist, 4 hunky blokes spun the podium she was standing on, to give the illusion of movement..... Her second song was with Christina Aguilera. Christina sang her and all of the other contestants off of the stage, but ruined it, but forgetting her trousers. (Probably because she couldn't fit into them anymore - she definitely looked like she'd been hitting the pies, hard...)

Has Santa Hit Hard times?

I love JibJab!


Who's idea was 'Apprentice the Final 5'? That person needs a good talking to...

What a load of twaddle. This is the Apprentice for God's sake not the bloomin' X Factor! Sob story after boring sob story. Oh woe is me, there were 10 of us, we lived in shoe and ate coal for dinner...Did anyone care? I know I didn't.

So what was clear to me from this show, was that Stuart 'the Brand' is still in because Lord Allen has already decided who will be his Apprentice and it wasn't Liz. The Producers are keeping Stuart 'the Brand' in for comedy value alone and to be fair, it would be so much less interesting without him. Take tonight for instance, was there anyone out there that Stuart 'the Brand' didn't feel the need to insult?

He's into IT apparently, "I'm like the office IT geek with a bit of a personality...I've managed to get myself a girlfriend which makes me different from the other IT geeks out there." Who told him he had a personality? The lunatic who's going out with him probably. She wisely decided not to take part in the show...

The other candidates "are just professionals that have reached a certain point in their career...there's nobody else out there like me...He needs to hire me or he may never see somebody like me again." I don't know about Ludallen, but I wouldn't have a problem with that.

He clearly has no problem looking like a complete idiot. In fact, he very rarely opens his mouth without something ridiculous coming out. "Everything I touch turns to sold" may have been usurped as the most ridiculous comment ever, by last nights board room speech.
"I'm not a one trick pony,  I'm not a ten trick pony. I've got a field of ponies waiting to literally run towards this"
Last nights board room was "the toughest fight of his life"??? I suppose I should give him some credit for not throwing in a sob story... 
"I would imagine that's how you'd feel when you're about to die, there is a strange feeling of acceptance"
So not being dramatic at all Stu...

His summing up of himself, at the end of tonight's travesty of a show, included the phrase, "I am full of passion and ambition." What about sh@te Stu? You forgot sh@te...

On a scale of 1 - 5....

...This morning's hangover is a 3.8 (see below for details). Put it this way, I struggled to operate the taps in my bathroom this morning, but I have definitely felt worse than this...

Anyway, didn't see the Apprentice last night, had big plans when I got home, but fell asleep in front of Sky Plus. This morning, despite all of your best efforts not to tell me the result (as requested), I see that Ludallen selected Stuart 'the Brand' over Liz. Without having seen the episode (and disliking Liz after her petulance in the house last week post her and Mini Pot's run in, in the board room), I know Stuart should have gone. I can only assume that either:

(a) Ludallen really has lost it
(b) Ludallen has decided who he wants - Mini Pot or Joanna me thinks. Chris the extremely boring investment banker has been on the losing team too many times (though he does talk a good game) to win. Nobody in their right mind would want Forrest (refer to (a), perhaps he does....) - and is keeping Stuart 'the Brand' just to wind us up
(c) The producers, like us, would love to see Stuart 'the Brand' go head to head with the marvellous Margaret Mountford. God I hope the rumours are true and she really will be in the interview episode.

Hangover Rating Scale (not all my own work, I did say I was hungover..)

One - No real feeling of illness but exhausted as your sleep last night was a mere disco nap. You are able to function relatively well, but you are still parched. A tuck load of carbs will sort you out.

Two - No real pain but something is definitely amiss. You may look okay but you have the attention span and mental capacity of a flea (so no change there I hear you cry). The coffee you chug to try and remain focused is only exacerbating your rumbling gut, which is craving a bacon sarnie from a motorway service station. Last night has wreaked havoc on your bowels and even though you're acting like you're working, all you really can handle is surfing the internet and writing junk e-mails (or blogs).

Thee - Headache, dodgy stomach and spacing out, so not productive. You have the attention span of something with less of an attention span than a flea. Anytime someone wearing perfume walks past you dry heave as it reminds you of the random shots you did with your alcoholic friends before the bar manager, finally, ejected you... Life would be better if you were in your bed with a dozen bacon sandwiches and daytime TV. You've had 4 cups of coffee, a gallon of water, a liter of Diet Coke - yet you haven't peed once.

Four - Why is Life such a bitch? Your head is throbbing and you can't speak too quickly for fear of vomitting. You reek of booze and the nice clothes you wore
can't hide the fact that you missed a very noticeable spot shaving (if you're a man) or, (if you're a girl) it looks like you put your make-up on while riding a camel. Your eyeballs actually hurt. You would shoot your own Grandmother:
1. If it would make the day miraculously disappear, the clock would strike 5.30pm and it would be OK(ish) for you to sidle out of the office....
2. For the entire Maccy D's menu.
3. For a time machine so you could go back to last and NOT go out.

Five (also known as Dante's 4th Circle of Hell): You are a medical mystery as you appear to have have a second heartbeat in your head. Wine vapour is seeping out of every pore and making you dizzy. Your body has lost the ability to generate saliva, so your tongue is suffocating you. You would cry but that would use up the last vestiges of moisture left in your body. Death seems like an attractive option. You don't remember who you were with, where you were, what you drank and why there is a (now unaccompanied) stranger still sleeping in your bed. The only thing you can do is pass out.

Off to imbibe (several gallons of) black coffee and carbs now, don't talk to me or make any loud noises...


The Family - Julie, a woman with serious issues....

Not content with terrorising her brothers and sisters, Julie is indiscriminate and quite happy to terrorise her parents too....At the top of the episode, she indicated that her parents had asked her to come home, rather than rent, until she was ready to buy a house. Bet they're regretting that now....

Either Julie upset the Editors and they are taking the opportunity to make her look like a complete lunatic or, as I suspect is the case, the girl has serious issues. In summary, she spent the episode: disrespecting her parents; disposing of other people's possessions at will; and not missing an opportunity to bully Ola. (I bet Ola can't wait to get back to school. Speaking of schools...whilst Ola seems like a lovely person, she also appears to be only marginally above the level of village idiot in terms of intelligence. I introduce the incident with the grapes in evidence here, if I were her parents, I think I'd be asking for my money back...)

She also cleans obsessively, as to be fair, she has since episode 1. She even admitted to being a "bit" obsessive - her definition of 'a bit' is very different from mine.  Like Father like Daughter to an extent, did you see how much time he spent obsessing over where to put the ironing board?!! The irony is that the house was bloomin' dirty and the rest of the family do seem to have a bit of a relaxed attitude to cleanliness... However, charging through the house like a lunatic screaming and abusing everyone isn't really the way to get people on side. I suspect some of the untidiness may be a silent protest re her behaviour.

She said at one stage that families should 'understand each other and have respect for each other' and yet doesn't practice what she preaches. Her family, who when all said and done, appear to be a very loving one, seem worn down and not a little bewildered, by her irrational behaviour.  The programme itself appeared to be suggesting that Julie’s behaviour was down to the cultural clash between her and her parents. I disagree - Ola, (in a rare show of intelligence), said “I think the cleaning is just an excuse." I think she may be right, Julie is clearly a unhappy and obviously directionless and  is taking it out on those closet to her. I really hope that this isn’t all clever editing, because at the moment, Julie appears to be a young woman in need of serious help.

Don't know how I managed to forget to mention Cheryl's face...

...whilst Daddy Snow was murdering the Bruno Mars song on Saturday's X Factor. Luckily, there are loads of people out there with nothing better to do than upload stuff to YouTube (I salute you all!).  The "Trout pout" in case you missed it.

Whilst I am here... I refuse to believe I am the only person who remembers the real Daddy Snow. Admittedly, it could conceivably be considered part of my 'useless facts' cache, but he was sooooo bad, he was unforgettable. A reminder and lyrics, because you won't understand a word of it - apart from "Informer and "a licky boom-boom down". No that wasn't as misprint, he did actually say "a licky boom-boom down". Proceed with caution, you have been warned....

"It's not over 'til the fat lady sings"

I decided (as I have far too much time on my hands...) to research the origins of the expression, "It's not over 'til the fat lady sings".  (Also because the title of an earlier blog included the phrase "The Fat Lady has sung now, so basically it's all over.") Turns out that it's actually "It ain't over 'til the fat lady sings" and according to Wikipedia:
It is a common expression in sports reporting and everyday situations to mean, "it's not over until it's over," similar to the 6th century saying "don't count your chickens before they hatch." Although originally a southern proverb, "Church isn't over until the fat lady sings," its use in sports journalism has been attributed to writer/broadcaster Dan Cook; his original line was "The opera ain't over till the fat lady sings." This occurred in April 1978, when he used the phrase after the first basketball game between the San Antonio Spurs and the Washington BulletsNational Basketball Association playoffs, to illustrate that while the Spurs had won once, the series was not over yet. (now the Washington Wizards) during the 1977-78.
Your thoughts on this blog:
  1. Interesting and informative
  2. Why?
  3. And?
  4. Why aren't you asleep, you have work tomorrow
  5. Seriously, you need to get a life.
So there you go then. This information will of course, be kept in the, disproportionately large, section of my memory bank where I store useless facts. Did you know, for example, that milk and potato quotas are potentially eligible for capital allowances? And (I know you can't start a sentence with "and" but the conjunction was required to ensure the requisite flow) I had a colleague once who's family bought and transported several cows across Europe, in an attempt to avoid "mad cow" infected beef. Actually, now I think about it, that same colleague and his family bought a job lot of coffins that were "going cheap", (one for each family member) on the grounds that they'd need them eventually. I really am off topic now aren't I? Anyway, you get the general gist, useless facts, ramblings of the insane blah, blah.

I am leaning towards (1), but probably because it's midnight and I am wide awake. Common sense tells me it should be (4 or possibly 5). You decide....


Don't you just love Christmas?!

The campaign to ensure the X Factor doesn't get Christmas number 1 is hotting up. Options are:

John Cage's silent piece, 4'33'' - Basically, the performers sit there and do nothing for the entire piece. Conceptual art, not really for me but it is for a better cause than just to knock Cowell off of the top spot. What could be better than that? I hear you cry.. It's in aid of various charities, so actually not a bad way to spend a couple of quid at Christmas. (Plus you wont have to listen to whatever schmaltz it is that X Factor put out). People do seem to be getting behind it - see facebook for details.

The other option is less worthy, but knowing the British public (and the fact that the relevant has facebook page has gathered a lot more support alreay), far more likely to win....

The third option is that if Becks (because she's good), or One Direction (because they're only little) wins, we support them AND buy the John Cage thing to be good citizens.


Fix Factor the Results - The Fat Lady has sung now, so basically it's all over.

More miming from the guests again this week, Heaven forbid they might reveal a bit of talent on a talent show. I was especially disappointed with Alexandra, who can actually sing. Why not show us why you won last year Alexandra?  No, it makes more sense to turn up in the outfit Mary wore for the Hero's song, mime theatrically and end the whole thing suspended in mid air, with what appeared to be a surfeit of toilet paper trailing below you???  Oh and what was with the suspended violinists? Alexandra, thought everyone was a winner - she had to though, as she is signed to Cowell's record label.

The Black Eyed Peas were embarrassingly awful, in fact I thought for a moment it was the contestants group song. They are all a bit long in the tooth for that nonsense now - somebody tell them to stop. Surprise, surprise, Will-I-Am thought Cole's girls were the favourite to win. Perhaps he was aware of the travesty that was about to occur? Or maybe he just fancies Cheryl...

This is incredibly unkind, but at the same tme very funny...

...I think I may be putting my 'place in Heaven' in jeopardy by posting this but....Let's face it, the chances of my getting there, at best, slim - Here you go!

This is blasphemey, but again funny...!

And why are they calling it 'Soccer'. It's Football people.

Another funny one

For other similar satirical items (see also "Incredibly Sexy Firefighter Tragically Dies In Steamy Blaze" and the MUST see "Are Reality Shows Setting Unrealistic Standards For Skanks?") take a look at "Onion News"on YouTube, very funny.


Club classics night on X Factor? Do they play "Amazing Grace' in clubs these days?

The best thing about tonight’s show was the Yeo Valley rappers in the commercial break (see below). The Owl looked a bit like Daddy Snow (except much cuter) which had me confused for a while, as the rapping was good. I am organising a master class for her with them as we speak. Common sense tells me I shouldn’t humour her, but based on her 'I'm a hip hop artist' comment (made without irony) in the Xtra Factor, I suspect she’s plans to keep torturing us. Oh and Becks was good too, but more of that later.

Side note: Grandmaster Flash and the Furious 5 are turning in their graves on the back of Snow’s comment. She really does believe her own hype. “Arrogant gel” (said in the style of Lady Catherine de Bourgh in ‘Pride and Prejudice’)

In case it wasn’t obvious (it wasn’t to me) tonight was apparently “club classics” night. Does anyone have an official definition for the term 'Club Classics'? I’m not convinced I heard any tonight. They Way we were? ??? I don't think so.... None of that mattered to Louis, he was positively brimming with love tonight, everyone was fabulous and they all deserve to be in the final…On an even more positive note, Louis, in a desperate attempt to prove he's not senile, recited the names of everyone in One Direction. (Well done Louis!) I’ll confess to being more than a little relieved at that point, he’d been repeating the same 5 sentences in his summing up for most of the evening. I was worried for him…

We kicked off with Becks, who indicated in her VT that she was ‘astonished when her name got called’ last week. Not as astonished as Cole was though – did anyone see her face? She decided to go with an up tempo number as her opener. As always, she sang it very well, whilst wearing a cut down version of Nicole Shersinger’s (still can’t spell it) outfit from last week – bizarre. Apparently, she actually moved, but I blinked so I missed it. She sang her second song brilliantly (if a bit clichéd – cue the ghostly gospel choir), but ‘Amazing Grace’ cannot under any circumstances be considered a club classic…. My daughter walked into the room as Becks was singing it. Her comment was, "What's Cheryl doing? Her voice sounds good though". I think that sums the performance up succinctly...

Mary was up next, dressed, inexplicably, as an aging transvestite (I guess it worked for Katie for many weeks…) Like many of the other contestants (and Simon, but he didn’t like to mention it) she had been severely ill (for that read she had the sniffles) all week. On that basis, we were told it it would be a minor miracle if she was on form (and would, obviously, be expected to factor that in when voting).  In fact, things were so bad she had to be helped out of her chair by the dancers. It transpired that she needed all her residual energy to scream out "I never can say goodbye”. It was terrible, truly terrible. I didn’t think her second song could be worse, but as usual, I was very wrong. Not a single note of 'The Way We Were' (another well known 'club classic') was in tune. Mary cried at the end of her second song (it reminded her of her Mum apparently) and Simon's response was, "This is not a time for tears Mary".  I disagreed and was weeping profusely post her horrific performances...Louis obviously realised how bad the whole thing was and begged the public to vote, as he doesn't want her to go back to Tesco. I and millions of other shoppers do, what with the Xmas rush and everything….

Much was made of how ill Matt the Hat was this week too. Cut to a VT of him tucked up in bed, not looking that ill if truth be told, with Mum hovering about in the background. Thankfully, Dani realised he needed to stay warm and didn’t subject us to a shirtless Matt the Hat this week. (As an aside, hopefully this will teach him to leave his hat on in future. He'd never have gotten ill had he been wearing it...) He looked and sounded ill throughout both of his songs.  Dani mentioned on the Xtra Factor that she "can't believe the notes he did in the song" neither could I to be honest and none of them good.... Despite all that, he’ll go through.

The pace of the campaign to make Daddy Snow appear likeable stepped up a notch tonight. Kicking off, as it did, with her impassioned plea to the "whole nation" to let her make it. I would like to add to the debate by crying out to the whole nation:  "Please don't subject us to Snow for another week". Cole in the VT said, "I think there's a lot of confusion out there about Cher". Yeah, we're confused as to what she's doing in a talent contest...Unfortunately for Daddy Snow, her first performance was after the nation had a chance to see rapping as it should be done during the Yeo Valley ad. To be honest, I didn’t expect her to be anything less than terrible, but the comparison only served to further highlight her glaring inadequacies re that genre. That said, the ‘rapping’ was a welcome respite from the truly awful singing. Predictably, everyone – except Dani who has been the sole voice of reason on the panel this season – thought she was the best thing since sliced bread. She must have loved the way Simon lies.  In case it wasn’t obvious that was intended to be a clever play on ‘Love the way you lie” one of her songs. No? Oh well, I tried. In any event, his summing up was utter balderdash.

So to One Direction, where we were confronted by more illness’ and dying relatives, in an undisguised attempt to excuse their performances. (Yes, yes, I am an evil cow…) Can’t really remember what they sang, but I do remember wondering if Harry is allowed to go to school with his hair like that. Also, why 'the one that wouldn’t dance in boot camp' kept grabbing his unmentionables. Side note: Caller on the Xtra Factor told Simon she thought they should dance a bit more (she clearly didn’t see the ‘dancing’ during boot camp). Simon said that One Direction are not very good dancers and they 'shouldn't do something that they're not very good at'.  Hang on why not? There not great at singing, Daddy Snow is extremely bad at ‘rapping’ and yet they continue... Whatever, teenybopper vote, they’ll be back.

In other news, Konnie, who every week makes me long for the return of Holly, got her bangers AND her pins out on Xtra Factor? With the children on stage and everything, most inappropriate. Also, I have it on good authority (some equally poorly researched web site!) that Katie Waissel’s grandmother – who was revealed as a prostitute – has said: she’d be delighted to have Wagner as a customer; and “My favourite singer is Rebecca, but I love Wagner for all-round entertainment”. Even her Nan wasn’t voting on her! Side note: The woman (Nan, not Katie) is 81 and still ‘working’. Is it wrong to feel a sneaking sense of admiration for her?

Finally, Daddy Snow really was at her most arrogant, snarling, best tonight, indicating that she was bringing a 'new twist to English music'. Seriously???? So what have Chipmunk, Tinie Tempah and the posse been doing all this time. I'm old, I don't know the lingo, I just know Snow is wrong on many, many levels.

Who will go? It should be Snow on principle, but it’ll probably be Mary. Roll on tomorrow and the cast of Glee :-)

'Club Classics' night on X Factor - I am (almost) too scared to watch

Just imagine what the Wagster could have done with this theme?!!! Tonight was always going to be dull without him. Having found out some of the song choices, I now know it will be MUCH duller than I had first thought...

  • Mary: Never Can Say Goodbye - Gloria Gaynor version  and ‘The Way We Were’ - Gladys Knight version. How is that a club classic???
  • One Direction: Only Girl In The World by Rihanna. To be honest, I thought that was by Gracie Fields, but that's probably me showing my age again..
  • Daddy Snow: 'Love The Way You Lie' Rihanna/Eminem (so not even a brief respite from the 'rapping') and 'Fight For This Love' by Cheryl Cole Club Classic?????? I suspect that Cloe is beginning to believe her own hype..
  • Becks: 'Amazing Grace' - Do we get the feeling Cheryl wants her to loose......' Show Me Love' by Robin S. Finally, an up tempo number - will this be her undoing...
  • Matt the Hat: No news on as yet, but no news is good news in this case :-)

In other news, it turns out that Becks can actually sing up tempo songs and the fact that she hasn't for the last few weeks is clearly an evil plot by Cole to hold her back and propel Snow to the fore. (Do we think I am starting to take this a tad too seriously? No, I don't think so either). I am introducing the video below as evidence...

Other fun X Factor related stuff found on the web (I think it's fun anyway...)

Finally, extremely tenuous link to X Factor, but it made me laugh!!


For Fans of Strictly - Mad, Hot, Ballroom

If you haven't already seen this documentary, you MUST watch it -  it's amazing. It follows several New York Junior schools, whilst they teach the children to ballroom dance and compete in a city wide competition. It's largely told from the children's perspective, they reveal titbits about their lives (not all rosy) and at times are quite funny. The best thing about it is watching the children transform from extreme reluctance to join in, to being determined to do well/win.  I believe the point of it is to show the importance socially of that type of scheme, but it's not at all 'preachy'. It's sweet and funny and you find yourself really rooting for some of the little blighters!!! I watched it a couple of years ago when it was screened on TV in the UK, with a cynical teenager to my right... she loved it!!! What better recommendation is there? Best of all, there is actually some really good dancing, (Widdie, eat your heart out) - So if you're a fan of merengue, rumba, tango etc, put it on your Christmas list. Trailer below.

So... Yet ANOTHER rousing chorus of 'At Last'

Ludallen might be getting his mojo back, one of the (admittedly) many people we wanted stopped, finally left this week. (Don't worry, I won't give the game away straight away in case you missed tonight's episode). Yes, yes, we all knew that yesterday's "I don't know if I'm going to bother to watch..." comment was nonsense. Quelle surprise? I watched... For the first time in the series, it didn't disappoint. Not, I hasten to add, because the candidates bothered to display any common sense/business acumen. No, but because one of the most annoying candidates (not easy to earn that accolade in this series), finally bit the dust!

So there was a twist on the usual "selling tat task" week. This week, the candidates had to get the best price for 10 random items, within a specified time period, the team that paid the least would win. Ludallen's view was that "Its not a complex task...in fact, it's very simple." I found myself wondering if this was in fact Ludallen's slightly less evil twin brother posing as him, whilst the real Ludallen was off having a root canal (or perhaps interviewing for a serious candidate for the post he has to fill when the series is over?) The real Ludallen has actually met the numpties, he'd know that nothing is simple for these people. Ludallen decided to go back to basics and pitch the girls, led by Liz, against the boys, led by Forrest. Forrest, keenly aware that Ludallen had his eye on him, post last weeks debacle, sent Chris the exceptionally boring Investment Banker & Stuart "Herr Baggs" the Brand off with instructions to "negotiate our little bottoms off" and come up with a story in order to get the lowest price. To be honest at that point, I was convinced the girls, who let's face it are 'technically' the stronger team, couldn't lose. Famous last words?


The last time I wore a hat as a 'style" statement...

(...and I use the term loosely). The wonderful Mel was still alive :-( Neither of them are wearing the offending article in the video below, but it's worth a look all the same.

p.s. There are no pictures (fortunately), so don't bother to ask.
OK, it wasn't dissimilar to the black one Mel is wearing. I was young, what can I say???