X Factor 2011 - Week 4, not so frightening then...

Tonight, as the narrator announced, was 'Fright Night' and the contestants certainly warmed to the theme, with their terrifying singing and hideous outfits. The scariest thing, however, was the absent Kelly Rowland being replaced by Alexandra Burke. Alexandra appeared to think that standing in for Kelly, meant: doing a terrible impersonation of her – (No Alex, Kelly has never used the phrase “keeping it real”); Repeating everything Tulisa said; being rude to poor, doddery old Louis and; calling everyone ‘babe’. I can’t believe I am about to say this, but I almost found myself longing for Cole…In other, more pressing news, Tulisa was wearing cats ears, presumably as a punishment for her bitchiness last week?

The show kicked off with The Risk, who spent the majority of their VT in tears because one of their members (who’s name I’d like to say I forgot, but I didn’t actually know in the first place…) left. I tried to feel sympathetic, I really did, but instead I found myself longing to send them for a week on a chain gang to toughen them up... Back to their ‘performance’, which at least showed they were taking the ‘Fright Night’ theme literally, by performing one of the scariest renditions Thriller I had ever heard. I'm fairly certain there wasn't a note sung in tune. At one stage, they sang, " You close your eyes and hope that this is just imagination" I tried it, it didn't make them go away. It wasn’t a great start…

The lovely Johnny came next singing and by that I mean actually singing well, That Ole Devil Called Love. He was brilliant and his performance put him well on the way of achieving his aim of, getting Gary Barlow behind him (phnar, phnar). Gary, probably secretly believing this would be the only decent performance of the night showed Johnny his via a big hug. Tulisa indicated that she was happy that Johnny was finally singing a ‘ballat’. I didn’t have time to ponder on what ‘ballat’ was, as Sophie was up next.

Sophie sang Bang Bang, a song that is comprised (at least the way Sophie sung it) of one note. As usual I fell asleep for the majority of her performance, but what I remember of it was dull, dull dull. It seems I didn’t miss much, her performance was clearly so dreary that Louis was reduced to calling her a 'nice girl'. Alexandra decided that she would be "keeping it real" re her criticism and then went on to say there were 'slight' tuning problems. Erm, only slight????.

Next up was Marcus wearing enough ‘guy liner’ for the entire production team. Marcus, was great, that's right, I said great. Hang on X Factor contestants, good?? I was starting to become confused….

The marvellous Mischa arrived, somewhat confusingly dressed as a red, mono-browed Rhino. She sang Tainted Love, which admittedly has nothing to do with Halloween, but I was assuming by this point that the narrator (and The Risk) had made a mistake. This weeks theme was clearly sing songs that have  ‘Nothing to do with Fright Night, whilst wearing Halloween costumes." In the absence of Kelly, I have to say that she "put it down", unfortunately, so did Louis. Dermott voiced what we were all thinking by begging Louis never to impersonate Kelly again - It was freaky and not in a good way. Tulisa looked like she was sucking lemons throughout the whole thing and grudgingly attempted and apology/not apology. She ended up seeming more childish than last week. Louis, wisely, kept his mouth shut….

So quick recap: At this point, The Risk and Sophie, in true X Factor style were awful and no one was bothering to stick to the theme. However, Johnny, Marcus and Mischa were all good. My confusion was growing, but it short lived…Janet came as an extra from the Thriller video, but as The Risk had already butchered that song, she went for Every Breath You Take. Janet really terrified me with her off-key singing, so brownie points for embracing the theme. Louis found it haunting, which I couldn’t disagree with. Meanwhile, Gary pointed out that she sounds the same every week, not that I didn't agree with him, but it was ironic coming from the person mentoring Frankie Crappozza.

The amount of airtime X Factor is given to Crappoza’s pathetic attempts at carousing is appalling - anything to detract from the lack of talent I suppose. On the upside for Frankie, he didn’t need to dress up as he always looks very, very scary. "Tonight” he said, “it's me, a class song, a load of fit dancers and a bed. I'm just gonna go out there and 'ave it". Fortunately for Frankie, he was given a song that doesn't require any actual singing, thus Louis was able to say that, vocally, it was better than he expected. His choice of song was "Should I stay or should I go?" I assumed he didn’t want me to answer that question... Alex, critique was basically nonsense, but we had, by this point, established this as her modus operandi. Gary reassured me by saying “don't worry mate, she'll only be here for one week”. Wait, does that mean we have to put up with her on the results show? Bugger…

Kitty said during her VT "if I was a viewer at home, I'd wanna slap me", I began to worry that Kitty actually has supernatural powers or possibly has my living room bugged… That aside, I had high expectations of Kitty, who, it seemed to me, is perpetually ready for a Halloween/Fright night theme. I hate to say it, but Kitty was good. To be fair, the narrator did warn us at the top of the show that it was Fright Night, but all these competent performances were really scaring me....

The boring girl band have changed their name to Little Mix – not sure why, but hey ho… Tulisa, yet again reminded us how normal the girls are. I am beginning to suspect her motives, maybe she’s doing it because they're not normal? They certainly didn’t look normal, made up as marionettes and sitting on swing, it didn't bode well. The name change, however, appears to have worked miracles, Little Mix were much better than the crap Rhythmix. The judges gushed, Alex talked crap and then offered to do a duet with them. Dermot restrained a couple of the girls to stop them from running screaming in horror, at the the thought of it, from the room.

The final act up was Craig, who's VT proved that nearly everyone in Liverpool wears braces (odd..) Also, his supplier, aka the lady in the fish and chip shop, is annoyed with Gary Barlow for having cut of a massive income stream for her. “I can’t believe Gary Barlow’s got him (Craig) eating lettuce” she said bitterly. I’m sure I heard Craig say he wasn’t doing a ballad in his VT, but then he proceeded to sing yet another ballad from Adele’s back catalogue. Set Fire To The Rain, to be fair to Craig, is marginally more up-tempo than some of the others he’s done. On the downside, it was awful, basically, he should stick to slow ballads. The mystery of why he was wearing a donkey jacket for the performance was neither commented on, nor resolved. I think he may be preparing for his alternative career as a dustman once this is all over. As usual the judges all loved it & Louis positively shrieked, “This guy could sell albums”. He could only mean photo albums based on that performance..

Dermot cleared up the mystery of why Kelly was not around, at the end of the show, by announcing that Cher Lloyd will be appearing on the results show tomorrow. So Fright night is actually tomorrow then….

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