X Factor 2012 - Live Shows week 1 or "Battle of the Cry babies"

Dermie Dad dancing, please make it stop...
So, the endurance test, that was the first live show last night, is over. Frankly, I struggled to make it through…. It started badly with  Dermie fumbling his way (unconvincingly) through 2 seconds of Gangnam style. (Message to the Producers:  Dermie's Dad dancing opening sequences were not well received  last year. Why have you brought it back??) Even the acts that I expected to be good appeared to be delivering some form of punishment to those of us who were stupid enough to be watching. James Arthur, sang ‘What doesn’t Kill you makes you Stronger', which came as a timely reminder for me as I seriously felt like I was on the verge of death after the first couple of acts. It was good to know I’d survive the evening.

Apparently the theme of the night was ‘The Olympics’. As a reward for their sterling efforts over the summer, our Olympians were subjected to an evening of screeching and caterwauling that didn’t appear to include any songs with an Olympic theme. (To be fair, what songs do have an Olympic theme?) To be honest, I only kept watching after the first act, (one of the boy bands Louis created from the Boy Band factory in his back yard), in anticipation of the latest Yeo Valley Yoghurt ad – WHICH NEVER MATERIALISED. WTF???? Said band has a new name apparently, tellingly, I have no idea what their old name was, but the new name is probably only marginally less sh@te. I seem to remember them saying the public had voted for it. Was it just the least sh@te option or are the UK having a laugh at their expense? I suspect it’s the latter.

The X factor has now completely morphed into American Idol (minus the talent) and has started doling out the contestants’ sob stories in detail and at length, very early on in the series.  (Tactical error me thinks, what will they use to gain the all important sympathy vote, in the critical last couple of weeks before Christmas?) So we already know the following about the contestants:
  •  Everyone is doing this for his or her Nan/children/next door neighbour/puppy. (Dermott ominously pointed out that he’s sure that won’t be the last we see of Nan. Deep sigh, I suspect he’s right…)
  • Everyone knows that the others really ‘want this’, but equally, none of the others want it as much of them.
  • Everyone has been working sooooo hard to make it in the music game, but just haven’t had the breaks/this is their time.
  • Everyone has struggled all of their lives (all 14 years of it…), eaten coal and has shared the one family shoe. Music has been their life line/is their only way out.
The X Factor script writers will have to work hard in the coming weeks to find something new to attempt to tug our, the hard nosed X factor viewers, heart strings or Rylan will win. Speaking of Rylan…..

Camptastic Rylan
Rylan is now my absolute favourite after his major breakdown last week. Yes, yes, the guy from Liverpool who (inexplicably) got through as the wild card, tried to replicate Rylan’s magnificent performance, but could only manage a stumble and a blubber. So Rylan definitely won the battle of the cry babies, that guy from Liverpool clearly has no idea who he's dealing with. No, what with the superb blubber fest and last nights Camptastic performance of “Gold” (a favourite of mine until last night), Ryland, the Emperor of over reaction, will take some beating. (Unless Yeo Valley are teasing us and plan to deliver some new sexy farm hands, avec owls, later in the series, in which case they’ll win).

I suppose I should mention some of the acts….The generic boy bands were generic and boring and I already can’t tell them apart. Expect one has a silly name that they seemed quite excited about and Louis, screwed the other boy band by agreeing his song choice was sh@te. (The groups are Louis category btw, they’re all doomed). MK1, destroyed some song (“Champion”?), singing in a key I’ve never heard of, alongside some dubious ‘rapping’. Despite that and the fact they were dressed like rejects from an 80’s ‘hip hop’ movie, all the judges thought they were ‘current’?????

James Arthur was good, but had so much slap on he looked like he was channeling Ryland. Ryland, to be fair, was wearing all the slap in the world. If he hadn’t been moving, I would have thought he was a waxwork version of himself. I sort of agree with Gary, James shouldn't let Nicole 'sanitise' him. Whilst we're on the subject, if she had to give him that slightly creepy makeover, couldn't she have sorted out his teeth? Jahmene apparently has been working without his balls (yes Nicole said ‘balls’ tee-hee, not…), which would explain the high pitched screeching he subjected us to during his rendition of ‘Imagine’. (What on earth has that song got to do with the Olympics btw??) Jahmene has a good voice, but the Mariah Carey/Whitney Houston-esq warbling at the end of every line of the song just wasn’t working for me.

Jade, smiling through the pain of being forced to sing an Enrique Iglesias song
The Girls: Lucy sounded awful, did she peak with ‘Beer Fear? Time will tell. I like Jade, but an Enrique Iglesias song? Seriously? Is Tulissa trying to sabotage her? No Tulissa, adding the dub beat to the backing track did not detract from the fact that it was an Enrique Iglesias song…..According to Louis Jade looked like an ‘International Pop Star”. He’d run out of comparisons by this point, having compared: Lucy to Victoria Wood; the screechy overs woman to an act from Woodstock; and MK1 to a ‘Young N Dubz”.  On the upside, he did point out that a number of acts made the song “their own”. I felt  that called for  a glass of wine, which I definitely made my own…

To the overs, in summary, Gary definitely won’t win again this year. The guy from Liverpool (who had been Tangoed in honour of his performance) and the Screechy woman, whose day job is to pretend to be a fairy, will very quickly progress from mildly irritating to full on annoying. Can someone tell the screechy woman that she is not being assessed on volume…Kye sang completely off tune for most of his song and the country woman was bland and boring. So her attempts to make country music ‘sexy’, (by singing a Nicky Minaj song, which is rubbish in the original R&B), failed miserably then.

The judges were the same as last year. Louis is as mad as a box of frogs.  Louis, you remind me of a little box of mad frogs, you really make that judging panel your own. Tulissa, continues to support acts that she considers to be 'urban', no matter how bad they are. On the upside she didn’t do that stupid salute she took to doing last year. On the downside, she threatened us with the return of N Dubz… Nicole was as hopeless as I expected her to be. She has obviously been genning up on her UK colloquialisms as she used the word ‘spunky”...but not in the context we would. Other than that she mentioned someone’s harmonies being “on point”, oh and she also forgot one of her own acts name (that's "Jahmeme", Nicole)….Deep sigh, 9 more weeks of her inane babble to go…. 

Ella, definitely this years winner, if Yeo Valley fail to deliver
Actually, why are we evening bothering with the next  9 weeks? Is it really fair to waste all the contestants' time and build up their hopes when it's obvious Ella is going to win? What we should have is 9 more weeks showcasing Ella (who was very good btw), with Rylan in support for the fun factor. Wait, scrap that, what would we spend the next 9 weeks making fun of?

So who’ll go tonight? Sadly only one act…. (does that mean next week's show will be 2 hours long too? Deep sigh) I predict it will be the bland Country woman, who failed, (what’s worse than failing miserably?) to make Country music sexy.

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