Week Thirteen. Thirteen is unlucky for some, and this week certainly adheres to that idea. Before it had even begun we had someone being kicked out. The show started with twenty minutes of old footage from the auditions whilst they tried to sort out a technical blip, and ended with controversy over Amelia Lily's re-addition to the show being broadcast on the website whilst they were still calling for votes. Oops.
But aside from that, how was The X Factor tonight?
Rebecca Brodeur — aka, The One Who Is Usually Asleep
All the publicity about X Factor this week and it’s just led to a real sense of ennui with it all. Switching over to ITV to see awful auditions I hated being replayed almost made me lose it – though finding out it was a technical problem cheered me up a little, except to wonder how many more circles of audition hell I’d have to suffer through.
None of the performances really did it for me. Craig’s was interesting although I just can’t see him as a star, despite his obvious talents. Misha was pretty good, but I just wasn’t feeling it – she’s is 100% better without the stupid hairstyles though. Janet shown up to be as dull as Gary Barlow (sorry, to his fans), Marcus didn’t do well this week, Little Mix were ok but samey as the judges said, I didn’t enjoy Kitty and she got the lamest slot.. and I don’t actually give a toss who returns to the competition. Sorry, it’s just all a but ‘meh’ to me this week.
Even Amelia Lily’s return seems so damn scripted, I can’t have an opinion over it.
Dermot’s opening dance was my highlight of tonight!
Amy Jones — aka, The Reluctant Obsessive
Saturday - Gosh, how dull was tonight? Even with people being kicked off for drug fuelled sex orgies (allegedly, I should say) and people being brought back in and technical difficulties it was dull. They shouldn't have shown Jade's audition, though. It just showed up the rest of them.
Marcus is now, with that new angle, my favourite. But I don't want him to win. I want him to be a West End star and play Billy Flynn in Chicago or Seaweed in Hairspray. Amelia Lily has a good voice. I don't remember her voice being that good.
Shall we try and think of the real reasons for the delay starting tonight? Louis thought he looked fat and was locked in his dressing room crying? Dermot protested, saying that no amount of money is worth those little dance? Tulisa arguing with producers that a glittery poppy in her hair is just as good as one pinned to her chest? Kitty realised she'd accidentally worn some trousers and had a breakdown? I'm three glasses of wine and a long day in, you'll have to come up with the rest.
Sunday - With Kitty gone, I'm not entirely sure how this is going to work for the rest of the series. It seems anyone who is even the slightest bit interesting is getting ripped out of the competition one by one. The only person left to delight me is Marcus, but that isn't going to sustain my interest for 90 minutes.
Even live-tweeting this is dull now. I really hope that the show finishes at the end of this series. It's just BORING.
Garry Pinches — aka, The Professional Musician
It's been an eventful week for X Factor. Frankie has gone, after returning to his own planet having collected a fresh sample of every STD on Earth. Replacing him is first week failure Amelia Lily and while she can at least sing, all of this chopping, changing, swapping, dropping out and bringing back in is starting to take the piss. At this rate I may as well be routing for Johnny to win. What's wrong with a straightforward competition where the best person wins?
The best all round performer is still Marcus, best vocal belongs to either Craig or Misha, and the prize for biggest nobber now belongs to the producers for behaving appallingly all series.
Sam Burnett — aka, The One Who Thinks He's Simon Cowell
Saturday - I watched the first live show of X Factor USA this week. I know, I know, but it was research. I take this scathing bitchy review business seriously, you know. But what I took from it is threefold: 1) Steve Jones is a gasping tool, 2) they really need Voiceover Man to make it less irritatingly slick and earnest, 3) all the contestants are really good. Seriously, they're all really good.
Admittedly 250 million people is a larger pool to draw from, but how can we end up with such a high proportion of talentless ne'er-do-wells on our British version? I don't like Marcus much, but I actually enjoyed his performance this week. Likewise Kitty, who despite being clinically insane manages to pull it together for three minutes on a Saturday night. But sheesh, should watching the X Factor be such a drag? I'm counting down the weeks...
Sunday - I constantly underestimate the power of this series of the X Factor to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Gaga, One Direction, epic knockout...it's the stuff dreams are made of. And yet I was bored all the way through.
Gaga is so this-time-last-year and the One Direction boys have lost some of their cheeky charm too. The overriding problem is the uneasiness of unseen hands. There's constant reference to "the producers", these all-powerful telly demi-gods who constantly manipulate goings-on, but they're invisible and unaccountable.
It just doesn't sit well, but it's the job that Simon Cowell used to fulfill - Barlow, good as he is, remains an employee.
Nick Bryan — aka, Mister Nice Guy
Saturday - Last week, I went out on Saturday night and missed X Factor. This week, I went out again, but caught the show on catch-up, because with all this behind-the-scenes drama, surely something interesting would happen?
After last week’s terrifying club night, the contestants are playing it safe. Yes, we’ve all been there, but that doesn’t mean it’s good TV. Janet, Craig, Little Mix and Marcus cowered under cushions in their comfort zones, turning in bland performances of good songs. Kitty didn’t stretch herself either, to be fair, but her standard routine happens to fit the material.
Misha B varied from her normal routine by being slightly rubbish, taking a dynamic pop anthem and sucking all the momentum and joy from it. Oh, and Amelia Lily came back, delivered a dull performance and leapt to the top of my eviction predictions. Honestly, I’d rather Frankie was still here, I’d probably have had a funnier opinion.
There were also an array of technical cock-ups, coupled with Cocozzagate, which make X Factor look like a shambles. And is it me, or were some of the intro videos quite unsettling? Why, exactly, did they make Kitty look like a petulant child and Janet like Kelly Rowland’s child slave?
What a crappy week. Eviction prophecy: Amelia or Kitty, depending on whether Amelia gets a boost from novelty value. I’d rather Kitty stayed, but the public seem determined to hate her.
Sunday - On the one hand, one of my two eviction predictions did go out. But it was Kitty, who I didn’t want to lose. Her closing “Born This Way” salute was met with cringing from Twitter, but you know what? Better than another bland exit interview, and I think she managed to stay on the right side of insane.
My other prediction, Amelia, somehow survived, because Misha B seems unpopular. As soon as she turns in a samey or weak performance, the vultures circle. Which is interesting, because Misha is the most talented remaining by far, but this is a popularity contest, and the public hate people who are open about being driven and ambitious. Just look at, well, Kitty.
Still, that won’t stop Simon Cowell making money from her if he wants to. Look at last year’s lot: Cher Lloyd and One Direction are getting much more press than Matt Cardle, because they have been correctly identified as more distinctive, marketable brands.
Elsewhere... Lady Gaga was disappointingly boring, One Direction were predictably boring, everything else was boring.