Week Eleven

It’s Halloween week, but Alexandra Burke is scarier than the songs.

It was the traditional “spooky songs” week for Halloween on X Factor, and the UK breathed a sigh of relief when it was revealed that Tulisa was wearing the catsuit rather than Louis. With judge Kelly ill with a sore throat, ex-winner Alexandra Burke stepped in and sent absolutely everyone on Twitter wild with anger. But apart from that, how was it?

Garry Pinches — aka, The Professional Musician
Tonight I’m had to watch X-Factor on a time delay, meaning I didn’t get to join in the live tweet frenzy that interrupts everyone’s Twitter stream each Saturday evening. Let me tell you now that the show is hard going when you don’t get to participate in the realtime bitching. You might think the ability to fast forward through pointless comments from the judges and the plethora of adverts we’re bombarded with would be a good thing, but without those things as a lifeline it’s just wall to wall singing. It’s like walking into a karaoke bar for people who’ve had their vocal chords transplanted with those of dying cat being beaten with a microphone. In fact, the best sound I heard all night was when someone set fireworks off and the dog ran around barking and whimpering (I say fireworks I’m pretty sure it was Frankie who scared the dog, the bastard)

Serious questions about tonight though….. Why are groups still swapping members? It’s beyond a joke now. In fact I’ve been asked to team up with The Risk next week simply because I can spell X-Factor

Next serious question: Why, in the name of all that is sane, is Frankie still there? He can’t sing, he can’t dance and the syphilitic little git has less talent your average dog shit. Why wasn’t there a knife thrower on hand for the start of Kitty’s performance? Will ITV employ me a Louis’ wig wrangler next series? Who is Sophie? When did Kelly Rowland develop an Islington accent?

If I cared enough to vote it would be for Marcus, he does know he sang the wrong song though, right?

Eli Lower — aka, The Only Teenage Girl That Doesn’t Want Frankie Cocozza Anywhere Near Them
Honestly, I have no idea what to make of this week, but apparently a duffel coat is a Halloween costume (Craig; his performance was quite good- I really don’t like Adele, though).

Misha plus Soft Cell was a good choice, and I enjoyed her performance. Frankie was an embarrassment to males everywhere and failed to “‘AV IIIIIT” on the bed with the ‘fit birds’, and Kitty was, as usual, terrifying.

Unsurprisingly, Janet was boring. Again. I have no idea what the appeal is with her; it’s completely beyond me, and Tulisa, you said you saw something different in her eyes? Yeah that’ll be her soul. It’s gone now.

Alexandra got too carried away as a judge (you can just tell she’s been waiting to shout at Louis), and I can’t really remember much about the other acts… except JOHNNY. JOHNNY WAS BRILLIANT. This is the first live show where I have actually watched his performance and just sighed happily. Very nice: enjoyable.

Oh, and the less said about Pic ‘n Mix, the better.

Dan McLaughlin — aka, Not Frankie Cocozza
The X Factor has been described as a ‘freak show’ in the past but on this Hallowe’en themed show, everything was normal and clear. It was in plain black and white – we simply saw who was crap and who wasn’t without complications.

Prediction for the bottom two: Frankie Cocozza and The Risk (the band, not unprotected sex with that arrogant prick). Alas, I think we saw my Irish Rose (okay, I fancy her), Janet Devlin, falter somewhat. Her performance was the same as the week before and the week before that…and the week before that. I think that she may struggle this week. Let’s hope she can bounce back because she is talented.

Sophie fitted perfectly into the Hallowe’en theme. Why is that? She continues to have the appearance of a ghost; a forgotten memory. The Risk resembled something I saw on the motorway today. It was road kill. Extremely flat.

Frankie, Frankie, Frankie. The boy cannot sing. In contrast to the horror of the walking STI (which seems to be his pet name on Twitter), there is the unorthodox star: Johnny. I have fallen in love with Johnny. What a performance! It was enchanting and entertaining. He is my favourite in the competition.

Will The X Factor haunt my dreams tonight? Probably not but it is certainly an improvement from last week’s farce.

Final note: Wasn’t Alexandra Burke annoying and patronising? Never thought I would say this but bring back Kelly.

Amy Jones — aka, The Reluctant Obsessive
I quite enjoyed tonight, possibly because I was watching on an hour’s delay so could just go “pah” and skip past the adverts and any time Alexandra Burke started talking.

Spooky night seemed to bring out the best in the contestants. Not in the singing, maybe, but definitely in the performance. Sophie’s performance was quite haunting, Marcus’s performance (not the singing, the performing) was incredibly entertaining and Johnny was, again, wonderful.

Janet’s performance was especially freaky. Her song (Every Breath You Take) has always given me the heebie-jeebies by sounding like it’s the anthem of a stalker, but singing it as she did dressed like a vampire and in a minor key was brilliant. She was like a female version of that famous stalker vampire, Edward Cullen.

And Kitty? She’s designed for spooky songs, isn’t she? She’s so intense, it’s terrifying. But I really, really like watching her, far more than any of the others. Little Mix were actually really good, I’m surprised. They stopped looking like something from a particularly “out there” episode of Saved By The Bell. Tonight was much better than they have ever performed. Impressed.

But then we get the dross. Misha bored me this week. Her hair is always alarming, it stops having an impact after multiple weeks. Craig was just dull. Why are girls grabbing Frankie? I loathe my sex sometimes. Savvy choice by Barlow though,  getting him to sing a song where you don’t need ANY vocal talent.

Sam Burnett — aka, The One Who Thinks He’s Simon Cowell
Sunday: I didn’t get to watch the show on Saturday, but I find the three-second clips of out-of-tune wailing on a Sunday do give you a fair flavour of the awfulness. This week appeared to be about as on-message as rock week, but we know the rules are all there to be broken or changed on a Thursday afternoon.

Alexandra Burke was on par with, say, Heinrich Himmler as a likeable replacement during Kelly Bueller’s Day Off (do we really believe she’s that ill!?), but that bilious experience was nothing compared to the erupting queasiness as Frankie swaggered off stage, safe for another week. My theory is that his family and friends are frantically voting so that he won’t come home sooner, but that could just be my cynical side talking.

Overall though, the whiff of desperation now pervades the entire latest series of X Factor, despite Le Cowell’s distant attempts to suffuse the stench with long-distance squirts of showbiz Febreze. This really must be the beginning of the beginning of the end.

And finally, Nick Bryan — aka, Mister Nice Guy
After last week’s tedious nightmare, I wasn’t looking forward to this. A sentiment shared by judge Kelly Rowland, if her conspicuous absence is anything to go by. Stand-in Alexandra Burke started off alright, making valid points, and seemed to lose her mind as the show went on, reduced to yelling random words by the end. I suspect she was drinking during the ad breaks.

She might have over-reacted though; this was one of the better shows of the series so far. The acts are still predictable, which the judges are all bitchily pointing out to each other, but most of them did their routine well. A lot of credit also to styling and staging here, who ran with the Halloween theme much more than the song choices did.

Little Rhythmix in particular did very well with make-up and choreography, which is nice, because their horrendous faux-trendy look is normally their most punchable feature. And to no-one’s surprise, Kitty jumped at the chance to strap herself to a Catherine wheel.

Meanwhile, Janet and Craig claimed they were going to totally break out of their ballad comfort zone, then proceeded to sing an angry ballad and a creepy ballad. Marcus finally did a decent performance again, conversely because they stopped giving him ballads, and the pressure to keep Johnny out of camp diva costumes must be killing Louis Walsh.

Eviction predictions: I want to say Sophie, though I do that every week. My main emotion is to hope it isn’t Kitty, who is too consistently entertaining to be kicked out already. Frankie was as vocally bad as ever, but I’m not sure this is his week to go. Gut feeling.

Amy Jones

Updated: Oct 30, 2011

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