IT’S TIME. TO FACE. THE MUSIC. ETC.
Mr. Dermot O’Leary welcomes us to the show, and the theme is American Anthems. The top hits from the United States of USA. The judges join us accompanied by “Born in the USA”, as generic a choice as possible, and managing to miss the point of the song.
First up, the gawjus Cher Lloyd. Thanks to a TWITTER EXCLUSIVE, we already knew that she’s wearing pink nail varnish. Cher’s been back to see her nan during the week, and we’re disconcerted at how young her nan is. We’ve dated women older than that. She has “pocketful of dreams” tattooed on her arm, in Spanish. We don’t know why, either. Maldito idiota.
For some reason, gawjus Cher is singing with a lip curled and weird faux-American accent, like the world’s weirdest Elvis impersonator. Talking of weird impersonations, the song is another Jay-Z track. You’re not black, grown-up, American or male, love. The judges, Cowell aside, adore the way she performed, but he thinks it was just a straight, unoriginal cover of Jay-Z.The gawjus Mary Byrne follows. She says, “I’ve done pubs, clubs, dumps…” Now there’s a mental image. It’s pretty much the same performance we’ve seen week after week. It’s very good, but, y’know… she is just standing there. As she tilts her head back to hit a high note, we’re treated to a mouthful of fillings. Liking the sugary sweets, yeah? The song, There You’ll Be, is clearly not one she’s that familiar with, and she looks to be struggling a bit. We were hoping for more.
Louis calls her “The People’s Champion.” She responds by screaming “what’s your name?” As Louis tries to shout out LOUIS XAVIER WAL-”, she interrupts: “IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT YOUR NAME IS”, and slams him through the judge’s table.
After surviving DEADLOCK last week, the gawjus Katie is on third. After being one of the least popular twice in four weeks, she might as well give up. Katie, the public like Wagner more than you. Wagner. She’s doing a ridiculous tribute to No Doubt by dressing, singing and acting exactly like Gwen Stefani. It’s sort of like Sarah Jessica Parker playing Gwen in the No Doubt biopic. On the Jumbotron, there’s a weird video of her crying in bed with mad, exaggerated mascara running down her cheeks. Don’t Speak? More like Don’t Sing.
Fresh from ruining Thriller, Aiden’s here to do a depressing version of another classic. What will he turn into a maudlin wank-fest this week? Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”? Billy Joel’s “Uptown Girl”? The only thing they can do is take something already wrist-slittingly upsetting and see if his natural dreary levels will make it more upbeat in comparison. It’s Nothing Compares 2 U. He seems to be struggling to hit the notes, but we’ve taken so many co-codamol in an attempt to dull the pain of his face, that it’s all just rather lovely.
Paije, whom we’d forgotten about, is, according to Dannii, singing an American Anthem with a twist. The twist is that it’s O Canada. No, sorry, it’s “I’m a Believer”. Wait – Vic and Bob aren’t American. MEDLEYALERT! He segues into Hey Ya! for no real reason. Two boring performances mixed together don’t make for an interesting one.
The dancers do a good job of capturing the Sixties/Austin Powers (delete according to your age) style, but Paije can’t dance, so he doesn’t join them. Louis describes him as soulful (black), bubbly (fat) and compares him to Lenny Henry (fat, black, isn’t funny).
The gawjus Rebecca Ferguson sings something by Adele, who is too modern for us to know. We actually like her, vocally and looks-wise (and not in an ironic way, like with Wagner, Jedward or Cheryl Cole). Louis gets a little bit overexcited, and nearly climbs over the desk to tell her how much he loves her. Everyone loves her. Dermot says she’d be an idiot if she wasn’t pleased with her performance. Don’t sugar coat it, D.
STILL TO COME: WAGNER! MATT CARDIE! TREYC COHEN! ONE DIRECTION! ALL OF THEM. Hopefully they’ll raise things up a bit, as it’s not been a great night so far – too many missed notes and uninspiring performances, even from people like Mary, who can effortlessly burp out a classic, if she wants.Louis warns us in advance that it’ll be a MEDLEY from Wagner. One of the songs will be by Elvis, and Dannii thinks he’ll be alright if he remembers the words and doesn’t get distracted by the girls. He… seems to be just saying the words. Just muttering the bits nobody knows, then belting out VIVA LAS VEGASSSSSS in the wrong key. He hits less notes than Emile Heskey in a “kicking a football at a note” competition. When we MEDLEY into Wonder Of You, he remembers how to sing, and inexplicably gets married to a Playboy bunny. Or something. We may have dreamt this entire performance, we’re not sure it even happened. He could play Bill Bailey in the documentary of his fall into alcohol addiction.
Boring-but-not-as-boring-as-Aiden-it’s-Matt-Cardle. He sings the grammatically weird The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, but squeaks it out like a mouse with his balls trapped in a teeny tiny vice. He resembles the improbably-monikered comedian Boothby Graffoe. It was a very good performance, being fair to him. Lots of whooping from the crowd, like we’re in America on the Letterman show, or something. He’s really come back after last week’s performance.
Next oop, the gawjus Trey CC O’Hen. After the rock disaster with Led Zeppelin the other week, she’s here to make Aerosmith worse. We get distracted by talking about Liv Tyler. Oh, she’s not actually that bad. Louis says she looks brilliant, while Simon compares her to a lion that licks him. We think. He says that he doesn’t want a lion that licks, he wants one that bites. We’re not sure he’s got that right, to be honest.Rounding off the show, and allowed up past their bedtime, is One Direction. During the week, they meet Simon, who’s wearing a woolly jumper and specs. Alright, grandad. They sing Kids In America – we’d bet that whoever came up with that was running round The X Factor office handing out high fives. This really works. God, we’re starting to like them. Cher last week, One Direction this week. It’s really, really good. Upbeat, confident, well sung. Better than anything else tonight, by a long shot.
Louis points out that Kim Wilde isn’t American, but Dannii points out that they had “American cheerleaders”, so it’s all fine. It’s got America in the title, okay, what more do you bloody want? And a band called The Muffs covered it in the Clueless soundtrack, but Simon doesn’t know that.
Tomorrow night, we’ve got a fifty-five minutes of nothing happening, before one of the acts has to pack up their mic and sod off home.