Dermot’s agent was very busy in the 14 hour window between X Factor 2011 finishing and the 2012 one starting as they must’ve negotiated him an enormous payrise to continue the little dancing thing. Wondering when Gangnam Style was going to end? Right here, my friends. At least Dermot had the grace to look like he was dying inside while he busted out the pony trotting moves.
Then the judges arrived in their usual ridiculous style. Nicole was wearing random bits of mesh, Tulisa looked like she’d wrapped herself in a giant Quality Street wrapper and Gary looked his usual joyless self. Louis brought the style in his velvet jacket. Round one to Louis.
Then we had to sit through the ‘Wildcard’ twist that no one remembered. It was obvious from the state of Amy’s eyebrows that she hadn’t gotten through. And it was also obvious from all the previous screen time he’d had that Christopher Maloney, the shrieking banshee from Liverpool, was going to go through. Did he do ridiculously fake and over the top shrieking? Of course he did.
In a desperate bid to make as much money as they can, the phone lines are open before anyone has even sung. Huh? How does that work? Is it an open acknowledgement that they fleece stupid teenagers into phoning again and again for sub-par boybands based purely on how much they want to marry them and luv them 4evvvaaaaaaa (as I believe modern teenage parlance has it)?
Thought that move was cynical? You wait till you hear the theme. “Celebrating Team GB’s Olympic heroes”. Fuck. Right. Off. I have never heard a more desperate and snatching attempt to ride the coat tails of something brilliant than this.
Anyway. First on are GMD3. Except Louis has been told about crowd-sourcing and suggests “going online” to get people to pick a name for them. And so begins a tedious segment where they pretend to like the ridiculous names 13 year old girls in Blackburn have come up with and go with the name the producers have picked which is District 3. Got that? Right. So because of the theme, they sing ‘Simply The Best’ except it sounds nothing like any song that I’ve ever heard of with that name. There’s a plinth and lasers. They can’t distract from how awful they are though. Tulisa breaks out the first “You made it your own” of the series and says they had amazing R’n'B vocals. Don’t know what she was listening to… Gary is neither mean nor nice. Nicole was also listening to something else as she thought their harmonies were “on point”. I don’t know what this means. Louis loved it. He thinks they’re a “young Boyz II Men”. Bravo Louis. Bra-vo.
After the first of a million ad breaks, for reasons that are totally unknown, Dermot interviews Wand Erection. They don’t even mime on a plinth. Was Simon worried we’d forgotten about them or something. To be fair to them, they look like they don’t know why they’re there either.
James Arthur is on now. He’s one of those homeless sorts that wasn’t really homeless. According to Nicole, he’s now literally living his dream. If I was literally living my dreams then the world would be a very wrong place, so y’know. Then she sits on a sofa and flirts with him a bit and he claims he can’t smile. He can’t smile because he has a wasabi pea sized head on a normal body. Anyway he sings a Kelly Clarkson song and throws in some rapping and spittle. Blah, blah, blah. Louis’ getting into it though, this youth music. He likes it so much he congratulates everyone in Middlesborough. No-one knows why. Tulisa loved it. Gary thought James had lost integrity while Louis bleats “He made it his own” again and again. Then James gets in on that action too. I am making this gin my own…
Melanie Masson is on next. She is the ghost of Twee Janet from The Field Of Despairing Loneliness’s future. Her schtick is that she has kids. Well done. She’s doing “A Little Help From My Friends”. I think she is anyway. Her gigantic mouth chasm of LOUDNESS is threatening to pull me into its middle. Her shouting is so loud, it has its own gravitational field. WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA! But, it brings out the best thing that Louis has ever said. I repeat this verbatim:
Louis “Melanie, that was powerful. It was like being at Woodstock because I remember Woodstock and having the hippies on both sides and hearing Robert Plant and Janis Joplin with your amazing voice.”
Louis at Woodstock? Surely not? Dermot asks him to clarify this with an incredulous “You were at Woodstock, Louis?!”.
Wait for it.
“Yeah I saw the movie and she is amazing.” No, YOU are amazing Louis Walsh. Never change.
Next is Lucy Spraggan. She’s the one who’s like a little Victoria Wood. [ED: Victoria Wouldn't.] Yeah. Anyway she goes to get a new guitar and shows it to Tulisa who is really bored. Lucy annoys Brian Friedman by refusing to do anything without her guitar. Or maybe she just annoys him. Anyway, Tulisa reckons this is an X Factor first in that someone is singing their own song. HOW COULD SHE HAVE FORGOTTEN CHICO TIME??? It turns out that Lucy’s song isn’t that original as it’s a blatant rip off of ‘The Climb’ by that super alternative artist Miley Cyrus. And Joe McElderry. Yeah. Except it’s worse than that because it’s really boring and at least ‘The Climb’ has a wicked key change in it. Nicole thinks it was spunky, forgetting that she’s in the UK and we laugh at the word spunk. Louis thinks she’s a little VictoriaWoodKateNash. Lucy admits to only liking Victoria Wood.
MK1 are on now. I still don’t know if they named themselves after the shopping centre in Milton Keynes or the now defunct cheapo clothes shop. All I know is that the girl is very pretty and the boy is mildly amusing. They sing a song that I don’t know. I’m guessing it’s popular with the youth. There’s woops and rapping and cringe-worthy choreography. So far, so Louis has no idea what to do with them. It sounded ok though. Not brilliant but not awful. Nicole thinks they’re relevant which is… a compliment? They’re very sweet though and try to convince everyone that Louis had some involvement.
Next is ‘wildcard’ Christopher. What do we know about Christopher? We know he is overly fond of sunbeds. We know that he shrieks and shakes and cries at any given moment. Oh and now we know that that’s all an act because he’s actually a cruise ship singer. So not only is he annoying, he’s annoyingly fake. Again, the cynicism that the producers think that no one would find out is staggering. In true cruise ship style, he croons Mariah’s ‘Hero’ with no hint of nerves at all. WHO KNEW? What a prick. Louis doesn’t like him either as he slips in a little dig about asking if he got his tan on a cruise. Gary unleashes a death stare from deep within the Vortex Of Joylessness in Louis’s direction but Louis deflects it with his weave.
This is still going on. Lordy…
So, Union J are on now. I can’t remember them at all apart from the one who looks a bit like Charlie from Busted. They’re going to be on plinths too. This is now the X Factor boy band way because, well, Wand Erection. What we learn about them is that they fancy Laura Trott. Good luck with that boys, she’s going out with an Olympic gold medallist. What’s this? A poppers o’clock version of ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’? But with really out of tune, out of time vocals? Amazing. It’s like the 90s never happened. None of the judges liked it. Not even Louis. Oh. It’s ok though because they’ll have teenage girls voting for them.Next is Jade Ellis. Her schtick is having a kid too but no money or carpet. And goddamn those producers but I want nothing but good things for this woman and her ridiculously lovely child who just wants a house with a garden. So why are they making her sing Enrique’s ‘Hero’ through some bizarre autotune that makes her really quiet and nasal? Unless she is really quiet and nasal in which case… oops? The judges love her though. Maybe they hope she’ll be the Rebecca Ferguson who can open her eyes?
It doesn’t matter though. Rylan is on now. He’s driving the wardrobe people mental and people off of the internets who are being mean to him. Nicole tells him to ignore those mean people on the internet. Oh. Not me though. I bloody love him. He is dressed in gold on a gold set, singing a poppers o’clock version of ‘Gold’. Amazing. There is nothing not to love about it. It is poorly sung and awful and brilliant. It is the most entertaining thing that has happened in the past 98 minutes. He winks at the camera and jollies everyone along in his Essex way. Louis loves him and was waiting for Elizabeth Taylor. He’ll be waiting a while. Tulisa pulls out this “on point” vocal thing which no one knows the meaning of. But wait. Gary has fully opened the Vortex Of Joylessness and says he hated it all and hates Rylan as an actual thing that exists. But then a strange thing happens. Nicole totally owns Gary. First she tells him to stop being an old fart then she reminds him of the ‘Do What You Like’ video. Snaps, honey, snaps. Gary points out he’s still here 22 years later. Which Nicole points out Rylan will be. How can you get owned by Scherzinger?!
Next is Kye Sones. His schtick is having a made up name and being a chimney sweep. A chimney sweep who’s worked with Madonna. He’s pretending to be impressed at hanging out with Mark Owen. Not even Mark Owen is impressed at hanging out with Mark Owen. Anyway, Kye sings ‘Man In The Mirror’ for reasons… oh I don’t know. Anyway, he busts out the choir early on which Gary seems to think is the dregs of the budget following Rylan’s performance. Whatevs Barlow. We all know the choir costs more than a bit of gold spandex.
Ella Henderson is on now. Her schtick is being 16. That’s it. And being forced into having a really unflattering retro rolled hairstyle. She’s singing ‘Rule The World’. That’s Gary’s song. She’s singing it a million times better than Gary. You just know he’s off screen giving his best “Bitch, please” face. She’s like a little Leona Lewis in that she has a perfectly good voice and is interminably dull. She’s going to win FYI.
Finally we have Carolynne Poole. Her schtick is being desperate to be famous. She was on Fame Academy years ago and failed to get past Judges Houses last year. She’s spent her time being Shania Twain at karaokes up and down the land to the point where she thinks she actually is Shania. So of course she sings ‘Starships’ by Nicki Minaj in a faux country style with her bizarrely coiffed hair. Louis thinks she could be the UK version of Shania Twain. I cannot convey how exquisitely deliberate his pronunciation ‘Shania Twain’ is.
Oh god. I forgot Jahmene. Jahmene and his crippling social awkwardness yet slightly amazing voice. So what does Nicole do? She flies off to LA and chats to him on the phone. Of course. He normally works in Asda but Asda Jahmene doesn’t have the same ring as Tesco Mary so that won’t catch on. Apparently you don’t get photoshoots there. Who knew? Anyway, of course he does ‘Imagine’ and Mariahs all over it. He gets a choir too. It’s a bigger choir than Kye’s showing that the producers think he might challenge Ella to win.
Right, that really is it now. I’ve aged so much I could pass for 16 if we go by the Amelia Lily aging scale. Who will go tomorrow? I can’t even remember who was on it now. That’s good isn’t it? *sigh*