"He can sustain a falsetto... I have breathy whistle tones." Once The X Factor judges had told a third of the final 200 that they'd wasted their time coming to boot camp and wouldn't get to sing – a move that shocked everyone who hadn't seen last year's X Factor – they got on with unhelpfully grouping people into themed trios that would bitch about each other.
Scratching hardest were Gathan Cheema, Rylan Clark and Ottavio Columbro, three camp men bluntly bracketed together. Rylan, who is marking time before joining series 11 of The Only Way Is Essex, had gone dark since his Lion King auditions look, but still had an impeccable spray-face, teamed with a blouse with a wig on each shoulder. Ottavio was rocking a jumbo scarf and Ivy League shorts, as well as those whistle tones.
Gathan's muscle vest, mascara, sustained falsetto and flicked hair were conservative in comparison, but he made up for it by announcing his own greatness and dramatically grabbing fistfuls of air. Nicole Scherzinger unkindly described the eventual battle as a "ho-down". Nobody won.
Phase one of boot camp was otherwise notable for the destructive power of Moves like Jagger. Jahmene Douglas, who is terrified by anything recorded by a man or after 1968, sang it like a crown court judge incredulously repeating the lyrics back to a witness. Lucy Spraggan, forced to put her guitar down, also looked like how an anxiety dream feels.
Among many acts letting themselves, their co-performers and the whole school down was Robbie Hance, the homeless young man who had impressed at the auditions. Now he failed to mingle at the boot camp arrival party and napped on a sofa when he should have been rehearsing! The other two singers in his group were livid. Under-prepared, he forgot his lyrics and was eliminated, the big homeless idiot. Why couldn't he have been confident, resilient and disciplined, like normal people? Well, The X Factor gave him a chance. One.
The second half of boot camp, with 70 of the 200 now left to sing in front of 5,000 people in Liverpool, began with Tulisa in another alarming new outfit - during the weekend, her stylist collected a total of £5,560 from bets with friends and other stylists – and Lucy Spraggan back to playing her homemade songs.
Spraggan's Tea and Toast was a curious ballad covering the entire lives of an old couple. Like a cupcake with thick green icing presented to you by a child, it didn't follow the normal rules and consequently didn't quite taste right, but was sort of delightful.