7.49 Hello and yes! I am Jack Seale and I am also your host for tonight’s edition of The X Factor, despite what happened last week and the week before. Immediately I must stress that, if you didn’t know already, your comments are literally the key to this blog. Put them in the little box below this one, being sure to leave your name. Or at least, a name. Remember, there isn’t a PRIZE for the best ones!
7:50 I simply don’t want to go any further without virtually lifting Claire Webb into the air in celebration of yet another sage Strictly Come Dancing live blog. If you’ve just arrived, you’ve basically missed it. My advice: get here nice and early next week and enjoy a massive bloggy double-header.
7:53 The X Factor is imminent: Take Me Out has just finished. If you missed it: Klaus, a sideboard from Dusseldorf, won a date with Lorraine, an uplighter from Abingdon. Find out how they get on next week!
7:56 So. Who’s for the chop this week, children? Every week I believe those rumours about Christopher being insanely popular a little more, so assuming he’s safe, it seems obvious: Rylan and Union J in the bottom two. Unless Union J now have the entire boyband vote, after they mercilessly killed and ate District3 in last Sunday’s harmony deathmatch sing-off? We will see. I don’t want to harp on about the end of last week’s blog where I correctly predicted both the bottom two. Nevertheless it is a fact that cannot and should not be denied.
7:57 We’re off! Dermot does his weird swinging thing half a second too early but recovers with an acceptable spin. Not much speed on it. Playing it safe… ah, that’s because he’s got a complex, trouser-based dance to U Can’t Touch This planned. Plenty of running on the spot. Amusing. Bring on the judges! Before that, who’s out there?
JB: Hi Jack! Rumours this week about Chris Maloney’s ‘diva’ behaviour may see him get in the bottom two (one can but hope)
Jane R: ok Jack, I’m here ready to add a touch of sobriety to the proceedings!
Ruth: This blog is my guilty pleasure 🙂
8:03 As Ruth hints, this week’s theme is Guilty Pleasures, an annoying concept invented by people who like Coldplay and Ed Sheeran. And Mumford. In fact I’m not sure Dermot didn’t coin the phrase himself.
8:04 Louis opens the show proper by introducing his remaining group: Josh, Alan, Skip and Boris, collectively referred to as UNION J! Exciting footage of them at Disneyland Paris, with some drama and peril as George gets the rollercoaster sweats and has to have a lie down, dressed as a dog. They’ve survived this and here they are in some very Wander Eshun 60s suits. They’re doing Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen. I’ve not been much of a fan of Union J in recent weeks, but I have to be honest and say this is pretty awful.
8:09 Quite difficult to suck all the fun out of this song but Union J have remorselessly Dysoned the joy right out of it. That was as poppy and entertaining as a tax return.
Dana: Union J, I will not be calling you. Definitely.
8:11 Nicole, whose hair is scraped back so severely she looks terrified by everything, slams the Nionj for always standing on a platform which they later jump from. Other than that nobody said anything interesting at all, apart from Tulisa who announced that the point of tonight – and there must be a point behind every edition of The X Factor, as we know – is to make these cheesy songs “cool”. Fun times! Let’s all get out an acoustic guitar and look cross.
8:15 News from Twitter: Harriet Harman thought Union J were “excellent”. I rest my case. We’re back from the ads! Hello!
8:17 Next, she was the hottest X Factor favourite ever, but now she’s not even the favourite, hot or not: it’s ELLA HENDERSON! She aced the gig at Disneyland: if she can cope with a crowd of 3,000 seven-year-olds absolutely banjaxed on Haribo, this should be easy.
jane: Think the bottom two might be a shock this week. Christopher’s popular, union j now have all the boyband vote and rylan’s the essential joke act. anything could happen.
Dingo: I’m looking forward to seeing James Arthur in those Minnie Mouse ears!
8:22 Ella’s doing You’re The One That I Want, but very slowly. This works. She’s back!
Dana: Does Ella have a religious objection to singing non-ballads?
Talia and Naomi: That was very John Lewis.
Jane R: hello Jane! Any thoughts why on earth Christopher is popular? I heard it was everyone’s Nans voting for him that was keeping him in the competition.
8:25 “Week after week, you get this great critique,” raps Dermot. The judges did indeed gush festively.
Dana: I think Christopher has the Susan Boyle factor. People relate to him as they would their uncle who sings well at church but works their whole lives at the grocers.
8:27 Next, it’s JAMES ARTHUR! He looked about as pleased to visit Disneyland Paris as I would. James wowed the fun-loving crowd by prowling on in a denim jacket and singing angrily at them.
8:29 James is doing Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of Of Off Of You. It’s sort of how Extreme might have done it during a late-night studio jam to celebrate getting More Than Words in the can.
Talia and Naomi: Naomi would like to alert you that this is ‘just the Lauryn Hill version of the song’ before anyone thinks he is a creative wizard.
8:31 I sit corrected.
jane: well jane (great name btw), i do have a theory for why christopher is so popular. let me explain. remember a few years ago in the x factor world, and anti-xfactor members of the public staged a protest to get rage against the machine a christmas no.1 rather than the x factor winner? well i think those anti-xfactorists are voting for christopher, knowing that will annoy simon cowell. (he’s previsouly said that he think chris is ruining the new image of the show) just a theory, but it might explain it all…
JB: I’ve actually liked every act so far. I think I may be drunk.
8:32 That’s no way to watch The X Factor, JB. That won’t work at all.
8:33 Nicole had coined another one of her amusing phrases to describe James’s performance, but sadly the crowd screamed over it so we will never now. It seemed Spanish in origin.
8:34 Time for us all to have a rest during the ad break. As always I will be setting an egg timer and power-napping, leaving the comment-publisher set to “anything vaguely sensible”.
8:35 The ads are over! Trailer there for Surprise Surprise with Holly Willoughby. Why did nobody tell us that was coming back?
Dana: Since Rylan’s been singing guilty pleasures since week 1, what would be a true guilty pleasure for him? Country music? Mozart?
8:40 Dermot reads out a tweet from Ed Balls! This whole Labour HQ X Factor tweetathon party thing is perhaps the highlight of Ed Miliband’s leadership. It’s EXPLODED!
Matthew: I reckon Rylan’s going to do some real Kate Bush classics 😀
8:41 Rylan’s favourite Kate Bush album: Aerial. He thinks it was terribly underrated.
8:42 So yes, it’s RYLAN CLARK! His guilty pleasure is, er, Girls on Film by Duran Duran. No, wait! He’s mashed it all up in your grill innit though bruv with When Will I Be Famous by Bros! A bit of the dance routine was on a treadmill. It was supposed to be OK Go but was more “Michael Jackson on A Bit of Fry and Laurie”. Vocals not too bad though. I think Rylan might have a fighting chance here.
Dana: Oh wow, treadmill dancing. That’s a completely current thing. I think this might be the week Rylan goes.
8:47 Fair play to Rylan, he’s slaughtered Gary Barlow there. After footage of Rylan’s old Take That tribute band, Gary asks which member of TT Rylan was meant to be. Instantly, the coiffured beanpole shoots back: “I definitely weren’t you. I’m too skinny for that.” Sha-ZING-balls! Then he gets on one of the treadmills. Nice.
Pete: I think he’s just redeemed himself!
Dana: Hey now, I’m offended on Gary’s behalf. He’s well fit these days. Shut it, Rylan.
Matthew: Wow, booing for Christopher…..is he actually becoming more unpopular than Rylan?
8:51 Matthew, the poll on our site asking who should go, which is very much a barometer of the nation’s mood and is closely studied by Simon Cowell, Peter Fincham, Ed Miliband etc, had Christopher ahead of Rylan last week for the first time ever. So there.
8:54 It’s CHRISTOPHER MALONEY. I wouldn’t consider him a guilty pleasure. Because I don’t like him.
Talia and Naomi: EUGHGHGHGHG
8:56 “I feel like every week we have a guilty pleasure!” says Gary in the intro VT. This is such a great comment we see him say it again later on. Christopher is doing Total Eclipse of the Heart. The backdrop is a giant robot Christopher firing deathrays from his eyes, but otherwise this is unremarkable.
8:58 Comments very much centring on giant Christopher’s piercing eyes of death. Chris shrugs off Dermot’s suggestion that he should have done Radiohead, and vibrates off the stage for a good cry.
9:02 Ad break again. Is it me or is this easily the dullest live show of the series? The whole guilty pleasures thing isn’t working at all.
Dingo: Agreed, tis quite lacklustre this week.
Matthew: I know, very dull. All that the episode’s done for me so far is make me want to go to Disneyland so badly!
9:06 (Other nightmarish money-sucking cheeseholes are available.)
JB: I say do away with the themes altogether. Why care about the so called versatility? Does anyone ever say, ‘man I wish Adele would do some disco’?
9:07 JAHMENE! HOO! HEE-HEE! OWWW!
9:07 Hilarious footage of Jahmene opening poorly constructed fan letters with JAHMENE I LOVE YOU written in crayon around a colour photo of the alarmingly not-twelve-years-old man in question. Jahmene squealed polysyllabically at the massed ranks of spoilt kids at Disneyland. Now he’s back on the X Factor stage. Which famous old soul song will he pretend is cheesy? Why, it’s Don’t Leave Me This Way! Done in a slow, gospel/soul style! Oh, but halfway through a disco backing track kicks in – Jahmene responds by continuing to stand perfectly still and sing it in exactly the same way. Jahboring.
Dana: I’ve quit watching the show. I am currently writing Rylan/Gary slash fic.
Ruth: Am I the only one who doesn’t like Jahmene?
Matthew: I’m not a fan of Jahmene, I have to admit…
Pete: Not a fan either
Dana: Jahmene was stupendously boring. Back to the fic. Robbie Williams just walked in on them. Hilarity results.
9:14 So, that’s it! More so than normally, I feel we have, together, completely wasted the past 75 minutes of our lives. That was awful stuff. It was largely not my fault but I feel bad. Sorry.
Neil: Why don’t they just cut to the chase and have a ‘winner takes all’ sing off between James & Ella
9:16 Here comes the recap. Very hard to call, this. I’m going to go completely crazy and say Union J and CHRISTOPHER in the bottom two. Oh yeah. I predicted that shizzlyballs. Big prediction. Huge. Reputation on the line.
Talia and Naomi: We agree
Ruth: Union J and Rylan bottom 2, although should be Christopher!!
Dana: I think it will be Rylan and Jahmene. Finally the week to say bye bye to Rylan.
Dingo: Rylan and Union
Jane R: Just want Christopher to go. Please.
9:20 It’s over! I think collectively we made the best of that total jahrubbish. Your comments were, as always, massively jahppreciated, new people speshly. See you next week! Mwah! Jahbye!