In the first public phone vote of The X Factor 2011, hastily manufactured boy band Nu Vibe were eliminated, losing to Frankie Cocozza in the sing-off.
Both had given bad performances on Saturday night: Nu Vibe, in the often fatal opening slot, sang an insipid Euro-dance version of U2’s With Or Without You, while oversexed teen heart-throb Frankie Cocozza offered a breathless, meandering take on The Scientist by Coldplay.
In a Sunday showdown that will have had many viewers hoping for a surprise double eviction, being a solo artist was to Frankie’s advantage, as one weak vocal isn’t nearly as agonising as five weak vocals trying and failing to harmonise.
Frankie’s singing did, admittedly, improve on Sunday night – his performance of Red by Daniel Merriweather was poor, but not unlistenably so, whereas Nu Vibe’s wheedling massacre of Cheryl Cole’s Promise This – yet another savage kick in the teeth for the spurned X Factor judge – was physically painful.
With all that and Frankie’s teen following (evidently it’s not as big as everyone thought, but it’s there) in mind, the judges sent Nu Vibe home.
Only Tulisa Contostavlos, Nu Vibe’s mentor, voted to eliminate Frankie. Tulisa was once again in tears at the end of the Sunday results show, deriving little consolation from her outfit winning a hard-fought cleavage battle with fellow judge Kelly Rowland.
In a RadioTimes.com poll conducted on Sunday before the results show, readers agreed that Frankie and Nu Vibe most deserved to be voted out – they were easily the two least popular acts, although Frankie was marginally more abhorred.
During the build-up to the Sunday results, viewers were treated to performances by anonymous boy band The Wanted, and American superstar Katy Perry, who shunned her trademark hotpants and cream-spurting metal bra in favour of a sober white shirt, an acoustic guitar and a performance strangely reminiscent of 2010 X Factor winner Matt Cardle.
Only a backdrop apparently comprising six giant brass nipples harked back to Perry’s previous appearances on the show.
Eleven acts now go forward to next week’s X Factor. Who will go next? Did the public and judges make the right choice in eliminating Nu Vibe? Leave a comment and make yourself heard…