The X Factor 2011: finals week three – as it happened

Missed our live blog? This is how we put it down on Saturday night...

7:46 Good evening! I’m Jack Seale, and since I was a boy, all I’ve wanted to do is liveblog The X Factor. Every night as a child, there I’d be in my room, liveblogging into a hairbrush. I can’t do anything else. Liveblogging is my life. I’ve won a few prizes in local liveblogging competitions, and my mum says I’m dead good at liveblogging, but now I want to follow my dream and be the Radio Times X Factor liveblogger. This means everything to me. Please join me and make use of the comment function. Don’t say my dream is over.


7:56 Last week we saw the end of negligible boy band Nu Vibe, who lost out to surprise but deserving bottom-twoer Frankie Cocozza in the Sunday sing-off. Who’s in danger this time round? Frankie’s young fans will invest some of their PAYG credit to keep him safe, I reckon, so my money is once again on Sami Brookes. It’s rock week, which if past experience is anything to go by will actually rock as hard as a wet biscuit in a breeze. Who do you think will go? Do a comment, go on.


8:03 “Live from London! This is The X Factor!” Next week: Peterborough.

8:04 Ooh, an over-excited over-spin from Dermot this week, with an unwanted extra half turn. Can he recover? Will he be too hot in that waistcoat?

Tulisa shows us her tattoo, as usual. It’s still there! That’s tattoos for you.

First up in the deathly opening slot, MARCUS COLLINS. You really don’t want to be scheduled here. The public tend to forget you by the time everyone else has sung. What’s more, Strictly hasn’t finished, so some people tonight won’t see Marcus in the first place. What do you mean, you can never remember his performances anyway?

After a VT laced with tear-jerking stories of his difficult childhood, Marcus emerges to do Are You Gonna Go My Way by Leonard Kravitz. Medium-easy choreography. There’s only one note in this song and, to be fair, Marcus can sing it.

Gary stands and applauds, waving at the crowd to do the same. Is he rattled after Frankie failed last week?

Louis Walsh’s stylists are moving towards the end of the Cuprinol range now. Tonight: harvest brown.

Oh and that’s a STANDING COMMENT from Gary! Unprecedented. He was more or less the same height as he is sitting down, but still.

Next: JANET DEVLIN. “I know my Janet is going to be here until the end of the competition,” says Kelly. Now, you don’t know that, do you? It’s not fixed.

An extraordinary VT, in which Janet fields hostile questions from some big greasy tabloid hacks. She’s feisty, was the message. Now: Sweet Child O’ Mine, with a harp.

Hair styled in tribute to that Seinfeld episode where they lose water pressure and can’t shower properly.

Harps, backing singers, strings and timpani lending that an unwelcome Enya vibe, there. I thought it was flatter than Janet’s weird wide hair.

Tulisa complains that that wasn’t rocky enough. Janet looks miffed. “I KNEW I should have done Raining Blood by Slayer,” she’s almost certainly thinking.

Dermot defends little Janet. “Rock can be slow as well,” he says. He’s just so sensitive, isn’t he? Sensual. Thoughtful. Generous. Dermot. Eh ladies?

Comment From Pete great hair this week, from marcus and janet

Comment From Fiona Rythmix & Sammi after the break? If only they’d been first, then I could’ve watched the end of Strictly…

Comment From Maurice Hi Jack – what order would you shoot Girls Aloud in, if you could, and avoid detection?

Maurice – I’d get a professional photographer in and leave it up to them.

Next: SAMI BROOKES. Louis introduces her: “She’s from Wales.”

Dermot squeezed and ruffled Louis there, by the way, and Sami’s VT focused on whether Louis is a cheesy buffoon. A much-vexed question. Will Sami get a sympathy vote?

Sami sings Turn Back Time by Cher, identified already by Gary Barlow as a cruise ship number. Sami is indeed wearing a rubbery dress that does look pretty waterproof.

Squawky is the best way to describe that, I think. “Seriously good karaoke,” says Tulisa. Yowch. But she and Kelly harp on about Sami’s amazing voice, which just isn’t that amazing. “Totally boring,” says Gary. He is OFF on one tonight! Not a star or someone who can sell records, he says. Louis leaps to her defence, pointing out that she has recently vomited. Ah, the vomit vote. Have you recently vomited? Vote Sami!

“I know there’s a recession on, but if you can spare a pound to vote for me…” begs Sami, a bit aggressively, as if she should be wearing a fleece and holding a clipboard.

It’s RHYTHMIX! Described by Tulisa as “your favourite girlband”. Just off stage there must be someone who only knows one girlband.

Are these the same people who were in Rhythmix last week? Is anyone checking? The one on the right is new, I’m sure of it.

Rhythmix – and that isn’t easy to type accurately, so I want them to go just for that – do Tik Tok by, er, Ke$ha is it? Medleyed with a bit of Push It by Salt n Pepa. Fairly standard shopping-centre shouting.

STYLING IDEA: next week Rhythmix do a song, messaging on Blackberries throughout.

Kelly Rowland: “Here’s the thing – grooooooargh.” Yep.

An argument breaks out among the judges – was that rock? Well, no. Tulisa says: “It’s rock week. Not rock song week.” Brilliant! Tulisa, I hear Ricky Gervais is looking for help with his PR, could you call him?

Comment From Talia Do you think my £30 on Misha at 16-1 is looking good?

Talia: I could never condone gambling, but I think she’ll finish second or third so I’d advise waiting a few weeks and then laying her off for a guaranteed profit. If you must gamble. But I don’t condone it.

Comment From Simon Cowell This blog has better ratings than my show – please could you ask your readers to watch ITV1 as a matter of urgency

Comment From Lorna I’m missing tonight’s show to watch fecking ice hockey! Your liveblog is my lifeline! 🙂

Next: SOPHIE HABIBIS. Last week I thought she sang like a 3am taxi-rank queue, but what do I know? People seem to like her.

Craig’s dad in the audience. Ssssh! He doesn’t know Craig is in the show!

Sophie is also shown fielding questions from hacks. Cannot BELIEVE I wasn’t invited to take part. I would have been GREAT.

Sophie’s going to “show people who I really am”. No! Never be yourself! Basic rule in life, that.

Erk. Livin’ On A Prayer. Horrid high note in this. Brace yourselves.

In the words of Niles Crane, “Sometimes the note sees your attack coming and runs away.” Still, apart from the ragged chorus, that was OK for what it was: a piano-led, quiet, tasteful version. We’re in a four-star hotel in Kuala Lumpur.

“You’re being yourself, and that’s the best you can be.” Tulisa is ROCKING the unintentional insults tonight!

Comment From Alex Last week Sophie was just boring. This week she is not only boring but hitting bum notes constantly. Sophie to go…

Comment From Pete Like Sami, Sophie made the song her own (murdered it).

Comment From Michaela Why do the X Factor stylists insist on dressing everyone in shiny rubber for Rock Week?

Comment From Michaela Kelly Rowland is in the shiny rubber too, I note. I’ve noted that. It’s been noted.

Comment From Katy I am just glad we don’t have to watch Nu Vibe doing ‘Rock’. Small mercies.

Comment From Dave Fingers crossed for somebody to do Goofy Goober Rock from the Spongebob Movie. Kitty, I’m looking at you.

I haven’t seen the Spongebob movie, Dave, but it sounds like you might be being rude there. I do hope not. This is a family website.

Next up: CRAIG COLTON. Like us all, Craig is struggling to get over the loss of Nu Vibe, who had become his best friends. They’d become Britain’s best friends, Craig. We’re with you.

Craig sings the Leona Lewis classic Stop Crying Your Heart Out.

Comment From Katy Oh please let him do some of his lip snarly thing…

Craig’s fringe news: right to left as we look, which is a first, and curling up at the end like he’s gone out with it still wet.

No real lip snarly thing, Katy, although there was a bit of lip wobbly to finish. I didn’t really get anything out of that but Craig is nine notches above everyone else who’s performed so far.

Tulisa complains that they’d turned that into a “ballid”. Ooh, I hate ballids too.

Comment From Pete As you say Jack, “rock as hard as a wet biscuit in a breeze” but best singing so far tonight from Craig, imho.

It’s KITTY BRUCKNELL. “I want to set myself on fire,” she says to Louis during rehearsals. KERRAZY.

Live and Let Die. She’s set fire to a piano instead.

In her catsuit and topknot, Kitty is trying really really hard to do sexy here. I’m getting nothing, and the bit where she tried to rub up against the man pretending to play the guitar made me tense. Singing not bad, although she missed every cue because she was too busy getting her ‘sexy’ arm movements right.

“Are you starting to win the public over?” asks Dermot, mindful of the fact that Kitty’s hate mail arrives at the X Factor contestants’ house daily, in a fleet of the sort of super-trucks usually used to transport coal across Alaska. I think she’s safe this week though.

Who’s in trouble so far, do we think? Nobody’s been as blazingly awful as nearly everyone was last week.

Ladies! Block up your ears and groins! It’s randy 1970s scaffolder FRANKIE COCOZZA!

Footage of Frankie’s heavily orchestrated night out this week. Front page of the papers. Frankie got a right telling off for that. Don’t get us on the front page of the papers again, Frankie! Naughty Frankie!

Bizarre opening: an extended intro to the Jamie Afro classic Rocks, allowing time for Frankie to walk moodily through corridors backstage. This reminded me of A Bit of Fry and Laurie series two, which probably wasn’t the intention.

Not as bad as last week but quite weak. By the way, I think X Factor might previously have edited out “strip clubs full of hunchbacks” from the lyrics, but not tonight. Tulisa thinks Frankie has gone too far, but Kelly wants him to sing “ten times harder”.

And we’re back after what seemed like an epic ad break. “Riskettes, it’s THE RISK!” says Tulisa. No, no, no! It’s the Riscuits! NB Frankie Cocozza’s fans do not have a nickname, alright?

After The Risk’s cuddliest interview yet – arms round each other, two of them apparently holding hands – we see them out on the town. It’s Derry and three wingmen. Anyway, The Risk are doing Crazy by Gnarls Barkley, so get ready for more tedious banter about whether this is rock. (No, it isn’t.)

Ooh, a horrible moment there as someone who isn’t Charlie or Derry had a go. The Risk finish a very underwhelming performance and immediately go into a mass cuddle to console themselves.

Ah, we learn two things. One of the guys who was smack bang out of tune is called Ashley – hello Ashley! – and he has laryngitis and glandular fever. This is what I say on the phone to work after a night out, but it doesn’t cut it on live telly. He’s fine! He’s just rubbish! Can’t get a doctor’s note for that.

JOHNNY ROBINSON. Louis quotes Jack Nicholson in The Shining to introduce him. Twelve times scarier than the original.

“I know people might think I’m a novelty act,” says Johnny. To counter this, he’s covering I Believe In A Thing Called Love by The Darkness. Sorted.

Leave aside the silver suit and there’s a strange “angry librarian” vibe to this. I LIKE IT.

Gary gives it the old long pause, looking annoyed, before saying “Johnny, I really enjoyed that” and adding: “Where did you get your suit from, Argos?” Johnny always has a comeback ready, though: “No, your wardrobe!” This doesn’t work at all! The crowd goes wild!

Another ad break, and it’s Melinda Messenger with the health lottery. I’ve matched three numbers! I’ve won an endoscopy!

No way is Johnny going after that, I don’t think. In fact I can see him surviving for another three or four weeks, easy. Then on to his natural home, a comic-relief role in Coronation Street.

Right, here we go. It’s MISHA B. Live from Saturn.

This week I’ve heard Misha compared to both Candi Staton and Matt Lucas, by the way. I must get new friends.

Misha sings the Treyc Cohen classic Purple Rain. This week’s outfit: shiny-black-rubber Boudicca truss, with heavy fringing. As for the song, she’s killed it as usual. Sailing through.

“I hope you’re not too overconfident,” says Louis. Tulisa says Misha’s been “mean” to other contestants backstage – two desperate attempts to undermine a fearsome opponent. Then Louis takes it further with the unverifiable claim that one of his acts has complained about Misha “bullying” them. Leaving aside that this is all quite nasty, what do people expect? Misha is a superior being. Chatting amiably with Sami or the one on the right from Rhythmix can’t be expected of her. Solution: everyone else only converses with Misha’s ‘people’, by appointment.

Comment From Michaela I remember when Ruth Lorenzo sang that wearing jeans. Good, sensible times.

It’s over! In the recap, Sami gets the “pick out the bit where the tune got up and left” treatment, as does Sophie. Kitty sounded better than I thought first time round, possibly because I no longer fear she might climb through the screen and try to lick me, since this is a repeat now. Predictions? I’m saying Sami to lose to surprise bottom two occupant Marcus in the sing-off.

Comment From AG Misha rocks whatever she sings!


Thanks for keeping me company and telling me your thoughts, everyone. I’ll see you back here next week. Cheersie!