8.14 HELLO. I’m Jack Seale, and I’m your X Factor blogger for tonight. We’re down to the last six, with the departure of Kitty Brucknell last week signalling the start of that part of the competition where the fun weirdos get shifted out, and the proper, serious business of deciding which of several mediocre singers is least out of tune begins. I will be reporting live on every single development, no matter how stupid. Watch it with me! Leave a comment! Pretend we’re not all of us alone and bereft and waiting for the sweet release of death! Yaaaaaaaaaaaay!
8:17 “Flashing lights and some big numbers,” promises the ITV1 continuity announcer. I can reveal that Craig will be listing the first 1,000 primes, while Amelia Lily takes on the 27 times table. Really big numbers.
8:19 Dermot’s tried to stop looking embarrassed by his dance routine. It isn’t working. After a Bond-themed full body heave surrounded by gold-clad dancers, Dermot is flustered and forgets to do his trademark spin altogether. Dark portents, people. Dark portents. Without Dermot’s spin, this show isn’t The X Factor.
8:20 Dermot tries to atone for the lack of spin by doing a quick comedy almost-fall-over thing. But now, CRAIG COLTON!
8:25 Craig chooses to sing the worst Bond movie theme ever recorded, apart from that one Garbage did: Licence To Kill. I think Craig’s being sabotaged here. He’s on first which is often fatal, and it’s a terrible Sami Brookes/Mary Byrne song. He had a bit of a howl on there, through being uncomfortable. Louis and Tulisa both give it the old “That was the worst thing I’ve ever seen and you deserve to die, oh but maybe it was the song choice.” I’m worried for our Craig, all of a sudden.
8:28 Craig’s hair this week: a lumpen side parting that makes him look 14. Teamed with a shiny-lapelled slim fit jacket, so he resembles the third trombonist in a school brass band. I’m worried for our Craig.
8:29 Comment From Kay Have you noticed Craig has had his eyebrows waxed
8:30 It is, of course, time for some advertisements. Ooh that’s a useful reminder, I must buy a new sofa before that sale ends.
8:33 We’re back – it’s Movie Night this week, by the way – with JANET DEVLIN. The pressure’s on. A lot of people think she might be in the bottom two, a conclusion they’ve rashly leapt to because she’s been awful for weeks and even the judges have started saying out loud how boring she is.
8:34 “Styling Janet is tricky,” says a professional stylist in Janet’s intro film. Is it, really? Does she have a tail? Velcro legs? Just put some clothes on her.
8:37 Oops, here’s Janet and yeah, I can see there’s been some difficulty there. In a patterned maxi dress made from Nana Mouskouri’s curtains, Janet has a crack at Kiss Me by one-hit horrors Sixpence None The Richer. Nowhere near as bad as her last three performances, with the Celtic yelp maintaining a low level throughout rather than screaming out at you when you least expect it.
8:39 Tulisa observed that Janet had returned to her comfort zone, where she apparently looks “comfortable”. I would rewind Kelly’s comment and try to transcribe it, but it would probably take the whole ad break (yes, we’ve gone back to ads!) to make sense of it. I can tell you that it ended with the word “Janet-a-love-a-boo-boo-bo-bo,” but that’s it.
8:42 Comment From amanda feeling a bit low your blog is really making me laugh i haven’t watched factor for a few years this is fun
8:42 Welcome, Amanda! Right, so to bring you up to speed, here’s the important stuff you’ve missed over the past few years: nothing at all. There.
8:44 Oh joy, it’s AMELIA LILY! If she were sandpaper, she’d be the stuff that takes several layers of old paint off.
8:48 Amelia sings unsubtle soul shouters’ constant fallback, Think by Aretha Franklin. As usual she plants herself on the stage, stands there and blasts it out. Maximum volume and minimum charm. “A legs-apart belter,” to use one of my Uncle Alan’s catchphrases, only not in a good way. Amelia is the bookies’ favourite to win but I really can’t see it. Anyone?
8:49 Tulisa says Think by Aretha Franklin “isn’t well known enough”! How old is she, 6? It’s been on every series of The X Factor at least twice! Then Kelly agrees not everyone will know it! What on earth is going on? Is this episode being beamed to undiscovered tribes in Papua New Guinea? Everyone knows that song!
8:51 Comment From mazzymc Oh Freedom from that last out of tune note is all I wanted-actually I so wanted Amelia to launch into an Ooooooh Bodyform moment
8:51 Comment From Jules I would suggest that she is favourite only because we have had more time to see the others are awful.
8:51 Gary averred that that was “a semitone too high for you throughout”, the big muso. Embarrassingly he failed to notice that the daring use of flattened modal fifths lent it the air of a madrigal in the dorian mode, an effect exacerbated by setting the song in 5/4 time, switching to 13/8 in the bridge. I thought that was too obvious to point out, but Gary started it.
8:51 Ad break.
8:52 A break in the middle of the ad break for an ad break. And… we’re back to the ad break.
8:57 Dermot is in the audience with David Walliams, Lara Stone, Russell Tovey and, cruelly left in shadow, friend of the stars Boyd Hilton from Heat magazine. Come on, he’s quite famous. He’s on the radio and that. Hello Boyd!
9:01 MISHA BRYAN is next. In one of the most obvious “for God’s sake Britain, what will it take for you to vote for this bloody woman?” intro films ever, she and Kelly have a tearful conversation about absent parents before Misha attacks I Have Nothing by Whitney Houston. Voluminous white rhinestone trouser suit, feather epaulettes, and a simple, tasteful background of those plastic-jewel curtain things kebab shops hang in the doorway to repel insects. Very understated and conservative by Misha’s standards. Almost funereal.
9:02 Comment From Pierre Etchebaster Shame for ITV bigwigs that the best singer is also the least marketable – and is dressed as a meringue.
9:03 Gary directly addresses you, Britain, saying he disagrees with everyone watching for not voting for Misha. Surely someone did? I know she keeps being in the bottom two, but polling zero votes really would be a bad result.
9:04 Janet’s really under threat now, I reckon. The pre-performance VT and all the judges’ comments were hammering away at the viewers’ heartstrings there, trying to big Misha up.
9:04 Comment From Pete Excuse me? Where are the adverts? I need another cuppa tea.
9:06 The furious pace is maintained as LITTLE MIX steam right in without so much as an ad break. This week it seems they’ve met The Saturdays, who presumably offered Little Mix tips on how to maintain a pop career despite being so nondescript that your own mothers cannot summon the energy to know who’s who in the band.
9:06 Comment From Pierre Etchebaster Little Mix time – let’s ALL go and make tea for Pete!
9:07 The Mix do Don’t Let Go by En Vogue, an awesome 10-foot killer cyborg of a pop song. Unfair advantage.
9:08 Some disagreement between the girls there about whether to do the key change.
9:09 Comment From Mikey Unfair comment at 9.06. I asked my mum and she knew that Jesy was the unfortunate looking one.
9:10 “They are not safe!” shouts Tulisa, begging for votes – but sadly, I think Little Mix will be through again after that. “Next week I wanna see something a little more stripped back,” says Gary, reviving his insane campaign to get Little Mix to move in an acoustic rock direction.
9:14 Comment From Deb Jesy’s lovely – stop givinng women issues about their looks 🙁
9:14 Only MARCUS COLLINS left – this is the shortest live show of the series, because next week the last five do two songs each. Bottom two prediction so far: Janet and Craig. Although believe me, with every fibre of this bowl of Weetabix I hope Craig isn’t there.
9:17 Comment From Pete Janet & Misha, shurely?
9:17 Comment From marianka A Janet/Craig sing-off would be the musical equivalent of a coma with added valium.
9:18 Marcus meets Rebecca Ferguson. “You remained the same throughout the competition!” blurts Marcus, but he means it in a nice way. Oh it’s the first gospel choir of 2011 as Marcus, in Liquorice Allsort pink and black, does Higher and Higher by Jackie Wilson. Will Tulisa and Kelly know this one?
9:20 The gospel choir is failsafe. If you don’t vote for Marcus this week you will go straight to hell, you blasphemous killjoy loner loser.
9:21 “MARCUS HAS SHUT THE BUILDING DOWN!” cries Kelly. An X Factor production runner sets off to find the emergency highlights tape, but we seem to still be on.
9:21 Comment From The prof Janet/Craig or Mischa/Janet… Either way Janet gets the kick… Gary constantly talks up Craig like he’s the second coming, and the judges refuse to take the public’s hint that they can’t stand Mischa.
9:23 It feels like we’ve hardly begun, but that’s it I’m afraid. Here comes the recap…
9:24 Comment From Michaela Is ‘too close too call’ the new way of saying ‘everyone knows Janet is leaving’?
9:28 I think I’ll stick with my Janet/Craig prediction, although Misha is always a contender for elimination. Anyway, that’s it! End credits. Bit of a damp squib this week – nothing there to get ratings going up. But thanks, as ever, for your comments – they were the best thing about The X Factor for me tonight – and sorry, as ever, that I never get round to putting all of them up. See you next Saturday!