The X Factor 2016: Movie Week as it happened – Honey G calls out Ed Balls

Honey's ready for her close-up, Mr Cowell





Roll the credits, we’re done with Movie Night. My money is on Middlemas or Lawrie to go out, unless they post a picture of them adopting a puppy on Instagram or something. Matt Terry is being set up as the inevitable winner for reasons that are beyond my understanding, while the more acceptable Honey G gets, the less likely she is to pull off an upset.

I’ll post the performance videos then let’s all move on with our lives.



On the other hand…


Oh that was really nice actually, delicate. Makes me want to nurse a baby bird back to health.

Then again, I also liked her version of Creep, so whadda I know?


Emily Middlemas back after calling out Simon’s poor, slow, joyless choice for her last week. She’s striking out on her own with…oh.



The least painful performance from Honey G thus far. She’s slowly developed a way of just throwing herself at every line, using herself like a cymbal. Also nice to hear some of the greatest hits of the 90s every week.





Saara Aalto sings My Heart Will Go On by Celine Dion. She does it well, but it’s still My Heart Will Go On by Celine Dion, so there are limits.


This would be an epic burn if we understood it. Is Sharon calling Dermot two-faced? Expect stories.


I could do with hearing less about how horny Nicole and Sharon get after every song.


OK now I get it, King was just a way to get to Kanye and Jay Z. Hmm. Fine. Still wish they would stick to the firmly old school. They’ve got a classic sound you don’t hear much anymore.


5 After Midnight now, the only act that’s actually shown any progess over the last few months. Say what you want about Louis Walsh (AND YOU DO) but he knows how to whip boy bands into harmonies. Try a Little Tenderness isn’t a brilliant song choice though: can you imagine how well they’d do with Ben E King’s Stand By Me, from the film…Stand By Me?


Louis: “Did I enjoy it? Yes I enjoyed it, but you’ve got one problem: there’s another guy on this show called Matt who’s always going to be better than you.”

Simon leaps to Ryan’s defence by complaining about not getting his close-up on the big televisions at the side of the stage.

Nicole complains the close-ups miss her ‘pelvic thrusts’.

Well at least they’re authentically Hollywood.


Well that was predictably dull, let’s see what the judges say.


Ryan Lawrie up first with an advert for Fit Bit. Then Elvis or something, a song you need to be Elvis to make bearable.

Or the Blues Brothers.





Christ, X Factor contestants have to tout more brands than the cattle in Rawhide.



The Ryan/Emily thing annoys me not only because it’s clearly such nonsense, but as a Scottish person pairing up the two Scottish contestants hits a weird note. What with that, the continued Scandi-stereotyping of Saara Aalto and the walking third rail that is Honey G, the X Factor insists on playing hopscotch on a mine field.  


Right, onto this week’s Backstage Nonsense™.


So, with all of that said, I ask…


This is my point: whether this year is the worst ever or not is irrelevant. It’s just another version of the X Factor story factory we’ve talked about beforeYou, dear reader, always think it’s the worst year ever. As journalists, our job is to shout “YES I AGREE” so loudly and quickly into your face, you think we said it first.

My further point: X Factor history is short and forgetful. Give Honey G a chance to lead.


For the first three years, coverage was actually pretty positive. Yes, there were a few ‘are TV talent shows killing the music industry’ comment articles, but snotty think pieces are the only way The Guardian has of covering prolefeed so they’re easy to tune out.

But then, once the initial novelty wore off, every year became the worst year ever. Either X Factor started on a high and immediately trundled downhill, or British people love whinging. It’s the same griping nostalgia that infects England every World Cup, an ex-Empire fantasy that turns every current failure as proof of how great we used to be. Or maybe I’m reading too much into it.





















OK kiddie-winks, time for a history lesson.

Something interesting keeps happening when I mention that I had never watched the X Factor before this live blog: people apologise to me. “Damn, sorry about that,” they say. “It’s the worst year ever.”

I have no reference point for this – it certainly seems quite poor, but for all I know this is Simon Cowell’s fifth symphony. I decided I needed some context. Here’s what I found.


A few notes:

  • Wow did Matt Terry get unlucky when it comes to Bond themes. Let’s get some Wings up in here!
  • Jailhouse Rock is, obviously, from Jailhouse Rock, but in my heart it will always be a Blues Brothers song. 
  • Honey G is officially out of Will Smith films. Why didn’t she just choose that rubbish Biggie biopic and be done with it? The Keith Lemon Movie? Seriously?
  • Anything that reminds me The Commitments exists is alright my me.


Right, first things first, it’s Movie Night tonight. Here’s what they’re singing.

• Matt Terry: ‘Writing’s On The Wall’ – Sam Smith (from Spectre)

• Ryan Lawrie: ‘Jailhouse Rock’ – Elvis Presley (from Jailhouse Rock)

• Emily Middlemas: ‘It Must Have Been Love’ – Roxette (from Pretty Woman)

• Saara Aalto: ‘My Heart Will Go On’ – Celine Dion (from Titanic)

• Honey G: ‘It’s Like That’ – Jason Nevins (from The Keith Lemon Movie) & ‘Getting Jiggy With It’ – Will Smith (from Last Days Of Disco)

• 5 After Midnight: ‘Try A Little Tenderness’ – Otis Redding (from The Commitments)



Hello, I’m Jonathan Holmes (@hippopotaman), and just seven weeks ago I had never seen the X Factor. Now look at me.

Catch up with our coverage

Week 6: “We’re all trapped in a Tom Stoppard play”

Week 5: Furious X Factor fans send SNAKES to judges!

Week 4: Fright Night Fakery and the X Factor Tabloid Factory

Week 3: “Honey G is the Donald Trump of contestants”

Week 2: Enter Robbie Williams

Week 1: “It’s less a TV programme than a migraine, isn’t it?”


Our live blog gets going at 7pm, with the show starting at 8 on ITV1. Join the fun!