Talent in a Previous Life

Because It's Never Just About the Music

Monday, May 02, 2005

Load of Shalamar 

It's Week 5 of Hit Me Baby One More Time and still the has-beens keep on coming, though it's clear that the show's producers must have splinters stuck under their fingernails, such is the level of barrel scraping that's going on. Still, when coal mining you can occasionally stumble across a few gems, and Saturday's show was not without it's highlights, but first, however, we have to deal with Jordan Knight.

Jordan, who's name still makes him sound more like a videogame character and less like an actual person, was, of course, a former member of New Kids on the Block, but for some reason was holding firmly to the clearly wrong belief that what the crowd really wanted to hear was one of his solo tracks and not, say, The Right Stuff or Hangin' Tough, for example. Instead he gave us Give it to You while demonstrating how a broken robot would dance. What a missed opportunity. Things got even worse when it came for his cover as he showed us his sensitive side - i.e. he kept his shirt on - and did Mario's Let Me Love You, which was just as dull and pointless as the original.

Jordan Fact: Jordan sleeps for 14 hours a day!

Rozalla did the only song that anyone knows her for, Everybody's Free, and belted it out as well as could be hoped for, but did look like she hadn't bothered to shave her armpits properly, a shockingly slapdash attitude from a woman who's now a qualified beauty therapist. Coverwise, she plumped for Blue's Fly By, which is a choice which was wrong in so many ways. She made it slightly more soulful, but when the source material is that bad, there's not really a lot that you can do with it.

Rozalla Fact: Everybody's Free was recorded in just one day!

Junior is Richard Blackwood's uncle, which at least proves that there is some talent in the genepool, even if it didn't dribble down to the 'star' of the Richard Blackwood 'Show'. Junior did Mama Used to Say, a song also ruined by his nephew, but it still sounded good here, despite his slightly cracked falsetto. For his cover he went for the surprising choice of Daniel Bedingfield's Gotta Get Thru This, but we're always surprised when people choose Daniel's stuff, especially in record shops. He actually a decent fist of it, mainly thanks to the addition of a nice, punchy horn part to the song, but even so, it still wasn't much to write home about.

Junior Fact: A recording studio ghost can be heard on Mama Used to Say!

Most famous due to her fondness for wearing swimwear and flashing a nipple in the video for her debut single, Sabrina got her hits out one more time to do Boys (Summertime Love), a song which we're always convinced was actually by Sinitta. They don't really make songs like this nowadays and, as yet, the Jury is still out on whether this is a good thing or not. The Sugababes recieved the dubious honour of being her choice for her cover, with Hole in the Head being given her unique take. It wasn't up to the standards of the original, but it was a sparser, slightly more stripped down version than might have been expected, and her accent did add a certain mystique to the song, so she can have a few points for trying.

Sabrina Fact: Sabrina once presented a TV show from a gondola!

Last up were Shalamar who are, quite frankly, far too good to be on this sort of show. They opened A Night to Remember with some moonwalking, though their career isn't exactly in orbit if they're reduced to appearing on this sort of show. For their cover they did an excellent version of Outkast's Hey Ya, but to be honest, it's one of those sorts of songs which is so good it's pretty much impossible to ruin, though after last week we're pretty sure that Hue and Cry would make a damned good attempt to do so.

Shalamar Fact: Howard has at least 2500 DVD's!

So, who won? Well, it was no contest really, despite the studio seemingly being filled with Jordan fans, or at least a handful of very vocal ones, honours went to Shalamar, and fully deserved they were too. Next week has Chesney Hawkes, Cleopatra and, ummm, some bloke from The Cutting Crew finding time in their undoubtedly busy schedules to make one last desperate attempt to shake the hands of fame, but is meeting Vernon Kay really a price worth paying? We'll find out next week.