Talent in a Previous Life

Because It's Never Just About the Music

Monday, May 09, 2005

The Won and Only 

"There's only two weeks to go to the grand final!" declared Vernon Kay excitedly at the start of this week's Hit Me Baby One More Time, and you could almost hear the desperation in his voice. "Please", he seemed to be saying, "There's not that much longer left to go. Stick with us! Make this a hit, I can't have another flop, don't send me back to T4 with June Sarpong, dear God, I can't go back!". Anyway, after last week's quality dip things, for the most part, improved this time around, mainly due to having a couple of artists on who people might actually give a shit about.

First up was Chesney Hawkes who was performing his, prophetically titled as it turned out, debut hit, The One and Only. He now has a proper haircut and gave a fantastic performance, but given that he's had the opportunity to rehearse it every night doing PA's in student clubs up and down the country, this is hardly a surprise. For his cover he chose to do Robbie Williams' She's the One, emoting the lyrics as if it was the most beautiful love song ever written, happily ignoring the reality of it being a World Party reject.

Chesney Fact: Chesney has given names to all of his skateboards!

Kelly Marie did Feels Like I'm in Love, a song which has Boo-Boo's to die for and proved that she's got one hell of a voice, something which isn't really evident on the recorded version. It was just a shame that the backing track was as weak as a 5 year old girl. Unfortunately while her choice of cover, Britney's Oops, I did it again, was good, she decided to guitar it up a bit and make it sound like an Anastasia track, and we all know how rubbish Anastasia is. A few Boo-Boo's might have saved it.

Kelly Marie Fact: Kelly owns 56 pets!

Despite the fact that this show is very much about disinterring corpses, they decided to only get the alive member of Cutting Crew in to do I Just Died in your Arms. Nick van Eede gave his best shot at the song warning of food poisoning ("I just died in your arms tonight / It must have been something I ate" and, later, "It must have been some kind of fish"), but served mainly to show that peddlers of 80's power ballads, don't go away, they just hang around like a bad smell. Macy Grey, a woman who is now less famous than a bit player in an insurance advert, was his pick for his cover. I Try is not, in our opinion, a very good song, but became successful due to a combination of her 'unique' voice and an admittedly powerful vocal performance. Nick Van Eede does not have a 'unique' voice, and his version sauntered along in a passionless drivetime compilation kinda way.

Nick Van Eede Fact: When Nick lived in Barbados, his next door neighbour was Eddy Grant!

While Chesney's The One and Only may have been like Big Ben in terms of ringing a bell, Sybil's When I'm Good and Ready could only muster that normally found in a budgie's cage. She promised to 'Sybil-ise' her cover and, judging by her rendition of Shania Twain's I'm Gonna Getcha Good, 'Sybil-ising' apparently involves turning it into faceless nineties dance. In a cowboy hat.

Sybil Fact: Sybil has a really fucking annoying laugh!

Last up and coming atcha were Cleopatra, who's career pretty much died after they released a version of the Jackson 5's I Want You Back which, other than the name on the record, was identical in every single way to the original. They do deserve some respect though, as it takes a lot of courage to perform Cleopatra's Theme, with it's lyrics declaring that "Fresh new talent's here" and "we're never going to go", 5 years after the general public decided that they weren't that fussed about the band after all. For the second time in the series, Girls Aloud found themselves being the cover of choice, with No Good Advice being given a different spin this time around, though once again there appeared to be a slight lack of knowledge of the lyrics. Unfortunately for Cleo and her sisters, one of the reasons why Girls Aloud appeal is the slight lack of professionality to the group and the "girl gang" quality to the vocals and overly clean harmonies don't work for the song, and neither does over-singing the chorus, both of which were things that Cleopatra were unable to avoid doing, which was a shame.

Cleopatra Fact: They had to have a swear box for their crew when touring!

And so, the winner, and given that with his hit, Chesney had a nuclear bomb compared to all the other artist's pea shooters, it's no real surprise that he stormed the vote taking the spoils in both the viewers and the studio poll. And quite right too. Next week we have 911, Ultra Nate and some bloke from Brother Beyond. Oh well.