Talent in a Previous Life

Because It's Never Just About the Music

Monday, October 24, 2005

4Tune Faded 

Week 2 of X Factor and already the lovely Kate Thornton doesn't seem to be trying as hard, choosing to dress down with a black trousers, chiffony green blouse combo - with top of the line descriptions like that, we really should be looking at a move into fashion journalism - but still looked alright in a your-youngish-aunt-on-a-family-night-out kinda way. But forget the loveliness or otherwise of the host! What about the acts?! Well, first of all, they all got to walk on stage and stand on an image of their own faces. We feel a trick was missed here, as they could have had a picture of Addictiv Ladies there, allowing each act to stand on their vanquished opponents. Or, preferably, a picture of Chico, though this may well have caused the show to overrun with each act spending a good five minutes jumping up and down, stamping and spitting on his face. Alas, that never happened. Here's what did:

Andy seemed more relaxed and confident this week in his rendition of You To Me Are Everything. Indeed, while on the one hand - and in his intro footage - he's still keen to cast himself as the humble binman done good, a clear arrogance and belief that he's going to win this competition is beginning to set in - Which, to be fair, he probably will. He's certainly bland enough - most notably when Kate asked him how he thought he'd done and he both humbly and meekly responded "I think I did tremendously well". Both Louis and Simon pointed out the poorness of the song choice, to which Sharon, with her usual grace and intelligence, rather than argue the point, just told them to shut up.

Blimey! We find it hard to remember exactly how Chenai's performance of Young Hearts Run Free went, distracted as we were by her boobs. She was also wearing enough lipgloss to reflect back the light of the very sun itself. We think it was pretty good, though her voice did occasionally get lost in the song. Sharon commented on her lack of confidence, which Chenai immediately decided to prove her right about by almost bursting into tears.

4Tune have been restyled and are now apparently all the same person, so it was no surprise that Simon was unable to name each of the members of the band when challenged to by Louis. They did I'll Be There and gave it good, albeit still slightly sheepy, boy band balladry, though as boy band balladry can generally be described as 'godawful' you may wish to look upon this as an example of damning with faint praise.

According to Sharon, Chico's "not that bad, the public just aren't getting him". Uh-huh, so it's our fault that we find the adult equivalent of a hyperactive five year old, only without the saving grace that he might one day grow out of it, irritating. He did Play That Funky Music and we would like to take back everything we said last week about him possibly having the potential to be quite good if he tried, as he really was fucking shite. Even if he was appearing at a karaoke night down at your local pub which had free entry you'd still be demanding your money back. He finished with another 'hilarious' rewrite of the song lyrics, declaring "Lay down and boogie and play that music cause it's Chico time". If we ever see anyone wearing a t-shirt bearing the slogan "It's Chico Time" - with or without an exclamation mark - we're getting ourselves a gun, shooting them dead and not a court in the land would convict us. Simon declared the performance to be "sort of entertaining", which it was, in much the same way squeezing a spot is.

Apparently last week Nicholas' thought as he walked out on stage was "Let's go out there and tear the place down", though given the lackluster nature of said performance, he'd have been lucky to have been able to cause minor rippage had the stage had been composed entirely of tissue paper. Things are different this week, though! Well, he's wearing a better jacket at least, even if he spoilt this by wearing a ridiculous belt with his name on the buckle. Performance wise he fluctuated between pretty damned good and uncontrollable terror, so we dread to think what Louis is doing to him to make him react so.

We've decided that we really quite fancy the Blonde One from The Conway Sisters. She's quite pretty in a Jennifer Ellison kinda way, even though we realise that that's a contradiction in terms. Now, far be it for us to suggest that there's some sort of dodgyness going on but, well, there's clearly some sort of dodgyness going on, as the 4 Irish girls decided to perform a song by their marginally less feminine countryfolk, Westlife (A cover, but of course it's a cover. It's a Westlife single!). Not in itself a dodgy measure, unless you quite reasonably believe the simple act of performing a Westlife song to be dodgy, but when you consider that said song was You Lift Me Up, a weak re-write of Wind Beneath My Wings which also coincidentally happens to be their new single, available in all good record shops - along with a paper bag to hide your shame - this week, questions really need to be asked. It goes without saying that their version was better than the original, thanks mainly to the lack of Westlife involvement.

Maria wore a somewhat short skirt this week, presumably in a failed attempt to draw attention away from her impressive bosom, and gave us Michael Jackson's The Way You Make Me Feel. Like Andy she strutted across the stage as if she already owned it, and definitely made more of an impression on us this week, which may well not be entirely unconnected to the fact she wore a somewhat short skirt in a failed attempted to draw attention away from her impressive bosom.

We like Phillip, we just wish they'd give him a decent song to do. We liked him even more this week when, after Sharon and Simon, quite rightly, criticised the choice of Wind Beneath My Wings for him to perform and Louis happily claimed that they'd both picked the song together and that he wanted to do it, he said he wasn't happy with the choice as "I'm not a ballad singer, I want to do a bit of rock and roll", showing far more confidence than he did last week. Go Phillip! Incidentally, can Wind Beneath My Wings be banned from being performed in these Pop Factor X Idol contests as it seems not a series goes by without someone giving it a mauling. In fact, can it just be banned full stop? Cheers. Anyway, we thought Phillip's performance was great, despite the song, though Simon claimed that it was flat. This may explain why we're not a multi-millionaire record producer.

Oh god, it's Journey South, and to compound the horror one of them, we think it was Jerome, was carrying an acoustic guitar. They felt it would be a really good idea to regale us with a version of Johnny Cash/The Eagles' Desperado. They were wrong. One of them has a kid, and given that they're both such personality vacuums, we can only assume that the coupling was achieved by boring the lady in question to sleep before doing the deed. "You just appeal to everyone", lied Simon, unless by everyone he meant "everyone who's both deaf and blind".

Brenda, who was wearing an unfortunate silver top, did Rescue Me and started off far too reedy, but as the song went on she did improve, but didn't really give it the killer performance the track needed and, indeed, that she gave last week. Though the fact the backing track was piss weak won't have helped matters. "Mummy doesn't want to come home", she declared when asked about how she felt about leaving behind her kids, which may well have raised a few eyebrows in her local social work department.

Apparently Shayne reckons he "could be doing this for a lifetime", and we hope that that's true, as we don't want to see his career ever progress beyond doing TV talent shows. He did the Y-Chromosoned Bedingfield's If You're Not The One in a screechy falsetto and, as with last week, the whole performance was a complete non-event from start to finish. Indeed, the only intrigue the man possesses is the fact that he spells his name in a slightly unusual fashion. Sharon, however, enjoyed the performance and asked him to do part of it acapella. This was horrendously painful, yet she still declared it to be brilliant, while Simon declared the whole performance as "outstanding". It is water they're given to drink, isn't it? As Kate interviewed him, the crowd began chanting for him to take his shirt off. Wisely he chose not to do this, reasoning that he should probably save it as it's likely to be the only interesting thing he does during the entire contest.

And so, the voting, and the viewing public are clearly twats on a Chico style level as fighting it out for the last remaining place were 4Tune and Chenai. There is no reason whatsoever to get rid of these two at this stage, certainly not while both Chico and Shayne are still in the competition, but no, the public has spoken, though sometimes the public should really keep it's big yap shut. Unsurprisingly, Chenai became a bit emotional at this point, but managed to hold it together for her second performance. She was a bit shaky to start with, but ended up doing a better job of it second time around and, if we're any judge, guaranteed herself a return trip next week, though if we were any judge she wouldn't have been in the bottom two in the first place. 4Tune similarly improved with their second shot at I'll Be There, sounding a lot less sheepy, so therefore a lot less baaa-d. Sorry.

As Chenai and 4Tune are Louis and Simon's act respectively, it was down to Sharon to make the final decision. And, as a professional, she decided instead to sod around for five minutes going "Oh, I can't decide, it's too hard", etc, etc while Kate is desperately trying to wrap up the show so that Parkinson can start. While she was doing this Louis kept shouting "Keep Chenai" in the background, much to Simon's annoyance, before adding "I kept your act last week", as if that in any way mattered. Eventually, after Kate threatened to just use the viewers vote to decide who should be the one to go - which is what should be happening anyway - she decided to send 4Tune home, much to Simon's disgust, demonstrated in his refusal to answer any of Kate's questions at the end of the show.

4Tune themselves have been in the papers today complaining that it was a fix, and that they fell victim to the judge's squabbles, which we don't think is entirely fair, particularly as they claim the only reason Louis voted against them was because they were Simon's act despite the fact that he's Chenai's mentor and so was duty bound to back her. Out of the two acts that were fighting for the slot, it was a fair decision, but ultimately any decision that ends up with Chico still in the competition can not in any way be considered to be just. Let's hope the public get tired of his novelty sooner rather than later, though given the length of time it took for them to get bored with the marginally less irritating Crazy Frog, we think we might be in for a long wait...