Talent in a Previous Life

Because It's Never Just About the Music

Friday, October 21, 2005

Addicted to Shove 

Yes, X Factor is back! And it's such an important television event that, umm, it's taken us until today to get round to watching our video of Saturday's show. Give that last year, it managed to discover Steve Brookstein, it's safe to say that ratings rather than talent are the main reasons behind it's return, but at least with that benchmark the only way, as both Yazz and a cellar-phobic lift attendant told us, is up. While it may or may not be better - that remains to be seen - it's certainly bigger, what with 12 acts striving for the chance to release one single before returning to reality with only the knowledge that they're a pub quiz answer to keep them going. Now, this may just be our incredibly short attention span at work, but we found it impossible to keep track of that many acts throughout the course of a ninety minute programme, though this may well be down to the blandness of many of the performances. Fortunately we made notes, and this, if we can read our own handwriting, is our thoughts before they were pushed out of our brain by other, more interesting things:-

According to Addictiv Ladies, they've apparently trained all their lives for this, which may explain why they're unable to spell 'addictive' properly, concentrating too much on the old singing and dancing and not enough on the basics of english. Unfortunately even that time seemed to be wasted, as while their hair may have had volume, their singing on Superstar was as flat as a child crushed by a noticeboard. "Amateurish", declared Louis, rightly, while Simon and Sharon attempted to defend them by complimenting their youthfulness, which is not something we were aware was a talent.

Shayne is a younger Steve Brookstein, only with the impressive talent of having less personality. He did Right Here Waiting in much the style of a man who wouldn't be arsed going down to the station to see his girlfriend arrive on the train. Despite this, all the judges loved him, with Simon reckoning that he'll be there until the end. Depressingly, he's probably right. Shayne also declared that people should vote for him cause he "really wants it". Unlike everyone else in the contest, who presumably can't be arsed.

"It's Chico time!", declared Sharon as she introduced the man, a time also known as Shit O'Clock. He's still a twat, but it struck us while he arsed his way through the embarrassment that is Da Ya Think I'm Sexy in the manner of an attention seeking gibbon that if he spent a bit more time on the singing and a lot less time concentrating on being an annoying git, he might actually be half decent. But, and we really cannot stress this enough, we still think he's an arsehole and would be glad to see the back of him.

Journey South seem less a band and more a Robson and Jerome ITV drama waiting to happen. For some reason they decided that, despite the fact they needed a song which would work with two solo male singers, the best choice was Something About the Way You Look Tonight, and that two brothers both apparently singing to the same lady would not seem in any way weird or disturbing.

In the big long list of popstar names, Phillip is going to be somewhere near the bottom. Still, despite this, and despite the fact he did an incredibly rubbish song - I'm So in Love With You by Lonestar, if our googling's up to scratch - he was rather good, even if he could really have done without the shoulder jerks going into the chorus.

During the auditions stage, Brenda was regularly described as being "full of personality", which to us seemed to mean that she'd laugh far too much at everything, funny or not, and was generally the sort of person you'd find quite irritating if you had to spend any long period of time with. But! Her version of Son of a Preacherman was little short of perfection and so she's currently our favourite, which probably means that she'll be out of the contest sooner rather than later.

If The Corrs had forced Jim to have a sex-change, The Conway Sisters would be the result. And given the fact that they scream rural Ireland, the chosen outfits of dresses/floaty tops and boots over jeans wasn't a great choice as it made them look like they'd just been called in from working the fields to do their performance and hadn't actually had a chance to get changed out of their wellies properly. Their verses for Abba's SOS were good, but the chorus lacked balls, and not for the obvious reasons. Louis stated that this was a poor choice of song for them, something which Simon - in the most surprising thing that happened on the show - agreed with. "I'm surprised you didn't pick Dancing Queen", asked Louis. "They'll be playing that at your wedding", responded Simon magnificently.

Nicholas, who did On the Wings of Love by Jeffrey Osbourne, not only appeared to be terrified by the whole affair but also committed the unforgivable sin of wearing a terrible jacket.

Destiny's Child's Emotion was the song of choice for Maria. It was pleasant, and we literally have nothing else to say about it.

4Tune - and you just knew they'd spell it like that, didn't you? - are a bit like V in the sense that they just want to be a good, old fashioned, traditional boy band - their choice of Backstreet Boys' I Want it That Way was testament to that, even if they seemed to do the hitherto unheard (unherd? No? Please yourselves) Sheep mix - but unlike V, who took all the great elements of a boyband, even if they ultimately failed to be what they dreamed of being, 4Tune have decided that taking all the really shit elements of nineties pop and throwing them together is a far better route to success. Oh dear.

Chenai's take on Closest Thing to Crazy was considerably more interesting than The Melua's, but then, had their been a cock-up at the production plant and every single copy of that single been blank, that would have been more interesting than the actually released version. Still good though, despite the poor choice of song.

Andy, who seems more like an Eastender's character than a real person, gave us The Greatest Love of All, despite the fact that earlier in the contest the definitive version of this was done by the scary old woman with no teeth. Everyone says he's brilliant, he just makes us think of the Lighthouse Family, and when we think of the Lighthouse Family all we can do is weep softly to ourselves and be glad that those days have gone now, never to return again. Don't let Andy bring them back.

And so, the results, and as always an announcement that could fit into fifteen minutes is needlessly stretched out to half an hour. Chico and Addictiv Ladies were the bottom two and, as with last year, they have to have a sing-off to fill up the time slot allow the judges to decide who has to go. Second time around Addictiv Ladies sounded even more disspirited than before, clearly having decided that they were for the boot, while Chico's was virtually identical, even down to the "Sharon you're so sexy" 'ad-lib' thrown in at the end. With little surprise Simon, who despite seemingly not understanding the rules and nearly sent his own act home, went for Chico, Sharon went for Addictiv Ladies, leaving Louis to cast the deciding vote.

Now, at this point our video cut off - proving you should never trust someone else to set the timer for you - so we turn to the The Bitch Factor to find out what happened. Louis went for the girls, despite the fact that this was a perfect opportunity to send Chico home. Simon, quite rightly, declared Louis to be a joke for this decision. Fair enough, Addictiv Ladies weren't brilliant, but given they were being given plaudits for simply being 17, surely they should have been given similar plaudits for not actually being Chico.

Oh well, he lives to fight another day, but with any luck he'll be up again tomorrow, alongside one of Louis' acts, and we can all rest safe in the knowledge that with the casting vote going to Simon, he'll make the right decision. He normally does. Our report on this show should actually appear on time this week - i.e. Sunday - unless we get distracted by something, but we promise that that won't - Ooh! A butterfly.