Talent in a Previous Life

Because It's Never Just About the Music

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Nicho-Last Chance to See 

Week 6 of X Factor and frankly we're still shocked by the events of the previous Saturday. The repercussions of Maria's dismissal are still being felt, and unfortunately it's also caused the good people at The Bitch Factor to give up writing their site in sheer disgust. Here at Talent in a Previous life, however, we've taken a different route and have simply gone into denial. As far as we're concerned the events of last week simply did not happen. Maria is still in the competition, she will be singing tonight, and she certainly won't be getting voted off, that's for sure. So, Kate is ready to introduce the acts, dressed in a shapeless red dress and taking fashion tips from Nicholas by having a massive rhinestone encrusted brooch in her general cleavage area, so let's see what they all, including Maria, have in store for us tonight:

Up first are The Conway Sisters. "Not a lot of pressure on them tonight, then", said Simon to introduce them, with a sly smile playing on his lips. Clearly he just wants to wash his hands of them now, even saying in the VT that he wasn't sure he made the right decision last week, and once again letting the girls pick their own song. Referring to the chorus of boo's which - if last week's show had actually happened which, of course, it didn't - greeted their success, the Conway's moaned "Why did we deserve that reaction?", showing a lack of self-awareness which would make an invisible man ashamed. Hoping that sentiment over performance would once again push them through, they went for Whitney Houston's One Moment in Time, but made it their own by adding some dodgy harmonising and painful vocal wobbles. As they stepped out from behind their microphones, they put us in mind of Vicky Pollard's gang from Little Britain and, given the safe, boring, predictable nature of that particular show, it's a comparison that suits them well. The crowd gave the girls a standing ovation, but as they seemed to give everything a standing ovation, including ad breaks, it's probably not that relevant. Sharon asked Louis, "Can you imagine Maria up there? Who do you think would have done that better?". Louis, in response, simply appealed to the audience, going "Well they loved it, didn't they". The audience, proving themselves to be somewhat fickle, happily cheered Louis' deference to them. While this was going on, we were treated to a number of shots of Maria in the audience, looking pensive. But that was probably because she was worrying about her performance later which will, of course, definitely be happening.

"I'm not changing", declared Andy in his intro footage, which is a bit odd, as surely you'd have thought a former bin man would be more aware than anyone of the importance of regularly washing your clothes. He crooned his way through Billy Paul's Me and Mrs Jones, though he neglected to mention how Tom might feel about this, and is now just one step away from performing wearing an untied bow tie. Instead he wore a Saville Row suit in a rather uninspiring shade of grey. Very appropriate. "You sound like the sort of singer we saw 30, 40 years ago" suggested Simon, presumably forgetting that the contest is supposed to be finding new, exciting talent and not just adding a few noughts to his bank balance.

Louis' introduction - "He's a young guy, he's called Nicholas" - showed an almost impressive lack of enthusiasm, which shows that Louis does at least mirror public opinion on occasion. "I'm just fading into the background", said a wall during Nicholas' intro footage before a bored looking audience watched him half-heartedly lurch through East 17's If You Ever. Both Sharon and Simon commented on the flat nature of his performance, fortunately Louis was their to protect his young charge though: "A lot of it was in tune!", he declared enthusiastically, but as curate eggs go, we've rarely seen one so unappetising.

Ah, and now it's time for Maria to shine. Dressed to kill in boots, short black skirt and a sparkly basque, she strides on to the stage, determined to make up whatever ground she may have lost after last weeks events which, lest we forget, Did. Not. Happen. "I love myself", she purrs, "I want you to love me", as she launched into The Divinyls' I Touch Myself. Sexy, but with a knowing, tongue in cheek quality, Maria storms it once again, proving that she needs to have first refusal on all songs which are written from now on. The crowd go wild, with security struggling to stop them from storming the stage to get closer to this magnificent minx, as Kate regains control, she asks the judges for their comments. Sharon is up first, describing it as "fabulous" and, despite the fact that no-one asked her to, telling us that whenever she thinks of Shayne, she touches herself. Simon is, for the first time in his life, entirely speechless, and just sits their with a big, idiot grin on his face as he once again inwardly curses the fact she's not in his group. Louis says nothing and just munches on a lettuce leaf, being, as he is, nothing more than a gigantic slug.

Robson from Journey South still has his bloody guitar - which we're convinced he's just miming with - as the pair of them step out for a performance of Bloody Angels, complete with dodgy handclaps and dancing akin to that of a child in need of a nappy change. "A lazy choice", suggested Louis and, for once in his life, he was actually right. Doing Angel's on a show like this is a bit like going to a prostitute for sex. We imagine. Sure, you'll get the result you're wanting, but you're going to feel very sordid and cheap afterwards. Again, we imagine. After Louis suggested this, both Sharon and Simon laid into him. Louis, unsurprisingly surprised at this venom, suggested that Sharon might have taken some of Ozzy's drugs. Angered by this, Sharon promptly through two glasses of water over Louis, despite the fact that if she really wanted to get rid of him, some salt would do the job far better. "That was fantastic!", said Simon, though it was unclear if he was referring to the water throwing or the Journey South performance. If it was the latter, he was lying.

By some kind of miracle, underneath a glitter ball - well, standing in front of a projection of one anyway - was Brenda, who went all disco-tastic on us with Donna Summer's Last Dance. As she talked about Simon's negative comments from last week in her intro sequence, she began crying, though we were surprised that they weren't white, giving that she seemed to be milking it quite desperately. It was a little bit throaty in places, and she did dance like a chicken, but overall she shone, and her boob shaking at the end helped seal the deal.

We didn't really pay much attention to Shayne's intro piece, as we were more fascinated by the fact that Louis appeared to have a split lip. We can only imagine how he might have received that and, indeed, such imaginings are going to keep us very happy for a long time to come. We did notice that there were a couple of gratuitous shots of Shayne with his shirt off, but as that's what most of his fanbase want from him, it's hardly a surprise. Take That's A Million Love Songs was his song of choice, and while he sang it well, personality wise he's not exactly a Robbie Williams or a Mark Owen. Hell, he's barely even a Howard, but this hasn't stopped the judges, or the audience for that matter, raving about him. They're still wrong, though.

We didn't think there could be many things in the world than Fucking Chico performing godawful covers of various pop tracks. How wrong we were, we didn't even begin to comprehend the horror of the concept of him doing an original track. Unfortunately that abhorrent idea was thrust straight in our faces last night as we were 'treated' to the world premier of It's Chico Time. Oh dear. Less a song, more the theme to a crap mid nineties chatshow, this featured such lyrics as "You can get delirious, you take life too serious" and, quite embarrassingly, "Go Chico, go Chico, go", though to be fair, we were thinking something similar, only with more emphasis on the 'Go' part. It also featured dancing children, dressed in a 'street' style who, we later found out, were called "The Chico's and the Chicette's" and, as we hit the "It's Chico time!" chorus, the screens featured a bouncing, grinning Chico face with watch hands spinning around over it. If anyone knows anything more cringeworthy than those three minutes then please, keep it to yourself. We're all cringed out and can cringe no more. "Horribly fantastic", declared Simon, who was half right.

So, results time, and there were no real surprises here as The Conway Sisters and Nicholas were left to fight it out for Sharon's love. Blondie Conway started crying, while Nicholas declared that he "was never shocked", which we can believe as the whole concept of human emotion does appear to be alien to him. When asked to give advice Sharon said "I've been there, I know how it feels", which is what we believe is known in the trade as a lie. She hasn't been there, her acts have, sure, but she's going to get paid the same whether her acts stay or go, for the people up there this is a once in a lifetime chance to sell a huge amount of singles before vanishing into obscurity, so there's a lot more emotions running through their heads than there are through hers. There's also a lot more thoughts as well, but that pretty much goes without saying. Neither act really managed to raise their game second time around and, despite Louis briefly looking like he might save the Conways above his own act, it was left down to Sharon to decide who gets to take the long walk home. Perhaps she was tempted to go for the Conways in an act of revenge for last week's events but, realising that they were just a mass hallucination and did not actually happen, she sent home Nicholas, and quite right too. We really don't need a rubbish Craig David, the real one's already more than rubbish enough.