Monday, 26 November 2012

X Factor Live Show #8: Abba vs. Motown - the most incongruous pairing since Tulisa and Not being in a sex tape

Last week we were treated to some of the most shocking and controversial news ever. No, not the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Not the widespread flooding. Not even something vaguely to do with Jimmy Saville.


Adele. Was voted off. The X Factor.


It was something like that anyway.

I'm going to take you all to Room 101 and strap a cage full of Christopher Maloney to your faces. 

With this in mind, it is with heavy heart and not much hope that I tune into this week's live show only to be instantly slapped in the face with some horrific news:

Two what? Maybe it means we only have to sit through this insult to music for two more weeks?

Two songs? Maybe it means there'll only be two song performances this week and the rest of the show will be dedicated to an interesting documentary about Simon Cowell's role in the decline of the modern music industry?

Oh for fuck's sake.

Yes, apparently it's not enough to experience Christopher Maloney's feelings for one song, now we must endure them for two. Still, with two songs to get through, it means Rylan has twice the chance of hitting at least one correct note. 

Dermot fails to cheer me up by announcing that the week's theme is: Abba vs. Motown - the most incongruous pairing since Tulisa and Not being in a sex tape. 

Oh Tulisa, your hemlines do nothing to prove me wrong.
 Incidentally, has anyone ever noticed that 'Tulisa' is an anagram of 'I, a slut'?

Meanwhile, Nicole gets over excited and forgets how to be on stage correctly. 


Kicking off the show with the first Abba number, it's the new face of Orange: Rylan!

I'd really enjoy it if his first album was called 'Desert Rylan Discs' ©.

To celebrate Nicole's American heritage and fill up some airtime now that there's only five acts left, the boys decide to cook a Thanksgiving dinner. 

I am thankful for the fact that, one day, The X Factor will be over.

Ruining Abba and mothers everywhere, Rylan will be singing Mamma Mia.

Mamma Mia! Why-a he still-a in-a the competition!?

This time, the choreographers have gone for a surreal chess theme. 

Which is stupid because Chess is an entirely different musical.

To everyone's surprise, he manages to make it through the whole song without violently mashing it up into another one. Well done Rylan!

Is there any point in saying it's rubbish? Of course it's rubbish. The best the judges can manage is 'Well, you're still here.' 
(With the exception of Nicole of course, who says she wants to be the gel in his hair. I'm starting to think her mumblings should be noted down by a medical professional to be passed over when she eventually gets sectioned.)

Next up is Union J. Here they are with their fellow contestants, reacting to the news that Tulisa has been confirmed to perform during next week's semi-final: 

They're singing The Winner Takes It All, which seems a little premature even if they are on track to scoop up more of the gay vote by forcing one of their members to come out mid-competition. 

There is absolutely nothing remarkable about their performance whatsoever, bad or good. 

I have forgotten this already.

Next up is Jahmene, whom Nicole introduces by saying he is going to 'share his dream' with us this week. This sounds like the worst thing ever. 

"...and my microphone turned into a giant sock. And then I woke up."

Mamma Mia! It's Jahmene's mum!

Or the alien opera singer from Fifth Element?

Since she's not yet good enough to meet Will Young, the X Factor team give her a makeover. 

Now you are good enough. Here is Will Young.

Jahmene is singing I Have A Dream but it's nowhere near as good as when Martin Luther King, Jr. did it.

That's what that speech was about, right? Abba?

As usual the judges rave over him but I suspect it's only because they know that his mum has the four Element stones inside of her.

Or maybe she keeps them in her hair.

Trying to look upset that Ella got sent home over him, it's James Arthur!

"I am sadness itself."

...who then totally ruins it by saying "I'm so happy to still be here though."

"Haha! Suck it Ella!"

He's singing SOS but doing it 'James Arthur style' which means there will be a guitar.

He will also perform whilst being watched by a larger version of himself standing to his top right. Just to add to the pressure.

The judges are all very complimentary, to the point where Dermot thinks Tulisa and Gary both wish James Arthur was in their categories - something which Gary makes no attempt to deny.

"Yep! Christopher Maloney is rubbish!"

Talk of the devil! It's the only contestant who is quite likely to have had someone's hand up his bum: Muppet Man Maloney!

X Factor: Behind The Scenes.

Christopher is whining because he feels like everyone hates him for Ella leaving the competition. Since everyone hated him even when Ella was in the competition, I feel like he's missing the point somewhat.

He's going to be singing Fernando, accompanied by a troupe of slow-motion idiots in leotards.

Lycra really screams 'Mexican Revolution'.

Afterwards, the judges admit to being similarly distracted by the strange dancers although it seems like Louis had his own reasons.


Then it's time for ROUND TWO: Motown.

Cue awkward dance routine from Nicole and Dermot.

Just two weeks to go Dermot!

You can still make it out alive Dermot!

First up to try their hand at some soul is Union J. 

Who don't even have souls probably.

Continuing on X Factor 2012's overriding theme of: 'Creepy', they're singing I'll Be There by The Jackson 5.

They're not lying. There's a good chance that they will be there, boy-band-staring at you wherever you go for the rest of your life.  

Next up, all Nicole has to do is introduce her act and she can't even manage that. After asking whether she is 'there or there'...

God knows where you are, love.

...she gives up and says "This is James Arthur!" to the wrong camera.

Who are you talking to??

And then this happens.


Is she high?

Obviously it is actually Rylan's turn and he begins his song where he belongs. 

In the audience.

His ability to not do a mash-up doesn't last very long as this performance is a mess of Baby Love and Stop! In The Name Of Love by The Supremes and You Keep Me Hangin' On by Diana Ross - all to a backdrop of a giant animated Rylan. 

Which looks like an identikit one might hand the police after a sexual assault. 

Then it is actually James Arthur's turn. He takes some time out with Nicole to watch all of his past performances on an iPad because, you know, there just haven't been enough recaps of the X Factor. 

Nicole repeats my 'Stupid X Factor Theory #1' by saying that the public thought he and Ella were safe and that's why they didn't vote for them. 

No! I told you, it's not because the public thought you were safe, it's because the public are morons. Look, it's all here for you to read. 

James will be singing Let's Get It On by Marvin Gaye, a song which he believes can be used to woo a lady. 

Let's be really honest now James, what was the closest you'd ever been to a lady pre-X Factor? 

Life is embarrassing for this girl who doesn't get her hand held by James Arthur. 


After some banter with Louis, Tulisa says "I'm losing my thought" which sounds about right. 

There couldn't possibly be room for more than one thought in there with those boobs getting in the way.

Then we're back to Jahmene. Two Jahmenes in one day is almost more than I can handle. 

Shut uuuup.

His second song is The Tracks Of My Tears by Smokey Robinson. This is hilarious because the song begins, 'people say I'm the life of the party.'

Nope, they do not say that Jahmene.

It's a while before we see that he is actually standing on giant letters spelling out 'JAHMENE.'

Or they might be normal-sized letters, he is pretty small.

Tulisa says she could see he was having a few problems with his ears...

...but I think they just genuinely are that tiny.

Cocky Maloney is up last. I'm beginning to understand why people hate him quite so much as he watches his performances back and describes his own vocal performance as 'amazing' and 'just getting better and better'.

At least The Muppets were humble.

We're able to enjoy more great first lines as Baloney is singing Dancing On The Ceiling by Lionel Richie, which begins: 'What is happening here?'

What indeed.

'There's something going on that is not quite clear.'

Yes, and it is your continued presence in this competition.

We go over to Nicole who treats us to one last ridiculously nonsensical food analogy:

"I'm more of a Coco Pops girl that is drowning in just fat full milk and you are kind of giving me vanilla, skimmed, free, skimmed milk on top of a cornflake. A single cornflake."

And then accuses him of having no soul. Awesome.





and Jahmene

Which means that Union J will face Rylan in the sing off. 

Since what Rylan does can only be loosely described as 'singing', I'm feeling good about Union J's chances. However, since he has also managed to come out of several previous sing-offs on top, I feel bad about British music's chances. 

Actually, either way it goes it's not looking that good for British music really, is it? 

Rylan is up first and he's singing Wires by Athlete. It is not awful for the most part. 

Which makes me suspect that he's got wires auto-tuning his performance.

Then Union J are up, singing Run by Snow Patrol.

The only pop song that openly promotes smoking.

We get to enjoy Snow Rylan and the Five Dwarfs...

Snow Rylan, Presenty, Lesbiany, Twilighty, Brown Bootsy and Dopey.

...before the judges make the choice to finally get rid of Rylan about seven episodes too late. 

Everyone waits with baited breath to hear the final words of this hilarious Essex boy.

He thanks the runners.


See you next week when I will definitely not be making any jokes about Tulisa's 'performance'.


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