Letting it be

You will notice, dear reader, that I have become somewhat slack in my critique of the live X Factor shows. This is partly because the same thing happens every week – comedy banter between the judges that isn’t funny, the audience howling and booing every time anybody dares to offer a remotely negative comment (Simon: I don’t think you were good tonight; Audience: BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, SCREEEEEEEEEEEEEEAM, KILL HIM; Simon: (smug smile to camera) I think you were brilliant) and the fact that none of the acts are progressing – well not in a positive direction at any rate. After last week’s eviction of Paije (who probably gave the performance of the night, not saying much as Saturday night’s Beatles theme was a car crash of multiple pile up proportions), we are left with a not very magnificent seven.

Matt can sing but every week we are treated to the same over-dependence on falsetto. He isn’t exciting.
Rebecca tends to go flat and it’s very dull watching her stand and stare at the floor. Her most entertaining moment has been when she said she found it hard to sing and walk at the same time. Alexandra Burke she ain’t!
Mary can belt. But only if it’s an old standard. She isn’t contemporary and never will be. Not a problem in the bigger scheme but a slight issue when you’re looking for a pop star.
Cher, on the other hand, can’t sing. She has a horrific vibrato and without the rapping to break up the warbling, her performances are very weak. She was in the bottom 2 last week and, lazily, repeated a peformance from a previous live show. It wasn’t particularly good the first time (except in comparison to the other performances Cher has given us) but inexplicably saved her over vastly superior but less tabloid-friendly Paije.
Katie shows us the “real her” every week. Every week it’s different. Last week’s “real Katie” was the love child of Mia Farrow and Bilbo Baggins. She still has a stupidly weak singing voice but as the press stories become more and more outrageous (how are they going to top porn star granny?) her progression seems assured.
Wand Erection still can’t sing. They can’t even mime properly. Last week Dannii dared to suggest that the “backing singers” (i.e. those who mime throughout rather than just in the choruses) were out of time. Of course they were, they don’t have a clue what they’re doing. But apparently they are cute so that justifies their presence.
That leaves us with:
Wagner – the protest vote. I hated him at the start. I still get the impression he’s probably an odious little man, but his survival pisses Cheryl Cole off so much that it’s almost worth picking up the phone. Cheryl has come out of this series really badly and I think you can sense her awareness that it’s all going wrong. From Gamu-gate at the beginning of the series through to her rather ill-thought out confrontation with Wagner over alleged tabloid comments back-fired in a spectacularly entertaining way when the dark lord of song smiled sweetly and told her he had not been slagging her off saying she was a council estate girl who got lucky, he was actually saying she was an inspiration to everybody. We all knew he didn’t mean a word of it but Ms Tweedy had no response.

So, where do we go from here?

There is no stand out talent.
The “Vote Wagner” campaign is gathering such momentum that the contestants are rattled and speaking out against him (ironically including one of Wand Erection who didn’t think he had talent)
The sing-off means nothing as the judges save the ones who get press coverage. I can see that being in the bottom 2 is a suggestion that you can’t win the show but the likes of Olly Murs and JLS have gone on to finish second so have the likes of Paije and Aiden been shafted? Possibly.

The show is not about talent, it’s about the drama and the pantomime. They might as well give the contract to Ann Widdecombe and done with it.


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