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This Weekend's X Factor - A Tale of Two Very Different Episodes

Posted on the 11 September 2011 by Crapblog @crapblog
This Weekend's X Factor - A Tale of Two Very Different Episodes
So we’ve had some time to get to know this season’s X Factor, and there are some notable changes. There seem to be fewer contestants in each show, with more time spent on each sob story. The freaks more often than not can sing as well. As for the judges, Kelly is the most conspicuous so far. She is trying SO hard it’s almost embarrassing. There are firstly her preferred terms of address, such as ‘giirrlll’ and ‘mama’ which make her stick out like a sore thumb, but can be forgiven as she’s simply living up to her stereotype as a successful black woman empowering others. But on top of this, she’s always the first to stand up/dance in an audition, always gives the most dramatic reactions (including the copious tears), and certainly has the highest cringe factor. Tulisa has been very level headed, and therefore pretty boring. Louis has been Louis, and Gary has continued to try to trick us into thinking he’s the new Simon Cowell, rather unconvincingly I might add. 
Episode 4
So ITV continue to shove predictable shit down our throats, and this episode’s theme was regurgitated storylines. We started out with Kendro, a couple of homos who were essentially the ethnic, more camp version of last year’s Diva Fever, with a bit of Jedward thrown in. They somehow got through for their ‘crowd pleasing’ antics. I have to say, Tulisa’s ‘straight-talking’ has so far been non-existent, meaning that with Gary being the only one rejecting people in his attempt to be the new Cowell, there is a whole host of crap acts through to boot camp. We next had Sami Brooks, who is this years Tesco Mary. While last week we had fatty 1: the young fatty, we now have fatty 2: the middle aged fatty. Sami works in a pub, and admitted to saving her tips for kebabs on the way home (lol). She then told the judges she’s insecure about her weight, to which Kelly replied ‘Giirrrllll, you are size SEXY!’, a line which really made me squirm, but which encouraged the crowd to applaud Sami for her kebab addiction (it’s a real disease), and ensure that she will be this year’s representative for 'real women'. Her ‘sexiness’ was only emphasized by her matching leopard print top and hat, surely some reference the her being the world’s most minging cougar. Abuse aside, she sung Whitney’s One Moment in Time pretty well, and her ‘larger than life’ personality means she will add value, apparently.
Following this, we had two old plots rolled into one; the ‘returning contestant’ and the ‘we’d like you to come back and audition as a solo artist’ (followed by the moral dilemma of leaving your friends behind). Twisted gave a ridiculous audition in which the rest of the band merely hummed behind returning contestant Chrissy. The judges obviously only wanted Chrissy, but the way in which it played out could not have been scripted better. Firstly, it was Kelly who encouraged Chrissy to take her opportunity, and abandon her friends, surely bringing back bitter memories of herself being the deserted friend when Beyonce left their band for greater things. Furthermore, Chrissy’s solo song of choice was Forget You, possibly the most insensitive song to sing at the time. She said at the beginning that having been rejected at boot camp as a solo artist the previous year, her friends picked her up when she was distraught. This year she’ll be kicked out and will also be a total loner. Suicide potential for sure.
The show concluded with Lascel Woods, who had grown up in foster homes due to his bi-polar mother. For me he’s the most talented contestant so far. He sung an acoustic version of Use Somebody. Unfortunately this included a barrage of over-the-top and repetitive riffs, but if you’re gonna show off somewhere, it might as well be the audition. Lascel had good tone and phrasing, and was mostly in tune despite some difficult runs. He’s a technically sound singer, and although they forced his mother onto the stage at the end for extra sympathy, he did not milk it at that point, despite the fact that the judges did. Lascel's mother of course gave some emotional input on how proud she was of her son. I personally would have preferred if her bi-polar side had kicked in, and she had said he was shit. My favorite part of the judges’ reactions was Kelly trying to cry again. Unlike last week, she couldn’t get the tear to roll down her cheek, so the camera had to zoom in on her eye to convey her welling up. Brilliant effort.
Episode 5
The theme of tonight’s episode was return of the freaks (the ones who can’t sing), and for me it was a very welcome return. It was a throwback to the glory days of the chicken factory guy who sung Barbie Girl and Onka Judge who sung Earth Song before hitting the floor and shattering his kneecaps. There were several to choose from, but the most entertaining were the freakishly muscly old guy who sung Shaggy, and the Indian guy who just shouted about how he wanted to be a popstar.
As for the auditionees who have been made 'contenders' we started with Marcus Collins, who sung Stevie Wonder, and was far and away the most normal and down to Earth contestant we’ve had. He sung very very well, with great tone, and as Gary said, he was ‘in the pocket’. If he was a freak, or had a dying parent, he would undoubtedly have been featured as the show’s conclusion, with a more epic soundtrack to accompany his audition. Unfortunately he’s a normal guy with a good life (meaning he has a job), so won’t progress past boot camp, despite having the talent to merit a decent run in the show.
Another contestant whom ITV decided was necessary for us to watch was Jonjo Kerr. Jonjo sang an average version of Handbags and Gladrags. The result was Kelly trying to cry. Again. What provoked this emotional reaction? Jonjo managed to overcome his nerves, and finish the song. That’s it. That’s all it takes to make Kelly Rowland cry. The first time she cried was almost understandable, the second dubious. But this is just ridiculous, and pretty annoying. I’m sure the fact that he’s in the army and has a pregnant wife helped his cause. However the only chance he has of going past boot camp is if he fucks up again because of nerves and again ‘bravely’ overcomes adversity like the soldier he is. If I was in his position, this is a tactic I’d employ.
The show finished with Amelia Lily. She was good. In fact she was amazing. She had no back story apart from the fact that she’s 16, and her parents are super proud. Again, she was a normal girl, but she showed that she really is a precocious talent. She belted out Piece of My Heart, displaying her brilliant voice as well as confidence beyond her years in terms of the performance of the song. The judges understandably fawned over her due to her talent and age. I just hope that her lack of sob story doesn’t stop her from going far. Hopefully the fact that she's so young will work as her 'thing'. I'd like to see her go far, as apart from her talent, she’s FIT (and it’s ok to say that because she doesn’t look 16).

So two very different episodes this weekend, with one hugely focusing on the sob stories, and the other juxtaposing the best and worst the show has to offer, regardless of social standing. I’m almost starting to enjoy it. 

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