A good close look at the X Factor this weekend exposes some interesting and rather intriguing gaps that are going to make this season one of the best, yet most frustrating seasons thus far. The absence of Louis this weekend made for an interesting week of bitterness to become openly exposed as a feisty and somewhat fragile Cheryl tore into Simon on more than one occasion as his arrogance and sarcasm was abundant in his snipes aimed at his fellow judges.
For once in a long time, I became quite tired and irritated at the smug cockiness of Simon Cowell as he made out that everyone in the competition craved the attention they get from being under his mentorship, and without him anyone wanting to win the X Factor hadn’t a hope in hell. Yet I have to point out to the media icon that for the last two years he has failed to land a win in the competition as the two girls he now almost reduced to tears on national television thrashed his arse. Admittedly Leon Jackson never amounted to anything, but I have a sneaky suspicion that Alexandra Burke has a hunger that will in the long run out strip Leona Lewis. But I have to admit that while I have softened to Simon in recent years, I did find his ego caught in the back of my throat as though an annoying feeling of nausea came over me whenever he spoke.
Personally I think that some clear issues have become evident as Cheryl seems clearly out of her depth with the boys category this year. She is uncomfortable, clearly lacking judgement and making life extremely difficult for her competitors as they struggle to compete. As Rikki bowed out this weekend trying to please the person that gave him the chance he has spent three years chasing, while trying to sing an impossibly hard song for a man, one has to wonder if the rest of her group are going to have a fighting chance to make it anywhere near the final. Thankfully Jo is full of a natural talent, a pitch perfect voice, has a remarkably cute nature and the likeable factor that makes it likely he will go far on his own merit.
Lloyd on the other hand has thus far skimmed through the competition on his good looks alone, as both weeks he has struggled to produce the big wow factor needed in either of his song choices. Granted for a group of boys with the average age of 18 and a half years old, diva week was going to be a difficult mountain to climb, and I was willing to over look their difficulties as each boy attempted to reach their mark, but as Jo soared with his challenge, Lloyd and Rikki were given the strangest selection of songs to perform. Yes, Cheryl clearly has issues in her camp as she falls to two left in the race to win.
I totally fail to understand how the twins are still a part of the X Factor. Week two and we lose two acts that are clearly far more talented and deserving of a place in the competition have made way for a pair of really awful pair of boys to sail to week three on performances I wouldn’t credit a Thursday Karaoke session with producing. Simon said that they were horrifically entertaining this week, and I have to wonder which planet he was sitting on, or if he was just being pleasant because Louis wasn’t around to irritate with awful remarks.
Miss Frank are a talent that are struggling to prove they are someone that they are not, partly I feel because Louis is out of his depth with a girl band, and partly because the girls are trying to mould themselves into being something that they are not. I hope that the judges give them the freedom to do what they are talented at. Graciella is clearly a rapper who deserves the chance to express that and use her talent to wow us all. I remember the day she used rap in the middle of a song that I’d never imagined rap existing in and as she showed us all different. In that moment I warmed to her ability, and she should be allowed to shine and blossom with that gift. I have been disappointed that once again, as was the case with Ruth last year, a talent has so far been stifled and not allowed the room it deserves. I really hope that Louis gets to see that they stand a really great chance of making it a long way as something new, different and very trendy, and invests some proper time nurturing that and not trying to mould the girls into a female Westlife.
I cannot understand how twice Rachel has been in the bottom two. She is so highly talented and has so much to give this competition that I really don’t understand how the public have allowed the likes of John and Edward to sail through and Rachel struggles to survive. One of the problems with a public vote is that people are clearly blind. I mean didn’t the two brothers pulling off a rip off of Britney’s rather sickening Titanic tribute, to each other become a real cringe worthy piece of stage drama. I mean was everyone else watching the show blind to one brother proposing another? Performance or not I am sorry but I inwardly felt bad for those two as they publicly humiliated themselves in the name of entertainment. Who knows what it really is, but in all honesty let’s hope the rif raf depart before the real talent is voted out.
Stacey is a talent that I think really stands a massive chance at making it for herself come what may. She is so bubbly and has such a unassuming air that I find her aloof nature of water off a ducks back to everything going on around her, a breath of fresh air. It seems she dosn’t have the time to let anything else going on get in the way of her having the time of her life, an attitude that I think they should all adopt, and one we should see a whole lot more of. I love the fact that we don’t see a tear filled drama plea from her each week as she just accepts that she’s done her best and can’t please everyone. I think that fact that she is unphased by even Simon trying to rattle her cage will set her in good standing to ride the wave and do well going through the weeks.
Lucie on the other hand I feel is struggling to climb over the judge’s comments. I agree that she has not had the chance to shine with her song choices thus far, and on Saturday I found that while I did enjoy her rendition of How Will I Know, it did not grab me and I found the catchy and colourful stage design was more impressive than her performance. Perhaps trying to dance with her performance was a step too far just yet. I really hope that Danni gives her that chance to shine that we saw her captivate in her audition.
And so we come to the boy’s in Simon’s category. Is it possible to admit that while each Danni and Cheryl have an outsider that stands a chance at winning, more and more I do think that Simon is the one to beat this year.
While it pains me to say it, because I totally agree with Louis and Cheryl that Danyl has gotten way too big for his boots, and arrogance in someone who hasn’t in many ways made it as yet, I find his who persona to have become quite irritating. However having said that, it is not his persona that is carrying him through right now, as he has pulled off two very impressive performances, even if he does scream a lot while doing them. Unlike the other two, who are firmly rooted to the ground and enjoying this process of maturing as an artist through this process, I think Danyl will eventually over shoot his impact with the public if he is not really careful. He may claim not to be this aloof and haughty kind of guy, but his actions sure don’t say the same thing.
Olly. Olly. Olly. While he may be over the moon that he’s found true love, I do think he’s well and truly shot himself in the foot by going public with it at this stage. So many of his fans will be gutted that he’s off the market so to speak, even though we all know that he’s way out of our league, we all do kind of wish, and I do think that his new found romance will hurt his popularity going forward. Maybe if he plays it down and puts his head down I’ll be proved wrong we’ll have to wait and see, but yet again what a performance from the young man with legs that move.
And then my favourite. I was not happy with his song this week, but amazingly I do think that in a funny old way Jamie managed to pull it off, although it certainly wasn’t his strongest performance to date. I was amazed that he managed to put a rock twist to a Christina song and sing it with such a soft and gentle touch. Yes we defiantly saw a different side to Jamie and I think he proved he has a lot of versatility in him, I’m just not sure that exposed and emotional is a versatility that I didn’t enjoy despite his ability to make it his own.
I have to ask. What the hell is happening with the X Factor’s cameo guests? First Robbie Williams runs around stage off his face on something or other, and tries to blame it on a stage malfunction, and then Whitney comes out with a real and proper wardrobe malfunction, yet looks just as much out of it when Dermot gets to chat with her at the end. I was shocked by both performances, and look forward to seeing what Harry Hill makes of Whitney’s performance in TV Burp next week.
And so next week Big Band night comes to town and we have Westlife to entertain us. Let’s hope they can keep it all together and produce a decent performance.