Monday, 1 October 2012

X Factor Monday - We have the final 12!

And do I agree with all of the Judges' choices?  No.  Not all of them.  But I wasn't expecting a miracle.  A couple more sensible decisions would have been nice, but, on the whole, I'm okay with the final twelve.  And, to be honest, I'm just glad we're all done now because last weekend's shows almost had me losing the will to live by the end of Sunday's programme.  Could they have strung those out any more than they did?  What with that bloody background music and another dose of sob stories from the contestants telling us, for the umpteenth time, how much they really, really want this (yes, well, I really want Bradley Cooper and two weeks in Lanzarote but we can't always have what we want, can we?), I was about ready to switch off and give Antiques Roadshow a go instead.  Maybe it's just me, but I'd have preferred a quick hour-long show where they just reel off who's got through and move on.  All that flannel does my head in.

Ella Henderson
Jade Ellis
Anyway, so, those Judges' choices.  First of all, the girls category.  Going to be honest here, I wasn't really concentrating too much during their final attempts to impress Tulisa, because I was far too busy being distracted by the aforementioned Tulisa's shoes.  I loved those pink ones she had on on Saturday's show, God help me!  And I even loved the dress she was wearing on Sunday's show.  However, Tulisa's wardrobe aside, on the whole, I agreed completely with two out of the three decisions she made.  I'm really glad to see Ella Henderson and Jade Ellis go through to the live shows, but I wouldn't have put Lucy Spraggan through.  I'm not saying she doesn't have talent; she can sing and play her own stuff really well.  She's got something that I think people like, and yes, she's different.  But, are the live shows going to turn her into just another cover-singing puppet?  Because I can't imagine they're going to allow her to play her guitar and sing her own stuff every week, can you?  And the one time she has sung a pop cover (at Boot Camp) I thought she really struggled.  So I'm interested to see how she copes with the live shows.  Personally, I would have put Amy Mottram through to the live shows instead of Lucy.  Not because I think she's any more talented than Lucy, but because I think she's more "X Factor".  If you know what I mean.

James Arthur
Okay.  The boys category now.  What did I think of Nicole Scherzinger's decisions?  Well, apart from totally agreeing with her about James Arthur, who I'm so happy has got through to the live shows, I'm not a fan of her other two choices.  Jahmene Douglas can sing, but I'm just not sure how he's going to come across on the live shows.  I guess I just would have preferred to see Jake Quickenden go through.  In reality, both Jake and Jahmene would've been my other two choices I suppose, although I did like Adam Burridge too.  It's no secret that I'd rather Rylan Clark hadn't made it through to the live shows, and after his performance on Sunday's show (and I'm talking about those ridiculous and exaggerated histrionics we had to endure from him) my belief that he is there purely for the entertainment factor was only enforced even more than it already was.  Okay, so his performance in front of Nicole and Ne Yo on Saturday evening was better than anything he's done before, but I still think he's taking the place of someone who is slightly more talented than he is.  Also, I have a problem with the fact that he appears to have been on a number of reality shows (including that one Katie Price did on Sky Living - the one nobody watched!), which leads me to wonder whether he really does have a love of singing, or just a love of fame.  He has a lot of work to do to convince me, but we'll see.

Next, the groups.  And to be honest, I'm really not fussed about this category at all.  None of the groups impressed me, so I'm not all that bothered by who Louis put through.  Having said that, though, I do like the voice of MK1's Charlie - it's when the other one starts rapping that it spoils it for me, but that's just me age coming through again.  I also think that Louis put through two boy bands that are practically identical to the other one so I can't see where his logic was in that decision, but what the hell do I know?  Just seemed a bit odd to me when there were other, different groups there he could have chosen.

Melanie Masson
Right, finally, the Overs category, and the decisions of one Mr Gary Barlow.  And it was here that my main problems occurred.  Apart from the absolutely obvious decision to put Melanie Masson through to the live shows, I can't say I was totally overjoyed with his other decisions.  I've got nothing against Carolynne Poole, to be honest.  I just find her a little bit bland.  She can sing, but it's nothing special.  I've heard it all before, and even though they keep mentioning this "country twang" she's supposed to have, I didn't hear it myself.  But then, maybe I was just too distracted by Tulisa's pink shoes!  And putting Kye Sones through - well, I can see why Gary's put him through, but I'm still not sure about Kye.  But that's probably because I much preferred the voice of Brad Shackleton.  He had a bit of a rocky edge to his voice, a gravelly tone that I really like.  It was different to anything else there in that final line-up, but all Gary could do, as he prepared to tell Brad he was kicking him to the kerb, was ask him a question that actually made me incredibly angry.  He asked him "Who's going to buy your records?"  Well, let me tell you this, Gary, there's one person sitting here tapping away at this keyboard that won't be buying anymore of your frigging records if you continue to ask questions like that.  How the hell does anybody know who's going to buy their records?  Despite the fact you can have a good old guess at the kind of people who are buying One Direction records, it's pretty difficult, with an artist like Brad, to pigeon-hole him like that.  Sometimes people actually appeal to a broad audience, and you, Mr Barlow, should know that more than anyone. Why didn't he just tell Brad, look, we don't know what to do with singers who have a rock-singer edge to their voices so we're binning you for that reason.  At least that would've been the truth, because that's exactly why Brad didn't make it, in my opinion.  And why Joe Whelan didn't make it to Judges' Houses either.  X Factor isn't about rock, it's about pop.  Pure and simple.

And then we have the wildcards - four contestants that have got to spend this week sweating it out as the public votes for who they would like to see join those 12 finalists on the the lives shows.  Who would I choose out of Amy Mottram, Adam Burridge, Times Red and Christopher Maloney?  Personally, I'd like to see Amy or Adam make it.  But we'll just have to wait until Saturday's first live show to find out who's the lucky one there.

So, after a weekend of me whinging, moaning, and getting rather unnerved at the fact that I quite liked all of Tulisa's weekend outfits, the live shows are now imminent and the countdown to Christmas is now underway.  Am I looking forward to that prospect?  Yeah.  In a funny kind of way.  I can't say I ever really enjoy the X Factor, I think the word I like to use is tolerate.  But it's a habit I can't break, and of course I'll be there every Saturday night, waiting to see if any of those contestants that I'm not too sure about can make me think any differently.  Although, if I'm being totally honest, I'm more excited about the fact Strictly Come Dancing is back on Friday, and Take Me Out starts a new series on Saturday too!  I love Paddy McGuinness on that show!

Anyway, whether we like it or not X Factor is back, and you never know, amongst those 12 (soon-to-be-thirteen) finalists, there might just be one there who actually shines, which is why I can't wait for the live shows.  So, let's see what surprises they throw up, and keep our fingers crossed that some real talent finds its way through the blandness that is, unfortunately, still present.  But, like I said before, we'll see.  All I do know for certain is that the judges are going to annoy me far more than any of the acts ever could...

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