Monday, November 27, 2006

The X Factor - Music From The Fillums!

It's "music of the movies" week, and to add to the film theme the contestants have been sent to a premiere this week, with accompanying VT and talking-head rhetoric about 'giving me a taste of the life I want' and 'made me realise I deserve this', and 'look at how all the poor people with their wretched lives of drudgery and futility worship me'. Kate reminds us that this is now the Final Five and that it is more important then ever to get your pudgy, water-retaining fingers to dial the number of your favourite act. This does not apply to me as I no longer have a favourite act, and watching this show is like watching a tranquilised elephant slowly fall to its knees as people point and laugh at the great behemoth's plight. Each act is doing 2 songs each tonight.

Anyhoo, kicking is off is Leona, who has gone for the urban stylee clothes and looks good for it actually, amidst all that frock wearing and warbling she has been doing so far it is easy to forget she is still a teenage girl. She is having a go at "Lady Marmalade" and it's pretty good actually. I warmed to her much more during this and it finally made me see that she is head and shoulders above everyone else, not just technically but with regards potential in the current market. They also took the wise decision to make her stand pretty still and let women in basques and fishnets gyrate around, it seems the penny enscribed 'Leona Can't Dance' has finally dropped.

The MacDiablo Brothers are next up , and they have taken the logical step of singing a Ronan Keating song, seeing as he is also celtic, a protege of LouLou, plus eye-wateringly bland and awful. Their version of "When You Say Nothing At All" is so soporific it could send a glass eye to sleep, whilst at the same time it is not awful either - which is probably why they keep being voted in.

It is almost like Sharon has given up with Ben, as the songs this week are dire, with his first offering being "Live and Let Die". He is at the piano again, and his delivery accompanied with cheesy pyrotechnics make him look and sound like some low-rent, Benidorm Meat Loaf act. He even looks slightly embarrassed for himself and like his heart isn't in it.

Eton Road need a marked improvement on last week now that we are in The Final Five, Simon says on the VT. They are attempting the Solomon Burke classic "Everybody Needs Somebody (To Love)", and it goes OK - but once again Molko's solo sections are shockingly camp, which is not bad in itself it just makes little sense in a cute looking boyband. It worked with Take That, but they were actually meant to look and sound gay at the beginning. Simon is not impressed, and blames it all on LouLou for picking Bad Songs. LouLou then has a big hissy strop and says that he's going to turn Eton Road into the next big boy band whatever happens and that they should pay no attention to nasty Simon because he smells. I'm pleased for them actually as I think this competition is not right for their type of group (is it right for any group really?) . This also means that they might as well come out and fart the The Frog Chorus for their second song as no-one will vote them as it seems they already have a deal in the bag.

And where would this show be without our installment of reverse-samson, chucky-cocked, minge-midget Ray, with his shit eating grin and his paedophile arousing act? Maybe we'd still be listening to Robert, instead of sitting through this bilge every week that's where! During the VT about his day out to a film premiere, he refers to himself constantly in the third person as "Quinny" as in 'Quinny's here everyone, yeah!' Just when you think it is impossible to despise someone any more, they surprise you with something like this... Anyway, he does "The Way You Look Tonight", and it's OK-ish - as long as you don't look at his stupid gurn-grinning face at any point.

End of Act 1. Slight intermission for Westler's hot dogs and Kia-Ora

And back we go again to the beginning for Leona to warble the archetypal "good singer totally overdoing it" song, 'I Will Always Love You'.

Dear Leona,

Please stop singing ballads, please stop scanning all around the melody, please learn to sing a note without vibrato, please cover up those big calves.

Yours, Lee


The MacDiablos continue to mine their rich vein of bland obviousness by singing '(I'm Gonna Be) 500 Miles'. I was truly amazed at this, as I didn't think that anyone could make this song sound dull, but they somehow managed it. Incredibly, Simon liked it! Most probably because their satanic guardian had threatened him with an eternity in the fires of hell if he didn't start being a bit more positive.

Ben is back at the Piano Of Questionable Value to give us 'Your Song', Elton John's dirge classic. Again he looks about as interested as a puritan on the Guinness brewery tour and sounds totally pub-like, and if he's got what it takes to make the final of this then someone better ring Don Henley and tell him the time is right to make his return.

Another Elton John song is served up by Eton Road, as they give us "Can You Feel The Love Tonight", a song written by Elton about lions whilst he was in the nadir of his First Hair-Weave period. It is pretty bland, the lad with the shaved head really can't sing very well and someone really needs to turn down Molko's mike as all you can hear in the chorus is his Minelli-Cabaret overwrought warbling. But, as I said below it doesn't matter as LouLou is going turn them into a jumpers wearing bland ballad band, if his previous form is anything to go by.

Ray finishes with 'Jailhouse Rock' as I gently finger my shotgun and use every ounce of willpower within me to not take my revenge on the stupid public.

Phew, it was a long one tonight. Kate hands over to the oleaginous pulp of white flesh and blocked vessels that is the British Public to once again waste their hard earned money on this slowly dying Circus of Mediocrity.


RESULTS SHOW


Kate returns to tell us that we have registered the biggest vote in the history of the show, which once again has me pawing at my shotgun. She introduces the bizarre Il Divo who belt out a ridiculous version of 'Without You', but they actually sing "No se, como vivir no con tigo" I think.

Results time, and Ray is first safe, at which point I shoot the dog, the Bottom Two are Ben and Eton Road. Following the sing-off, which confusingly they said they were not going to have last week, both acts stand next to Kate and the judges speak their words. Sharon is crying like a beauty pageant winner (ie pretending) and sends home Eton Road. LouLou is all humpy and says it doesn't matter what happens as Eton Road will be standing up off stools to cover versions of Toni Braxton songs within a year, and sends home Ben. Simon then labours his decision with some time-filling bollocks about not knowing what to do until the producers hold up a sign saying "Stop pretending you are conflicted, credits in 20 seconds", and he sends home Eton Road. Molko cries, as we see the band's X Factor journey and his personal journey from 4 stone to 10 stone judging by the pictures!

Manilow week next week, which means Ray is going to sing "Copa Cobana" and you are all going to pay for your lack of vision...

Friday, November 24, 2006

STRICTLY COME DANCING: another fortnight, another rumba
All slackness is Sarah's fault. Sorry!

Bosomwatch. Much much better this week. A rather nice blue satin confection that minimises the shoulders and makes the cleavage look classy rather than brassy.

Dances this week it is all over the place, with everyone seemingly doing a completely different dance. I am confused.

Cha Cha Cha - lots of wiggling and arm waving and running about. The women wear tight dresses with bits cut out of them and tassles in strategic places. Men wear the standard shirt cut open to navel.

Tango - the national dance of Argentina, if you believe the hype. Lots of stalking about with a slightly pissed-off expression, then pretend slaps, leg waggling and the woman gets thrown roughly to the floor in a final act of passion (probably so the man can go off and watch football or bullfighting or whatver the hell it is they do for fun in Argentina).

Waltz - I think this has fewer ruffles and less spinnery than the Austrian Waltz. Or maybe they're not supposed to eat strudel before the dance? Cabbie Len talks about "rise and fall" and there's lots of swaying and sweeping about in big dresses.

Rumba - More wiggling and booty shaking, as far as I can see, though mainly it is just standing around and pointing. This is supposed to be a "romantic" dance, so it basically reminds me of the kind of expressive dancing they do on X-Factor when the X-muppet sings a soppy ballad.


Baby Spice
This was hmmm...well OK: they bounced about and grinned a lot, but it didn't set the floor on fire. Bit of an Arsenal UEFA Cup performance from Baby and Mr Bad 80s haircut. Have the wheels fallen off the Baby Spice bandwagon???

Claire Bad Girl
Oh for crying out loud, producers. We know Brendan's a bit of a bastard, and we know that Claire answers him back, so please stop showing us shots of Brendan being a bastard and Claire answering him back. Considering these two are supposed to be the raunchy couple, their tango was about as raunchy as a night out in Lechlade and Claire looked uncertain and hesitant rather than haughty and tempestuous.

Lovely Ramps
Don't. Mention. The. Cricket.
Mark's getting intense and worried about the "intimate" nature of the rumba. I'm not surprised, if I had Karen's perky little face staring passionately into mine, I'd be a bit scared too. Anyway, they did quite well, and Ramps was brave enough not to wax his chest, for which Mark is v grateful.

Carol Smillie
She did good. She was worried about looking like an idiot in her cutaway dress, but she rumbaed like a good 'un and finally broke the big 3 0 (in terms of marks anyway, she passed that age barrier EONS ago. Meow!).

Matt Dawson
Talk about a Damascene conversion! There he is, practising the moves at home, reading Fred Astaire biographies rather than watch his own side being tonked by the All Blacks (actually there was probably a barbed comment at Andy Robinson in there). Then on the floor he's all smiles and swoopiness. Cabbie Len loves it. Arlene tells him to watch his arms.

Davetta
Possibly the best tango, but then her partner is Argentine and the worlds best tangoer or something. This doesn't mean he dresses in orange and goes around slapping people, apparently, though Davetta's tequila sunrise dress might be the updated version. Davetta goes to tango acting classes and they perform a stripped down "original" version, with Davetta actually looking quite authentic - like a slightly scared novice prostitute who can dance a bit.

Peter Schmeichel
I can't remember what dance he does - a slow ballroomy one i think. It is OK but not good enough to save him from the chop. Peter resignedly says that he knew he would get the chop as it is birthday and bad things always happen on his birthday. Oh well, he was certainly one of the most gracious competitors that we've had on the show.

I missed the follwing week but Bad Girl Claire got the chop. hurrah - I won't have to look at Brendon's horrid shiny face any more. Surely Carol will be next to go and then hopefully Davetta gets booted out, leaving Mark, Matt and Emma in the final three.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

DORKWOOD

So I finally got round to watching the so called adult so called sexy spin off of Doctor Who and it was alriiighhht but not great. First of all we have the many resemblances to Buffy, where it turns out that there is a Hellmouth Dimensional Rift under Sunnydale Cardiff, which allows Demons aliens to roam free round Wales. Captain Jack (devoid of camp sauciness in the episode I saw) and his gang of minionators (girl with severe fringe, japanese girl, clerky bloke from Bleak House, other bloke) have to put an end to such shenanigans, while all wanting to shag each other. Or something.

The one I saw was kind of like the Wrexham Chainsaw Massacre, with cannibalistic nastiness going on in a Remote Welsh Village. At first we think it is scary monsters doing all the person-eatin’ but, in a non shocking twist it turns out to be the villagers. In a further non shocking twist, it turns out that the local coppers are in on it too. I guessed that was going to happen the very second that a police car appeared. Perhaps as part of their special ops training the Torchwoodeers should all be forced to watch a bunch of clich├ęd horror films. In the end all the minionators are captured and while the cannibals are busy not slaughtering and eating them Capt Jack rides to the rescue and shoots all the baddies in an orgy of slow mo and snappy editing. It is all surprisingly nasty for a beeb production, with some very well done slaughterhouse sets but this does not get away from the fact that nothing really bad happens to any of the main characters. The whole point of films like "The Hills Have Eyes" and "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" is that lots of the main characters die in unpleasant ways! There is a random passer by bloke who is caught up in the mayhem and even he doesn’t get killed and turned into a nummy snack for the Welsh Wrong’uns. What this programme needs is a bunch of redshirts. Stat!

Monday, November 20, 2006

The X Factor: Number Ones stinking like Number Twos

Here we go again, and this week only the cream of the crop that have risen to the top of the hit parade in this sceptred isle are to be sung. Quite a selection to pick from I'm sure you'll agree, so how we ended up with this bucket of rancid mess is beyond me - it is probably something to do with Westlife being the guests. Oh and tonight's running row between LouLou and Simon is that Simon has been in America all week, and not keeping and eye on his acts in the shower as LouLou has, by the end of the show you will be very bored with this.

Kate saunters on with the now familiar look in her eye that tells us she is about to lose her job at the end of this series, and reminds us that only 6 acts remain and that Simon's company each one needs your money votes in order to buy a new yacht survive. Each judge conveniently has 2 acts and we kick off with everyone's favourite chucky-faced, lego-haired, shit-eating grinned, reverse-Samson...

Ray is doing something different this week, I pray that instead of swing the "something " is to do a Jim Rose Circus Sideshow type act involving beating himself about the neck and face with a vinegar soaked bat with nails through it. Alas, he has chosen to sing "Livin' La Vida Loca!" instead. They have dressed him in very tight clothing and what appears to be winkle picker shoes, which makes him look like an action man that has been shrunk in the wash, and he once again minces about like a schoolboy doing a cringingly awful impression of a teacher at an end of term concert. Thing about Ricky Martin is, even though he is blatantly as gay as Christmas, he could do raunchy very well, and the thing with Ray is that he can't. At all. Ever. And the whole point of doing hip thrusts is to make the opposite sex feel like they want you to do it to them - Imagine that little tosser sweating and heaving atop you eh girls? He looks ridiculous, and his vocal was dodgy, although I think this is a harder song to sing than people give credit for. Sharon was correct at the end when she said he is like "panto boy", although I prefer to pronounce it "awful bastard".

Why oh why of why did they give Robert the awful "You Are Not Alone" to Sing? Surely Sharon must realise that it was a terrible song to start with, and added to this everything associated with Michael Jackson is now tainted and doomed (apart from Off The Wall, that is still a belter of an LP). The beginning is a bit poor as the backing track is full of synthesiser pips, peeps and boings, but once the gospel choir rip in and Robert opens his lungs it picks up. The judges are very complimentary, even Simon.

Eton Road have finally been given a decent song this week with "I Don't Feel Like Dancing" by the Scissor Sisters being served up. I was looking forward to this, but made a schoolboy error in forgetting Rule number one about the X Factor (see Eton Rd from last week). It was pretty terrible actually, the chorus in particular sounded like three blokes talking in unison whilst a eunuch town crier screeched in the background. Obviously LouLou was sucked into thinking that anyone camp with a falsetto can sing Scissor Sisters - which does them a great dis-service. They had no choreography at all this week, which makes me think that they actually can't dance at all and as much as I like these lads they keep being rubbish, which is leading me to believe that they are actually not very good and are guilty of flattering to deceive - Molko being the prime suspect.

Leona is next up to give us her version of "Bridge Over Troubled Water". Before this even started I knew what this would be like, and was not proved wrong. Started off soft and whispery with far too much vibrato, got a bit louder and by the end she was jumping around the octaves, in and out of falsetto and waving her arms about (with far too much vibrato). I thought it was rubbish personally, again her vocal quality is great but these songs are not a training session, they are meant to be an emotional rendition that connects with the audience. I liken it to those freestyle footballers who can do 3000 keep ups using every part of their body, sure it's impressive, but none of them will score a goal in a World Cup Final will they? The judges rave again, she cries again...

So they have finally caved in and give Ben Joe Cocker's "With A Little Help From My Friends", thus in my eyes cementing exactly what he is. He is on the piano again, and dressed in what has become his weekly uniform of black shirt, boot-cut jeans and boots. It was basically exactly like Joe Cocker and if he hadn't also been playing piano, it would have been even more so. Simon thought it was great and wants a Ben vs Leona Final, which he feels would be "the television event of the year"! Of course it would, schedulers pray to every God they believe in for a contest between a sub-Mariah Carey warbler and a dull Soft Rock spewing coke-head don't they?

And finally we come to The MacDiablo Bros, a very boring pair singing a very boring song in what is fast becoming a very boring competition. Their version of "Love Is All Around" made me so bored I nearly shat concrete, they can sing in tune but they are so monotone it is ridiculous, they can't hit any impressive notes and they do the same harmonies in EVERY SONG. They are the musical equivalent of being slowly drizzled on at a church fete. However none of that matters as they are Lucifer's chosen ones are have a personal assistant who is dead ringer for Lance Henriksen in Omen II.

So that is it, unlike Vanessa Williams they saved the worst 'til last and Kate hands over to the clustered miasma of cigarette smoke and beery breath that is the British public, for them to make a no doubt idiotic decision...

RESULTS SHOW

I tuned in late for this and so mercifully missed Westlife crooning and getting up off stools in gloriously banal unison. The acts come back on and Kate trots out her mantra about the highest and closest vote in the history of the world ever. The first one safe is fucking Ray, then the MacDiablos (I am seriously losing my sense of humour about his now), then a once again weeping Leona, then Ben.

This leaves a bottom 2 of Eton Road and Robert to face the Final Sing-off of Mediocrity, Simon says he will base his decision on the performance. They are both about the same as before really and we pass over to the judges. Sharon talks about how they are both great and ace and the like but she has to send Eton Road home. LouLou starts crying (!?) at the injustice of it all, even though he's the one who keep championing that satanic Scottish pair, and sends home Robert. Simon then says that he is basing his decision on which act has the most potential to develop, thus not so much moving the goalposts as knocking down the stadium, and sends home Robert.

Robert takes it well but gets a little bit Darius-style ranty about recording an album.

Next week they are all singing two songs - that's twice the Ray and twice the MacDiablos for everyone! I anticipate my killing spree will start soon after...

Friday, November 17, 2006

MAKE ME A SUPERMODEL: THE FINAL WALK-OFF
Gosh, is this over already. Well, after many many tears, tantrums, made-up snogginess and pouting, the finalists are:

Albert
Despite only having one look, it is a very very good look and about as close to Blue Steel that a man can get. He is also well fit and quite nice.

Jen
I'm really pleased that the utterly gorgeous size 12 single mother from Wigan has beaten the skinny teens in personality, professionalism and the public vote. Mainly because the judges hate her so much, and also because her waist is only one inch smaller than mine, and my arse is wayyy smaller than that.

Luke
Boys like Luke are ten a penny in Croydon. But he's lovely, and he seems to enjoy the attention; even if he is a bit half-arsed about this so-called romance with Marianne.

Marianne
The vegan Danish girl cried when they cut her white blond locks into a very fetching pixie cut. Then spent the last week moaning about how Jen got the sympathy vote because she's "big" and Marianne has to justify being thin. No Marianne, Jen got the vote because she's a nice girl with a pretty face, and not a moaning little madam. Follows Luke around like a lost puppy.

The walk-offs have been hosted all series by Fearne Cotton - the embodiment of all that is wrong with Young People Today.

So, there's a catwalk. The models sashay down the catwalk in clothes of varying ridiculousness, and the friendsandrelations whoop like loons . At the end of the catwalk, the judges: Former Top Model Rachel Hunter; Some escapee from a Kylie video called Perou; Dylan Whatsisname from GQ; and a lady from Select Models.

In former weeks, we've had themes like "Marie Antoinette" (girdles, big wigs, cake); "Country(tweed and more tweed, saucy activities with rocking horses); "Goth" (black clothes, black wigs...accessorised with kids made up like Wednesday Addams..).

This week it's about "Hollywood Glamour". So the girls wear posh frocks: Marianne does that back-bent dragging head behind hips walk in a floor-length see-through thing and Nicole Kidman hair; Jen is in slimming sparkly black. The boys have forgotten their shirts again.

The judges praise Marianne's look, the glamour, the walk, the hair... and mumble something about Jen looking quite nice for a FAT LASS. Marianne is voted off. The judges look sad. Ha ha!

The next round is the swimwear round and the judges are getting desperate now. Jen is forced into three silver triangles that emphases the small boobage and round hippage, but still manages to look quite hot. The boys seem to wear hernia belts, black socks and brogues. As my nan used to say: "Is that the fashion?". Dylan abandons all pretence of politeness, and compares Jen to Diana Dors. You know, the FAT BIRD. Rachel just mumbles into the floor, and...it works. Bye bye Jen. Fearne is slightly embarrassed and keeps saying: "well at least you'll see your kid again, eh?"

The final walk off is trousers. What do male fashionistas have against shirts? Albert strolls up to the end like he really doesn't care and shoots the Blue Steel. Luke struts his funky stuff with The Magnum. Albert wins. But Select Models lady is giving both boys a contract because she can't stop hyperventilating over Luke. So what was the point again?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

STRICTLY COME DANCING
The dances this week are as follows:

American Smooth – this one is a ballroom dance with a 1940s Hollywood stylee. There is leg kicking and the dancers are supposed to “break hold” and prance around separately for a bit. Also lifts are allowed, so no doubt Brendon is creaming his pants at the thought of that.

Samba – this is the quintessential latin type dance, with lots of shimmying, pointing and fast fancy footwork.

Bosomwatch – Tess is wearing a pretty red dress with a sensible fitted bodice that makes her breasts look like they are a normal shape for once.

Matt Matt’s partner arranges for an acting coach to come in to try and cure him of his half-arsedness. Cue comedy shots of Matt moo-ing like a cow and doing stupid acting exercises. It all works though and he actually manages to stop looking like he is waiting for a bus whilst American Smoothing

Baby Spice Emma does the Samba in a black and red feathery dress and after whining all week about how hard it is, does excellently as usual and gets great marks. Aye Carumba! I have looked v hard at her partner’s hair and, as an expert in shoddy men's barbering, think it is NOT a wig but more the result of having a very bad transition between the bits of hair that are cut with clippers and the bits that are cut with scissors.

Davetta off EE She apparently had a bratty fit last week after Craig told her she wasn’t attacking the moves enough. This week it is boxing lessons to improve her feistiness and it seems to pay off. Sleazy partner (who is less sleazy now, actually) devises an insanely fast and complicated routine which she just about pulls off (though it looks like she is being dragged around like a puppet half the time) and the judges tell him to chill the hell out in future.

Carol Smillie Carol is determined to break into UEFA Cup contention and masters some tricky lifts for her American smooth, only for the judges to say that she is still a “rough diamond” and needs to improve her arms, neck, shoulders etc etc. She looked pretty good to me but what do I know? Carol is gutted. I think the problem is that her (very tall, very gay looking) partner is not a great teacher and isn’t spending enough time on the basics.

Lovely Mark Ramprakash Apparently has trouble getting into the AS this week so brings on his adorable daughter and her dance class to cheer him up. Oh Mark! Isn’t it a bit early to be wheeling out the big guns?? You need to save the daughter malarkey for when the competition is really tight. Anyway, he looks as good as always (though the judges criticise some of his footwork) and gets pretty good marks (though not as good as usual). I would also like to mention his partner, who seems to be really enjoying dancing with him, is v enthusiastic/borderline hysterical and who has kind of a mad face. They make a pretty good pair, with him being so reticent and quiet.

Peter Schmeichel Peter is dancing the samba this week. Ha ha ha ha ha ha. It is as amusing and wooden as expected, with Peter sort of strolling around and doing the occasional shoulder shake while his partner does all the dancing. Everyone damns him with faint praise for being game for a laugh and say they look forward to his next ballroom dance. Um no, actually I am looking forward to his next latin dance. He gets terrible marks but the legions of Man U sheep fans save him to dance again.

Bad “Girl” Apparently Claire is sick of being called a dirty sex vixen and wants to demonstrate that she can be classy (ie not get her tits out) for this week’s American Smooth. One of her toenails falls out in rehearsal due to the rigours of wearing strappy high heeled shoes for weeks on end. Ew. In the dance she does pretty well and Brendon only does one lift – gasp!!! They get pretty good scores but still end up in the bottom two.

Ray off Corrie Ray does the samba and is OK but not great. He stands around a lot pointing and smirking while his partner twirls around like a highly feathered dervish. The judges all “expected better” and give him average marks and then are gutted when he gets the boot. Bye bye, Ray! I will miss your hunky arms!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The X Factor - This week, it's all about the Love..

This week's show ain't got nothing but love for yer as the final seven acts get down to the business of being shockingly mediocre for another week. Kate intoduces the show and is bedecked in a very lovely black dress this week, myself and the wife couldn't tell if it was simply a dress, or a dress/shrug combo - either way it was a belter, which is more than can be said for Kate herself..

Simon and LouLou seem to have made up after last weeks scripted falling out, and is all is ready for Ben to kick us off with the Power-Balladtastic "I Don't Wanna Miss a Thing". However it seems that everyone is doing a "Going Back to my old Shitty Life" VT this week prior to singing. Ben spends the whole of his crying over footage of marquees being put up, as he tells how all he ever wanted to was music and once he even (GASP!) contemplated giving up, and if he has to go back to his old job then blah blah blah weep weep. What a load of bollocks, and considering most of the viewing audience have to face their own shitty jobs on Monday morning then rather ignorant as well if you ask me. He is playing a guitar this week, which when combined with his ability to play the piano sends him into the musical stratosphere as far the The X Factor is concerned, however he appears to me to be miming it. Anyway it starts badly, he then stands up off his stool as the drums (with obligatory soft-rock reverb) come in and it gets one peekogram better. It then spirals down through the floor into the shit-cellar as he sings to a couple of poor women in the audience about 2 inches from their face, and when he returns to the stage there is a front fan blowing his hair back and dry ice sloshing about. It was bloody awful and worthy of the Cardigan Room at Butlin's, Pwllheli. Simon has it right when he says that is was a bit bland and the crying on the VT was silly and unnecessary.

The MacDiablos are up next singing "She's The One", and they do an Ok job of it. To be fair to them they are always in tune and their harmonies are nice, but the are just very mediocre, bland and lacking in chemistry. I would've thought that since they have obviously done a deal with devil to stay in every week that Old Nick would've given them a bit of snazz, pizazz and jizz-jazz, but it is not to be. LouLou says that it was their best week yet, which is a bit like saying it's better to have your hand trapped in a slamming car door than have it sliced off with a rusty hacksaw.

Everyones favourite lego-haired, pig-nosed, chucky-faced midget Ray is next, singing Iron Maiden's "2 Minutes to Midnight", oh sorry I mean fucking swing again! He is dressed like 'Mini Pops does Rat-Pack' (again) and doing "Crazy Little Thing Called Love". Everything he does is extremely proficient in his defence, but he looks exactly like that precocious 12 year old who gets the lead part in all the school plays and whose parents make him stand up to do songs and impressions at family parties, much to the chagrin of the rest of the family who want to punch him. I agree with LouLou on this one, in that I cannot see him being a recording artist, I can however see a future for him doing winter season in Great Yarmouth in a Jimmy Clitheroe tribute.

Nikitta is up next singing Donna Summer's "Last Dance", she is not really flat at all this week, she is however still nasal, but credit to wardrobe as they finally put her in a decent frock. She talks about her mum in her VT beforehand and we get another look at the Auntie who Sharon got rid of in favour of the weeping wheelchair woman and credit to Nikitta, she didn't do any crying. She once again stomps round like Peter Schmeichel trying to so Salsa (bless him!), and it was all very forgettable, unfortunately for her.

When I heard Eton Road were doing The Beatles "From Me To You" this week I was little disappointed as I would've preferred something a bit more modern from them, but I was still looking forward to it. Rule Number 1: Never have expectations of the X Factor. It was pretty shocking, they all came on dressed as members of 'Dexy's Midnight Runners' meets 'Half A Shilling', and looked liked they had been choreographed by whoever did Buck's Fizz for Eurovision, only without the flair for ripping off clothes. The vocals were OK but they all just sang together meaning no unique voice could be made out, at least not until it all just suddenly stopped and Molko sang the bridge in the style of a castrated hyena. Lou Lou wants shooting for this, these lads can sing, they look good and they all went to dance school - this arrangement and sub-Stylistics level dance routine is a disgrace.

Leona's VT showed her going back to the solicitors in which she used to work, and then crying, it also showed her seeing her family, and then crying, then more crying - pull yourself together mard-arse! She belts out a stunning vocal performance of "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word", however I have to say she still leaves me cold, as much as I admire her technical ability. However, she really needs to tone down on the vibrato0o0o0o0o and the end of every liIiIiIiIiIne, as it is very irritating. Simon comes over all Soccer A.M and says she was "World Class".

And finally it's Robert. His VT shows him going back to the 'Orspital where he works and spending time with his family, who it would seem are no strangers to the KFC Bargain Bucket. He tells us how the song he is singing, "Always & Forever", he also sang at his sisters funeral so it means a lot to him. There is no mention of how she died, so we must draw our own conclusions. I thought his was the performance of the night personally, absolutely raw with emotion (well as much as an 80s soul song by 'Heatwave' can be) and a fabulous vocal delivery. Simon said it has put him "right back in this competition" (drink!). Robert does a small speech about how it was for anyone who has ever loved a lover in a loving way through love, or something.

Kate wraps up and hands the decision over to the pasty globule of massed latent heart disease that is the British Public.

RESULTS SHOW

Kate is back on, and apparently it's been the closest vote in the history of the show, with the stupid public literally stuffing money into Simon Cowell's high slung pockets via their telephones.

This week's special guest is Julio Double-Glesias, here to plug his new album of love songs, and he has a stab at "I Wanna Know What Love Is". Now I'm struggling to find the words to describe how really awfully bad it was, although I know that baffling, abject and execrable must figure in it somewhere. Once this freakshow has moved on, it's results time!

Long story short the MacDiablos are through again, and Ray (hurrah!) and Nikitta (meh..) are in the bottom two and face the Sing-Off Showdown of Righteousness and Truth! Nikitta is actually a bit better this time around, and Ray hits critical level on the "Punch Me" scale.

Sharon saves Ray, LouLou saves Nikitta. Simon thinks for ages and a row nearly breaks out in the crowd between the hecklers, he then makes noises about the audience possibly being bored with Ray. He then says "I've changed my mind, I'm sending Nikitta home", nobody is actually sure what he changed his mind from or why. To Nikitta's credit she deals with it all stoically and with great maturity for an 18 year old, pay attention Leona!

See you next week, when maybe Louis will finally get Eton Road a decent song.

Friday, November 10, 2006

AMERICAN TELLY!!

Well I have an excuse for being slack as I have been on holiday in New York! We had the telly on every now and again but the only things that stood out were...

DANCE WITH THE STARS!!
This is the US version of Strictly Come Dancing and the format is exactly the same only slighty more American and with more filler. Cabbie Len and Bruno are on the judging panel with a pretty American lady. When they give their votes they stand up and shout "TEN!!!!" The three remaining competitors were some older ex footballer bloke, Joey Lawrence (whom I vaguely recall as a teen TV star with a mullet and a v short pop career - now he is v bald and muscley and kept going on about god and his family. vom) and a v plasticky/handsome young latino guy I had never heard of. Joey was eliminated ha ha. Hot latino guy to win!!

FASHION HOUSE
Oh my god, this was hilariously bad. It basically stars Bo Derek and Morgan Fairchild (looking like a laminated version of Paris Hilton these days) as fashion designers who are rivals in business! and love! The plot makes no sense. At one point Bo is hiding in hospital with a fake heart attack and Morgan is trying to stab her with a syringe, next thing Bo is having catfights with gang girls in prison. Eh? In between there are many scenes of Bo and Morgan slapping each other, scenes where pretty girls talk about stuff and try unsuccessfully to make sad/troubled/devious facial expressions and scenes where hunky men talk about stuff and then stare at each other intensely as though they are about to start gaying up (though they sadly don't). Basically anything not involving slapping is like the bits of porn between sex scenes. I can't see any UK channel buying it, but it would work as a Prisoner Cell Block H style late night cult thing.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

STRICTLY COME DANCING: IT TAKES TWO (TRIES)
We've been very bad and missed covering Bad Love Island Boy's "outburst", which only served to create more controversy that really put the disintegration of Iraqi society in a bloody civil war brought on partly by British and American intervention into perspective, I can tell you.

Brendan is convinced that the judges hate him. He's right. Arlene looks like she'd rather chew a million wasps than spend another minute in the same room as him. Over the past few weeks, Bad Girl Lady has been comparing Brendan with a recalcitrant labrador puppy, and Brendan's just ANGRY! To be honest, they've been a bit crap. The dances involve lots of posing and pacing about, with pointing and "foxy" looks from a barely-clad Bad Girl Lady.

Davetta's been secretly voting for Spice, or so her slimy partner says. I think it's all a stunt. Davetta has been doing quite well: she did a pretty good salsa, and her foxtrot was competent, but the spark seems to have gone.

I'd like to know what Carol Smillie has against birds. Nearly every outfit has featured feathers of some description, sticking out of her head, hemmed into her dress...again, another very Aston Villa performance over the past fortnight. Actually given the state of Aston Villa, I'd say a very Christian Gross-era Tottenham performance. Cute kids though.

Casualty Blonde finally got the chop. Her partner tried not to look pleased. Last week Jan Ravens pulled out all the stops: Viennese waltz with mega ruffles, winsome children in the front row, begging their mother not to fail. It didn't work. Poor old Anton had to drag her around the dance floor, and her hair made her look old. She made a tearful exit, and the papers featured a cross Mr Ravens. I don't know why he was cross, just that he was.

Baby Spice: It's a wig, I tells yer! She's damn good.

Mark Ramprakash. In the words of my Auntie Val: "Phwoarrrr..." The Pasa Doble was a bit of a comedy routine with capes being waved all over the place. Then they had to start the Salsa again because his microphone got caught up in his partner's sequins halfway through. Why he couldn't play cricket like this when the Aussies were tonking us big style, I'll never know. Actually he was rather good. Very good in fact. Just not as good as he is at dancing. To be honest, if we decided to play the Strictly Come Dancing Ashes, we'd probably still get trashed by some last minute bravura cape waving by Glenn McGrath. Not that we'll get trashed this year, oh no...[that's enough cricket talk - Ed].

Can't remember any of the others. They all did OK - enough to get through anyway.

Next week: back to proper updates, with special guest reviewers Mr P and Baby Ceej!

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