Saturday, 24 November 2012

Week 8 Review Pt1

You probably didn't follow my live tweets through this week's show so I've included them in this post as they do capture the good, the bad and the ugly tonight.

It's Abba and Motown Week which means there's a good chance we'll recognise the tracks. This is traditionally a harmless week when no-one does terribly well and no-one does terribly badly. 

To start with the judges have this and that to say about last week's Ella vote fiasco.

They might just as well have four OAPs on the panel for all the influence the judges have now
@radioleary is really sounding quite fed up. Has he seen the votes already?
Cue video of Rylan and James in a kitchen. It's Thanksgiving in America so someone on the production team must have thought it would be a good idea. But where's her third act??

Is Jahmene the turkey? #XFactor thanksgiving meal

Rylan suits Abba well. of is it vice versa? It's a chess set and he puts on a pretty reasonable performance and looks like he's enjoying himself.

Rylan is certainly entertaining. Lots of pawn action tonight on#XFactor

Good job Louis - bigging up Rylan in an effort to get rid of Baloney#XFactor
Louis almost begging people to vote for the guy in his complimentary summary,

UnionJ should have been told that The Winner Takes It All is not a smiley song
The boy band sing very well but this really is not a track when they should be smiling and the whole impact of a superbly written song is totally lost.

Good performers but crap representation of this track could land them in trouble

Lord Sugar tweets to Simon Cowell: I am not wishing to be negative. You get back here and do X Factor UK yourself and chuck Tulisa out. I'm not sure what he doesn't like about Tulisa but I thought I'd ride on the back of that one:
@SimonCowell unlike @Lord_Sugar I am wishing to be negative. Get back here and do #XFactor yourself and chuck Baloney out.

Jahmene does I Had A Dream but it's lame.
I'm bored with Jahmene now which doesn't say much for his chart chances, however well he sings. My vicar sings well too.

I wish Jahmene would just hit the note not wobble round it first.

Jahmene did say he wanted to do gospel so by leaving out half the track I suppose he got gospel

I think I preferred watching Agnetha and Anni-Frid but James is miles better than the others at interpreting ABBA songs

James Arthur does SOS. Not as brilliant as some of his earlier interpretations but still the best so far.

I have a feeling Ella voters may well transfer to James and keep him out of the bottom two this week

'Last week was amazing' Big smile. Baloney sounding chirpy is pissing me off. Funny how his nerves have gone.

Damn, Fernando was one of my favourites. I'm going for a walk. I may be some time. 

Has, he. finished. yet. All. those. gaps. between. every. ruddy. word. Baloney has to go, please.

Next we get the Motown performances.
UnionJ pick I'll Be There and we miss Michael Jackson even more now. They sing really well but that won't have won any extra votes. Maybe they won't need them  but I have my doubts.

UnionJ playing it safe in the Motown section. Maybe a bit too safe

Gary talking sense. It was a 'nice' performance. UnionJ should have done Baby Love

Louis doesn't want UnionJ in the bottom... eh? 

Any of UnionJ as solo acts would have seen off Baloney ages ago

Then we get a mix-up with Nicole getting confused with so many acts still in the competition.
Hang on, didn't Nicole just introduce James? Video intro is Rylan

'James' has grown and changes sexual preference.

Christ Rylan's trousers look uncomfortable. Should help with high notes

Rylan doing Jive Bunny

Not one of Rylan's better performances. If he's Eurovision then Baloney is Eurocrisis.

I can see #RylanStyle catching on

Rylan does a Supremes' medley in very tight yellow satin trousers. Muddley might have been a better word.

No question to answer on the #XFactor competition. That'll help the Baloney voters then.

Dermot chats to the audience and we get a shot of a ridiculous horizontal pigtail style on the head of Jahmene's mum.

Jahmene's mum's hair!?

James Arthur showing Jahmene how notes should be sung and what performing is all about. Brilliant. 

Caroline Flack is hoping James will take a cold shower before he appears on #XtraFactor

Jahmene is asking his mum what that song was actually all about. And can Louis borrow her hair

James puts on the best performance tonight. That was pretty good as he tries Marvyn Gaye's Let's Get It On.

Digital Spy tweet: Front page of tabloid alleges Maloney tried to strangle a cabaret singer on a cruise ship. So macho, as @sinittaofficial might say!

Ooops, dodgy notes from Jahmene. This song is muh more difficult than most people realise. Smokey was brilliant. Jahmene isn't

Remembering last week, a bet on Jahmene at 50-1 to go may not be that silly. Shocking but not silly. 

Jahmene really doesn't do that well with the Motown track. In fact I've already forgotten what it was. Oh yes, Smokey Robinson. He's a nice innocent chap but not for the X Factor world. Better back in church where listeners will be kinder and not swear or talk about girls and things he doesn't understand. Like charts.

Dancing on the ceiling? Baloney? Good God no.

Baloney's dancing is more like someone old trying to stand still on a rocking boat. Which is where he belongs

Digital Spy again: Maloney took our breath away. Then he released his grip.

Baloney gets criticism from the judges becauses he's a crap act. Simple, Gary. If he wasn't your act you'd say the same.

One of the highlights comes in XtraFactor when we get a video of James and Nicole singing an off the cuff, make it up as they go along song. I can't really explain what V and HB stands for without losing half my readers but that was really funny and showed a confident contestant and very relaxed mentor. No way would we see Britney in that style! Well done, Nicole.

I can see James and Nicole YouTube V & HB track going viral! Hilarious 

Finally, Simon appears to have got the earlier message!

"@SimonCowell: UK. Please vote for who you believe could be a star next year. It's in your hands." 

Monday, 19 November 2012

Shameless Voters Stifle X Factor UK

Ella left the X Factor UK competition this week. Here's her performance from the Saturday night show.

For almost every viewer and commentator I've encountered it was Ella and James who would have been in the Final in a few weeks' time. To see them having to sing off for 6th place has shocked them all.

This is James's passionate sing-off performance from Sunday.

Whilst James has survived, Tuiisa naturally voting for Ella and Louis making the valid point that James may well already have more or less secured a contract, it has to be remembered that this ridiculous choice was only necessary because the people actually caring enough to vote prefer Old Baloney and Rylan to each of these two. Coming 5th again, as the deadlock and public vote showed this week, would see him go next week if that audience remains dominant.

Now, it may be that outrage may lift his standing but things are looking grim on this show now. Union J may have to accredit their survival to the extra votes they may have accumulated from Ditrict3 supporters and, if James doesn't make it, remain the only potential winner that could truly be regarded as a future chart success we Brits would be proud to declare.

Jahmene is a decent chap but devoid of the quality that is exactly what this show is supposed to find, seemingly only at ease with the hotel doorman. On the show and even in the relaxed and fun atmosphere of the Xtra Factor he is painfully morose and dull. All he seems to want to do is sing gospel songs. Now there is nothing wrong with that and he'd have been a star in Choir Of The Year or that programme that created Sing a little while ago. Yes, he can sing and yes, he is pure and innocent but once his No. 1 single has dropped out of the charts in March 2013 he'll be filed away with Joe McElderry thereafter.

Rylan does have something and I can cope with his continued presence in a similar way to Jedward's survival. He'll be an asset to a tranche of reality shows that seem to be the thing these days and, whilst not likely to be on my 'must view' list, he has, totally through his own personaility, taken the opportunities presented by a stage, huge audience and his mentor, made himself into a star of sorts. He'll fade soon enough  but will brighten the screen for a year or so and be part of the wackier side of British entertainment life.

Christopher is just dull, outdated, wrong and the thought of his face staring out of some album cover at Christmas is a terrifying one. Thank heavens that vinyl albums haven't yet returned to the mainstream and that his face will, at least remain contained within a 3 inch square. The thought, too, that I am writing about and avidly following a tv show whose main audience comprises people who must genuinely believe that he is some sort of 2012 hero, deserving all the recognition, publicity, plaudits and money that will be attached to his name, and who do so in preference to the talents of Ella and James, makes me seriously wonder about continuing with all this.

I am annoyed and slightly embarrassed to admit to supporting and promoting this show. As my teenage son said yesterday, if James and Union J aren't in the final he'll not be interested in watching. I feel the same. We may just record it and watch bits later. I feel like stopping these articles in some sort of protest but I need an outlet for my frustration so they have their uses!

SYCO must be losing a fortune in advertising revenue as I doubt that either viewing figures or the all important profits from telephone votes are holding up as well as they'd hoped. The show's still profitable but I suspect Simon is relieved that he has kept his distance so far this year.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Week 7 Review

Guilty Pleasures is the name of the game tonight, not that that usually has much effect on what the contestants do.

Union J

Carly Rae Jepsen Call Me Maybe
Someone must have told them to get commercial so they certainly did that with one of the year's biggest numbers. The more I look at these guys the more they are looking ans sounding like One Direction and tonight they pressed all the lookalike buttons well, including appearing on boxes.

They're four excellent singers and may start to pick up District3 voters now and get through a bit closer to the final. Unless they're up against Ella, James or Jahmene this week, which they really shouldn't be, they'll be  safe, wherever they finish in the voting.


You're The One That I Want Olivia or John Travolta
I have never heard this track done any differently than as in Grease so a way slowed down version was a real surprise. It worked too and Ella did a pretty good job of bringing out the meaning, always the awkward spot with her. Notes perfect again too, she is a must for the final. What I particularly like about her is the fact that she writes her own stuff and each performance now is what she wants to do. That is what can make the difference between a good singer and a star.

Impressive tonight. How the voters will take it I'm not sure but her traditional fans should stay loyal.


Can't Take My Eyes Off You Andy Williams
This was a strange choice and possibly one of his worst performances. It seemed out of place and he didn't look right singing this either. Having said that he got rave reviews and all credit for switching a very much unhip track to his own style.

He's perfectly safe but I doubt if he'll be topping the poll.


When Will I Be Famous Bros
With Rylan it's all about the fun and the stage now. His voice was a bit off compared to most weeks and it's a dreadful track that even his fans probably don't like much.

It would be remarkable if his psychic is proved correct with her prediction that he'll last til the seventh week. It would also mean that Old Baloney doesn't go so I'm really hoping she's wrong. It does seem pretty much likely that he will though - if, that is, Old Baloney gets his usual bundle of votes and leaves Rylan up against anyone other than him.

If it is them in the bottom two, though, then Rylan would actually get through!

Old Baloney

Total Eclipse Of The Heart Bonnie Tyler
Yeah. He sang the song. Most notes there. No excitement or anything, just cruised along.


Communards Don't Leave Me This Way
This suited his voice but not his style as he's never had anyone to sing that to. He looked uncomfortable but then he always does. Maybe they should get him stacking ASDA shelves while he's singing or something. He's pleasant and didn't wail so much I do think someone who is favourite to win this thing (as he is at the time of writing) then he should be a bit more positive and cheerful.

So that's it. I've already gone through as many possible voting outcomes as I can think of. I'm hopeful that everyone did well enough to put Rylan and Christopher in the bottom two this week. It really should, therefore, be Old Baloney going but we've been saying that since the start, haven't we? Liverpool grannies have supported him this far and I am so worried that he will soon be knocking decent acts out.

Rylan's Psychic Could Be Right

For the first time this series the bookies got it right last week. This week they have Rylan as such a clear favourite to go I struggle to write that I disagree. Of the £10,600 bets placed with Betfair at the time of writing this afternoon, a massive £7000, nearly 70% has been on Rylan. On Old Baloney going there is almost the entire balance, 27% with next to nothing placed on any of Union J, James, Ella or Jahmene. In fact the bets on Jahmene going total just £30, a miniscule 0.3%.

But I am going to disagree and here's why. Regular readers will know that I have wanted Christopher Maloney gone since he got through to Bootcamp. And you do have to wonder about the sanity of the judges who selected those Overs to go through to Judges' Houses. Gary made some odd choices too but he didn't have the best six to choose from.

Anyway, here's how I think things might work out. Assuming there is a bottom two for the judges to choose from, there are only a few feasible pairings. Rylan v Christopher has to be the most likely so let's deal with that one. Gary will save Christopher. Nicole will save Rylan so it's down to Tulisa and Louis. Now both have made it pretty damn clear that they don't see Christopher as an act they want to see continuing and must surely vote for him to go. Christopher's only chance of survival in that pairing would be if one of them did support him and take it to deadlock when he may have the higher public vote.

In any other pairing that involved Christopher then there's no way the other three judges would send Union J, Jahmene, James or Ella home. Indeed, even Gary would have trouble justifying retaining Christopher against any of them.

There is, of course, the awful scenario in which he is still not in the bottom two. Let's be quite clear what that means: it means he is more popular than at least one of Union J, Jahmene, James or Ella. I really refuse to believe that there are that many annoying voters who prefer him over Jahmene, James or Ella. That leaves Union J, who we know he has already beaten at least once. So that puts Union J and, presumably Rylan in the bottom two. That's what the big money must be assuming: someone other than Maloney up against Rylan and hence the Rylan exit in week 7 (indeed - as his psychic friend predicted!)

Remember, though, that Rylan has been getting decent votes of late with the public genuinely warming to him. If he was going to go then it would have been after last week's pretty lame performance. If he does a reasonable job and does actually escape the bottom two then that would mean Christopher would have to have beaten two of the others in the polling. Now, if that happens it would be a ridiculous Ella v James, Jahmene v Union J or similar bottom 2. Cue protests, frustrated judges' remarks etc.

Any scenario that has Old Baloney remaining in this competition implies that it hasn't just been a particularly good performance by him in a week when the others do badly but that some old grannies out there believe he is a better singer / performer / potential British chart act than the rest. 

We could be in Steve Brookstein, Andy Abraham, Leon Jackson land, folks. God (i.e. Simon) help us.

Monday, 12 November 2012


If you watch Dermot O'Leary carefully there's a sense of resignation, frustration in his voice as three acts are still left standing on Sunday's Results Show. Two of the acts are the 'bottom two', with all that implies - one has to go and the other carry on with the knowledge that not many people are voting for them and the third goes straight through and, for all we know, may actually have topped the poll. Surprisingly at this stage of the competition, he's told to go to an ad break.

A few minutes later, the name he calls out as 'safe' is Christopher. Watch his eyes as they momentarily flash to the heavens.

We're left with the two groups to sing off. District3 had been tipped to be in trouble but can hardly have expected to have been up against Union J. Both make a really good effort with their key singers leading and I didn't spot anything that either act should be at all disappointed about in those performances. You do have to wonder why they couldn't have brought such excellence out on Saturday night - as is so often the case, acts produce some of their best performances just before they go.

I liked Louis' decision not to vote for either act and half-hoped that the rest would do the same in protest, not that that would have prevented one going though. Union J had put in a particular strong performance and I am sure that most viewers would accept that they had the edge on that occasion so it was farewell to District3.

Most commentators have made the point that having two first class groups may well have split that section of the vote which is why we had this extraordinarily frustrating outcome. Whether Old Baloney was up their with the top votes or actually just scraped through with a handful more than Union J remains to be seen. I honestly have no idea now. The same commentators on both X factor and Xtra Factor struggled to say anything nice about Baloney other than that 'he's a nice chap' which I'm sure he is. I don't know about you, though, but for the second week running, I cringed at the way he kept attempting to cuddle Ella when Olly and Caroline have them on the bench. That's not right, however paternally he may intend the gesture to the 16 year old. Compared to the interaction between everyone else which is just innocently playful, that is odd and if I were Ella I'd be demanding that next week they bring her on with Union J or the Boys. Rylan crawls all over everyone but it just seems good fun.

Rylan, of course, was actually the worst vocal this week by a mile and he happily admits that, (which kind of makes him even more likeable!) He survives because his personality has endeared him to what must be millions and I can definitely see him with a great career in tv entertainment ahead. I'd say he ought to go now but next has to be Old Baloney. Then Rylan. Then I see Jahmene going as there surely has to be a limit on how much wailing we can take. He's a decent chap but I'm not as impressed with his singing now as I was when he started. He's not handling new, less familiar to him, tracks anywhere like as well. The only thing that might see him through further would be if he sang one of his gospel numbers that he knows like the back of his hand, with no complicated routines to remember.

That should leave Union J, Ella and James in the final. James is getting all the votes from the pundits now. Union J will certainly have a big-selling album and Simon will get them out there wherever they finish. I was about to put Ella in third place when she sang a few lines of a track she'd written herself on Xtra Factor. Recalling too that her audition track was also something she'd written herself I have had to remind myself that she has that extra talent and, if she could be allowed to do something of her own somehow, that might produce those 'moments' that this show really has lacked so far. She would be more confident and may sing with more genuine meaning and know where the notes should go as opposed to trying to reflect what someone has told her where they should go on someone else's number.

There is one thing that surely has to be the case, though: for any of those acts to lose a place in the final to Old Baloney would be awful, and possibly cause great damage to the show as a large part of its audience, realising that they were watching in the company of grannies, labour club-goers and cruise ship passengers, decide to watch something else instead. I'll see it through to the end but expect increasing frustration may result in my articles becoming strewn with expletives.

Happier times - Jaheme getting head patted by Dermot in a previous week.

Little Mix this week. Producers decided they were too scary-looking for Hallowe'en week

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Week 6 Review Pt 1

Watching the start of X Factor UK, you just have to appreciate how much more professional and in touch with the show, the audience, the judges and the contestants is Dermot O'Leary in comparison to the dreadful Khloe Kardashian on the USA version.

Tonight One Direction will be performing. I was wondering whether Simon Cowell would be coming across with them. He is bound to put an appearance in at some stage and that would have been a good opportunity. That group performed on both Wednesday and Thursday night shows across the Pond so I expected them to a number sitting down after flying across last night. Just as well they have a slow number out at the moment.

Old Baloney kicks off the show with the Elton John track I'm Still Standing. That's a good 80s track but he is so bland and it comes and goes in meaningless and very uninspiring style. To be fair the notes were right and in the right order but really that is all I cans ay to his credit. Listening to others reviewing his performance afterwards and on Xtra Factor is getting quite painful now as everyone tries to be nice about him but it is so clear that only a bunch of Grannies and some huge group of people in Liverpool want him to win. Unfortunately there is either a massive number of them or not many voting for the others and he has managed to escape the bottom 2 all the way through so far. This could be the week, though.

Jahmene gets a head patting from Dermot after another of his slightly strange wailing performances of the big ballad, Angels (which I think I've heard quite enough of already!). He seems to miss notes quite wildly but then run around getting them back again and everyone says he's brilliant. I'd much prefer he just hit them first time and stayed on them. He is increasingly being fancied to win the thing and has that endearing quality that must appeal to the Granny Brigade and Older Mothers too. I can't imagine many teens voting though. Still, the way things are going, he's safe for another week.

District3 do Eric Calpton's Tears In Heaven. It's do or die for them this week. They need a superb performance and produced a 'pretty good' one. It's not the most spectacular of tracks, though, and, whilst one guy did stand out with a great voice, it may not have been enough to get piles of votes coming in. Much will depend on how well Union J do.

Written In The Stars is a Tinie Tempah track that I'm not familiar with and I may well not have heard it on Radio 2 anyway. Ella is back on top form with this, though. Possibly her best so far.

Rylan! Spice Girls? Good fun but this time the tuning was way,w ay out. and he didn't jump off the plane either. He's at risk.

Union J all serious and vocal. At a distance from each other something is missing. Once they get closer it works. I do have doubts still about how they'll do this week. They may have outperformed District3 but not by much.

James. Adel. Oh dear. Lots of painful expression. How will that go down with his fans I don't know but it may not matter.

It ought to be Old Baloney v Rylan but I have a feeling there'll be a surprise tomorrow.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Week 6 One of these has to go tomorrow

And here are the odds half an hour before the show starts. There hasn't been a predictable elimination yet and, despite Rylan and District3 being heavily fancied (again!) I'm not so sure. District3 escaped the bottom 2 last week and they will be trying extremely hard to get back in the competition which has largely gone Union J's way so far. Who goes could vary depending upon who they're up against. There aren't that many combinations really.

Ella, Jahmene and James against any others would survive.
Union J would survive against Rylan or Baloney but could conceivably tumble out against District 3 (bearing in mind that for the two groups to be in the bottom two would mean they've both under-performed so it could be anyone's guess from there).
District3 would beat Christopher as I think they'd get Tulisa and Nicole's votes. I suspect they'd beat Rylan too needing only one of the girls to support Gary and Louis.
That leaves Rylan v Old Baloney. Only Gary would vote for Old Baloney which would also see him gone.

So all that would mean goodbye to Old Baloney if he ends up in the bottom two. That's a big if.

Friday, 9 November 2012

One Direction Perform On X Factor USA

One Direction performing on X Factor USA this week. Another really successful act discovered, indeed actually constructed, on X Factor.

So please just think before you vote tonight. Do we really want Old Baloney representing UK talent? There's no way he should remain in this competition, although one thing he could do perhaps is take the compère job being so badly done by the annoying Khloe Kardashian.

So get ready, folks, it's nearly time to hide Granny's phone again!

Monday, 5 November 2012

Week 5 Results

Gary Barlow had that expression that made it clear he realised that one of his acts would be in the bottom two this week. Neither Kye nor Old Baloney had exactly shown that they were anything other than average, vaguely interesting in the case of the former or dated and likely to be forgotten come January in the case of the latter.

Kye does, at least, write his own songs, although the fact that the producers, whilst happily promoting James Arthur's skills on The Xtra Factor and, of course, Lucy Spraggan's on the main shows, haven't shown any raises the questions of just how good they might actually be. He reminds me of Alexander in Fame Academy, runner up to Alex Park, who did a lot of his own tracks but wasn't terribly great at singing them himself. Perhaps Kye will be representing us in Eurovision 2013.

I can see an album from Kye coming out and being sort of reasonable, with his gathering a small posse of fans and with a bit of luck his X Factor experience will mean he doesn't need to sweep too many more chimneys. He seems a nice enough bloke and may even have survived if he hadn't done the Rob Brydon impression on Saturday night or been wearing make-up that I can only assume had been left lying around after Hallowe'en.

Old Baloney had managed some decent notes in the well-chosen commercial track but his singing style, with massive gaps between each word, and general orange and brown appearance just cannot seriously be a good example of what the current British music scene wants to offer the world. Or our children for that matter. He may not descend to Wagner's low levels of appearance and lack of talent and weird, occasionally worrying personality, but beats everyone in averageness.

When interviewed on Xtra Factor after the results show, Kye was asked about Chris Maloney. Interestingly, he was stuck for something to say. He could easily have come out with some simple vaguely complimentary and harmless line and moved on but there was this blank look, a long pause and all he could say was something along the lines of Well, Christopher is Christopher. Olly Murs quickly moved on from that one!

The Results Show itself started with what was one of the worst let's-all-sing-along I can remember. Everyone seemed to be in a different key to the backing track and band. Dreadful and trying to watch James Arthur doing the commercial intro stuff is painful tv.

We did have some light relief from Rita Ora doing a Rihanna-type job quite well and No Doubt coming back from a long time ago and sounding very cool indeed.

Union J were delighted to escape the bottom two this week and were first to be called safe. After last week's surprise low votes they must have wondered what had happened to all the fans. Maybe they'd been taken away on holiday by their mums and dads at the start of half term. I honestly can't think of any other reason as there were several far worse. Anyway, back to this week, Ella, Jahmene, James all get through as you'd expect. It was down to Old Baloney, Kye, Rylan and the act that most people were predicting would go, District3.

When Christopher's name was called safe, Louis looked despondent. Even Dermot O'Leary's normally carefully non-expressive announcement had that slight sound of frustration  this time. Surely Kye would be next called, leaving Rylan and District3? No, it's District3 who are safe! They are absolutely delighted - and, I suspect, quite surprised, - and dance and hug everyone and let out some words that ITV didn't have time to bleep. So it's Kye and Rylan left standing. Gary's not looking as shocked as he might. Secretly, he's thinking that, at last, Rylan will be gone and Kye will live to sing another day.

Rylan sings first and delivers something quite different from what anyone would have expected. I didn't know the track but he used falsetto and his stronger ranges really well. This was heartfelt and showed, with no bum notes or fancy acting, that he is genuinely talented. I wouldn't buy his stuff but I would expect to see him on reality TV shows and genuinely entertaining people for some time yet, in the Jedward vein but with actual ability to get notes right. That might just save him.

Kye comes on stage and looks a bit better than the day before but still odd. He does, though, put in a very good vocal performance. Every note good and a more powerful performance than Rylan, beating him fairly and squarely on all fronts - except as an entertainer or as something current. Throughout Kye's performance, the camera catches Rylan's arm around Dermot's shoulder throughout the show, tapping appreciatively in time with Kye's song. I still can't get over how ruddy tall Rylan is, either, but that's another thing.

Now the judges have to vote. Gary and Nicole obviously vote for their guys. Louis I expecetd to go for Rylan but he chooses to save Kye. Hadn't expected that. Tulisa makes the very good point that it's Rylan that she and probably several hundred thousand viewers tune in to see rather than Kye. Good for her. Her decision leaves it to the public vote. I can see Rylan surviving after all now. He does. Remarkable.

There's a lot of sympathy for Kye who really had done well. Everyone is thinking it should have been Old Baloney up there saying farewell and certainly not being Gary's last remaining act! He hadn't actually selected him, so that places Christopher at least as his 5th choice (and I am pretty sure he would actually have been nearer 8th in Gary's list).

Once again, the bookies got it wrong. I wonder if they're actually right with Ella, still predicted to win? If you take a look at the Top 16 on X Factor USA, you may not see Ella as that good after all. Each of their female acts, including three 14 year olds, could do as good a job as Ella. That says a lot about this year's bunch. In fact, I have a feeling that, if the Granny vote doesn't continue to dominate, and current potential chart acts and big sales are better reflected, then both groups and James Arthur are the ones actually to watch. And Ella, still, who should be reliable and may fill a young Adele-type hole and is unlikely to make a mistake as each of the others might.

Just let's get rid of Old Baloney now - he really is spoiling this show.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Week 5 Review

Rylan kicks off in fine Essex style, including a clip of Amy from TOWIE training Nicole in the local habits. We then get him crashing through some sugar glass out of 'Rylan's Boutique' for some reason best known to whoever staged this. He actually sang pretty well, though and is certainly entertaining. I can imagine him getting through for another week with that.

Union J do the Taylor Swift Love Story track and make a reasonable job of it. Good choice, Louis. Slight shift of lyrics needed and it's a pity the show expects each individual band member to have his own 'slot' as they'd be better with one clear lead and the decent harmony the others can produce on tracks like this. Still, that should see them safely through.

Kye next. He's vulnerable tonight. He was before he started and certainly will be after some quite desperate effort there. He tried hard and there were mostly good notes and the upper ones were welcome but then he tried to do what stars do by high fiving the judges and prancing around oddly. That didn't work at all and he really showed his inexperience. Pretty poor.

James did No Doubt and started well but then started rapping and seemed to be struggling not to swear, It may have worked for his fans but you did get the impression that he was trying just that little bit, no, hugely actually, too ruddy hard.

Ella. Firework. No explosions. That worked very well, apart from some high notes that she doesn't seem able to manage. I could have sworn she managed notes perfectly before but this wasn't 100%. She's still favourite to win but I'm not so sure.

District3 get girls. Quite a fun number that I thought worked OK and they did a pretty reasonable job. The judges didn't, though, apart from Louis, of course. That'll be one for their fans to decide, I guess, Are there enough of them to keep them safe this week or are the bookies going to right for the first time?

Jahmene performed something I didn't recognise at first. It was a bit of a mess and he put some runs in where he couldn't quite make the notes and kinda got away with it. He's safe enough I should think, as he gets some of the Granny vote too but he needs to pick something more appealing and manageable next time.

Old Baloney. All By Myself. Wish he were, somewhere far away from my TV. Dreadful.

Let's see how the odds finished up at the end of the show.

Hmmm.. it looks like District3 v Old Baloney tomorrow night. At least there's a chance of getting rid of him after all. Even more fun would be Kye v Old Baloney.

Sometimes it's more interesting to watch the odds than the contestants...

Looking at Betfair's odds, there is little to choose between four acts vying for elimination in Week 5.

Assuming that the show does, indeed, go on as usual after Lucy's exit, District3 and Kye are the two expected to have to sing off. To be honest, though, Rylan and Old Baloney are only a whisker less fancied in that respect.

So, as someone has bound to have told them, expect them to make a particularly special effort to survive.

At the other extreme, fortunes would be made should any of Ella, Jahmene or James go home this week.

Of course, so far the bookies' favourite to go - even after they've sung - has survived each week and it's been punters' 4th choice that's gone. At the time of writing that would mean Old Baloney goes at last!!

We can only hope.

Think Before You Vote, Folks. And Liverpool Kids, Hide Granny's Phone.

Just a little reminder of what shows like X Factor can find - Carrie Underwood won American Idol in 2005. This track, sung live, no autotune or convenient vocal backing track, last week has to be one of the big ones this decade, even though there are a few years to go yet.

Remarkable lyrics and production by Carrie herself and Nashville songwriters. I'm not sure who did which but, as we settle down to watch some questionable talent on X Factor UK yet again tonight, before voting, just think to yourselves: can you really imagine Old Baloney (or, for that matter, most of the other acts) writing, singing and looking this good? As LA Reid asked on X Factor USA, Ok, you like them. But would you spend $5 million on them?

Think before you vote. Kids - hide granny's phone.