I know what you are thinking and the answer is no, X-Factor isn’t over yet, even though it seems to have gone on for one million weeks already. But the end is near, as the semi-final is on Saturday, with the grand final in Manchester the week after. In a final gasp of decline in popularity, which has been the theme of this series, the X-Factor winner’s single will be released before the fight for Christmas number one. This is ever more evidence for the reduction in power the show still has in the charts, as a Christmas number one used to be a guarantee for the winner. And after their career plummets into cold dark nothingness, at least they would have that little bit of successes to tell their less than impressed grandkids about. Think about the kids!
Thinking about the kids was the last thing X-Factor did this week, picking the double theme of the show to be Abba and Motown, two of the least current genres of music one could find. There are rumours that next week will be Panflute Melodies and Vintage Bjork with the winner’s single being an almost fully instrumental version of ‘It’s Chico Time’ played mainly on the saxophone as the winner does a line-dancing routine in spandex. Of course, these are just rumours.
So the first half of the Saturday show was Abba hits, with the main aim apparently being for the contestant to make the song nothing like the Abba version what so ever. They were credited for ‘making the song their own’, which might have been easier achieved if they had actually sung a song of their own. But this is a talent contest, not the Mercury awards, what am I thinking?
My favourite quote from the first half was from Gary who told permanently shaking Christopher (Shakin’ Chris from now on) that “I saw the blonde one from Abba, Agnetha, last week, so we need to do this properly.” He didn’t say she would be watching or if he had even talked to her. He could have just spotted her in a fast moving vehicle heading away from him with speed. And so according to Barlow logic because I saw my 6th year English teacher in the distance the other day, I should really try to write this properly. Quick, get that man a knighthood stat, he is a genius!
The fact that Ella was sent off last weeks seemed to have suddenly make everyone realise that no one is safe. Anyone and everyone spent the week walking around the backstage area of the show, shaking their heads and mumbling “No-one is safe, no one is safe” as though all the other weeks of the show everyone was safe. It becomes more apparent every episode that no one involved in the X-Factor seems to know what the word competition means. Maybe this is why most sentences that escape from their mouths lack any sense, the prime example being Louis’s nuggets of wisdom: “Every bit of your body is soul!” or “I never thought angst and Abba would work so well together.” Or “Union J are a great because everyone sings in this band!” Cleary in the nine years Louis has ‘worked’ on this show he has learned a lot, mainly about talking bullshit.
The Motown section of X-Factor was just as dull as the first part. There was singing, there were unnecessary dancers, and strangely mesmerising background graphics: the usual. This week there seemed to be some budgeting issues as there was a noticeable lack of luxuries. One of the members of Union J had been styled to look ‘cool’ with a red bandana placed hanging out of his back pocket. Surely the show hasn’t lost so much popularity as to not be able to afford a bit more creativity?
Shakin’ Chris had to sing a creepy version of Fernando in the midst of a mob of half-naked dancers, clearly robbed of their costume budget. A sight that make Louis cry “Poor Fernando, poor poor Fernando!” over and over again, like a broken furby. And James Arthur was dressed in a horrible jacket clearly purchased in the Bear Factory.
If the show is having money issues, the accountants must have sighed with relief when Rylan was voted off on Sunday, since his performances do not work without large expensive props to distract everyone from the fact he can’t sing. He was beaten in the sing-off by Union J who have apparently ‘found themselves’ as a band. I think this is mainly because last week one of them told the public he was gay. Hopefully this will turn into a weekly confession and each member will come out one by one until I can joyfully shout “I knew it!” at the Daily Mail website.
So Rylan is gone, and since he was apparently the ‘entertainment of the show’, what do we have left? An orange man from Liverpool, an angry man from Middlesbrough, a band of homosexuals born in 1999 and the next male lead of the Military Wives Choir. Thank gosh the end is nigh.