X Factor Live Finals – Week Two

The British public can put their umbrellas away, as Storm has gone. Yes, the old rocker who must have accidentally crashed into a Boots hair-dye display while rehearsing one of Brian Friedman’s ludicrous dance routines, fell foul of the public vote, having absolutely mutilated Springsteen’s “Born To Run”. While jiggling up and down on a motorbike. This is what passes for cool in Louis-world, which is doubtless why he never gets one of the decent categories.

Meanwhile, Wagner – surely a future extra in Pirates of the Caribbean – was having the time of his life as he sung like a drunk at a wedding while surrounded by a bevvy of beauties. Somehow this year’s confirmed comedy act (it worked for Jedward, after all) continued to defy the critics with his smooth progress to next week’s show. After his performance, Simon Cowell showed what a gentleman he is by asking him straight out if he was “getting it on” with Tesco till-lady, Mary Byrne, as had been made up (sorry, “reported”) in the tabloids. Classy.

Katie Waissel – whose entire life can be summed up by Donkey screaming “Pick me! Pick me!” in the original Shrek movie – continues to be slagged off daily in The Sun. There are enough signs, though, that a rehabilitation narrative could happen, with her eventually leaving the show in TRIUMPH. At the moment, though, the only way she’s likely to experience that is being driven away from the studio in one. Particularly if you believe the story about her being found in bed with early fave Matt Cardle, and then him being steaming angry that she’s trying to stoke the story, but then it being ridiculous that the story came from her, and anyway they were only lying on the bed watching a DVD – all depending on the day, which anonymous source, and which tabloid / rebuttal / re-rebuttal / re-re-rebuttal you read. Katie’s actual performance this week? Better. But she still comes across as fake, and that’s her real problem.

The press wars and backstage sniping during X Factor are usually more interesting than the actual singing, and that remains the case this year. Aiden Grimshaw – described rather unkindly by a friend of mine as “the Special Needs kid” – admitted to Dermot (little-spin-your-Saturday-night-starts-RIGHT-HERE) O’Leary that his performance was “rubbish”, and it seems that the guy really can only sing certain types of song otherwise his voice fucks up. Vocally the night belonged to Mary “SuBo The Revenge” Byrne, John no-chance Adelaye, TreyC needs-to-spell-her-name-properly Cohen, and Rebechhhhhhhhha Ferguson. One Direction weren’t as awful as last week, but that’s like saying that Far From The Madding Crowd is more enjoyable than The Complete Works of Katie Price. Belle Amie, however, were a group transformed. After being beyond rubbish last week, this Saturday they looked every inch the Girls Aloud ripoff that Simon Cowell sees with his moneybags eyes. However, given the voting demographic of this show, they haven’t got a hope of winning. Just ask The Conway Sisters next time you buy a Big Mac in Dublin.

The act eliminated along with Storm Lee were Diva Fever. After being beaten in the comedy stakes by Wagner, there was little point in them remaining on the show, and even the fact that they were camper than Dale Winton couldn’t secure the gay vote and stop them boarding the train to Pontin’s. Never mind. Their chucking out leaves twelve acts. So we’re back where we started before the whole wildcards thing got introduced, and interestingly only one of the acts given a second chance has so far been eliminated. With numbers falling, hopefully next week’s show will be slightly shorter than two and a half bloody hours. This year’s X Factor is the best ever advert for V+ and Sky Plus.

Yesterday it was confirmed that there will be three more years of the show. So, as Simon would say, “Embrace the madness”, as you sure ain’t getting away from it. The curious part of the announcement was the news that The X Factor will continue to be broadcast in the autumn, despite the US version (new for 2011) also starting then. Quite how Cowell is going to be in two places at once is anyone’s guess. Maybe he’ll appear via video link, like Alan Sugar does in The Apprentice when he can’t be arsed. The X Factor, as sponsored by Skype. Or maybe he’s so rich that he’s invented transporter technology. Looking at Wagner, he’s already there with time-travel.

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