Dupstep Week, Anyone? – What We Learned On X Factor This Week

Say what you will about X Factor (and I’m sure you will), but this year, nobody could ever accuse it of being boring. As Simon himself admitted last week, the days of teenage boys wearing blazers and singing ‘Moon River’ are long gone. In the case of Aiden, the teenage boys are far more likely to rock up dressed like something out of Twilight and sing ‘Mad World’ while looking like they’re in the middle of a rather painful shit.

Call in the Rage effect, but this year, all bets are off, the production is going seven shades of mental, and dubstep week is looking an increasingly likely possibility. But there’s no accounting for the British public: last night two of what you might call the ‘bravest’ performances led to those contestants getting shown the door.

We lost Storm, who’s ‘impassioned’ rendition of Springsteen’s ‘Born To Run’ could not be saved even by the sight of him straddling a motorcycle and only looking marginally more comfortable than last week’s New Rave Joker ‘look’. Imma let you finish, Storm, but AC/DC had one of the greatest ostentatious stage productions of all time, and Brian Friedman’s set-piece just flew a little bit close to the wind.

Rock has never had much of a good time on The X Factor. Last year’s purported ‘Rock Week’ still has us reeling from the sight of Jamie Afro doing ‘Rocks’ by Primal Scream, and from the somewhat fuzzy logic of ‘Somewhere Only We Know’ by Keane even qualifying. He was never going anywhere, but I’m a little bit sad to see Storm go, especially when a nonentity like John can survive.

This being a double eviction week meant that Diva Fever strutted their last, their hopes of Jedward-infamy dashed until at least the time the charity single comes out. It was always going against them that they were just that little bit too good at the singing to really qualify as successors to the Grimes Twins.

Yet this wasn’t the cause of their downfall. In fact, they fell victim to the show’s latterday bid for credibility. In Simon Cowell’s head, having them cover the awesome ‘Barbra Streisand’ by Duck Sauce (A-Trak and Armand Van Helden) must have felt like some stroke of genius.

An impossibly now, credible club tune that just happens to be built around a sample from camp-friendly Boney M! How could it fail? The unfortunate combination of a) nobody really knowing it yet and b) the song not really having any lyrics to speak of turned out not to be the stuff that victories are made of. And against the ‘serious’ Belle Amie in the sing-off they didn’t stand a chance.

Although that does bring us to our other favourite thing about this year’s X Factor; the complete lack of humility from the eliminated acts. Bettering even Nicolo’s “I feel like crap” from last week, when quizzed by Konnie what they would have done differently, the despondent lads curtly responded “got a different mentor.” That’s got to hurt, Simon. They never got what they wanted out of the show, which of course was “loads of money and loads of men.”

Friedman’s lost the two acts so desperate that he can go to town on them, and Simon’s bid to play the world’s Serious Musos at their own game has suffered an unfortunate setback. I can only hope this was a mere blip and that X Factor 2010 continues in such bonkers fashion. So long as we still have Cher, it should all be fine.

Any Other Business

* ‘Heroes Week’? Why not just admit that you’re letting anyone sing anything they like?

* The war of attrition between Louis and Cheryl is hotting up. Not exactly why he’s got it in for her so much, but this week he even attempted to upstage her nice new hair.


Wagner looks like surviving for a good few weeks yet, especially now he’s got the patronage of professional clever person Stephen Fry. Perhaps.

* Not even Dannii could bring herself to agree with Louis that her own contestant Aiden’s version of ‘Jealous Guy’ was all over the place. We liked Aiden but he needs to man up.

* In what strange alternative reality are The Kinks musical heroes to any of Belle Amie?

* Yes Katie can sing (a bit) and she saved herself from the sing-off by dressing normally but can she please bring the helmet again next week?

* What’s this? One Direction? A group who actually stands a chance of winning?

* We give it about three weeks until we’re sick of Tesco Mary.

Props to @LukeMorrison on Twitter for correctly pointing out: “Are Katy Perry’s dancers regenerating?”

* We still can’t really remember which one John is.

* When can we have Pet Shop Boys Week please?