Was last night’s X Factor the worst episode in the show’s history? Since you ask: yes, yes it most certainly was. An unwatchable cavalcade of stilted exchanges, overblown performances and a series of fuck-ups from human sock puppets Olly Murs and Caroline Flack, it saw the franchise begging to be sent to the TV equivalent of the glue factory. That’s right, Channel 5.
OLLY MURS FUCKED IT
Time and again he fucked it, like a leathery, worn-out porn star limping through the motions. He fucked it a little with a lame gag about how the starry opening performance made him “want to put on a leotard” and then he fucked it a lot by revealing that contestant Monica Michael had been booted off before he’d even opened the envelope containing the confidential information she had, in fact, been booted off. Olly Murs: mystic or twat? You decide.
CAROLINE FLACK FUCKED IT
She stumbled over the phone numbers, forgetting to tell people how to vote, suggesting the presenter has never watched a reality TV show. Even more embarrassing was the dilemma she faced when future Foxtons employee Max Stone was kicked out. The rigid formula required her to extract some inane platitudes from him, but Max was deep in conversation with mentor Simon Cowell. “There were go,” she cooed, “having a little chat with Simon”, determinedly tugging his sleeves to drag him across the stage. He’s so blandly PR-trained that he didn’t even tell her to get lost.
THE GIMMICKS ARE SO OVERPLAYED
Caroline: “The result will be revealed…”
Olly: “…AFTER THE BREAK!”
Mate, Chris Tarrant was pulling that trick on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire like 15 years ago. Get some new moves.
THE FORMULA IS RELENTLESS
We know One Direction have sold a lot of records. We don’t need stats about their record sales crashing towards the screen. There are only two questions about the boy band’s performance tonight. A) How come Caroline was nowhere to be seen when Harry came to chat afterwards? It’s like they have some kind of history or something. B) What was Olly expecting when he yelled across the studio: “You all right down there, Harry?” If he was expecting an awkward sort of shrug, then he is the David Frost of living dead reality shows.
A GIRL ALMOST COLLAPSED
We learned that Celine from the girl group Fourth Estate was ill and had been taken in an ambulance during the day. For some reason, the 19-year-old was encouraged to shimmy about onstage to Beyonce’s ‘Work It Out’ and duly almost passed out, getting a chair rushed out to support her. Cheryl praised the group by saying: “They didn’t wimp out!” They did not, but one of them almost passed out on live television, so, on balance, maybe just wimp out next time?
IT UNDID ITS OWN SENSITIVITY
And that’s before we even get to the fact that Monica yelled “Bang bang bang!” for no reason, unintentionally invoking the appalling Paris attacks (though The X Factor does get credit for sensitively scrapping two song choices on Saturday, ‘Bang Bang’ and ‘Licence To Kill’, that would have had the same effect).
On the whole, it was an absolute shit-show from a show that is already known for being a shit show. Recent ratings have reached an 11-year low and ITV has bought the rights to rival The Voice, so perhaps The X Factor is heading to the glue factory after all. We patiently await Olly Murs blurting out the news ahead of schedule, perpetuating the whole mystic/twat debate.