Saturday’s X Factor was quarter-final night, and Lloyd was still in it. Weird, huh? Next week’s X Factor is semi-final night.
And Lloyd won’t be in it, which is clearly either brilliant or terrible, depending on whether you’re a screechy 14-year-old girl or not. Abut anyway, Saturday’s X Factor marked the moment when the contestants started to sing two songs in each episode. That’s excellent, because it means they can show off two sides of their personality – the side that can maul ballads and the side that can maul other songs. Excellent.
Anyway, you’ll be wanting an X Factor recap, won’t you…
Danyl Johnson - Don’t judge us too harshly here, but for a moment – for the briefest of moments – during Saturday’s X Factor, we didn’t want to punch Danyl Johnson in the mouth. It was during his first song, Relight My Fire, when he was dancing around with what appeared to be a number of failed Hole In The Wall applicants. He wasn’t being a cock. Maybe it was because his routine didn’t give him space to be a cock, or maybe it’s because he rapped the Lulu part in a clear nod to dear departed Jedward, but Danyl wasn’t being a cock. Why? Had he been cured of being a cock? No – it turns out he was just storing up his cockishness for his second song, a rendition of Your Song.
Because that, readers, managed to reach a new level of cockishness never before seen on X Factor. And Simon Cowell‘s on X Factor every week, so it’s already pretty cockish. There were strings. There was a children’s choir. There were heavenly beams of light. A Muslim embraced a Jew in a demonstration of fraternal support. Blind people miraculously regained their vision. The icecaps starting refreezing again. Jesus descended from the sky on a cloud and fellated a unicorn until it ejaculated a rainbow. That’s how special it was. We may have hallucinated some of those things – we were vomiting pretty heavily by the end of the second verse.
Lloyd Daniels - We’ve worked out what it is we dislike about Lloyd. No, it’s not his face or his stupid chin beard or his precious, precious youth. Its the way that, no matter what song X Factor gaves him, you knew exactly how he’d to sing it before it even started. He’d sing it in the style of a concussed Teddy Ruxpin in an Adam Rickett wig. That’s how he sang Million Love Songs, and that’s how he sang I’m Still Standing – although to be honest we weren’t really paying attention to Lloyd’s vocals in that last one. That performance featured Lloyd and a cane, you see, and we were too busy trying to work out which one had the most charisma. It was tough.
How Lloyd made it to the X Factor quarter finals is a genuine source of confusion. At one point, Simon Cowell asked to see a bit more fire in Lloyd’s eyes. That might be a bit too much to ask of him, though, because Lloyd’s eyes have never shown anything other than hypnotic infinite vacancy. Forget fire – it would have be a step in the right direction if Lloyd was even able to show that he understood a single thing that ever came out of his mouth. Still, never mind – he can go back to his day job as a Topman mannequin now.
Olly Murs – As last Sunday’s sing-off proved, there’s only so far you can get with a cheeky grin, an alarmingly cavalier attitude towards dancing and a profound lack of skill when it comes to Deal Or No Deal. And that’s why Olly spent the entirety of Saturday’s X Factor desperately trying to prove his worth. With his first song, Love Ain’t Here Any More, we got to see Sensitive Olly by the way he sat on the edge of the stage and serenaded a couple of awful cackling hen night bellends before standing up to bland the living shit out of the rest of the song.
And then, with his version of Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting, we got to see Tough Guy Olly. He sang it into a ceiling-hung boxing announcer’s microphone. The stage was decked out like a boxing ring. The dancers were dressed as ring girls. But it just didn’t feel right. This could be for a couple of reasons – the fact that Olly grinned when he should have roared was a disappointment; as was the way that he decided to end the song by doing a Will Young impression, which seems slightly inappropriate for a song about bottling a chav in a Wetherspoons car park – but we think the real problem was the lack of verisimilitude in his performance. We would have bought the boxing theme a lot more if a giant Russian man was punching Olly in the head again and again and again throughout the song. So more of that next week, please.
Joe McElderry – You might not have picked up on this, but the X Factor judges really want Toothy Joe to win. He’s more popular than Olly, not as bafflingly arrogant as Danyl and slightly more versatile than Stacey. Plus he can sing, which puts him head and shoulders above Lloyd. And just to prove how much they want him to win, on Saturday X Factor gave Toothy Joe the keys to two very different songs. The first of these was Could It Be Magic, featuring a box full of Jedward’s old dancers and a little quiet bit in the middle that could let Joe could emote himself silly. It felt like Joe needed to be dressed in full-on burlesque drag for the routine – because that was clearly the kind of effect he was aiming for – but instead they stuck him in a nasty plether jacket. So points off for that.
Then, for his second song, Tooth Joe performed Sorry Seemed To Be The Hardest Word. According to the X Factor judges, Joe put every ounce of feeling into conveying the message of the song, and they were right. Provided the message of the song was “All our operators are busy at the moment, but your call is very important to us. Please stay on the line,” obviously, because that’s just about all we got from his dreary delivery. Still, Joe to win, eh? We’d love to see his winning R&B duet with Flo Rida next year.
Stacey Solomon – After proving once and for all that she’s best when she doesn’t have to move around and sing at the same time, on Saturday’s X Factor Stacey was asked to sing two songs that involved moving around. Not moving around much, you understand, but enough to throw Stacey off her game a little. The backing track that Stacey had to sing Rule The World to didn’t exactly help – it was one of those extra loud ones that Lloyd usually gets to disguise his lack of singing ability, so vocally all we got from her was an extended key-change “HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!” and little else – but it came off as underdone in any case.
And for song number two, Stacey did Something About The Way You Look Tonight. And she did it from on top of a piano, like Michelle Pfeiffer in The Fabulous Baker Boys. Well, alright, not quite like that – Pfeiffer made it look sexy, Stacey made it look like she was a bit infirm – but you get the idea. And the whole thing was X Factor by numbers – it started quietly, it ended with Stacey shouting into a wind machine, and everyone forgot it even existed three seconds after it was over. That’s probably not such a great thing, to be honest.