Blog | The X Factor – (Not) The Judge’s Houses

X Factor

X Factor

OH MY GOD THERE’S NEARLY FOUR HOURS OF THE X FACTOR ON THIS WEEKEND. Are they actually trying to kill us? Last week it was three hours, this week four, at this rate we’ll be working towards a rolling 24-hour marathon come the final. Heavens to Betsy.

So, on Saturday we saw who made it out of the boys and overs. In this episode Dermot got to visit both St Tropez and L.A. His passport will be knackered by the end of Sunday.

With the overs we saw Sharon teaming up with Robbie Williams to decide who would make it. If I were to decide it would be Lorna, Zoe and Andrea. A belter, some tone and an artist. I think I’d have a winner there (as much as a winner could ever be found in the overs category). Sharon thinks otherwise. Instead we have a belter, a belter and a belter. My prediction: Sharon will be the first to have one contestant left and this will probably happen in the first third of the series. We all know how much the voting public love older female contestants… That said we do have an all female overs category which is fantastic to see. So who do we have? Well there’s Sam Bailey (surprise surprise), Shelley Smith (surprise) and Lorna Simpson (a very good decision if I do say so myself). Sam Bailey belted out some Whitney, and despite impressing just about everybody, I still don’t get it. Lorna Simpson nailed Beyoncé, and so she earned that spot in the finals. Shelley Smith is Shelley Smith and she seems nice and all but I didn’t get why she made the cut. But her being in does mean we get rid of Joseph (toys/pram). We unfortunately also said goodbye to Zoe and Andrea who I thought would make fantastic contestants. But alas, it was Sharon’s decision and not mine and if she wants a bunch of belters then a bunch of belters is what she’s got.

In St Tropez Louis was joined by Nicole Appleton, Shane from Westlife and Sinnita (well, it wouldn’t be a judges houses without her, would it?). I wonder how many of the boys remember All Saints or Westlife? I guess their parents will be jealous. My choices? Easy. Ryan, Paul and Sam. No question. Who did Louis pick then? Of course, of course, none of the ones I actually really like. I think it’s fair to say that Louis royally screwed up. Unless of course this is all part of his masterplan to bring The X Factor down from within. How do you mean? I hear you cry. Well as much as I love Ryan Mathie he did shout his way through his song and so Louis could be forgiven for not taking him on, but to get rid of Paul Akister. What on earth was the man thinking?! Getting rid of Paul with the voice he has is tantamount to sacrilege. Who did he take instead? Well, there’s little Nicholas. Fine/whatever if Tiny Tim is your bag. Sam Callahan who I’m going to guess is the one for ‘the girls’ since we’ve already seen him emerging from the water in the style of a Bond Girl. And Luke Friend who actually gave an alright audition, leaving the ‘most disliked’ crown to go to Giles Potter, and at least he didn’t make it through. Small mercies and all that. But my opinion of Louis this weekend is this: boo to you Louis. Boo. To. You.

Gary takes the groups to New York because even though holding the auditions in his actual home in Cheshire would mean that two of the groups would be able to audition with all of their members he decides that the skyline is more important. And what guest judge does Gary have? Olly Murs. Who dropped out at the last minute then? I think that given the strength of the groups category Gary made some totally alright decisions. Miss Dynamix (wow of all the names in the world) have excellent potential, fingers crossed they don’t suffer the girl group curse (I would hope that Louis and Sharon’s choices are lacklustre enough to buy the other contestants some time in the opening few weeks). Rough Copy are so good and I am glad that Gary’s going with them, consistently brilliant. Yeah! And then there’s Kingsland Road whom I am sure will fill the role of ‘boyband’ perfectly. Given the entertainment factor of Code 4 it’s a shame that they won’t be making the live shows. It’s also a shame we didn’t get a chance to see Xyra, I mean, at all. Their lack of coverage on the shows was shocking and its crud that they got cut in order to put through a girlband the producers ‘manufactured’ on the show again.

Meanwhile, the girls ended up in Antigua, not too shabby at all. And not only do they get Antigua, they also are the winners in the ‘guest judge’ category having Mary J. Blige. Robbie who? I hear you cry. I didn’t envy Nicole with this decision at all with so many of my favourites excellent singers in this category.

My choice? Relley, Jade and Hannah, and Tamera. I can have four, right? Oh, and Abi. That’s five. So, I guess I’ll have all of them bar Melanie. Melanie is a machine, pure and simple. She is a machine and a product of this show and I feel so sorry for her. It’s like someone forgot to say to her that she can do things and she can achieve things outside of The X Factor. Melanie you are a person with things to offer the world! Go do them! But I digress. All in all, I think it’s fair to say that Nicole has ended up with an incredibly strong category, the girls really are so solid (crew) and are pretty varied, too. I was of course sad to see Relley and Jade go, especially because I would imagine (hope) that Jade won’t be coming back again. But Abi, Hannah and Tamera are a great final three.

So that’s that then. We’re done and next week we get to the actually good bit, the live shows! This is when my spidey-senses really kick in (no, I don’t know what that means in relation to a singing competition either) and I am pumped. Bring on the glitz.

Tori Cann

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