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Saturday, 29 October 2011

The X Factor Live Shows - Week Four

Okay, so here's how it is: last week I said I was going to moan about Kelly Rowlands' massive chin, but then this week Alexandra Burke took Kelly's seat and took big faces to a whole new level! So, it would be completely unfair to follow my plan through.

So, straight on to This Week's Top Three! First off, the lovely Johnny Robinson, who was finally given a chance by Louis to show his real talent off. Singing That Ole Devil Called Love, he blew me away - and got a kiss from Gary. 

Next up, the woman I hate to love, Kitty Brucknell - by far the most interesting to watch on the show; I think she's about as professional and hard-working as it's possible to be on a show that forces you to "be yourself" - this is what Kitty is and love her or hate her you cannot deny she has an amazing voice. Her rendition of Sweet Dreams was outstanding.

Now, the third place in my top three has given me trouble. Should it go to the ever-wonderful Misha B? Or maybe to the recently renamed LittleMix? Or Frankie, who once again proved that you don't have to have a great voice to be a great pop star... One thing's for sure - and I hate to say this - it's not going to Janet Devlin, who (in my opinion) only just managed to make her song bearable. She's wonderful, but her song this week was NOT.

But at least we saw a more "grrr" side to her this week. She's not as cutesy as we're all lead to believe. It's clear from the VTs that she speaks her mind and isn't afraid to be the one with the differing opinion. And she likes to wear lots of black leather when she's at home - to a judgemental person that would make her an S&M Whore! 

But there we are - Janet is lovely. I have a soft-spot for her and it's clear she'll go far in this competition, but innocent? Not completely. She's entirely able to hold her own and defend her own opinions. I still love her. She's pretty awesome. 

Overall, this was a bit of a flat week for me. Johnny and Kitty blew me away but all of the others left me a little deflated. Hopefully next week the show will kick back and be the nervous ride it usually is. And on here NEXT WEEK: Craig Is Boring. Kitty Is Confusing. And there are Too Many Ads!

Monday, 24 October 2011

The X Factor Live Shows - Week Three

Rock Week came and went with the usual drama - backstage bullying, pop songs rocked up/rock songs popped down, shiny suits, flame bars and more of Kitty's massive face than ever before.

So, who did well and who didn't? My Top Three This Week are: Johnny Robinson singing The Darkness' "I Believe In A Thing Called Love", who was wonderful! Really entertaining! Also, Misha B(ully) singing "Purple Rain" and - I hate that I'm saying this... - Kitty Brucknell doing "Live and Let Die".

No Janet (although she'd be in my top four) this week! Shock!! But let's get on to the next thing. A question that has been debated time and again in our house; Which Rythmick Is The Hottest? Here are your options: The one who looks like an Ewok. The hot black one. The blonde one. The other one. I think I've answered the question while asking it, to be honest, but I'd be pleased to know what your opinion is... @gabundy on Twitter, let me know.

I love Rythmix. They're doing what no other girl band have ever done on The X Factor - they're singing in tune and are actually entertaining us. 

They seem to be good friends and I've not yet seen a performance from them - at any stage in the competition - that I haven't enjoyed. Excellent stuff. They stand for so much more than just "Girl Power" (that's such an outdated term now - God, I feel old!). There's an element of "we may not be perfect but then who is? We're having fun" about them as a group and it comes across in their performances. You can see how much fun they're all having too, off-stage as well as on - each and every one of them are clearly happy to be there, doing their thing every week...

...which is more than can be said for Sophie. She's clearly very talented (although she murdered "Living On A Prayer" last weekend) and, in her normal clothes at least, she appears to be Just A Normal Girl but her performances, her reaction to comments from the judges, everything she says in interviews - to me, it all just screams "I Can't Be Arsed". Maybe I'm being unfair. I like her, I think. But I don't think she likes us... does that make sense? Hmmm.

Whatever. The X Factor is still keeping me entertained and now that Sammi is out (thank fucking God) I can watch it without the fear of accidentally being hypnotised by her shape-changing mouth. I honestly believe that she is a witch with powers of control over her voting audience... Well, no more! Sorry Sammi. x

NEXT WEEK: Janet - Is She Really As Innocent As She Seem? and Kelly's Massive Chin.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

The X Factor Live Shows - Week Two

It seems that this week it was all about the romance. All I can say is, I love my top three this week!

Okay, Kitty was good, but I can't bring myself to support her - she's so... UGH! I hate her! Sorry Kitty, nothing personal. But my top three this week has to be the beautiful Janet Devlin, again, the wonderful Misha B, again and, thanks to their great chemistry and obvious talent, The Risk - the X Factor's newest boy band. They're awesome! But I have to spent this week's post bleating about how amazing Janet Devlin is. She is simply outstanding. Sweet and talented and beautiful and emotional and I think she could go all the way to the final.

I also have to talk a little about the worst of the lot; particularly how it's not really their fault. So, firstly, let's talk about Johnny Robinson! The fella can sing! He really can! But there's a thing that Louis Walsh likes to do with his acts and that is "turn them into jokes". 

Because Johnny is clearly a gay man with a flamboyant character then obviously he must be dressed accordingly - so let's slap him in a sparkly jacket or a fucking kimono and eye liner. NO LOUIS! NO! Let the man sing! His Kylie song this weekend was... just okay, mainly because it was made into a big camp show. Although, when I closed my eyes and just listen he sounds great! Really great! 

So Louis, give him a chance to just SING the song.

And as for Kitty - yes, she was good this week, but I hate her!

NEXT WEEK: Rythmix - Who's The Hottest? (Seriously - it's something that has split opinion in our house) And "Does Sophie Even Want To Be There?" - Looking forward to it.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

The X Factor Live Shows - Week One

And so it begins! I held back on writing too much about The X Factor throughout the auditions (boring and/or annoying) and Bootcamp (where everyone is shit, always), choosing instead to throw together a little structured summary each week of the live shows. I wanted to let you all know about My Top Three Of The Week! So, let's begin with, in no particular order...

Craig Colton

Craig worked in a biscuit factory before auditioning for the show. He has a great voice and is, apparently, "the funny one" (although where this observation has come from is anyone's guess - he doesn't seem particularly funny to me... Once, he forgot what his Dad did for a job, that's about it). 

This week Craig sang Christina Perri's "Jar Of Hearts" (which I willingly mishear as "Jar o' Farts" every time the line it uttered). He was amazing. I think he'll be in my Top Three a few times this series!

Misha B

Misha IS The X Factor. She's what would happen if Lady Gaga had a baby with Grace Jones. She has a style and an attitude all of her own and when she takes to the stage she owns it. She's my early favourite to win.

Week One saw her singing the Adele song "Rolling In The Deep", but with an "urban edge". I don't know what an "urban edge" is... Maybe roadside shrubbery? Whatever. She blew me away and cemented herself firmly as "my favourite". Take note, people, Misha B is the Next Big Thing. Absolutely wonderful!

Janet Devlin

D'awww!!! Janet is ADORABLE! She's sooooo cuuuute! To borrow a much-hated turn of phrase from Louis "Boring" Walsh, she reminds me of a little Dolores O'Riordan (sort of). She's all squeaks and whistles and stuff. Her voice isn't as good as some of the others, but for "beauty" it's up there with the best of them.

She sang "Fix You" by Coldplay this first week (missing out the best bit, mind you, where it goes "Tears stream... down your face!!") and she sang it very well. But what makes Janet so appealing is... Well, SHE'S SOOOO CUUUUUTE!!!!!

My Week Two Top Three,
A word or two on styling
The Worst Of Them All.

Monday, 3 October 2011

The Wedding Of River Song

"An impossible astronaut will rise from the deep and strike the Time Lord dead f**k time up completely!"
 - Madame Kovarian (sort of).

So there we have it! River and the Doctor are wed. The Doctor is presumed dead and now he can step back into the shadows and continue his adventures without drawing too much attention to himself. That could come in handy - I wonder if it'll be enough to escape his believed fate at Trenzelore? The Wedding Of River Song was, if not a perfect ending to a complex and suspenseful series, then as near perfect as we were ever likely to get, in my opinion.

I shan't even attempt to summarise the episode - it felt like about six episodes in all, a story worthy of a two parter, if ever there was one! It's almost a shame it was just a standard-length offering. But there were scenes in this one that made up for all of it's (some may say many) little quibbly bits - not least the very opening scene after the recap, showing a "London unrecognisable".

This was a London in a world inhabited by alternatives of all our favourites: Winston Churchill is Holy Roman Emperor, the Silurian Malohkeh is his physician and Pterodactyls attack children in Hyde Park. It's a world where all of history is happening in the same moment - 5:02pm, April 22nd 2011 - and there's a Soothsayer in the tower.

Beautifully realised, this "alternative time line", created when River (in the space suit at the lake) doesn't kill the Doctor - an event that is a fixed point in time and so must happen in order to keep time from splintering - threw me into a world I wish we could see more of. Amy and Rory's alternative selves (eye drive'd up) were incredible - still themselves, but SO much more "kick ass".

And that's the best way to describe this entire wonderful episode: totally kick ass. I hate the phrase, but it fits. This was an exciting, satisfying, enjoyable mess of an episode that kept me hooked from the second it began. And I loved every second thereafter.

Story-wise, this was a busy one, on the surface at least. But scrape that surface away and there's very little to have to actually follow. The Doctor must die. River stops this happening and time goes wrong. To put it right the "poles" of this problem have to meet, allowing time to continue and the murder to happen as it must. So, all it takes for the world to be set to rights would be for the Doctor and River to touch long enough for her to kill him on the banks of Lake Silencio - since this is an episode about a wedding, was there any doubt as to what this "prolonged contact" would end up being? Mwah!

Now, us nerds on Gallifrey Base guessed a lot of the resolutions here; the fact that River is in the suit, what the eye patches were for, how the Doctor would (of course) escape his demise. Ah! Now there's a can of worms! Allow me to open that for you... The Tesselecta, a time travelling robot, staffed by a miniaturised crew, that is able to take the form of any person, duplicates the Doctor and "dies" in his place - allowing our Doctor to hide safely within, ready to continue his adventures (quietly) from now until forever. It was either going to be that, a Ganger Doctor or a totally aborted time line, a la The Girl Who Waited. I hoped it wouldn't be the outcome it was, but the way it was handled actually pleased me no end!

All in all, The Wedding Of River Song was a mad, busy, breathless race through a big pyramid, gently tying up many of the questions we've been seeking answers for these past two years. And it sort of ties them up well, to be honest, though there will obviously be those who disagree. 

I was hugely satisfied with the episode and, despite expecting to, did not feel cheated with the outcome at all. The conclusion, the Doctor and River's "wedding", the whole situation - they were all handled in such a way that they weren't quite what we were expecting, but weren't far off, allowing us to feel a bit clever ("I sort of guessed the outcome") but keeping us off guard enough for it to surprise and entertain ("I only sort of guessed..."). I've watched it a bunch of times already and think this is one that gets better with every viewing.

So now, we're almost clear of questions. The ones that remain (it's easier to list these than list the many answered) are clearly going to carry us toward the Eleventh Doctor's end. As Dorium Maldovar's head said, a question will be asked on the Fields of Trenzelore - where no untruth can be spoken - and the answer will devastate. It's vague, yes. I don't think we've seen the last of the Silence. I don't think we're done with this tale yet. I don't think the Doctor faking his death will stop him running about saving the universe at all. And I don't think we'll ever hear an answer to the oldest question, hidden in plain sight: Doctor Who?