No doubt about it, this is now turning into classic television. You would literally need to drop nine acids, sniff twelve cocaines, take two dopes, then head off to a midgets-only naked roller disco in war-torn Afghanistan to reach even fifty per cent of the weekend’s X Factor weirdness. It’s all going totally bananas. The judges were one-Louis down, as he was attending the funeral of Stephen Gately – the gay singer who had his funeral bonfire crouched and pissed on by that demonic Daily Mail bitch – but they were joined in the live studio by the ghost of Frank Butcher (now using his heavenly monicker, Clive Davis) and a muttering ex-druggie called Whitney Houston, who sneered and berated the young hopefuls like a ‘nam veteran getting wound up and aggressive in a strip club. “Tonight, it’s all about making a statement,” insisted Cowell at the beginning of the programme. By the end, mission accomplished. But probably not in the manner that he’d intended.
The girls kicked things off in the shape of Lucie – this year’s dullest contestant, who has a nice enough voice, but appears ill at ease away from the rolling fields, and putrid manure smells of home. She was inspired to pursue a singing career having rather enjoyed being in school plays when she was little, and she was completely lost for breath when Whitney Houston suddenly oozed into the rehearsal room – looking, well, a bit like an angry junkie. Don’t worry, we’d be scared too, Lucie. Her performance was forgettable. We know that because we’ve forgotten it. Next up was Rachel, dressed like a denim Sergeant Pepper, singing Beyonce. Alarm bells immediately started sounding when it appeared that she was going to sing the song lying down, but thankfully, she rose to her feet after the first couple of sentences. It was an odd way to kick things off, and one obviously not embraced by the demanding public, who once again relegated her to the sing-off. She was much better the second time around – this time on her feet, making U2 seem somehow less hatable. We like her, in the same way that we like Joan Armatrading. Dannii would be wise to push her towards the Armatrading/Chapman axis of soulful folk music. Bringing things to a girlie close was Stacey (pictured), who hyperventilates when she’s speaking, as if she hasn’t mastered talking and breathing at the same time. She also looks like she’s constantly emerging from a behind-the-scenes makeover whenever she enters a room. She did okay.
The Over-25s were up next, once again enjoying a curtain-raiser from Olly – the oi oi Essex boy, who used to sell people electricity. A challenge in itself, on the assumption that most people already own plenty of the stuff these days. He sang a Tina Turner number, wearing a silver suit with “lady pleaser” trousers, which seemed to exactly contour his genitals. Everyone loved it, we thought we were watching a Halifax advert. Danyl had a rather quieter week this time around, as Dannii bit her lip hard enough to resist jumping up and doing an “I’m free!” impersonation, just to hammer home the point that he might be another one of those gay types on the Daily Mail hit list. He sings well, but chose to do a song that literally no one apart from Whitney Houston had heard before. Even she seemed displeased about that. Then, last up for the Over-25s, was Jamie (pictured). A man who appears to have his t-shirts custom-made to be U-necks, presumably to highlight the fact that he’s got some pretty serious chest pubes going on. With a flag in his pocket, he did a Christina Aguilera impression, then jumped into the judges personal space to slap fives with Simon at the end. He has the look of a man who would struggle to give a conventional handshake.
The groups had a very mixed show, with Louis away on grieving duties. Miss Frank (pictured) took being called “bookends” last week as a massive compliment, then smiled sweetly as Frank Butcher dribbled and told them to move closer to one another. Closer. No, closer. And closer. Now kiss. Anyway, Simon gave them a drubbing, but they’re still the Interestment favourite. We want them to win. John and Edward can now lay claim to the ironic vote, having taken Britney Spears to new lows, including a frankly weird exchange in which one brother gave the other a romantic necklace, and they looked for a terrifying moment like they might actually start getting off. It’s almost impossible to put the rest of their performance – nay, existence – into words. Were this primary school, and they in your class, they’d been swapping bogies at the back of the classroom, and eating worms at playtime. They’re really bloody odd. It was watching a 5ive video that sparked their desire to perform. Thanks 5ive. Seriously.
And so to the boys. The boys who had such a rotten weekend, mainly thanks to Cheryl – who had obviously spent so much time concentrating on her own live performance, that she just threw a bunch of bad fits at them, and told them “best of British”. Joe was the only one who seemed to cope, while his mentor debated which ridiculous trousers she should wear for the night, and exactly how many backing dancers would be needed to achieve maximum impact. He did some Whitney song, and everyone had a great time. So much so that Cowell started joining in from his seat. Good for Joe. He’s good, that Joe. Far too many teeth going on in that mouth of his. But good nonetheless. The other two, however, drowned. Lloyd was so confused during his own rendition of Bleeding Love that Cheryl started crying, before whimpering a very watery apology, which presumably saved him. Whilst Rikki (pictured) chundered his way through Respect by Aretha Franklin, whilst marching on the spot. The voting public did the right thing, and he was kicked out after a dull stab at Westlife in the sing-off.
The Sunday results show was an equally bizarre affair, with Cheryl morphing into a strange Geordie version of Michael Jackson, with a much choreographed dance routine. Before Whitney Houston took to the stage with her bra undone, to bellow randomly into a microphone. Following last week’s saucer-eyed Robbie Williams performance, we can only presume that a Pete Doherty disco week is looming somewhere on the horizon.
Honestly, who needs drugs? Apart from you, Whitney!