Swear I'm not Paul: Review: X Factor 2009 Live Finals Week 1

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Monday, October 12, 2009

Review: X Factor 2009 Live Finals Week 1

So that's the first weekend over then. Dermot O'Leary called it "the biggest opening ever" last night, and in some ways it was. There was plenty to cheer about, but the first proper show of the new series (series 6 we're on these days) also brought up some "how the hell did they make it through" type questions.

As with every year, there are choices that are somewhat wildcard like, and none more so than the infuriating John and Edward this year. However, even before the results show started last night, I knew they'd make it through. If it was an unpopularity contest, they would've been first to go, but they do have some fans out there (believe it or not), who wanted them to stay in. Plus Simon's expression when they were called out first was priceless.

Week 1's theme was Musical Heroes, and somehow I doubt every one of the twelve had Robbie Williams as their hero (well four of them, but you know what I mean). However, Williams was the show's main attraction this weekend, due to the release of his new album - and performed lead single 'Bodies' live on the results show on Sunday. Williams is one of the great showmen of our time, and was a brilliant choice for week 1.



Alexandra Burke returned from whatever it is she's doing these days (recording an album takes time allegedly - but somehow the White Stripes can make LPs in a fortnight - it's probably taking so long because it's more or less impossible to make Alexandra interesting, plus there's something or other about the Christmas market and stocking fillers.) Burke returned from winning last year's show and surprisingly sounded like she was miming for at least two thirds of her new song 'Bad Boys' ft. Flo-Rida. She definitely seemed out of breath. Mister Rida popped in too, but then immediately disappeared. He wasn't around to mentor or wasn't a past winner, but you might see him popping up later in the series among the ever-increasing number of backing dancers there seems to be this year. She got a standing ovation from the judges, but even Steve Brookstein got one of those when he came back...

As for the acts themselves, it was a tale of two halves. Somehow the poorer acts opened the show, leaving the stronger ones (and John and Edward) to footnote the latter part. Rachel Adedeji has had her defining moment on the show already, and unless she falls on live television, she's unlikely to catch my attention for much longer. She sang Williams' own 'Let Me Entertain You' and was expectedly bland. About the only thing of interest about her is her hair. It was more awful on live televsion than on recorded programming.

Kandy Rain made the live finals for one reason, and one reason only. Their lack of clothes. Only one of them can actually sing, and the blonde one, Coco, just seems to stand there and stick out her ass for the entirety of all their massacred songs. They took on the Tina Turner version of Robert Palmer's 'Addicted to Love'. They tried to distract us from the cat-culling by wearing next to nothing, but sadly it didn't work. They were only on the show to increase the viewership - i.e. get the fellas to stay in the room while the other half was watching, but based on all their performances, we won't see a drop in viewership next week. Louis should've listened with his ears instead of his eyes when putting them through. Much too big a stage. And there were no poles to be seen either.

Olly Murs is an act who shows a lot of promise. He looks like a decent fella, and comes from a normal background. He's the Everyman of the competition, although he's a bit better looking than the rest of us average Joes. (He's better looking than Joe too! And has a better accent.) He sang Guy Chambers own 'She's the One', another song brought to the mainstream by that man Robbie Williams. He's never going to be an entertainer like Robbie, but he's a damn good singer, and do well in this competition.

Rikki Loney is unfortunately out of his depth in this competition, and judging by Saturday's performances, I think Cheryl's category may just be as terrible as Louis's one. Rikki looked sheepish throughout, and seemed lost on the big stage. His version of 'Back to Black' by Amy Winehouse lacked anything of interest, and he whimpered his way through it, failing to deliver any sort of oomph whatsoever.

Stacey Solomon is somewhat of a hard call. I'm not sure whether she's that great at all. I know of some people who think she's the best thing ever. But it's her off-stage presence that really ruins it for her. Instead of being aloof and maybe seeming mysterious, she seems to have constant foot-in-mouth disease, and comes off sounding like Perry from Harry Enfield's Kevin & Perry. I'm just waiting for her to say "Hello Mister and Missus Patterson". She did 'The Scientist' by Coldplay, and I find it hard to recall what she actually did with it. Still, she seems to be popular. Somewhere.

Miss Frank are the best of the groups. By miles. Afterwards Louis said they were like "a female JLS", which criminally undersold them, while also proving once again that he doesn't get anything apart from boyband pop. They weren't as good covering the Miracles 'Who's Lovin You' as they have been in the past, but I have no doubt that in a few weeks' time, they'll really come into their own.

Jamie Archer, him of the hair, is very popular with the ladies. If I were a lady, I'd probably find it all a bit tickly. He had a strange choice of song, T.Rex's 'Get It On', which most of the viewers wouldn't have known, but I think this helped him. Later in the series, when he's back singing U2 and Kings of Leon, he can't be accused of playing it safe. He's a real showman, and no doubt benefitted hugely from the input of Robbie Williams.

Lloyd Daniels is a cute little guy, one that the ladies will gush over (if men did the same over a sixteen-year-old girl, it'd be a very different story!). He's a good, but not great, singer. It's a huge ask for one so young, but already he's a thousand times better than 2008's Eoghan Quigg. He sang 'Cry Me a River' (the JT one), and had trouble hitting the high notes, which may prove his downfall later in the series. Still, he's pretty. So he's got that going on.

Lucie Jones was the real star of the night. Forget about show closer Danyl Johnson, everyone knew of his talent already. Lucie is the real dark horse of the show. She's been groomed by Dannii's stylists (without the botox) and looks and acts like a star-in-waiting. She sings like perfectly every single time she's on stage, and was born to do this kind of thing. Plus, she seems really level-headed and this will help her in the long run. She took on previous X Factor winner Leona Lewis's 'Footprints in the Sand' and did a version as good as Leona's own. My pick to win it outright. Danyl can't go any higher I feel, Lucie can, and will.

Everyone had been waiting for John and Edward all night. And they didn't disappoint. Through our grimaces, some of us actually thought "hey, they're not THAT bad." Not good either, but not awful. And afterwards they didn't seem like the usual gobshites they are. Maybe they've toned it down. Probably just to save themselves this week though. They'll be back to their backflip nonsense next week no doubt. They talked their way through Robbie's 'Rock DJ' and got away with it.

Cheryl's neighbour Joe McElderry could be accused of being in it for his origins, just like Simon's quip about Louis favouring the Irish. He's sweet looking, the kind of fella that the mammy would like, but lacks any sort of substance. He seems coy and shy about everything, and will never make a true entertainer. He did 'No Regrets' by numbers, never colouring outside the lines.

Danyl Johnson was one of the top trends on twitter after the show - being on last always helps, you're fresh in the memory - and that was somewhat justified. Wile I don't think it was one of the best performances ever, it was fairly good. I tipped him before Judge's Houses, but unfortunately, I think he's peaked. I can't see him improving all that much, whereas Lucie can really come out of her shell and be brilliant. Danyl is already great.

Overall, the live results were fairly accurate. Kandy Rain were the worst act, by a long shot, and Rachel doesn't have much of a future in this competition. The worst thing, is that there's another 5 days left til the next show. Roll on Whitney Houston and Week 2...

3 comments:

Queevs said...

have to say, it was good to see Lucie doing an uptempo bit in the I gotta feeling song on the results show. They've all said that she can't do an uptempo song, but after last night I reckon she can. She'll rock it as well.

Kay Lee said...

I was absolutely turned off by judge Danni Minoque's comments of the first live show. I'm watching to see them judge the singers, not the singers' private life. I felt her comment about Danyl Johnson was way out of line and the utmost in rudeness. It's going to be very hard for me to like her in the future. I'm surprised I haven't seen more reactions to the whole thing... It seemed to really make Danyl feel very bad. I hope Simon jumped all over her.

Ghocheng said...

Yes, very good performance by lucie. thanks for the video