Sunday, October 31, 2010

Night Of The Living Mannequins

Last week David posted his opinion of X Factor here. It made me laugh so many times and I think is one of the best articles that he has written this year. It reminded me of the basic rule of blogging, that is write exactly what you think. I know that I sometimes end up writing what I think others will like to read which isn't always the best idea. It has taken a year or two for me to realise that Leona Lewis really isn't that good and that comparing her to real music legends really is a step too far. David coped on to that fact long ago and he will never be a Leona fan and that just makes him all the more fabulous. One blogger who also writes as he sees it is Paul of Fizzypop. I know I don't have to reference Paul every time I do an X Factor post but he always writes exactly the thoughts that I have when watching the Saturday night live show. The minx! Paul's post on last night's show is here. He has the most amazing knowledge of all the music references on the show and this week his suggestions for the songs that the acts should have sung are his best yet. I hate blogs who swipe other bloggers opinions without referencing them so forgive me Paul if I repeat anything below that you've written already. So here's my two cents on last night's show. Mary: Her version of Could It Be Magic tonight reminded me of how Paul Potts may have sung it. It was good but it wasn't brilliant. I think her hand gestures are really starting to annoy me and Louis's Dr Frankenstein manic gesturing to the audience to cheer louder should be somewhere in the rule book. Dannii's nodding to the audience moments later confirmed again that the judges are working in pairs this season. The word Diva is used for the first time already tonight but no Diva would let herself be styled like Jo Brand let loose in Poundworld. I would love to see Mary taking criticism really badly. Aiden: Paul highlighted in his X Factor post the fact that Imogen Heap had also covered Thriller and once again nothing is original in the show. I'm sure there is some way that artists could lawsuit! I didn't realise that Aiden's version wasn't his own while watching last night's show so like thousands of viewers I too waited for the song to burst into pop. Those awful mannequins in the background added nothing to the song and I'll go mad if Brian Friedman helps send another contestant home.
Aiden is the contestant who the judges just won't allow to win X Factor. When Dannii has to spend two minutes trying to justify having Aiden on the show you know it isn't going to go well on the Sunday night. Belle Amie: Another group who just can't win but could be better. I just knew they were going to sing Venus. Starting the song coming out of coffins is never a good omen. No surprise that Brian has the dancers running around in underwear. The vocals are horrible and various members of Bananarama are at home thinking 'Christ on a bike!'. Rebecca: It was a minute or two into the song before I realised it was Wicked Game which is a good thing. My favourite performance of the night. I kept on thinking of when I read that Girls Aloud didn't want to release it as a single as they didn't want to do another cover. I love Rebecca but am sick to death of her 'ah poor me! I've no confidence! I'm real shy, me! etc, etc'. Treyc: Two contestants in a row from Cheryl and it catches her off guard which is funny for two seconds. Treyc sings Relight My Fire because tickets went on sale for Take That this week. It's a fine version but she's Alexandra Burke every week and a case of a good singer isn't always is the best contestant. Black lipstick on her teeth is also a bad look! Matt: On Digital Spy there is a fantasy theme night. One is X Factor Eats Itself where contestants sing songs made famous by previous X Factor stars. It happens already with Matt. I of course love Matt but I hate this version of Bleeding Love. Why does Matt not have to put up with nonsense dancers? Does Dannii put her foot down backstage and go 'none of your old shite Brian!!'. There are lots of pictures (2) on Google of Matt strumming his guitar in clubs pre X Factor, I don't think Leona songs were ever on those set lists. Wagner: Both Louis and Simon continue to refuse to say his name right which surprises no one. I'm sure he was singing Cat Out Of Hell which is pretty accurate. Dannii by giving her exasperated opinion ends up giving him a positive review. Simon too. Life's not fair. Paije: Of all the contestants Paije annoys me the most. I know it's that good but evil Pixar character look on his face, and the way he attempts to jump in the intro video. He's dressed the same as Louis is except with rosary beads. Louis calls him a Diva because he can't say 'great big gay' on TV. De La Soul want their hair back. Katie: Even the children's grandparents watching Katie's performance don't know the song she's singing. Katie or Kay-heee! as Cheryl calls her, has turned completely into Betty Boop meets Ugly Betty. She looks like she got punched in the face by an Albino snowman. At the moment we are hiring Christmas staff in the bookshop I work in. I could imagine Katie in the interview; 'I LOVE books!!, I love reading! Reading rocks, man!!!' with a copy of Heat on her bookshelf. One Direction: In a sitting room somewhere Shane, Mark, Nicky and the other one sing along. I think One Direction will be the winners overall now not because they are the best but because the boybands of the next decade will all be their age and have a lead singer that dosen't want to be there. Hello Liam! Niall continues to look like he wandered onto a film set and ended up as one of the leads. Cher: Her version of Stay was fine but Simon's completely OTT lauding of her made a joke of the entire night.
The show overall was one hour and three quarters which knocks a half hour off last week's show. I'm sure the mentors also were due in soon. The Xtra Factor with Konnie sunk to all time low as well with Konnie rushing through the interviews with the contestants like there was only one lifeboat and Simon's jet ski left on the Titanic.
I know Nicolo is long gone but I like the photo at the top of this post. Trousers are in! While I do like Stay here's another song that Shakespeare's Sister gave to the world of pop.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Only Girl

It looks like Cheryl Cole is going to be number one this coming Sunday in the UK with her dreadful new single Promise This. Rihanna will also be in the top ten with Only Girl (In The World). I liked it the first time I heard it a few weeks ago. It is of course a song that will get annoying in a few weeks but for now I still like it. With her appearance on X Factor this coming weekend Rihanna should be number one the week after. I do find it a bit depressing that songs from X Factor dominate the UK chart from September to December but in reality they should be dominating the chart even more so. Maybe it's because people are downloading the contestants songs and those songs don't count on the official chart. I do think that the album cover for Loud, pictured above, makes Rihanna look white. The image of her may look different when it's all over HMV next week or maybe it was just my first impression and that stuck.
Here's the video for Only Girl (In The World).

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Zoom!

And so John goes! Neither John or Treyc should have in the final two on tonight's X Factor show. Wagner should have been sent home of course but with the gone too soon Diva Fever out of the show Wagner is now officially this year's novelty/OTT entertainment act. Louis has once again puts his one good egg (Mary) in his basket but in reality, with John, he actually had two good contestants in this year's show. Louis annoys me every year. He is a cross between a very clever business man and what we call in Ireland an eejit. When he said that he hoped someone gives John a record deal it sounded so awful, in other words, "anyone but me". Even if Mary goes home weeks before the final Louis knows that especailly in Ireland he has Mary's 2011 organised already as he has done with Jedward who were on Irish TV and are on posters and Billboards all over Dublin for a charity campaign this week. Mary is however the exact opposite of Jedward and is still one of the best contestants on this year's show but she showed a little bit of attitude when asked if she will sing a more modern song on future shows and her tone didn't come across well. Mary can sing her solo lines well in the group song and therefore the idea that she couldn't manage a whole more recent chart song is ridiculous. The group song, Forget You, on the Sunday night for the past two weeks has been just ok. It was very obviously pre-recorded on tonight's show and with Cheryl also partly miming her new single it really helped Michael Buble look even better than he is. With two guest spots, an elimination and a group song it's almost like the Sunday night show is rushed while the Saturday main show is Eurovision long It also felt like a bit of an anti-climax this week with just one person sent home. If the winner's single is going to be released before Christmas to avoid last year's disaster there should be at least three more double eliminations. I think the double eliminations have been a good aspect of this year's show but 16 finalists hasn't been a great idea. It's a bit like when Big Brother crammed too many into the house on the show's opening night. The final 12 on X Factor should be exactly that. Paul has as ever the best write up on X Factor here which also includes former X Factor contestants themselves in the comments box which makes me love his blog even more. I met some friends today for lunch who are as addicted to the show as I am and I mentioned that I loved the song Zoom when it first came out. It was a number two UK hit for Fat Larry's Band in 1982. It wasn't an 'awful song' as Simon called it on Saturday night. John did a nice version of Zoom but I think the background dancers and Simon centring on them fecked it all up for poor John. Each week I'm going to post the original of one of the contestant's songs so here's the sweet and lovely Zoom by Fat Larry's Band.
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The Pressure

I wonder if other bloggers keep a backlog of music videos that they intend to post but never get around to doing so. I have around 300 videos that I've saved for future posts. I've decided to just go ahead and post most of them so there will a couple of short blogs over the next few weeks that will just centre on the song. The first is a song that was released in the early 1990's. This is Sounds of Blackness and the Frankie Knuckles remix of The Pressure (Part 1).

Monday, October 18, 2010

Steada Treated, We Get Tricked

Last Saturday night on X Factor Cher Lloyd previewed what the West End shows of the future will be like when she swaggered her way through Jay Z's Hard Knock Life. What struck me about her performance was that she, when she has her record deal, will kill two birds with one stone in the fact she will rap and also sing the expected female chorus vocal in her songs. The final three contestants will be Mary, Cher and Matt unless Mary says 'feck this, I'm going back to till 11', Cher stabs someone 'by accident' in the green room backstage and Matt turns out to be a transsexual called Geraldine from Northern Ireland. Mary was once again my favourite contestant. It was only proper that she would cover Dusty and she did her proud. On the Sunday night show I loved the look on Mary's face when she was clapping for her fellow contestants getting through and she missed hearing her own name. There is now a cardboard cut-out of her at the front door of my local Tesco. Strangely, it hasn't been robbed yet. In a night where the theme was musical heroes it seems only Louis stuck to the rule book with Storm, John, Wagner and Mary all singing songs that you would imagine them liking in the real world. There should be a rule that contestants shouldn't have to sing songs that they never heard of. I think Belle Amie did a good job of their Saturday night song but as it's been said before it's never going to be easy for a girl group on a show like X Factor. It was so obvious that Simon told the other three judges during the ad break to choose to send home Diva Fever so he wouldn't have to make a choice. I'm sure Dermot got a slap on the wrist for pressing Simon on an answer he was never going to give. I wish Diva Fever were still in the show. They were like a camp Wham! even though I never considered Wham! camp 'in their day'. Diva Fever were fab in every way especially as only one of them could sing. It would have been great to see what Brian Friedman would have done next. Sometimes you think he's just projecting his own fantasies on stage. While some of the audience would have recognised the music as the current Duck Sauce song while others just thought 'oh!, another Boney M song!'. Simon knows he will make more money from Belle Amie even though they will never win the show. Listening back on the song again Diva Fever's vocals were weak but that performance really wasn't about the singing. It was like a Next catalogue gone bananas. I wished that Dannii had been rebel Dannii on the results show and had kept them in. Louis and Cheryl are doing exactly what Simon tells them to do this series. It's all kinds of sad that Cheryl is the only judge with all four acts left in the show. Paul of Fizzypop weekly X Factor post is here which is, as ever, spot on. One last time, here are Diva Fever.
Equally as entertaining is the video clip below which is doing the rounds. I saw it on Digital Spy this morning. I am not a fan of Stephen Fry which I know is like a lesbian saying she doesn't like Ellen but I expect he would find it amusing.
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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

All Weekend Long

I am toying the idea of doing an X Factor post each week. One of the main reason that I haven't in the past is because Paul of Fizzypop does it so well. The shows would not be the same for me without his weekend write ups. This week's write up is here. What is interesting is that there are now loads of blogs dedicated to X Factor, some are good, most are or have to be amusing and others are awful but that's the joy of shows like X Factor it brings out a reaction in people. Some of my workmates love it while others would prefer to throw the TV out the window when it's on but it is the best karaoke soap opera on TV every Autumn and Winter. My favourite contestants so far have been Mary, Diva Fever, Rebecca, Aiden and of course Matt. I now love Matt and have a new type of guy whenever i meet 'the one'. Beards are no longer an issue or are homeless Fran from Travis type flat caps. My only issue with Matt is that I don't believe that he is singing songs that he loves himself so far such as the songs he has been told to sing; If I Were a Boy and When Love Takes Over. At that rate he will be singing We Break The Dawn by Michelle Williams on next week's shows. Whenever Dermot O'Leary talks about the music that he listens to it is always indie, there is no Five Star or Sonia megamixes on his playlist. I know Dermot is a good presenter and he dosen't have to love pure pop but I think he sometimes uses X Factor as a job rather than a passion. Matt also couldn't sing songs like The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face every week or we would all be onto phone helplines. Overall it was a good move by Dannii to give Matt a dance song. Even though I know most of Ireland will be phoning in to support Mary I don't mind as her performance last week was just wonderful. She does have the same issue with pronunciation that Susan Boyle has where some of the words of the songs are sung as one long word but that is easily rectified. I wished both Nicolo and F.Y.D. had been kept in for a few more weeks but neither were ever going to win so it's all a game of Cluedo really. Nicolo looks brilliant, he's the scary, ultra confident type of guy I remember seeing in London's G.A.Y. club years ago though Dublin is full of them now too. I'm think Cher is overrated but I liked her at the start of the show, if she somehow becomes less mini Cheryl I'll like her again. Paije annoys me almost as much as Louis having to compare him to a true great like Luther. Louis did the same when he compared the beautiful in her own right Rebecca to another legend, Sade. By now we also know that Louis will compare an act to someone in his own music collection every week. I also shouted at my TV when Simon went into mental nonsense mode when he asked Louis where in the world was One Sweet Day a number one hit. The number 16 went through my head as soon as he said and I'm so glad it irked Paul and John too. I really thought Simon thought John's performance was good but as most of the contestants on the night were not awful he had said that just to be evil Simon instead of slightly nicer Simon. Who knows the extra minute of airtime it gave One Sweet Day might sell a few more downloads for Marian and Boyz II Men this week. I also looked up Teardrops which Rebecca sang and it only got to number one for Womack & Womack in the Dutch chart. Rule book, Simon! It however suited her well and was almost nicer than the original which was never off the radio in the day. I'm glad that the downloads sales of the performances won't count in next week's chart as with 16 songs covered by the contestants, downloads of the original songs and the ones sung by Joe and Usher most of the chart would be X Factor based/ hijacked. It makes more money for Simon and ITV but also gives a clear idea of who the public will buy when the show is over and what kind of song they would buy. I hope Yuri can cover that with his crystal ball of mid week sales. Crap pop research by the media occurred the next night as well as I missed the result show and read on the Monday in the papers that the group had sung Rhythm of the Night by DeBarge but of course it wasn't DeBarge but a completely different song with the same name by Corona which was a hit in the mid 90's. I love the group song on the Sunday shows, it's Glee before there was Glee. I hate I Gotta Feeling with a passion but last year's X Factor performance of it was pure fun. Rhythm of the Night worked well on last weekend's show. I loved how F.Y.D. do a bit of cruise ship dance routine while One Direction realise that they can't sing and dance at the same time. Mary so deserves her place on the show as she really gets into the song and her attitude is "I'm 50, so what!", Storm and Wagner however were still 'they sent the wrong babysitter!!!'. Roll on next week.