Having been away on my holidays, I caught up with the X Factor yesterday via the miracle of Sky+. It was “rock week,” which sounded a whole lot more promising than “diva week” or the week I dread most, ABBA week.
The newspaper I read on the tube home on Monday morning suggested that Olly had been the class act of the night. He was – as long as you closed your eyes. Faux-rock posturing and miming along with the words doesn’t really enhance the performance when you’re singing ‘Come Together.’ He didn’t mime the juju eyeballs, largely because he messed that line up anyway, but he made every effort to show us what a monkey finger might look like, and I feel certain that I know exactly what being held in Olly’s armchair and feeling his disease might entail. Then he ripped his shirt open. Verdict: underwhelming.
Lovely Jamie Archer/Afro should have been in his element in rock week, but he was drowned out by the arrangement and never given a chance to really get into the song. And as for Danyl, either his mojo has well and truly deserted him, or his true calling is really acting and not singing, as he seemed completely lacking in the confidence for which he was formerly reviled.
I can’t even be bothered to mention the Staceys and Sophies and Caseys or whatever their names are. And therein lies the problem. This year’s X factor hasn’t got anyone with any real star quality. I still like Jamie a lot, but he doesn’t have that extra sparkle that people like Will Young, Kelly Clarkson, David Cook and of course the magnificent Adam Lambert have. None of them does. And, this being the case, the nation has warmly embraced the phenomenon known as John & Edward. With zero singing skills, and substituting a stroppy persistence for actual charisma, they’re at least entertaining, even if we’re laughing at them rather than with them.
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