Tag Archives: john & edward

X Factor: Joe becomes a man man

I wasn’t much looking forward to The X Factor without John & Edward. Their departure means that Louis is the only comedy turn left, and in a competition full of just-alright singers, there mightn’t be a lot to smile about.

Step up Joe McElderry. A couple of weeks ago, Cheryl told Joe that he was “turning into a little man.” In last night’s performance of ‘Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word,’ Joe has apparently turned into a proper, big, grown-up man. It was absolutely beautiful, pitch perfect as usual and sung with amazing control and feeling for someone so young. You could see Simon Cowell’s brain go “Ker-ching!” just looking at him.

It was a mixed theme night. The contestants had two songs each, the first half by Take That, the second by Sir Elton John, which unfortunately gave Brian Friedman the chance to stage Olly’s ‘Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting’ in a boxing ring with female dancers dressed as boxers. It was the kind of literal interpretation of a song those of us old enough to remember Pan’s People thought had gone forever.

Stacey slumped over a Steinway in an effort to appear sexy (that was the idea, anyway), but PLA Jr, who has perfect pitch so we must believe what she says, reckoned Stacey’s performance was “very sharpy-flatty.”

Danyl got the chance to do a more uptempo number this week with Take That’s ‘Relight My Fire.’ He’s been singing ballads every week till now, and I’d forgotten about the alarming faces he pulls when he has to sing anything fast. The singing was ok, but noticeably better on the bit Lulu normally sings on the original. Draw your own conclusions.

Little Lloyd Daniels once again struggled gamely, but surely he’s got to be going home today. If he’s quick he may still be in time to be invited to turn on some Christmas lights in some small provincial shopping centre.

Comments Off on X Factor: Joe becomes a man man

Filed under X Factor

X Factor results: Do they look bothered?

Last night’s X Factor results show was a shocker, wasn’t it? The main shocks being (a) Lloyd wasn’t in the bottom two and (b) a judge (Dannii) actually making a decision for a change.

So it’s goodbye John and Edward. The show will be a little duller and less like a box of frogs without you. It’ll revert to a boring old “singing competition” stuffed full of fairly average singers. Ho hum.

The usual reaction to someone reaching the end of what is irritatingly called “their X Factor journey” is tears, a brave smile perhaps, a little croaked-out thank you to everyone who’s supported you. Not John and Edward – they looked as buoyantly happy as the day they first stepped onto the audition stage. Now they are either blessed with inner serenity, are on mind-altering substances, or – and this is most likely – they have the confidence of people who have an absolute mountain of contracts and offers on their desk just waiting to be perused at their leisure.

They’ve achieved what they wanted to achieve. They’re household names. They even have a household nickname! As I said a while back, they will make the most of the chance they’ve got and wring the neck of their little piece of fame while it lasts, because it was clear from day one that these two aren’t daft.

So don’t relax yet – we haven’t quite seen the last of Jedward.

Comments Off on X Factor results: Do they look bothered?

Filed under X Factor

The X Factor: It’s not about the singing

I found myself watching The X factor in a very distracted way last night. I’m just not convinced by any of them as stars of the future. I’m thinking this year will be a Leon Jackson/Steve Brookstein year – the winner will inevitably get the Christmas number one (Cowell has bought and paid for that already) and sell quite a few copies of their album, and will be quietly dropped into obscurity.

So I’ve started noticing odd things, like Olly’s huge hands. He has massive hands – he must have to get his gloves specially made by the people who make clothes for the Tweenies. He also dances like a dad at a wedding, but that’s quite sweet, in a peculiar way.

Lloyd has had his hair cut, and the judges and PLA Jr all agree that he looks lovely. I don’t. Call me curmudgeonly, but Lloyd has gone from being a pixie boy to looking like one of Journey South.  Remember them? No, and you won’t remember Lloyd in a few months either. Lloyd was this week’s person that Cheryl is enjoying seeing “turn into a little man.” Last week’s little man was Joe.

I’m about ready to throttle Stacey. It’s that yodelling that passes for speaking that she does. I swear it’s entirely contrived as she didn’t do it on her visit home. Her singing isn’t that great either.

John and Edward disappointed me this week (oh dear, I am having a bad week) by only singing part of Wham Rap, tucked inside another song. They looked like wallies as well, but at least they were entering into the Wham! spirit of the thing (it was Wham!/George Michael week. George sent a message of goodwill but sensibly stayed at home – was he watching Strictly instead? We’ll never know).

Joe sang beautifully, again, but again not much personality apart from a big smile showed through. And on the subject of big smiles, my other half has taken a strong dislike to Danyl (who also sang beautifully and even made me feel a little emotional at some point during his Careless Whisper) – because “his mouth is too wide.” Well that never held Steven Tyler back.

So who goes? I reckon it’s got to be Lloyd this week. I have no idea who else will be in the bottom two – possibly Danyl, possibly Jedward? I think I’m ever so slightly past caring.

4 Comments

Filed under X Factor

The X Factor: A funny thing happened

john-edward-x-factorA very strange thing happened during last night’s X Factor. John or Edward started to look attractive. I say John or Edward, because it was definitely only one of them, but I can’t actually tell them apart, and I couldn’t even say “it was the one on the right,” because they keep moving around. It was the one on the right when I noticed him being attractive, and it was his posture that did it. They’ve always had that cockiness about them, right from their first audition when they blagged their way into the next round, mainly by being Irish (it’ll do for Louis), and they’re now looking like they believe their own hype and are priming themselves for their forthcoming (and probably shortlived) moment in the sun.

Speaking of Louis, I reckon he’s doing a brilliant job with these two. What a masterstroke to basically have them singing Vanilla Ice’s ‘Ice Ice Baby’ when it was supposed to be Queen week. Louis knows his boys can’t sing*, but they can prance, and they can just about rap in a white-boy way, and as I said at least one of them has fabulously arrogant posture. Brian May and Roger Taylor from Queen liked it, the audience liked it, and I liked it.

This week I also have to give an honourable mention to Joe, who is still a little dull, performance-wise, but gave a note-perfect rendition of ‘Somebody to Love’.  Danyl was also good this week, but I wish they’d stop going on about whether he comes across as “cocky” or not. Cocky is good! What rock god from Jim Morrison down to Adam Lambert hasn’t had “cocky” on his CV?

Mention of the word “rock” brings me to Jamie Archer/Afro. I’m worried about the lad this week, I have to admit. Fist-punching the air and getting the crowd to join in just won’t cut the mustard if the performance isn’t there, and the performance was distinctly lacking in mojo this week. I always think it’s a shame that the singers can’t go out of the box with their song choices. One of Queen’s earlier songs like ‘Keep Yourself Alive’ would have been a stormer for Jamie.

Olly was ok, but I wish he’d stop doing that thing with his fingers like he’s gesturing us towards him. He does it about twenty times a song and it’s starting to annoy me. Stacey was what Randy Jackson would describe as “pitchy” throughout the song – how come on The X factor none of the judges seems to know or care when a person sings out of tune? Lloyd was weak as usual.

So my prediction for the bottom two this week is Lloyd, and I’m sad to say it, but probably Jamie (for some reason everybody loves Stacey). But I was wrong last week, so who knows?

*Footnote: Maybe Jedward can sing after all – watch this

2 Comments

Filed under X Factor

The X Factor: This is just getting silly

jedwardOn the Ofcom website it states that one of their aims is to “make sure that people in the UK get the best from their communications services and are protected from scams and sharp practices.”

And, according to The Sun, over 3,000 people have complained to Ofcom about the evil goings-on that took place on Sunday night. Lest we forget, what happened was that ITV viewers paid their money to vote in a telephone poll in a singing contest. The person who got the least votes, one Lucie Jones, was duly ejected from the competition. Where’s the scam or sharp practice in that? We paid our money, we made our choice, yes?

Well, not so, according to the 3,000 complainants, who are irked that Simon Cowell failed to overturn this vote and get rid of the people who didn’t get the lowest vote, the terrible twins John & Edward Grimes. 11,000 people have joined a Facebook campaign to boycott the show, according to The Sun. “Some viewers claimed he only saved the twins to make the show more entertaining,” they suggest. Horrors! Making the show more entertaining? What can he be thinking?

The fact is that Lucie didn’t have a prayer of winning anyway. If she’s going to have a singing career she’ll now have it regardless (last year’s X Factor loser Laura White is in the charts now, and her co-loser Diana Vickers is performing in West End theatre, so if you’ve got the chops you’ll get there). And if she was so freakin’ popular, why did she get the lowest votes?

The winner, of course, is The X Factor, which is getting masses of publicity from all this. He ain’t no fool, that Simon Cowell.

(Footnote: Ofcom have apparently said they won’t be investigating. I expect they’re keeping their desks clear for the complaints of animal cruelty that will rush in as soon as the first wichetty grub gets eaten on I’m A Celebrity).

Comments Off on The X Factor: This is just getting silly

Filed under X Factor

The X Factor: Apparently we don’t love Lucie

lucie-x-factorWhenever someone gets voted off The X Factor, I feel terrible about the bad things I’ve ever said about them (ok, apart from Rikki – I was glad to not have to look at his weaselly face another week).

Last night’s bottom two was a bit of a shocker. Welsh waif and Avril Lavigne wannabe Lucie Jones faced off against the tabloid twosome, John & Edward. Jedward reprised their rubbish take on ‘Rock DJ,’ this time without the support of dancers and distractingly busy set design, and they were as vocally feeble as usual. Lucie sang something or other, failed to cry, and it was up to the judges. Only it wasn’t, because Simon once again took the voting to DEADLOCK! which isn’t Simon opting out at all, really, it’s the audience having their say. So anyone who’s angry that Lucie was voted out should have got on the phone a bit more and supported her.

So rolling into next week we have Lloyd, Jamie, Jedward, Danyl, Stacey, Olly and Joe. Simon is the only judge to have all three of his acts still in the competition – I did say he was going to win. I thought it would be Jamie (still hope it will), but I wouldn’t mind a side bet on Olly at this stage either.

Comments Off on The X Factor: Apparently we don’t love Lucie

Filed under X Factor

The X Factor: Let’s talk about sex

joe-mcelderry-x-factor“Songs from the Movies” night on The X Factor last night, and there were some unusual choices. No ‘My Heart Will Gwaaaan’ from Titanic, thank the lord, and no ‘I Will A-Hallways Love You’ either. Instead we had some creative choices, such as Jamie’s decision to sing ‘Crying’ (the old Roy Orbison song) from everybody’s favourite movie, Gummo (no, me neither, but it is real).

Joe stuck to the tried and tested ‘Circle of Life’ route, and he sang it well. The judges all agreed that Joe ticks all the boxes – he sings in tune, his voice is pleasant to listen to, he’s a nice person, and he’s good-looking. So why am I finding his performances so forgettable? The answer, I think, is that he’s just not sexy. I’m sure he’s as hormone-packed as the next boy, but there’s just no sense of it when he performs. Granted, ‘The Circle of Life’ is hardly the tune to start exuding animal magnetism to, but I’m not talking about thrusting pelvises or pouting into the camera-type sexuality (yes, Stacey, I’m talking about you here – good try, love, but no).

Compare Joe to the older Olly and Jamie. Both of them, and particularly Jamie, look like they’ve had a memorable night or two in their time. Compare also to the younger Lloyd. He’s all pretty Welsh innocence at the moment but he has that glint in his eye…

Anyway, before I start speculating too much about the glints in eyes of 16 year old boys, let’s move on to how everybody else did this week. I’ve been criticised for criticising Olly, but I like Olly, honestly I do. He’s a lovely bloke and he throws himself happily into his performance every week. Sadly this week he sang ‘Twist and Shout,’ a song that John Lennon put so much into when he sang it, it left his throat bleeding. You’re never going to top that (though to be fair to the lad, he fair brought the house down). Lucie was revisiting her Avril Lavigne look this week to sing a song from Camp Rock, and the judges all said she was “authentic” and “relevant.” If they think they’ve found a British Miley Cyrus they’re deluding themselves. Brownie points to Stacey for managing to walk on unfeasibly high heels and sing at the same time. Jamie’s version of ‘Crying’ was heartfelt, but I didn’t like the way he had to keep switching octaves to suit his range. Danyl was much better this week, and his new Ashley Cole haircut has at least gone down well with Cheryl. Lloyd, bless him, is, as the judges said, out of his depth in a singing competition. But he should be snapped up for Hollyoaks immediately – he has the face of a pixie angel.

Which leaves John and Edward and their ‘Ghostbusters’ routine. If Jedward had to just stand on the stage and sing, they’d have been out of this competition weeks ago. But, thanks to Simon Cowell realising (following Britain’s Got Talent) that what the nation wants is a variety show of a Saturday night, they get the Brian Friedmann routines and the full force of the costume and props people behind them, and produce an amusing little routine each week. And, frankly, it’s often the highlight of the evening.

So who will go tonight? I have no idea, to be honest. The bottom two will probably include Lloyd or Danyl, but I think Jamie may be at risk (noooooooo!!!). Go on, Britain – vote Jamie!

Comments Off on The X Factor: Let’s talk about sex

Filed under X Factor

X Factor: Nature abhors a vacuum

X-factor-john-edwardHaving 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.

Related post: Dial ‘f’ for farcical

2 Comments

Filed under X Factor

Kandy Rain, here’s your X Factor journey. Short.

Kandy-Rain-X-FactorAs predicted on this very blog yesterday, Kandy Rain were the first act to take the bus ride home from the X Factor house. They had to take part in a sing-off against Rachel (I had thought it might be Rikki, but Rachel was pretty poor too so no surprise). Rachel upped her game ever so slightly for the sing-off, though not so much that I can actually remember what she sang. I can’t remember what Kandy Rain sang either, but they were in the same Ann Summers outfits they wore on Saturday and opted for something feisty and defiant.

Louis wasn’t there, because of the death of Stephen Gately, so his vote went to the girl group in absentia. After the others had voted it was level pegging, or, as Dermot dramatically calls it – DEADLOCK! It doesn’t stay deadlock for long, though, because whoever got fewer votes goes, and it was Kandy Rain, and they went.

But I can’t go without mentioning Robbie Williams. Was it just me, or did the Robster seem a little “tired and emotional” after his performance? (Apparently it wasn’t just me…). Next week’s old trouper making a comeback is Whitney Houston. Which of the contestants will try their luck with that knackered old standard ‘I Will Always Love You?’ Let’s hope it’s John & Edward. We need a good laugh of a Saturday night.

Comments Off on Kandy Rain, here’s your X Factor journey. Short.

Filed under X Factor