Saturday, October 25, 2008

Live Blogging: Strictly Come Dancing and The X Factor (2)

I'm signing out. It's been fun.

10.47pm: You can already see them thinking up the "I can't be in the bottom two again this week" video for Scott. Simon sends Daniel home. Cheryl sends Scott home. What is she doing?! I feel like she's fallen hook, line and sinker for this wife thing. Danni votes Scott out. Louis sends Scott home as well. And cried in his explanation. Daniel wins on emotion but as a talent competition you really have to wonder. It won't be long before Louis is calling Daniel a pub singer once more. Sad and exploitative.

10.40pm: Scott's up first. I thought they'd leave Daniel's slushy memoriam to last. It'll take an amazing performance to sway one of the three though. Scott's giving a creditable showing. It's funny that I preferred him the first week when he was completely out of his depth. He at least had a bit of character whereas tonight it's all been plain and pedestrian.

Daniel's on. I have difficulty taking him seriously after they've caked him in such copious amounts of make up. I hope he doesn't cry. Oh, he did.

10.30pm: Here are the results... First through is Eoghan. Meh. Next: Alexandra. Two of the gazillion acts the judges championed. Ruth is through! Woohoo! I wasn't sure after last week but she must have solid support after all! JLS next. Excellent. Rachel is through. Was there ever any doubt after she closed the show and arguably stole it? Diana!!!!!!!!! Need I offer elaboration? Laura goes through. She wasn't good but she's popular. Scott, Austin or Daniel? It's Austin! Scott and Daniel in the bottom two. I got one out of two anyway. I hope Daniel goes.

They're singing again. Daniel's singing a Josh Groban song. He mentioned his dead wife. Call me a cynic but MEH. It's going to be cheese central. Scott's opted for George Michael's I Can't Make You Love Me. Like it. There's no way Daniel will survive this. Simon and Louis can't stand him and Cheryl has voiced her doubts already. He's toast but these final two performances will be interesting. Let the sing-off commence...

10.25pm: They were totally miming. I wasn't sure until Laura came on and really let the side down. Maybe she skipped the coaching session.

What kind of example is this setting?

10.20pm: So they just did the slushy war hero tribute and now they're singing Hero. How they can ever expect to top Mariah's version is anyone's guess. It looks like they're miming, actually. Eoghan was in tune anyway. Yes, I'm a bitch.

My X Factor Scores

Diana - 8/10
Rachel - 8/10
JLS - 8/10
Ruth - 7/10
Austin - 7/10

Alexandra - 6/10
Scott - 6/10
Eoghan - 6/10
Laura - 5/10 (!!)
Daniel - 5/10

9.20pm: Simon says it's the best performance of the night. He may well be right (for once) but it's for the public to decide. She should be alright this week. Lol. Rachel is so funny. I love her humility. Her outburst of "rock on Nigel" reminds Simon to thank the orchestra who performed much better than the contestants. On Strictly Bruce thanks them before they've touched an instrument. Go figure.

So the night is over and it's been mediocre. The last three performances were way the best and rescued a disappointing night. Something tells me that Ruth may not have done enough to win over the people who seemingly neglected her last week. Scott went first and didn't make much of an impact, so as much as it pains me I predict that Ruth and Scott will be in the bottom two. Results show is at 10.10pm and includes a performance of Hero by the final twelve. Wonders never cease.

9.15pm: Rachel is last. She's singing Feeling Good. Major parallels to Beverley, who sang this last year at the end of the night and walked away with the plaudits. Her dress is hideous. Very reminiscent of the aquamarine one thingy wore earlier... *scrolls down*... Erin. She's got attitude singing this. A knowing look and a little wink. Love it. 8/10.

9.12pm: She gets rave reviews. Cheryl is right. She's mesmerising. I'm beginning to wonder, however, that it might be better if she doesn't win this. She's better than a recycled ballad that's number one for three weeks over christmas. I adore her.

9.09pm: She's on a swing with the cutest hat on that you've ever seen. Singing Smile her tone of voice suits it. Somehow they've made this work. I like that her voice is fragile and seems to linger with you for so long. 8/10.

9.06pm: Diana next. Love this girl. She reminds me of Kate Bush. I'm a bit worried for her this week. She's not a big band type.

9.00pm: Simon has a nerve to criticise JLS for their vocals after Eoghan's occasionally shambolic effort. The urge to chant "You don't know what you're doing" is getting ever more prominent.

8.57pm: They're singing. Finally. Aint That a Kick in the Head. Good song. They're singing it well. The lil' guy is good. Bags of style. I like the choreography as well. It's been a long time coming but the night is finally alive. 8/10.

8.55pm: JLS are next. One of their mothers has multiple sclerosis. Quite frankly I don't care. Are people incapable of saying "no" to these emotionally manipulative techniques?

8.51pm: He gets rave reviews. I said there was a pattern. He was good though so it isn't that much of a travesty. As long as he doesn't speak or cry I'm down with it.

8.48pm: Austin's singing Mack the Knife. I've heard it a million times. Great suit. I feel like even Gareth Gates did this better all those years ago (seven now, can you believe it?). He's sat on the judges desk. Hmm... He's animated enough. Vocally it's better than all of the other boys. 7/10.

8.40pm: She gets raves. It's become a pattern tonight, despite none of the performances impressing me in the slightest.

8.35pm: Cheryl never seems to say anything that isn't on the fence. She's supposed to be more feisty than this. Alexandra next. She's singing Candyman. Another XTina. It's hardly a vocal showcase but they've gone the whole hog with the set design. She looks good but is it enough? Maybe. It just feels a bit like karaoke. 6/10.

8.33pm: Ruth warns Simon not to forget her name. He says it's her best performance. Bar Purple Rain he's right.

8.30pm: She's singing Summertime. They're compensating for the refusal to sing in Spanish by dressing her like a flaming senorita. It works. Sexy hips! Her sultry tone works well with the style. She's got guys in berets alongside her. Spain and France amidst the classic American swing. Not sure it works. Don't love the song but she did it well. 7/10.

8.27pm: Is it me or does Dermot feel like such a sell-out these days? I'm glad he doesn't take the whole thing as seriously as Kate Thornton seemed to but this primetime slot has swallowed a lot of his personality. Still a cutie though.

It's Ruth next. Her performance of Purple Rain last week was AMAZING. She's not singing in Spanish so Simon will probably slate her again. I don't think it really worked anyway. Here we go...

8.24pm: He gets rave reviews. Eh? I honestly think these four have no idea what they're talking about. Something tells me Simon may have picked up on the vocal problems had it not been his own guy up on the stage.

8.22pm: Eoghan's singing L.O.V.E. He's flat on a fair chunk of the song. I hope they notice. His performance of it is pretty good. 6/10.

8.20pm: Laura gets rave reviews from the judges. Eh? Maybe they could actually hear it in the studio. I didn't get it. Eoghan next. His rendition of Ben last week was like sandpaper grating at my eardrum, but then again it's probably the worst song ever written. The build-up says he's doing an up-tempo number this time. I'm glad. This could be good.

8.10pm: Laura's turn and she starts lying down on a white rug. She looks lovely. Hot shade of lipstick. Her vocal is kinda dodgy. I can't tell what she's singing and I don't recognise the song. The band is too loud for her. In the build-up they were talking about the note at the end having to be great and it is. That vocal woman is so annoying though. I didn't like it. 5/10.

My Strictly Scores

Rachel and Vincent - 9/10
Austin and Erin - 8/10
Cherie and James - 8/10
Tom and Camilla - 7/10
Lisa and Brendan - 7/10
Heather and Brian - 7/10
Jodie and Ian - 6/10
John and Kristina - 5/10
Christine and Matthew - 5/10
Andrew and Ola - 5/10
Mark and Hayley - 4/10

Daniel is singing The Lady is a Tramp. I find him so bland. His voice is average. I think old people are voting for him. He has a nice smile at least. This week was always going to suit him more, with it being non-contemporary. Am I being too harsh? 5/10. Jodie and Ian get 26 out of 40.

Scott got a bit of a grilling. Jodie and Ian are doing the Paso Doble. She's in a white sequined dress that rivals Lisa's earlier. They're dancing to Blur's Song 2. It's grungy so I'm not sure why they're wearing white. Too much revolving and a bit ragged. 6/10.

Oh. John got 21 by the way. I think he'll make it through again tomorrow. People love him. Rachel and Vincent's waltz is gorgeous. But not as gorgeous as her prom dress. I can't believe she's 30. It makes me feel so old. 9/10.
Scott is first on The X Factor. He's singing That's Life. Cute suit. He's quite charming but I'm not sure he's got enough confidence for this. Big Band night will suit the boys but I'm not sure it's gonna suit anyone else. I'll give him 6/10 for singing it well. Generally a bit of a damp opener.

The X Factor just started but we've got a couple minutes.
Rachel and Vincent must be doing the waltz. I think they're the final couple. I hope they are. This is getting hectic.

7.46pm: He's stomping around quite a lot. Her dress is fun. I don't think he has the gumption for this dance but it was a decent effort. As usual she did all of the work. 5/10.

7.43pm: Oh god. John and Kristina are doing the Paso Doble. If this is good I'll run naked around the block. It's bound to be excellent comedy value, though.

7.42pm: Camilla is my favourite of the female dancers. I think she's beautiful. I can't believe Brendan dumped her. The fiend. They get 32 altogether and will surely return next week.

7.38pm: Tom and Camilla now! He got married last weekend. I sound like such a horny teenager but he's so dishy. I saw yesterday that they've trained the least amount of hours this week, so I hope they've managed to get this Viennese Waltz somewhere near decent. They're dancing to Elvis. His hair has too much gel. She's wearing cute pink ruffles. His head is bobbing around a bit. He reminds me of Marty Mcfly's dad in Back to the Future. Not a good look. I wasn't blown away. 7/10.

7.34pm: Craig called him a stick insect on acid. Lol! He's also been called a geek and "grotesque". Not a night to remember, I'm afraid. I feel a bit sorry for him. Len says he has body shape. A token comment. You know things are bad when even he hasn't got a good word to say. This is ominous.

He's promising to wear swimming trunks if he gets to the final. Salivate is too mild a term.

They get 16, including a 2 from Craig. I think he could be out this week.

7.30pm: Mark really needs to do well this week. He's on a bad run. He and Hayley are doing the Paso Doble. Woohoo! We might get to see Mark being powerful and aggressive. Bonus points for the pecs being out again! They're dancing to the crazy choice of Kelly Clarkson's Since You Been Gone. He hasn't got the presence or the moves for this. Pretty dreadful, actually. This is what pause buttons were created for. 4/10. For the pecs.

7.27pm: Everyone liked it but Craig. The other judges give him evil looks. Heather isn't Ginger Rogers but she doesn't deserve a 5 for that. They get 27. Her highest score yet. A little Moving On Up reference there. Love that song! She's slightly less sassy than I remember at the time though. Maybe that goes with age.

7.24pm: Heather and Brian now. She was horrendous last week so if this isn't good she might get a bit of a grilling. She's opted for hot pink, which seems both brave and odd since she's dancing the waltz. She's a ragged dancer but I didn't mind the routine. 7/10.

7.19pm: If given the chance to spend a night with any one of these dancers James would be totally the top of my list. He's fiery. Yummy. She says she went all wrong at the beginning of the dance. I didn't have a clue. I suppose that's my judging credentials extinguished. They get 31. Pretty average by Cherie's lofty standards but I'm sure they'll be back next week.

7.16pm: Cherie and James with the Paso Doble. It feels much more authentic than the others. I really like this. 8/10. Cherie looks a bit like a gypsy though.

7.12pm: I do love Len. A bit kind with his scores at times but he's so no-nonsense it's funny. He looks really smart tonight as well. Austin and Erin receive 34 points. Top of the leaderboard but there's a few to go. I'm gonna need some wine soon.

7.08pm: Austin and Erin's turn. They're doing the Viennese Waltz. Erin's wearing a horrendous aquamarine colour. Points for the shoes though. It's lovely and fluid. Unsurprisingly much better than Andrew's effort. Cute. I'll give it 8/10.

7.05pm: Loving Christine's eye shadow and the whole green theme, although they're a long way away from Lisa and Brendan, undoubtedly the best-dressed couple so far. A three from Craig. Ouch! 22 altogether and they're dead last so far.

7.01pm: Christine and Matthew now. They're dancing to Christina Aguilera's Fighter, sung very shakily it has to be said. Calum, behave. It's not The X Factor yet. It's not dramatic enough. Disappointing. Although Christine's dress rivals some of XTina's outfits in that particular video. 5/10. I didn't like it at all.

6.58pm: I already feel guilty about the ice cream. Tess is really pushing the cleavage tonight. Andrew gets 24. Probably enough to get through on all the votes he gets from lusty housewives. He's the wrong side of clean for my liking but I can't deny he's very pretty.

6.55pm: Andrew and Ola next. Ola always picks the worst outfits. She either looks like a prostitute or a Hungarian bride -- depending on whether she's doing latin or ballroom of course. I was bored. 5/10. He stumbled halfway through it as well.

6.51pm: Lisa and Brendan get 29. About right, I'd say. A word on Merlin, which was on before this. Does anyone actually like it? I don't get it at all. But then again I don't get Doctor Who either. Does it pay to be ambitious and fail? It just all looks so cheap and amateurish. Camp and fun but hardly awards-worthy.

6.47pm: Lisa and Brendan were first. Lisa looks stunning. Dare I say "George, eat your heart out"? The dance itself was very 'style over substance'. Am I wrong for fancying Brendan? I give them 7/10. Oh I've just noticed Lisa's earrings. Lush!

6.44pm: Great joke about The Generation Game. The old codger hasn't lost it yet. So The X Factor starts at 7.45pm and Strictly ends at 8, so there'll be a bit of a crossover. Not as bad as last year thank god. I'm armed with bananas, chocolate and baked alaska ice cream. Oh, the guilt! No alcohol as of yet but I'm not ruling it out.

6.40pm: Am I wrong for loving Bruce and Tess' little dance every week? She looks so uncomfortable with him in it but I still don't care. They're discussing reports Bruce was to quit Strictly. It wouldn't be the same without him, would it? Can't wait for his dodgy jokes. Tess rarely gets her outfits right but she's having a good week. Lovely purple colour.

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