Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Honking Box Preview: The X Factor

Welcome to the first blog post round these parts for some considerable time, and to our annual rundown of the X Factor live show fodder. You know the deal – work, summer, DIY, etc etc. Hell, if X Factor contestants are allowed to wheel out “this means everything to me” 16 times an episode, then we can regurgitate the same old excuses too.

So, aside from the presence of new judge Nicole Scherzinger on the panel (and deliciously, hated by the British public solely for not being Mel B), does this year’s X Factor have anything genuinely new to offer us? Read on...

Kye Sones
Who? Chimney sweep turned AOR busker type. Not a million miles from a certain Matt Cardle.
Ideal Theme Week: ‘Rock’ Week. While Tulisa gives her girls Ke$ha songs again, Kye will tackle a Train ‘classic’.
How will Syco bollocks up his career? A watered-down ballad as a debut single. Perhaps one penned by Gary Barlow.
Deserved placing: 5th
Likely placing: 1st. The White-Guy-With-Guitar epidemic that’s poisoned American Idol is heading thisaway.

Melanie Masson
Who? Vocally: absurdly noisy belter. Professionally: full-time fairy. Visually: Nicola Roberts’ reflection in a haunted mirror.
Ideal Theme Week: Rock Ballads. She’ll obliterate Bonnie Tyler’s back catalogue.
How will Syco bollocks up her career? Ill-selected PAs in chavvy nightclubs, album of covers for Mother’s Day, back to being a fairy within a year.
Deserved placing: 9th
Likely placing: 9th – that almighty holler will get pretty old pretty quick.

Carolynne Poole
Who? Fame Academy finalist, but for X Factor purposes, she didn’t actually exist prior to last year’s Judges Houses. Very, very good.
Ideal Theme Week: Shakira. No, wait, come back. Her Underneath Your Clothes back on Fame Academy was rather special indeed.
How will Syco bollocks up her career? No promotion beyond a performance Loose Women, on which she’ll eventually become a panellist.
Deserved placing: 1st
Likely placing: 3rd, if she’s lucky. There’s a touch of the Ruth Lorenzos about this one...

Lucy Spraggan
Who? One-trick Victoria-Wood-a-like, who’d have been far better suited to Britain’s Got Talent.
Ideal Theme Week: Self-Penned, Quasi-Touching-But-Mainly-Comedic Acousti-Wank Week.
How will Syco bollocks up their career? They won’t have a clue how to market her. In fairness, would anyone have a clue how to market her?
Deserved placing: 8th
Likely placing: 6th – it’ll be interesting to see how the public cope with hearing the same near-parody effect applied to every track, week in, week out.

Jade Ellis
Who? Single mum with half a head of hair, and a pleasant, low-key rasp.
Ideal Theme Week: Britpop Week. Not cos it’d suit her, just cos we’d quite like to see it.
How will Syco bollocks up their career? An album of dull-as-dishwater REAL JAZZ, as previously tackled by terminal dullard Rebecca Ferguson. Though, in fairness, it’s served her well...
Deserved placing: 3rd
Likely placing: 10th – not a whole lot of screen time + a unique quality = ITV1 VIEWERS DOEZ NOT WANTS.
Ella Henderson
Who? Likeable belter. In-show quirks include World War II hair, and the fact that she’s 16. The judges may have mentioned that once or twice.
Ideal Theme Week: Soul Classics. Inevitably, the closest X Factor will get is Songs That Have Been Played On American Radio At Some Point.
How will Syco bollocks up her career? By shoehorning her into a black frock and an Adele-by-numbers album. See also: Leanne Mitchell. (Y’know, her off The Voice. Look her up.)
Deserved placing: 2nd
Likely placing: 2nd – she’s good, but not White-Guy-With-Guitar good.

Who? Horrendous, 1D-lite trio who claim to be all about the harmonies, yet sound like a dozen battery hens being ironed in unison. Fun fact: managed by Global Radio. Fixed? The X Factor?!
Ideal Theme Week: One Direction.
How will Syco bollocks up their career? By accidentally turning up their mics at T4 On The Beach, thus showing the world that a band full of Louis Tomlinsons is not a good idea.
Deserved placing: 11th
Likely placing: 8th – piggybacking on The Wanted’s fanbase can only get you so far.

Union J
Who? Horrendous, 1D-lite quartet, who represent the Frankenbands this year thanks to a fourth member squished in at the last second. Better than GMD3.
Ideal Theme Week: One Direction.
How will Syco bollocks up their career? It’ll be an intentional sabotage so as not to detract from One Direction. Or GMD3, whose uber-management will be having a quiet word with Syco.
Deserved placing: 10th
Likely placing: 4th, following the moment Louis gives up the ghost and just hands them You Raise Me Up.

Who? Boy-girl rap duo who brutally turfed out their founding member during their audition, then sabotaged the brilliantly-named Lightbulb Thieves at Boot Camp. Utterly ruthless.
Ideal Theme Week: Black Eyed Peas. Or, y’know, Love City Groove.
How will Syco bollocks up their career? Completely unaware of how to handle anyone who isn’t a throwaway boyband, Syco will force Labrinth to lay down one track with MK1, before forgetting about them altogether. Celebrity Big Brother for the white girl.
Deserved placing: 8th
Likely placing: 11th – that new-fangled rap music? On ITV? Oh goodness, no.

Jahmene Douglas
Who? Quite literally, Leighton from Trollied.
Ideal Theme Week: Anything prior to 1970. His At Last proved it nicely. His Moves Like Jagger proved it horribly.
How will Syco bollocks up his career? He’ll crumble into a quivering mess before he’s even reached his covers album. It’s unlikely they’ve learned from SuBo, and Jahmene might well be the proof of that.
Deserved placing: 4th
Likely placing: 5th, if his nerve and/or bladder holds out that long.

James Arthur
Who? Misshapen, soulful guitar-wielder with a distinctive voice and Deirdre Barlow’s glasses circa 1989.
Ideal Theme Week: Sting Week, or Damien Rice Week. He’ll have to make do with Big Band Week, when he rolls his eyes through Mack The Knife.
How will Syco bollocks up his career? They’ll do their damndest to emulate Ed Sheeran, note for note. James won’t play ball. He’ll cuss them out on Twitter, get dropped, and be back to playing the student union by 2014.
Deserved placing: 6th
Likely placing: 7th – it’ll be self-sabotage to get the hell out of the madhouse.

Rylan Clark
Who? Loathsome, fame-hungry mincefest. Most punchable contestant since Frankie Cocozza.
Ideal Theme Week: IBEEFA!! Innit! Oh my God!!!
How will Syco bollocks up his career? Rylan will do a fine job of that all by himself. Syco can put their feet up and watch him explode in a shower of glitter and complimentary lube.
Deserved placing: 12th
Likely placing: 12th – it’s hard to know what sort of moron Rylan will appeal to.

And let’s not forget that a 13th spot is up for grabs in the live shows, meaning one judge will have one extra contestant. Fighting for the dubious honour of not being good enough to get through originally are simpering Scouse weepathon Christopher Maloney, passable Essex teen Amy Mottram, permatanned heavage-fest Times Red, and Matt Cardle 3.0 (or Kye Sones 2.0) Adam Burridge.

Times Red were by far the most impressive at Judges Houses with their beatbox-and-guitar interpretation of Ain’t No Sunshine/Let’s Get It Started, and far outshone the other three acts Louis selected. But Amy or Christopher will be a far more likely prospect. Not an interesting prospect, admittedly, but a far more likely one all the same.

For those of you asking about a liveblog this year, it’s probably not too likely – hell, it took a few months to even get a bogstandard blog post up and running again. However, we heartily endorse Jack Seale on the Radio Times, or Stuart Heritage on the Guardian. Or, if you’ve got a real boner for hyperbole, stating the bleeding obvious and general gutter-journalism, there’s always Digital Spy.
Still, no doubt we’ll be tweeting the bejesus out of it. After a horrific start to the series, with scripted conversations and contrived hashtags, it’s at least picked up as it’s progressed. But even then, it’s safe to say The X Factor has finally gone off the boil. Then again, in all fairness, how good can anything that’s not The Great British Bake-Off actually be?

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