Notes On The X Factor #6

This week (also, it should be pointed out that PM’s predictions have become pretty damn near spot on in recent weeks and, though there’s no real proof of this ‘cos our recent holiday scuppered any posting, you can rest safe in the knowledge that Diana Vickers was always the prediction) The X Factor truly left behind any notions of being a contest about singing. The emotional inflammation of Eoghan and Diana’s apparent UNBREAKABLE BOND reached an embarrassing zenith when, during Vickers’ final performance (above), The Quigglett or The Quiggsty or Quiggsy Malone or Who Let The Quiggs Out or whatever Louis Walsh called him this week ran onto the stage and gave her a damp hug and slobbered into the crook of her neck something about “guddamishooosooomush”.

This aside, it could be time to consider why Vickers went from the bookies’ favourite to a tremendous let-down, the popularity of which will never be recovered. Cruel though it may sound, the impression she has created of herself can’t now be reversed, and the public generally seem to think she’s nothing more than a Bjork-sounding waif. Her versatility proved reasonably non-existent, ranging only from quiet versions of big songs to not-quite-as-big versions of other big songs. Her version of White Flag this week did not work because it was too close an interpretation to the original recording. Almost identical, in fact. The same could be levelled at her earlier performance of Avril Lavigne’s devilishly insipid exploded cheerleader anthem Girlfriend. As PM has stated before, the songs in which she revised an arrangement to an unexpected (but also predictable) level were the most successful. This is why Man In The Mirror and With Or Without You worked, and Patience really, really didn’t.

Behind such trivial issues as SONG CHOICES in a SINGING COMPETITION, though, are the inevitable reality TV plots and editing tricks that made her appear to be out of the running as soon as Mariah Carey week saw her simultaneously slumped in bed like a plague victim and shrieking like, well, an angry plague victim at bonfire night. The revelation that Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah is to be the winner’s song and Christmas no.1 shoe-in revived some hope that she might make it, but everyone knows that Eoghan’s getting the most votes. The only hope for the final is that people will finally be bowled over by Alexandra Burke‘s superior performances and make her a just winner, a la Leona Lewis two years ago. But it’ll probably be the little Pat Butcher kid.


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