Tag Archives: diana vickers

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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Notes On The X Factor #4

It seems, as Daniel Evans finally takes his forced leave from the competition, that PM’s predictions are becoming slightly more destined. After a severe backlash (also predicted) that saw Evans fall from slight student joke to washed-up pool cleaner with dubious familial entanglements, the Great British Public decided that enough was enough. Speaking of enough, the descriptions of exactly why Evans’ performances were so lacklustre throughout the series have been  plentiful here, and so focus will turn to other areas.


Rachel Hylton‘s consistently overbearing vocal found a relative home this week during her performance of Amy Winhouse’s  Told You I Was Trouble, but it wasn’t enough to keep her out of the bottom two – resulting in her attempt to salvage herself with U2’s One Love (albeit in Mary J. Blige’s guise). The simple fact is that, at the extremes of the phrases, Hylton’s voice is too loud. Each time a higher, louder note is followed a lower, quieter note, the force with which the first is delivered obscures any merit in the second. This creates a sonically confusing, amateurish sound that, when Hylton’s continually dubious tuning is factored in, can only leave a negative lasting impression. As the climax of the song (in video, above) approaches, Hylton’s grasp and confidence of the notes completely disappears – she snatches, loudly, at Blige’s “love is a temple” section with embarrassing results. Unbelievably, Daniel Evans’ performance of Bridge Over Troubled Water was, though mawkish, infinitely preferable to this misguidedly breezy and ill-executed episode.


Diana Vickers‘ confused interpretation of Coldplay’s Yellow was, undoubtedly, partly due to her previous illness (continual protestations in blogsville and beyond that she wasn’t really ill seem a little unjustified), and partly due to the actual choice of song. Though none of the judges cared to admit it, this choice is the least complimentary she has endured so far. A song such as Yellow, one so close to what Vickers herself might listen to, even buy on record, is exactly what an audience might expect. If she were next week to perform a Damien Rice song, the problem would be the same. Vickers’ charm amongst viewers and commentators comes from her interpretations of songs that she wouldn’t be expected to perform. U2’s With Or Without You and Blondie’s Call Me are reasonably far-removed from the (probably) Kooks-loving blonde’s realm of expectation and, therefore, when hushed and dimmed in performance, are imbued with tangible novelty and surprise.

Predictions for next week – Rachel and Ruth in the bottom two, Rachel to go.

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