The X-Factor

19:09 So after months of terrible auditions, terrible disappointments (Rachel going, Stacey going, Louis doing the same terrible jokes) and traumatic experiences (most of Jedward’s performances), we’ve reached the final: will it be Olly “Potato-face” Murs or Joe “You’re Legally Obliged To Call Him ‘Geordie Joe'” McEldrey. Let’s plaster on a grin and make our way through this madness for the final time this year.

19:18 Tonight will see a lot less of the final two – they’ll do just two songs each – with a rash of celebrity guest appearances and a performance of the X-Factor Finalists demolition of You Are Not Alone. Plus more recap VTs than ever broadcast on British television.

The finalists will be performing their mentor’s choice – Joe’s doing Don’t Stop Bel

ievin’ while Olly will do his terribly finger pointing dancing to Twist And Shout – then the X-Factor finalist’s song The Climb. The terrible dirge, originally by Miley Cyrus, is arguably the worst X-Factor song so far.

Tonight’s special guests are Paul McCartney (does he really have to stoop to this?), George Michael, Leona Lewis (back on home terri

tory), Alexandra Burke (set to look like a pale facsimile of Leona) and JLS (back again to hawk their wares).

The bookie

s are certain that Joe will get

what h

e’s after and be crowned king of the X-Factor but could Olly get an upset?

19:29 Reliving last night is making me depressed. Can we get through these VTs a bit quicker? Robbie on the rock is particularly sad. Poor old UFO spotter boy, he’s not the superstar he once was.

19:31 Tonight, only one can win that life changing recording contract (thought at least three of the others have one already). Just nobody mention Steve Brookstein, OK?

19:32 Let me know in the comments who you want to win.

19:33 I do love when Dermot trails “surprises”. They’ve always been trailed so efficiently in the supress that they’re no more surprising than Louis little face or the height of Simon’s waist band.

19:34 In the all important battle of the outfits its a win for Cheryl in a black ball gown style number. Danni looks like she’s going to the high school prom.
19:35 Once again, TV cameras bringing live feeds from South Shield and Colchester, the biggest event to happen in either town since the Domesday Book (or Blur last played Essex).
19:36 The “Final 12” are back for a fairly passable rendition of Take That’s Never Forget. Slightly ironic choice as we’ll be in capable of remembering their names by the New Year.
Baby pictures on the back drop. All the other finalists are in black but Joe and Olly get to be dressed in messiah-esque white. I can’t help but sense Olly trying to slightly pinch Joe as he put his arm round him.

19:38 That dance move last night when Olly slid under the legs of the dancers frankly looked perverted.

19:39 Robbie talking about Olly: “I should be taking tips off him…” Yep, sadly that is true. 

19:40 I like that now Stacey’s gone, recaps of last night must only mention Olly and Joe. It’s vaguely Stalinist.

19:41 After the break: the first song of the night. Which will be the highpoint before we have to listen to a Miley Cyrus song twice!

19:43 I do hope they give us a recap after the break, my tiny fish brain might have forgotten all the other recaps.

19:47 “Olly deserves to win because he’s delivered 150%.” Yes Simon, he can bend the laws of mathematics.

Olly reminds us he entered the competition to be an “international superstar” which is possible if he means playing Butlins in 5 years.

19:49 Olly dances like a poorly operated marionette. Twist And Shout should have an air of sexual excitement. Olly makes it sound like a listless jerk into a soiled rag.

19:50 Danni levers in a plug for the tour. Louis *perks up* and Cheryl makes a subliminal hint “t

hrilled to see you here in the bottom two”. Louis also made sure to mention that Olly will have a great career “regardless”, of course because the ink has already dried on his record deal.

19:52 Poor old Michael Underwood, still stood in a car park in Colchester asking an 8-year-old if she’s going to marry Olly. Oh dear…

19:57 Will Journey’s memory never cease to be abused? Here comes Joe bashing out his attempt at Don’t Stop Believin’.

Cheryl really is a little bit in love with Joe. I think she wants to shrink him and attach him to her keyring. Or failing that lock him in her walk-in wardrobe.

20:00 Joe doing Don’t Stop Believin’ is anti-music. It compacts it into a sort of ultra-bland anti-matter. Of course, he has won anyway. “Could there be an upset?” Cowell pondered earlier. He actually meant to say: continuing voting, keep the money making machine churning, I need a new yacht!

20:01 Louis says: “A small boy, a big voice…a big future.” We know he was stopping himself from mentioning lube. All the judges are in raptures about Joe. Simon praises him even more highly than Olly. “You ACTUALLY would have a hit record with that song…” TRANSLATION: You will release that as your second single.”

20:03 Kimberley in South Shields being groped by the Mayor Of South Shields there. Joe cannot GEORDIE GEORDIE thank them GEORDIE GEORDIE enough GEORDIE GEORDIE at home. His animate series must already be in development: Geordie Joe – the super-bland super-hero!

20:05 Incidentally: Glee has just made Don’t Stop Believin’ huge again in the US. It’s coming here in January. So expect Simon to throw Joe’s version out to spoil their party at the start of 2010.

20:09 Here come JLS and Alexandra Burke. It’s an X-Factor two-for.

“We’re the bad boys…” within acceptable day time TV limits with at least one less attractive member for plainer girls.

And here’s Alexandra wearing a handful of sequins doing her best sub-Beyonce shake.

20:11 JLS are doing the classic look-at-the-female-singer-like-she’s-a-fondant-fancy look. It’s at least a fairly exciting performance.

We’re done with Alexandra’s Bad Boy and on to JLS’s Everybody In Love (as excellently sung at them by Harry Hill last night).

20:14 “We have had a fantastic year” say the Alexandra and JLS bots.

20:15 Simon: “As far as I’m concerned, round 1 went to Olly!” But Danni and Louis think “Team Cheryl had it wrapped up!”

Cheryl is being magnanimous: “The nation will decide who won…”

20:17 Here’s Leona Lewis doing Stop Crying Your Heart Out with an X-Factor footage backing. That’s Leona’s USP now isn’t it, sappy smotherings of indie songs. First Snow Patrol were made even more bland, now she’s taken Oasis to the beige factory.

20:26 “We are in the midst of a phenomenal battle tonight…” Oh come on Dermot, it’s not Dunkirk.

20:27 Clearly the choice of a Miley Cyrus song suits Joe better and now we need to hear the same bloody tune twice.


“It will be a massive hit whoever sings it.” Yes Louis, we get it. You could send the dinner lady out and she’s sell a million records. That is not a good thing.

20:33 Oh glad we had time for a recap of the recaps of recapping Olly’s journey.

What is this thing for showing baby photos about? It’s creepy.

20:34 Olly’s nan’s going to “always be sitting on [his] shoulder”? He’ll struggle to do his pointy dance if she insist on doing that.

And now he’s crying. MAN UP.

20:36 Time to hear from Cheryl and Joe. He’s a Geordie if you hadn’t realised. An actual Geordie.

20:37 Oh I’m so glad I get to hear this Miley Cyrus song for the second time in my entire life. The first time only made me want to give up listening to music forever, so this can’t be that bad.

20:38 I think I have just dislocated my jaw through yawning.

20:40 Louis says the song will sell 1m copies and be number one at Christmas. And Joe will beat Olly. Oh good to see Louis going out on the limb by praising the favourite there. Danni is in raptures and the song is “one of her absolute favourite songs”. That proves she hates music.

Simon thinks Joe started shaky but then was “brilliant in the second half”. He can’t call it now. Which is essentially him saying: yes, Joe’s won. Money for me either way.

20:44 Oh schmaltz overload. Joe’s parents don’t have necks. Let’s hope he wins so he can buy them the prosthetic necks they so desperately need.

20:46 So bored of Cheryl’s manipulative crying. “Oh it remind me of when I were a contestant.”

Incidentally, George Michael has turned into a Thunderbird. If I could only have got a screen cap, I could have pointed out the strings.

20:47 Hey! Another recap. Did you idiotic mind let all the other recaps slip out of it? Don’t worry, here’s the UBER-RECAP. All the stuff you saw yesterday and about three minutes ago pushed together into a little cube of memories. Boring, boring memories.

20:50 Here’s George Michael. Look closely for the strings.

But first: a recap of George’s career. Curiously no mention of the car crashes or the toilet.

20:53 George Michael’s Christmas song has mixed up priorities: “Jesus came to stay/and I could watch TV all day.”

21:01 Lines closing soon. Oh, it’s so nervewracking…oh, no, it isn’t. Joe’s going to win.

21:02 Paul McCartney “practically invented pop music”. Oh shut up Dermot.

And yes, Paul McCartney is deemed to require a recap. This is the end of modern culture.

21:03 He’s doing Drive My Car. Joe or Olly should just say: “Nope, I’m not going to try and follow one of The Beatles with a Miley Cyrus song. I’m not insane.”

21:04 Paul McCartney just shared a stage with the X-Factor finalists. Someone hand me a gun. Jedward and Macca, it’s the Frog Chorus all over again.


21:06 Now, Macca’s doing Live And Let Die. Seriously Olly/Joe, just give up now. You cannot come back on and sing The Climb.

21:08 And let’s remember ladies and gentlemen, Paul just played real instruments and sang live.

21:09 “Who’s going to win, Sir Paul?” asks Demot. “Well,” says an

underwhelmed Sir Paul, “one of them’s going to win.”

21:15 Dermot: “Olly and Joe fought their way though an incredible weekend…” Oh yes, it was like the Ardennes all over again.

21:16 Going back to the home towns is essentially just an excuse to hear people constantly scream. Thank God, it’s almost over. I think I may have permanently damaged my typing hands.

21:17 10 million people. If only they’d bother voting in the actual election.

21:18 This is a seriously unnecessarily long gap.

21:19 Oh, Joe’s won. I am SO surprised. Go back to sleep Britain.

21:20 Olly looks utterly unbothered. Well, he’s won too hasn’t he. Lots and lots of lovely, lovely money. And there’s Joe’s single all printed. Ready to download from tonight.

21:21 And he’s singing The Climb AGAIN.

21:22 The X-Factor winner’s song has to be about “the narrative” they’ve followed because they have no personality outside it.

Good point from Ms TV Throng: “This is the only song that will played on the radio between now and February.” Looks like I’m going into hibernation.

21:23 Rachel just grabbed the mic and did a Kanye West though admittedly only to say “I LOVE YOU JOE, I LOVE YOU JOE. YES! YES!” Which is not nearly as mad.

21:24 Simon is thanking the public in a clear attempt to counteract all that Muppets/Rage Against The Machine Love.

21:25 And we go over to South Shields again. Oh I wonder what they’ll be doing. Yes, they’re jumping around and screaming and screaming and screaming. How very interesting.

21:26 The show has just finished and the ad for next year’s auditions is on. It’s the circle of life! Oh no, I mean profit.

21:28 Thanks for watching along with me over these arduous weeks. I’ve been @brokenbottleboy and I’ll be back soon for The Apprentice Live Blogs. More rage, week in week out until I get an ulcer.

19:10 20 minutes until the final and I am ready. Doritos, beer and reservoir of rage at my side, let’s see how the final pans out. The smart money is on Joe for the win with even Cowell secretly rooting for him over Olly but TV Throng HQ is still crossing its fingers for Stacey.

19:27 It’s as close as we’ll get to a greatest hits show tonight with the contestants each doing their audition song, a celebrity due and reprising their favourite performance.

19:31 We’ll get Olly singing Superstition, then chasing after Robbie on Angels and a repeat of A Fool In Love. Joe’ll be doing the ever mawkish Dance With My Father, Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me with George Michael (there’s butch) and Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word (which is what he should say when he sings in my opinion). Finally, Stacey will be giving us What A Wonderful World, Feeling Good with Buble and Who Wants To Live Forever (which was stellar the first time around).

19:32 So we start off with a recap of the “journey” with each of the contestants first performance and glimpses of all the contestants gone by. Jedward, Rachel, some of the mad ones. It’s all there.”Only the strongest survive!” bellows Announcer Man, as if we’re going to see the losers put up against a wall and shot.

19:33 Cheryl really thinks Joe has star quality? Well, she is married to Ashley Cole I suppose.

Simon “can’t pick a winner” which actually means “I like Olly but I want Joe to win”.

19:34 There’s ya man Dermot, looking the same as he does every week – he’s like the crappest Action Man in the shop…the new highly poseable Action Presenter Man.

Live feeds to Dagenham, Colchester and South Shields? That only usually happens when there’s been a murder.

19:37 At the end of tonight, someone’s going home. I think it’s gotta be Olly but Stacey has had some shaky weeks recently.

19:38 Danni went to Dagenham? I bet she fitted in brilliantly.

I’ve finally worked out who Stacey reminds me of. She’s a female Dug from Up.

19:39 They went back to Stacey’s school where the headmaster tried to get shot of here once.

19:40 “Danni Minogue’s in my house!” That excitement is why she should win.

19:41 I think the difference between Stacey onstage and puppy-dog offstage Stacey is a really lovely thing. Plus she has got cracking legs.

19:42 They’re keeping it simple for her audition song reprise. Just her sat on a stool belting out What A Wonderful World. It’s a good performance but I suspect that Simon and Louis will try to undermine it.

19:44 OK, so I was wrong with Louis. He was nice about her. Cheryl thinks she “enjoyed it the most [she] ever has”. Simon totally agrees with Cheryl: “You’re a calm nervous wreck who’s singing beautifully. You thoroughly, thoroughly deserve your place here tonight.”

Danni’s had the “most emotional week ever”. Danni needs to get out more.

19:47 Good to see that they’re helping with unemployment by giving professional Essex man Jeff Brazier something to do.

And Dermot’s just trailed the inevitable Jeff/Stacey tryst. Sigh.

19:52 Ah, it’s old potato face Olly Murs. Which means Simon went to Colchester and Essex is the ancestoral home of the Cowells.

19:53 He better not cry this time.

19:54 Simon’s perked the whole visit home thing up with a helicopter.

19:55 Olly’s old school go barmy. My teachers would have made us behave a little less rabid.

Simon loves butter scotch Angel Delight. Let’s send him hundreds of packets. That’ll put him off it. Or you know…don’t. Because he’s alright really isn’t he. Secretly sweet in fact.

19:56 Unlike Joe (who I think is a personality vaccuum), Olly does at least seem like a sweet boy. But I wish he would stop doing his wazzock hands dancing.

19:58 The perfomance of Superstition is slightly over the top, too many flappers and gangster guys. He should have focused on actually, you know, singing the song in a not cheesy way. 5/10.

Louis loved it. He’s done his “you’ve definitely got the X-Factor quote.” Danni loves it and throws some love to the choreographer. Cheryl loves it too. Simon says it’s “the perfomance of his life”.

It’s club singer good not professional singer good.

20:02 Over to Colchester to hear from cheerleaders, football players and other shouty folk. Poor old Michael Underwood, he used to do CBBC. Now he’s got dreadful facial hair.

20:03 Is Dermot legally obliged to call him Geordie Joe? He’s not a cartoon character (though he does only have one expression).

20:08 “Cheryl Cole is looking to make history…” She’s only looking for her singer to win two years in a row, not bloody rewrite British law or change the nature of political discourse. Also: why is she wearing skull based clothes for that school visit?

20:10 Joe’s OK but his nan’s a mega-star. Can we get her a chat show?

20:11 I’m not fussed with Joe’s performance but the Sage is a fantastic building.

20:12 I hate this kind of song. It just sucks all the subtly and sadness out of the world and repaints it with a Dulux version of sentiment. All one shade. I know Joe’s got a nice voice but he’s bland, bland, bland, bland. I want to see an interesting person win!

20:14 Louis tells him he’s brilliant. They all love his voice. He’ll get the most amazing comments because he’s the chosen one. If you want to wind up Simon Cowell, don’t make Rage Against The Machine number 1, vote for Stacey.

20:16 In South Shields, we’ve got a Girls Aloud member – poor old Kimberly. And there’s a baker with Go Joe cookies which “sell faster than sausage rolls”.

20:20 “After the break, some big surprises…” OK Dermot, so…that’ll be the celebrity guests we mentioned earlier won’t it.

20:24 God, we’re only twenty-four minutes in.

Stacey’s in a great red frock and busting out Feeling Good. Where’s Buble?

20:25 Oh they got Stacey to introduce him. That ruined the effect slightly, sultry voice into fish wife.

20:27 She was stonking! Her voice ruled the song, Buble was just along for the ride in his creased little suit. He looked like a competition winner.

20:28 Buble couldn’t work out what Dermot was saying: “Sorry, it was your English accent.”The Queen listens to Buble? Could be time for an uprising.

20:29 Ms TV Throng reminds me that it’s actually been an hour. Meawhile brilliant comment from @electricpig’s @jamesholland on Michael Buble: “He’s devoid of any character, charm, charisma or intrigue.Basically a shop dummy with a larynx.”

20:30 Olly has just given Angels a bit of kicking, now Robbie’s forgotten the words. He looks slightly emotional.

20:33 “I can’t believe how confident this man is…” says Robbie Williams, a man whose ego once destroyed Tokyo.

Incidentally: Robbie didn’t manage to understand Dermot either and he’s English!

20:36 This George Michael/Joe duet does seem more like a grooming.Fair’s fair though, George’s voice is cracking and their duet is probably the best so far.

20:38 George Michael is hedging his bets: “Good luck to all of them.”

20:40 @jamesholland on fire tonight: “George Michael looks like all four of the Village People at once.”

20:43 Does Cheryl Cole keep nipping off for a wee? She’s never in her seat when the break ends. Or is she popping off to see Robbie. Remember Robbie, the eyes will give you away!

20:45 Stacey looking absolutely stunning and doing Who Wants To Live Forever. It’s ace. I do love that she’s essentially wearing a cape. I want her to do the next Bond theme…OK, I’ve gone a bit mad.

20:46 Whoever paid for that shower of sparks, seriously wants to get value from it.

20:47 Louis really wants Stacey in the final. Cheryl thinks she’s incredible and wants her in the final two too. Simon quotes Cheryl’s frequent quote “you smashed it”. Danni again happy and proud.

20:48 PUT HER THROUGH YOU BASTARDS. Stacey MUST be in the final.

20:49 We’re back in Dagenham with Jeff. So much screaming, it’s a waste of time. It’s like a Beatles concert as seen from the perspective of a yawnsome TV presenter.

20:50 Stacey is truly genuine. That’s got to count for something.

20:51 Olly’s batallion of flappers are back. It’s like he’s auditioning for a role as a pimp from the twenties. Fool In Love – just over the top. He’s be the best hotel bar singer in town.

20:52 @electricpig honcho @jamesholland again showing he’s as good TV as he is on tech: “That suit’s about right though. You wrap turkeys in silver foil, right? He’s basically an estate agent doing karaoke.”

Louis: “You’re sexy, Olly.” I suspect Louis wouldn’t be able to stand up right now.

Good point from Ms TV Throng: “Seriously, could Olly not at least have made an effort and shaved??”

20:54 Olly is like the really poor man’s Danny Dyer.

Talking to Olly’s PE teacher, he’s bound to have a good story says Michael. “He’s a really nice guy.” Oh…thrilling.

20:56 “What have I gotta do to make you love me?” Literally more than is physically possible Joe. You’d have to give me a gold pony or the cure for cancer. Singing like a wet weeking in Worksop  is not going to cut the mustard.

20:58 Louis is banging out all the same points again: “You’ve got THE VOICE blah blah blah…of the three people you definitely deserve to be here.” Danni same. Cheryl same. Simon: “You’re really special Joe”. Yes, we get it. You want him to win. You lovely bunch of manipulators. Cheryl absolutely “adores him”, she’s on the edge of tears again. Will you please give it a rest with the weeping.

21:00 Now over to Kimberley for all the screaming and unnecessary noise in South Shields. Poor old Kimberley, she’s in the ACTUAL Girls Aloud you know. And now she’s stuck in South Shields. Di Cheryl really suffer all that for nothing?

21:07 Robbie’s coming back after the break? Have they dosed him up with anti-psychotics?

21:10 Cheryl once again late back to her seat. Does she have some kind of complicated under-carriage arrangement going on?

21:11 Robbie seems to be brandishing a Freddie Mercury-style mic stand and the voice of a C-grade Northern club singer.

21:15 Voting is FROZEN. After the break, we lose one. Fingers crossed for Olly to go.

I now realise why Cheryl’s been struggling, she’s sewn into her dress.

21:20 DRA-MA-TIC MU-SIC! DRA-MA-TIC MU-SIC! It’s the result.

21:21 Olly? Oh for god’s sake. I bet that means no more Stacey.

21:22 Yep, it’s Joe and Olly in the final. Rubbish. She’s the best.

21:23 She’s so gracious. “I came third!” She’s the best. Let’s all buy her record and ignore the other two.

21:25 I know a lot of people like the pair of them but I just don’t think either of them are stars. If I had to predict I’d say Joe to win. He’s been killing it in the phone votes week in week out.

21:26 See you tomorrow for the final bit of The Final. I’ll be disappointed whatever happens.

19:30 Howdy X-Factorinos, tonight’s one of the big ones – who will make it into the final? All I know is that if Danyl does and Stacey doesn’t, that’s my week ruined.

Tonight’s celebrity guests? Janet Jackson (allowed in thanks to Michael Jackson week) and Lady Gaga who is bound to be the highlight of tonight’s repetitive clip-fest.

19:33 Does announcer man need. to. do. his. big. dramatic. voice. on. every. single. word?

Also: what a stick-up on Stacey that was last night. The only performer to (undeservingly) receive bad feedback.

19:34 And I don’t care what The X-Factor producers think, nobody cares less about Janet Jacko, it’s all about Gaga. She’ll blow Janet off the stage.

19:36 I don’t think Dermot is actually physically capable of genuine excitement. I think they have to juice him up before they push him out on stage.

19:37 Louis’s the kingmaker now that none of his acts are left. That’s a frightening prospect.

19:38 It’s the group performance. Joe sings Wanna Be Startin’ Something like the guy at the McDonalds’ drive through asking if I want fries.

19:39 The whole performance is god awful. Either Danyl or Olly has been doing the Jacko style whoops. Someone call Quincy Jones, they need a good slap.

19:41 “It’s the story of last night…” aka, we’ve gotta fill this time somehow.

Olly really does have a potato for a head.

Joe’s “I’m a sad puppy performance” really does enrage me. And the judges comments were ultra-tactical. “Joe was literally note perfect…he’s the one to watch,” says Simon. He wants him as the winner, hence the alleged choice of a Miley Cyrus song as the Christmas single, cutesy teen pop for the lil man.

Putting the boot into Stacey was unfair: “Putting her in the silly hat, walking on the silly chairs.” OK, we get it Simon, you don’t want her to win.

19:43 What WAS the polar bear behind Danyl about? A real one, I could have got behind.

Olly’s We Can Work It Out was pasable. How you could he go wrong performing that Stevie Wonder classic…oh no wait…Simon, I think The Beatles wrote that.

19:44 Joe’s second song being praised as if he’d just discovered a cure for Simon’s creeping waistband syndrome.

“It’s becoming the Joe show,” says Simon. Stop wishing out loud.

19:45 Stacey got a little bit of love for her second song. “She was incredible,” says Louis.

19:46 They say, if you can’t say something nice, say nothing at all. So I’m not going to add any more comments about bloody crybaby Danyl.

19:47 Louis slags Stacey’s second song again, actually laughing about it. This is the man who pimped out Jedward.

19:48 After the break, it’s Gaga. I bet she’s dressed as some kind of cyber-devil-dominatrix.

19:53 Here’s Gaga with Bad Romance. Killer tune, totally insane performer – exactly the kind of combination the X-Factor doesn’t usually deliver.

19:54 She’s dressed as some kind of robot vampire bat. It’s immense.

19:55 Oh and did I mention, she and the backing dancers are in a giant bath full of bubbles?

19:56 And she’s just shouted bitch at 5 to 8 on a Sunday night. Is “bitch” an acceptable pre-watershed word. Fucked if I know. Ooops.

19:58 Now for Dermot and Gaga’s awkward conversation.

Dermot: “Where did you get this bath from?”
Lady Gaga: “I stole it from Simon.”

You’ve gotta love Gaga’s new nose. That’s what several million album sales buys you, a new shnozz.

20:05 Lines are now closed. Who’s getting the boot? Please say Olly or Danyl. Thanks.

20:06 Now it’s time for Janet. Hope she avoids any a) wardrobe malfunctions b) bad tributes to her brother.

20:07 Janet’s hopped into a time machine to grab some kind of weird 80s power-jumpsuit and a pair of horrible trainers. Don’t think she’s singing live either, mind. As predicted, compared to Gaga’s mad bathing bat routine, it’s a bit…you know…boring.

20:10 No interview with Dermot. They’re probably worried he’d clumsily refer to her dead brother: “So…um…tough year for you, Janet. Yeah? Yeah? Wasn’t it.”

20:16 OK, we know you’ve all got a dream. But I’ve dreamed about being a journalist turned fire throwing superhero before, that doesn’t mean I should be allowed to do it.

20:18 Olly’s in the final. Oh dear… And of course he’s crying. Can they not just man up a bit?

20:19 Joe’s through. That means it’s down to Danyl and Stacey. If it’s Danyl, I am out of here.

20:20 IT’S STACEY! Bye bye Danyl.

He’s doing his odd smug smile. Is this because he knows he’s got a deal with Simon already.

“I’ve gone out to some of the best people I’ve ever met,” says Danyl. Zoom in on the piece of paper in his back pocket that says “be graceful”.

Danyl will be back with a record deal imminently.

20:26 Olly stop crying. Stacey is just making sounds. Joe is the only one behaving vaguely human.

19:50 Evening X-Factorinos, I’ve been in a non-X-Factor time zone for two weeks but I flew back when I heard it was Michael Jackson week. Expect inappropriate comments from Louis, Joe looking doe-eyed and Simon laying in to Stacey.

This week’s songs:

Danyl (who is getting more insufferable with every week) is opting for Man In The Mirror as his Jacko song and Whitney Houston’s I Have Nothing as his second song (you took the words out of my mouth).

Olly seems to have got over his chest-hair bearing problem and is singing Can You Feel It and Stevie Wonder’s version of We Can Work It Out.

Joe “He’s-From-The-Same-Place-As-Cheryl-Cole-You-Know” McElderry is going for She’s Out Of My Life and Open Arms by Journey (um…OK).

Stacey (who is apparently suffering with infected wisdom teeth) is singing The Way You Make Me Feel and Something from West Side Story.

While TV Throng HQ is putting its full backing behind Stacey, my little birdie at X-Factor HQ tells me Simon’s pushing for Joe to win. Let’s all just agree on one thing – please don’t let it be Danyl.

20:02 One good thing about hitting the semi-finals is that we’ve only got a few more weeks of bloody Brightdancing left.

20:03 “Tonight the competition is on…” says Joe. Oh Joe, what were you doing the rest of the time. All of the contestants quotes in the exciting opening montage are utterly moronic. I suspect someone is showing them cards with words scrawled on them in crayon.

20:04 Reality show maths. 100% is never enough. 150% or you’re just not bloody trying.

20:05 “…fighting for a place in the final.” If they’d do that with brass knuckles…well, imagine the viewing figures.

20:06 “Tonight, we play tribute to the legend, Michael Jackson…” If none of the semi-finalists incorporate dangling a baby out of a window into their dance routine, I will not be impressed.

20:07 Cheryl vs Danni dress watch: Danni in red, Cheryl in black and white looking half-dressed.

20:08 Quick montage to remind us who Michael Jackson was. Looks like it was edited by someone with serious attention issues. The changing skin tone is almost strobing.

20:08 Simon pays tribute to Michael Jackson and sucks up to Janet. Says it’s the worst night to go out but that he’s “pretty confident” he’ll have two people in the final. Cross your fingers Britain, we don’t want Danyl in the final.

20:10 Olly sounds flat. But he’s in the classic “save-the-world” Jacko white. He just doesn’t seem genuine to me. It’s a Saturday night at Butlins performance.

20:13 Louis liked it, Danni liked it (“you were grabbing the package”, dirty!), Cheryl loves him and, of course, Simon thought he was fantastic: “You should have been a bag of nerves…once again you put on a great show, you’ve got the presence of the star.” Not from the this sofa, he doesn’t.

20:15 They better not spend the whole bloody show just being nice about everyone. Olly was bobbins.

20:19 Oh it’s Joe. Isn’t he cute? If he was a puppy in the dog’s home, I’d leave him there. He’d give you the big sweet eyes and then piss on your rug.

20:21 She’s Out Of My Life? You’re out of the tune.

20:23 Joe doesn’t have star quality. He’s honestly got less personality than belly button fluff.

20:26 The judges say he’s brilliant. “You’re the most consistent performer…” says Louis. Danni loves loves loves him. Simon says: “You’re just getting better and better and better. That’s one of the best versions of the song I’ve ever heard.” They’ll be crowning him king of the studio next. He’s anointed the winner already. Another reason to vote for Stacey.

20:27 Good point from Ms TV Throng in Dublin: “Why the blah songs?” She’s right – none of Jacko’s best hits really.

20:28 Time for my weekly moment of sincerity: Stacey has to win. She’s lovely and always performs well. She’s got a personality and a child that it would mean a lot to. If she doesn’t win, it’ll be a travesty.

20:29 Stacey’s gone for a Caberet style outfit. It’s GREAT. She’s tapped into the sexy. You almost forget her usual Dagenham tones.

20:30 Louis puts the boot in: “I thought it was the wrong song.”

But Cheryl disagrees: “Talk about yummy mummy…” Oh Cheryl, don’t be putting images into my head.

And, as predicted, Simon’s putting the boot in. They don’t want Stacey in the final because they want Joe to win. Tactical bitching.

20:38 In preparation for Danyl’s appearance, I’ve had to break out a beer.

20:39 “I’ve had so many ups and downs.” Yes, that’s it, let’s focus on your narrative. Look: I know he’s a good singer but he’s very false. Him vs Stacey? No contest.

20:41 They’ve busted out the gospel choir. It’s a good performance even though I’m highly disturbed by the leather trousers. If he performs that well on his second song, he’s definitely in the final. Damn!

20:43 Louis and Danni confused by Simon’s odd choice of polar bear themed video behind Danyl. Great comments on the vocals from all the judges.

Simon angry that Louis and Danni have commented on the polar bears.

20:44 “I feel like a better person…” Oh, good lord Danyl, give it a rest.

20:46 Recaps. Mr Potato Head…I mean, Olly, can’t help but do the “sexy finger pointing” and Joe’s sad face makes me angry. Danyl was excellent (sadly) and Stacey did look slightly like a dodgy Police Lady strippergram.

20:52 “This one song could change my life…” That’s it, ramp it up Olly.

20:53 Olly’s doing We Can Work It Out but he might as well be singing the phone book. He’s singing the words as if their meaning is just an abstract concept to him.

20:54 And his crazy legs dancing makes him look like he’s wearing badly fitted incontinence pants.

20:56 “I like the fact that you didn’t pick a well known song.” Have you not heard of The Beatles, Louis?

“This song takes me back because it’s a Stevie Wonder song…” Oh come on Simon, he COVERED it.

Good comments across the board although Louis did brand him “like Jay Kay from Jamiroquai” which in my book is like saying he’s like ebola.

20:59 If I made a Geordie Muppet character, he’d look like Joe.

He’s doing another wet ballad. It’s like he’s been neutered.

21:02 Oh, he’s brilliant, fantastic, wonderful says Louis and Danni. Simon does the old bait and switch: “On the biggest night of your life, your mentor gives you a song nobody knows and you know what…she was right!” He’ll be in the final then. Just wait for them to all give Stacey a bit of a boot. Simon invites Joe’s granny on to his shows “any time”. She’s more of a star than her grandson.

21:09 Stacey’s mum does not have it going on or for that matter the funny voice. Her sister does though. She’s mini-Stacey.

21:10 It’s back to the classic approach: big dress, stand still, belt out the song. That’s a safe bet for Stacey.

21:12 Nice comments all round – “the Diva from Dagenham”, says Louis. But they tried to knobble her in the first half. If she’s not in the final, I’m not interested (I know that makes me sound like an RBS banker threatening to resign but hey ho…)

21:19 Even Danyl’s mum is annoying. And I do wish they’d all stop saying: “This is the most important thing for me…” And please stop bloody crying!

21:21 I have to admit his first performance was good but this is just bland. This is the kind of performance you get distracted by when you’re trying to enjoy a pint in a hotel bar.

21:22 Louis’s second “I’d buy that version in the morning” comment. Is he finding it hard to spend his cash? I could chuck him some ideas.

Simon doesn’t think the “criticism” has been fair. Has he not been constantly told he’s great? Do you just want us to worship him as a crying, babyish god?

21:23 Danyl: “We’ve all worked really hard but I feel so lucky…” Activate sincerity protocol. Pour water on him and he’d malfunction.

21:25 Right: one final message – VOTE FOR STACEY, GODDAMN YOU.


19:57 There’s just an ad break between us and the ROCK WEEK (which because it is going to be just so damn loud must be rendered in capital letters). Only Lloyd is wilfully ignoring the theme with a rendition of Katy Perry’s I Kissed A Girl. Let’s hope Danni resists making some bizarre comment about gender-bending this time. If you missed last week you can see the results here and find out why I have a death threat pending from the Michael Buble Appreciation Society.

20:03 Tonight’s celebrity mentor is Bon Jovi which means the energy requirements of the studio will have gone through the roof just to power his hairdryer. Louis’ talking up the twins to win the show but to be fair it’s his only remaining act. The producers and Simon will do whatever they can to make sure the Twins get the boot before it gets really serious – what little credibility the show has rests on it.

20:04 ROCK! will only be represented in its loosest most diluted form tonight. Don’t expect any Led Zeppelin or Clash covers. The Darkness introducing Dermot’s walk down shows the direction it’s going in. Apparently, the song choice doesn’t matter as long as its rendered in a rock style. I want to see someone nearly choking on their own vomit or throwing a TV at Louis Walsh or I will not be pleased.

20:06 Cheryl’s wearing a dress that looks like it’s designed to allow her breasts to broadcast satellite messages to space. It’s insane.

20:07 First up is Joe. He’s a blackhole of tedium. He sucks the joy out of my life with his cheeky chappy routine. Cheryl loves him but it’s because he’s a home town boy. Her judgement really is off with him. You forget him within about two seconds of him leaving the stage. “Joe and ROCK is like mouse and tiger,” says Simon. Spot on.

20:08 Oh he’s singing Journey. That’s as soft as rock gets. It’s so soft you could pipe it into ice cream cones. It’s not the worst fit for his voice but he’s about dynamic as lead piping. He’s doing the old trick of going into the crowd. Yawn.

20:11 That was a passable effort and will be enough to keep him in the show but he’s no Rachel (oh Rachel, when will the world realise your genius). Danni loves his voice and says he’s “a star”. She’s easily won the battle of the dresses this week with a nice little off-the-shoulder number. “The little boy has become a man,” says Louis with a twinkle in his eye. Simon praises his consistency but goes on to call it “stage schooly” and attacks the terrible dancers.

20:12 Cheryl says the weird dancers were “contemporary dance”. Simon helps Cheryl avoid a wardrobe malfunction, the satellite boobs were in motion. Expect that to be the tabloid story tomorrow along with some more bullying/relationship tittle tattle.

20:14 Lucie Jones is next up. She’s my second favourite (and yes her looks are a factor. How shallow am I? Very). Her performance last week was great, regardless of what Simon thought. I think she could pull off rock chick but Guns’n’Roses could be a tricky sell.

20:16 Lucie’s making the mistake with Sweet Child O’Mine of singing it without really paying any attention to the lyrics. It’s just words to belt out. Quite like her posh girl goes grunge outfit though – plaid is back folks [says the man sat wearing a red plaid shirt]. The point of the original was the slightly bratty quality of Axl Rose’s vocals. I like Lucie but she can’t do danger.

20:19 Cheryl loves it, Danni loves it, Louis loves it, Simon loves it. I’m clearly in the wrong aren’t I?

20:26 “I’m happy to introduce the first of my three contestants…” says Simon pointedly kicking the words in Louis’s direction. It’s Danyl. Now we’ve got a nice little dramatic segment about Daniel’s battle with the press. Headlines flash up: The Most Hated X-Factor Contestant Ever. “Someone posted on Twitter that I’m more hated than Hitler.” Oh, if Danyl had a Twitter account we’d have another Fry-style controversy on our hands.

20:29 Danyl’s knocked confidence is obvious. He’s messed up some of the lyrics and started quite shakily. He’s come back a bit near the end of the song but it’s still just not that likeable. I understand why the public hasn’t connected with him – he’s like a mannequin that Simon Cowell knocked up in the pop warehouse where he keeps Robson and Jerome in cold storage.

20:31 Danni was disappointed with it. Louis wants the public to give him a second chance. Cheryl thinks Danyl has let his head drop: “You just don’t do it for me”. That’s the phrase no man wants to hear from Cheryl Cole.

Simon thinks people are being unfair to him and that its the tabloids that are effecting him. “You are still, undoubtedly the best singer in the competition,” he tells Danyl. His whole speech is for the public – vote, vote, vote is the message. I do feel sorry for Danyl because he’s being villified, almost as much as the twins. He needs a break.

20:39 Lloyd Daniels seems like a nice boy but Louis is right, he should be a boy band. He really doesn’t have the presence as a solo artist. “Louis would put anyone in a boy band given a chance!” says Cheryl. Louis does a lot of things with boys when he can get the chance. [STOP RIGHT THERE says the legal ed).

20:40 Oh and Lloyd’s doing Katy Perry’s I Kissed A Girl. That’s just mental. M…e…n…t…a…l. And he sounds like someone is vigorously tugging on his scrotum. Honestly painful.

20:43 Lloyd really belongs as the pretty but stupid one in a boyband with emo band pretensions BUT given his Facebook army, he’ll be safe again.

20:43 Danni felt Lloyd was drowned out. Louis is on his cheating thing again – “oh boo hoo hoo that was a pop song” [that’s not a direct quote]. Simon attacks Louis for banging on about the rules again: “Here are my silly little rules….” Simon attacked Lloyd’s vocals at the start but compliments his song choice and performance. Louis is attacking Simon for creating Robson And Jerome. One word Louis…Westlife! Even Dermot is telling Louis to shut up.

20:46 Stacey Solomon, voice of an angel, demeanor of a  loveable fish wife. “I really don’t know what I’m doing at the moment.” Oh Stace, bit late for that isn’t it?

20:48 Keane? Oh dear. Really? Keane. Oh. I’m afraid that’s all I’ve got. Keane just make me tired and sad with life. Appart from their last album which was camper than Freddie Mercury in arseless chaps.

20:51 Cheryl liked it – more personality next time. Simon: “You walked. I was more impressed with the walking than the singing.” Saucer of milk for table tosspot. Danni loved it (hey, who’s surprised). Louis made some noises and I zoned out a bit. Stacey’s staying in partly for her incredibly loveable chat at the end of her performances.

20:58 Jamie Archer’s next. He’s basically a group isn’t he – him (the frontman) and his backup band (that chuffing big afro).

21:00 You can surround him with strippers all you like Simon, Jamie is still like a strategically shaved Care Bear. His version of Rocks sounds about as dangerous as a paper cut. This is the first performance tonight that genuinely offends me. A good song phoned in by someone who claims to be rock.

21:02 Danni suggests Jamie had planned to do a more contemporary song. Louis says that Jamie’s not a real rocker and brings up Kerrang! and NME. Cheryl is annoyed and suggests that there’s a rock week simply because Simon has a “rock artist”. Simon wants to know if Louis goes into pubs. Louis says he’s always in Dublin’s hostelries. I’ve just asked Ms TV Throng via the medium of the Internet to confirm or disprove this.

And does Louis read NME and Kerrang!? The mind boggles.

21:05 Still to come Jedward. Oh. My. Lord. Also: why have we seen nothing from Bon Jovi today? I thought he was meant to mentoring. Did he have nothing to say?

21:07 Or did he just keep telling everyone that they gave love a bad name or that they were half way there. Um…oh…forget it.

21:11 According to Ms TV Throng, Louis does go in pubs in Dublin, particularly The George (which will mean something to you if you know Dublin’s more flamboyant scenes).

21:12 Rachel’s up next. She’s cracking. Hope she stays out of the bottom two again this week.

21:13 I think she just winked at the camera but I may just have hallucinated that. I don’t really care for U2 or One as a song in particular and I can’t really tell if this is a good performance or a little bit off. Might have to wait for the judges to pass…well…judgement this time. My objectivity is clouded by my Rachel fandom. Her hair and dress look (as my more flaming gay friends might have it) FIERCE. She’s still my pick to win. It’ll be a journey!

21:15 Louis says it was “emotional and soulful”. Thumbs up from the leprechaun. Cheryl says she likes her voice best out of the girls. Louis was pro. Simon says Danni is trying to turn Rachel into her – that’s a bit Hitchcock. Simon also thinks it was “a bit caberet”. Danni just screams the word “amazing” and burbles.

21:18 Here come John and Edward, those terrible little tits. Simon is petrified they’ll win. I think the British public could do that as a joke. Jedward are doing “the ultimate rock move”. Dying at 27? The vomit choking thing? Shooting up on stage?

21:20 They’re doing We Will Rock You…the 5ive version. That’s like being able to put the Mona Lisa on your wall and opting for a reproduction drawn by a toddler. It’s not that bad in terms of performance because they pretty much just have to shout and the ultimate rock move? Seems to be the boys being lifted up by their dancers which is…OK.

21:21 There’s pyro onstage. How come James Hetfield had to be burnt but John and Edward have been spared? God works in irritating ways.

21:22 Pantomine boos from the crowd but you have to say they at least enjoy themselves. And really put the effort in.

21:23 Danni says it was “scary” and says they lost track of the lyrics. “Listen to the song!”

Cheryl liked the performance and the outfits. I think she just wants them for pets.

“Night of the living dead…singing Queen out of tune…probably destroying Queen’s reputation for good.” No, Simon, a little fellow called Ben Elton’s already done that.

Louis on the “they’re entertaining” argument again. Some people think bear baiting is entertaining, it’s still not right.

21:25 To close the show…Ollie. Oh well.

21:31 Oh…Ollie’s doing Come Together by The Beatles. These reality shows should be banned from doing Beatles songs. Those tinny backing tracks are rancid.

And Ollie is just stumbling around the rough outline of the melody. I honestly need this to stop. I think I might be developing some kind of brain disorder simply from having to listen to Ollie trip through this.

21:33 “He’s got oooh-noo sideboard…” It’s “Ono sideboard” you cretin! As in Yoko Ono. Someone should have at least played him the original before he tripped all over a classic.

21:34 And the open shirt thing he just did (bursting it open), made me nearly lose my dinner.

Cheryl liked it. Louis liked it. I’m confused by Ollie’s Hitler hairdo. Danni like it. And Simon was all over it with praise.

21:37 It’s recap time and we’ll (hopefully) be back tomorrow for the results and live performances from Bon Jovi and JLS. Oh joy.

19:30 Why hello there X-factorinos, it’s the second day of our trial by Big Band and tonight we’ll find out just who’s up for the high jump, just what the point of Michael Buble actually is and whether Westlife still do that synchronised standing up off of stools thing they used to love. Predictions for tonight: a Stephen Gately tribute from the Westlife boys, Ollie and Lloyd in the bottom two, more criticism of Simon’s song choices from Louis. See you in thirty minutes.

19:59 Dannii’s angry with Simon and Louis and Cheryl are having one of their faux sparring sessions – well, hey, the tabloids need something to write about.

20:01 “Westlife: the biggest selling band of the decade.” That doesn’t say much for the British record buying public does it?

20:04 The group singing bit is always a bit Butlins isn’t it? Fascination? Abomination more like.

20:06 Here’s the behind-the-scenes bit aka the fictional friction between the judges.

20:08 Seeing the recaps, I stand by last night’s conclusions – Rachel and Miss Frank were the class acts. “She’s back! She’s back!” Dannii is speaking the truth. Though Ms TV Throng and Ms TV Throng’s friend are fed up with her saying that every week.

20:11 Joe has a bit of the Ray thing about him – like a creepy mannequin made to dance and sing. Looks like Lucie was really upset by Simon’s comments. She needn’t worry. She’s not going anywhere.

20:12 Here come Westlife with “What About Now”. It’s five minutes of free advertising on primetime TV. We’re getting a rundown of their hits. It’s like being brutalised by blandness.

20:15 No stools but there are static mic stands, which is close enough. The Westlife droids are all in black and are going for their “sincere hurt” mode. This is as close as Westlife get to rocking.

20:25 Cheryl’s got the fastest selling single of the year. Gotta love her.

20:26 Dermot wants to know why there wasn’t retro music last night. John and Edward did Ricky Martin. How does that fit in?

20:28 Michael Buble. “Everybody wants him but we have him,” says Dermot. Everybody? Who are these mad people? Ms TV Throng’s friend says: “What annoys me so much is that he ruins songs.” What annoys me so much is his face. His stupid smug face.

20:29 Buble’s intro music was more suited to a Bond villain. He’s butchering the song like it’s a pile of offal for sausages.

20:30 Who impressed you most Buble? “Rachel blew me away.” Oh at least he’s picked the right one. Dermot is sucking up to Buble so much he might as well be sponsored by Dyson.

20:31 After the break, the votes are in. 8 acts will return to sing again. 2 will battle it out. 1 will be ritually stoned to death…no sorry…will be voted off.

20:37 It’s time for the result. Here come the verdict!

20:38 Stacey’s staying. Ollie‘s staying – oh ffs. He’s dreadful. Rachel‘s staying – at last the public has wised up. Love her.

20:39 The tension is almost too much for me. I’m breaking out the emergency gin. Joe‘s staying – I don’t get what people see in him. Lucie‘s staying.

20:40 John and Edward are staying. Boos from the audience. It’s all getting a bit cruel towards them. Let’s remember they are just 17.

20:41 Jamie’s staying. “That suprised you didn’t it?” whispers Simon. The final act staying is…Lloyd. Wow. Danyl and Miss Frank are in the bottom two. I want Danyl to go but to be fair neither deserve to be in the final two. It’s not a singing contest as far as the public is concerned. Lloyd and John And Edward are still in there because tweens think they’re cute. They’d probably vote for a Bratz doll.

20:47 Love Don’t Live Here Anymore – Miss Frank singing to stay in the competition. Great rap again. I just like that they do something different.

20:49 Danyl’s on now. Still with the undone bowtie. Good song choice – A Little Help From My Friends. “He deserves to be in this more than that little blond fuck.” – Ms TV Throng’s Friend in forthright mood.

20:50 My heart says Miss Frank but my head says this performance from Danyl is really great. I think the judge’s will save him. It’s a shame they had to choose between two of the best. The public’s voting decisions can be truly baffling. God help us at the general election. Ken Barlow for PM?

20:52 Louis can’t believe either act is in the bottom two. He votes for Danyl.
Simon: “I have never ever been so suprised in my life. If this is your last performance Danyl, I’ve never seen someone go out on such a high. This is a joke.” He votes for Danyl.
Dannii – she’s milking it a bit. “Based on the final performance…I’m sending home Miss Frank.”
Cheryl: “I’m really confused by the public’s decision.” She’s gone with Danyl. And it’s a dead lock. Cowardly!
The act that received the fewest votes is…

Miss Frank. They’re out of the show. Ridiculous.

Here’s their highlights reel.

20:55 What a good journey from them though and in reality TV the journey is king. Expect to see them with a deal and a single imminently.

20:56 “Thank you for the lifeline.” The last word from Miss Frank. Louis says he hopes they stay together as a group. They say they will. Louis must realise he’s in a terrible situation left with John And Edward. He’s not winning the series.

20:57 Next week: JLS and Bon Jovi. They give love a badname.

Thanks for reading folks. Keep it Throng for all your X-Factor news.


19:38 It’s nearly time for Week 3’s first live show and the producers have provided all right thinking people with fully functioning ears with a challenge. That’s right, this week’s musical guests (after Whitney’s warblings last week) are jazz terror Michael Bublé and the shambling zombie boyband corpses of Westlife. Let’s hope the acts make up for that offensively terrible line-up.

19:56 Girlfriend making popcorn. Me taking vailium in preparation for watching Big Band week. Big Band music surely is the worst form of human musical creativity. It pretty much stopped being a valid musical form when Glenn Miller got lost in that fog.

19:58 I’m also slightly confused by the competitors’ song choices. Miss Frank are singing a Frank Sinatra song (the mind boggles) and Lloyd Daniels has opted for Fly Me To The Moon but the rest are singing really modern songs or just totally unrelated tracks. How will they make Rachel’s rendition of Creedence’s Proud Mary or Jamie nuzzling up to U2’s Angel of Harlem fit the theme?

20:02 It’s the recap. And we’re reminded of Simon’s slagging of Cheryl last week. Expect some more artificial drama between them. Simon also reckons this is the week, “you absolutely have to bring it.” As opposed to usually when you can just tit about?

20:03 Cheryl says it was awful losing Ricky and makes it sound like she lost a man in ‘nam. Oh and Louis’s talking tough which is like watching a Lepracaun get gobby.

20:05 I always suspect that Dermot has no functioning genitalia, like an Action Man brought to life by television magic.

20:07 Louis gets a nice welcome back and he’s slagging the other judges already. First up, it’s Ollie. He got a great response last week but the consensus in TV Throng headquarters is he’s a bit like a cream cracker – fine but bland.

20:08 “Ollie’s a good looking boy.” Oh, did you notice Michael Buble? Interesting…

20:09 Ollie’s out with a bowtie and the full smart suit trimmings but no jacket. That’s a fashion faux pas right there. I’m a fan of his dancers but Bewitched is just not a very interesting song. It’d win your local karaoke comp hands down but I’m simply not…bewitched (groan) by Ollie’s performance. And that fake laughter is dreadful. Seems like Simon’s given him the Robson and Jerome handbook.

20:11 Louis says Ollie is the “dark horse” and is “the boy next door”, he’s the dark boy horse next door. Positive comments from Louis and from Danni. Cheryl likes him too. In the battle of the dresses, it’s a dead heat between Cheryl and Danni – both a bit too sequin. Simon makes a hi-larious gag about Ollie’s dancers: “I know what it’s like working with two witches.” Rolling eyes from Cheryl.

20:19 Lloyd Daniels next. Last week’s song choice – Bleeding Love – got an absolute kicking. Cheryl says she won’t make a mistake this time. He’s a sweet boy is Lloyd. Very very Welsh. Almost hilarious Welsh. “Smile man, have a great time with it…” – some seriously technical advice from Buble there. And Simon says: “I hope Cheryl doesn’t give him something obvious like Fly Me To The Moon…” And here’s Lloyd Daniels with…Fly Me To The Moon. Oh dear.

20:21 He’s being beaten by the band. He’s too quiet. “He looks great but he’s not sounding good…” says Ms TV Throng. I can’t help but agree (though I’d rather she didn’t sound so keen on his looks!).

20:22 An unnecessary backflip gets no love from Simon and his singing remains far too weak. His big support in Wales could keep him in but frankly he’s not done brilliantly to strike the Bleeding Love debacle from the record.

20:19 Lloyd Daniels next. Last week’s song choice – Bleeding Love – got an absolute kicking. Cheryl says she won’t make a mistake this time. He’s a sweet boy is Lloyd. Very very Welsh. Almost hilarious Welsh. “Smile man, have a great time with it…” – some seriously technical advice from Buble there. And Simon says: “I hope Cheryl doesn’t give him something obvious like Fly Me To The Moon…” And here’s Lloyd Daniels with…Fly Me To The Moon. Oh dear.

20:21 He’s being beaten by the band. He’s too quiet. “He looks great but he’s not sounding good…” says Ms TV Throng. I can’t help but agree (though I’d rather she didn’t sound so keen on his looks!).

20:22 An unnecessary backflip gets no love from Simon and his singing remains far too weak. His big support in Wales could keep him in but frankly he’s not done brilliantly to strike the Bleeding Love debacle from the record.

20:28 Miss Frank are also doing a Sinatra song. Buble says they’ve updated a classic. So expect it to sound a little different. Bit of rapping to get mixed in there. It’s That’s Life – the song they did at boot camp but they’re going to change it. Hmm…

20:29 Someone’s dressed two of them in prison romper suits. Sack the stylist! However, the performance is great. They’ve got real star quality. Even if the rumours from backstage suggest they fight like drunken cats in a sack.

20:31 The rap was great! And as usual Miss Frank had real personality which is not something you can say for a lot of the field (Danyl, I’m looking at you).

20:33 Great comments from the whole panel. Simon likes the prison baby look but what do you expect from a fella who pulls his trousers up that high?

20:40 Rachel was great last week and I have no idea why she was in the bottom two. Dannii can’t understand either.

20:41 I think Rachel will do well whether she wins or not. She’s also doing Proud Mary by Creedence Clearwater Revival which is a fantastic song. Ms TV Throng’s verdict on Michael Buble: “God, he’s a tit.”

20:42 Dannii keeps referring to Michael Buble as just “Buble”, it makes him sound like a pasta dish.

20:44 Funkiest outfit of the night – a sequin covered magic eye picture cut in a totally mad way. Also: she has great legs. Bit of a Beyonce shake going on. If this performance doesn’t connect with the audience, they’re muppets. Sorry audience but you really are if you prefer Ollie’s meh-inducing performance to this. It’s a firecracker.

20:46 The whole panel asks for the audience to vote for Rachel. “This was not the same person I’ve been seeing for the last two weeks,” says Simon. He says she’s been acting too old and she’s finally having fun. “We’re starting to see the person you really are…you are in with a shot.” Dannii – “That’s how it’s done.”

20:55 Here’s Jamie and his magic afro. Ms TV Throng likes him. I think he’s pretty cool too as much as I don’t want to agree with her. Buble is really not giving out any interesting advice.

20:56 They changed Jamie’s song really late on. Is that a good thing? I bet it ends up being a triumph. “It’s a massive risk for Jamie’s future…” says Louis contorting his little face into a mask of concern.

20:57 Jamie’s on and it’s U2’s Angel Of Harlem. And unlike when Bono sings it, it’s not utterly odious. Just marginally odious. Jamie’s good but I can’t really accept anyone but Susie Quattro wearing leather trousers.

20:59 “That’s not big band,” says Louis. Oh and Creedence Clearwater Revival is? I think that’s Louis controversy moment. Dannii loves it. Dannii loves most things. Oh and Louis’s annoyance, he had one of his acts doing Britney in diva week. If it had been divvy week, that’d have been fine.

21:01 Simon: “Louis’s sitting here like some little bloke from the council with a rulebook…I don’t think he’s got the right to sit here telling us about musical taste knowing about the two horrors who are coming up…” Oh god, I’d forgotten about the children of the damned (John & Edward, genetically bred to drive me insane).

21:03 Stacey’s kid is a total cutey. Buble says sing it to your kid. Oh god, he is so insufferable. And we haven’t even heard him sing yet.

21:04 “I just hope…” Louis always starts his little VT comments with that. He actually means (if it’s not his act), “I just hope they fall flat on their face.”

21:05 Stacey is dressed as the Aldi Marilyn Monroe but it’s pretty cute really. And she’s doing When You Wish Upon A Star justice. Ms TV Throng says: “She’s like a Disney princess…she’s a Cinderella.” I’d have spent a little longer drawing her face but she is pretty endearing. All she needs now is a talking animal sidekick.

21:07 Good comments across the board though Simon says: “You looked better than you sounded tonight.” He thinks she was a bit robotic. She smiles throughout.

21:08 Oh bit revelation time from Dannii this week. Apparently Stacey came to her in tears. That’s manipulating the crowd right there.

21:09 She can’t breathe or move in the dress. “Only a man would criticise her for staying still…” Ms TV Throng is really not pleased with Simon’s comments.

21:13 Here’s Danyl (my least favourite). Because of that alone, I suspect everyone else in the whole world will think he’s the best thing since gold covered gold.

21:14 Feeling Good. It’s the standard “hey-listen-to-my-vocal-tricks” song. And the stylist has decided that he should have the undone bowtie look going. I’m no big fan of the deliberately disheveled look but to be fair, it’s a good performance. However, Ms TV Throng (a fan of Danyl *groan*) thinks he’s “been better”.

21:18 Good comments from the whole panel. Simon doesn’t know why Cheryl hasn’t bigged up Danyl more. Bit of a cat fight between Cheryl and Simon again. That’s purely for the tabloid stories tomorrow. Danyl says he’s glad Louis’s back. Aw shucks…

21:25 It’s Northern boy Joe now. Ms TV Throng is doing her version of his accent which is best described as “Victorian chimney sweep”. Buble has told Joe to be sexy. That’s like telling a doormouse to smoulder. I think it’s really quite unlikely. The choreographer says, if he messes up the dance he’ll look like an idiot.

21:27 Singing Sway, Joe is about as sexy as a Margaret Thatcher centrefold. My least favourite performance of the night.

21:28 And who thought dancers in white polo-necks was a good look. It looks like a group of geography teachers dancing at a wedding reception.

21:29 He’s a nice guy says the panel. But “bloody linen water’s nice” says Ms TV Throng deploying one of her most baffling analogies.

21:30 Simon liked the singing but wasn’t sure the performance was that authentic: “You have about as much latin flair as a dolphin.” Obviously he hasn’t met my friend Senor Dolphino.

21:33 Ms TV Throng on Michael Buble: “He’s SUCH a drip! He’s only got one facial expression.”

21:34 Lucie’s singing My Funny Valentine. And she’s giving it a bit of smoulder. It’s all about hugging the vintage mic and big come to bed eyes. Or maybe I’m just getting a bit flustered. “Looks good, sounds good,” says Ms TV Throng.

21:28 Simon’s criticising Lucie’s performance for lacking something. The rest of the panel doesn’t agree. Dannii’s come straight back at Simon: “I do not appreciate Simon’s comments.” Louis is still banging on about Jamie not singing big band. I think he needs to let that go.

21:45 It’s the group everyone wants to see and hear, says Louis. Really? I want them to be locked into glass cubes, Superman style and blasted into space like super-villains.

21:46 She Bangs by Ricky Martin. John and Edward in horrific suits and with a selection of super-short-skirted dancers. I suspect they wouldn’t be interested in them usually…oh, sorry, I came over a little bit Dannii Minogue there.

21:48 Ms TV Throng’s verdict: “Better than last week.” They move around too much to really sing that well but they are quite fun as performers. If only we didn’t have to listen to them talk.

21:49 Dannii: “I’m torn here. The singing is not of the standard to follow Alexandra Burke winning the show but…it was a great performance.”

Cheryl: John…and…Edward. You are two of the nicest kids I’ve ever met. The boos are pantomime. Your fast becoming my guilty pleasure.”

Simon: “I don’t know if I can do this anymore…let me try and be constructive. If you heard it on the radio, it would probably be one of the worst things you’ve ever heard.” He’s spot on. He gave them credit for dancing but he’s right, they are a twin-headed nightmare.

Louis brings up Zig and Zagg: “These boys are better.” Simon did realise they were puppets when he signed them though Louis.

21:56 Right: get voting and let us know who you like best and more importantly who you think should go in the comments. Ms TV Throng’s favourite is Jamie and she’d like to see Ollie binned because he’s boring. For me, I like Rachel best and would also like Ollie ditched.

Tune in tomorrow to find out who goes and to watch Westlife and the man Dannii calls simply Buble perfoming “live” in studio.

Want to download tonight’s songs or catch up on the “facts”? Try UKTVObsessed’s super-accurate blog over here.

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