The X Factor, ITV1

Did we like it?
We’re no fans of Michael Jackson’s music so seeing 11 karaoke versions of his songs didn’t amount to a Thriller. But not all of it was Bad.

What was good about it?
• The apocalyptic DEADLOCK was back, TV’s most awe inspiring moment. Although it did turn out to be a dead cert, with Ruth surviving and Girl Band banished after being godawful for a second week running. Their attempt at Heal The World was possibly the worst X factor performance ever.
• Cheryl Cole trying so very, very hard to sing well as Girls Aloud performed (cross those fingers now) The Promise I Made.
• Twinkly twink Scott was back on form with She’s Out Of My Life, one of Jacko’s soppiest songs; Austin really gave it some with his slowed-down Billie Jean; The Way You Make Me Feel by JLS provided some real pop amid the ballads; and Rachel rocked with Dirty Diana and we were certainly not put off at all by the topless motorbikers.

What was bad about it?
• Simon Cowell copping out and letting the viewer vote decide on who’d be eliminated. Ruth’s singing-for-survival performance was magnificent so there was no need for any dithering. Maybe Simon didn’t want to upset Louis, fearing retaliation. That’s not what we want to see, though.
• Dannii and Louis getting stupidly over-excited. Dannii reckons Alexandra’s performance “propels this show into international standard”.
• The boo-hoo stories about Alexandra’s throat (she still managed a passable I’ll Be There) and Ruth’s vomiting (but throwing up a half-decent I Just Can’t Stop Loving You).
• Our favourite, Diana, is in danger of becoming yet another homogenised, please-all contestants. Her version of Man In The Mirror was sweet but she was trying too hard and should tone down her performance.
• Eoghan was ultra-forgettable even with safe bet Ben and the “Irish charm” that gets Louis so excited.
• The cliché of the night – “comfort zone”


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