The X Factor, ITV1

Did we like it?
It was Best of British night and we’re left feeling a little ashamed that this shambles was regarded as something to crow about.

What was good about it?
• Phew. Daniel is out after draining any poignancy from Bridge Over Troubled Water in the sing-off against Rachel who bombarded U2’s One with bum notes.
• Leona Lewis’s guest performance was a million times better than Mariah Carey last week. We’ve struggled to summon up respect for Lewis but she’s finally winning us over and her rendition of Snow Patrol’s Run was remarkable, with a restrained beginning and roaring climax.
• Laughing when Rachel thanked Lousy Louis for giving the old “it was a bit Stars in Their Eyes” critique, not realising it was one of his tired putdowns (borrowed from Simon, of course).

What was bad about it?
• Even the good bits were barely average: Alexander’s You Are So Beautiful was unspectacular; Eoghan is far too young to be singing George Michael’s One More Try; and Diana croaked her way through Coldplay’s Yellow.
• The performance by JLS (MS mum mentioned beforehand, of course). Their Beatles medley was probably the biggest X Factor horror of all times, yet three of the judges still heaped praise on the feeble foursome. Only Simon called it right by saying it was embarrassing.
• Daniel shoehorned in a mention of his dead wife during a reunion with his baby daughter (“She’s looking so much like her mum”). Then he sang Snot Unusual [sic] in a performance in which he supposedly pulled out all the stops, yet if it had been happening in our back garden, we’d have pulled the curtains.
• Rachel’s pale imitation of Amy Winehouse and Ruth’s anguished strangling of Angels.
• Cliché alert:”The stakes have never been higher”. “One of the most difficult songs to sing.” “You put your stamp all over that song” “Comfort zone”
• Simon using the controversy over word-slurrer Laura’s elimination to drum up more votes – and more cash in his pocket.
• We noticed that Dermot has his own personal stylist. We also noticed his suited didn’t fit.
• The going home VT segments added needless schmaltz, but at least Eoghan didn’t seem like a scared little mouse for once when he met his Brand New Baby Sister.

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