Tuesday 21 November 2017

Jaded Simon dishes out sugar instead of his old spice

We tune in to hear 'The X Factor' judge say what we're all thinking, not to hear him being nice, writes Andrea Byrne

Is Simon Cowell bored by his own TV show? Honestly, what's with all the sugar-coated comments?

We're very fond of Cheryl, Danni and Louis, but we don't give a fiddler's what they have to say. Simon, on the other hand, invariably voices our feelings about contestants, albeit with a bit more wit, barb and gusto.

However, in the first live show, stony-faced Cher Lloyd grunted and gurgled her way through her performance, yet Simon gushed, "any doubts anyone had about why Cheryl picked you a couple of weeks ago have just been blown away".

After Katie Waissel's massacre of Queen's We Are The Champions, Simon told her: "I like that you are being original". Wearing headgear that resembles the kind of things vets put on dogs when they've been neutered, does not make you "original".

Also, we all remember how Simon vehemently abhorred Jedward, and yet this year, he chose Diva Fever -- a neon-cycling-shorts-clad duo who can't sing or dance and are so camp they make Jedward look like the Mitchell Brothers -- as his wild card.

But while Simon appears to be jaded by the show, we're certainly not. This The X Factor series drew in 12.6 million viewers on its first episode, up more than a million on figures from 2009. Meanwhile, nearly 13.5 million people watched the first live show.

Last week, Nicolo Festa was the first to be booted out, followed by boyband FYD, who lost out to Katie 'Weasel' in the sing-off. FYD weren't in the bottom three because they were the worst act. They opened the show, which is always a disadvantage, because, with so many acts performing, you tend to forget about the earlier ones.

Rumour has it, Katie actually got fewer votes than FYD, but the judges chose to save her. She's an objectionable figure, with offensive hair, which you'd excuse if she actually had a good voice. But she doesn't. So why would the judges save her over an ostensibly more talented act?

Katie divides opinion and garners more column inches, and as we all know, The X Factor loves egos, eccentrics and unreasonable decisions.

Anyway, Katie has now threatened to quit. Obviously, she had no intention of actually doing so; she just wants us to feel sorry for her.

And as she tells us how the bullying is getting too much for her to handle, a tear-jerking ballad will boom in the background. Please don't fall for it! We Irish now hold some power, presuming of course, there's not another cock-up with the voting lines.

Since Gamu-gate, Cheryl Cole's title as Britain's sweetheart has been under threat. Her obvious favouritism towards the much over-rated Cher hasn't helped her cause. However, last week, in an interview with Piers Morgan, she sobbed about her recent health scare when she contracted malaria ("I thought I was going to die, I actually thought I was going to die") and spoke, for the first time, about the breakdown of her marriage to soccer star Ashley Cole ("Part of me will always love him. When I just look back at it now I just feel numb. We used to be so close but I was heartbroken."). She'll be back in our hearts in no time at all.

Piers Morgan's interview with Cheryl will be screened on Saturday.

Although Ashley is no longer a fixture in Cheryl's life, she seems to have reverted to the Wag look -- ratty hair extensions, too-orange skin and too-short dresses. Suffice to say, new mum Danni Minogue is thrashing her in the style stakes.

Speaking of style, whoever is working as head stylist on The X Factor, and I believe it's the same woman who was a judge on Britain's Next Top Model, deserves to be sacked. Every contestant looks awful. It's actually distracting from their performances. Although maybe that's the idea, well certainly in Katie and Cher's cases, anyway.

Mary Byrne was brilliant last week. What a voice! She deserved the standing ovation. Last night's performance of Dusty Springfield's You Don't Have to Say You Love Me was a cracker, but I stand by my previous comments that she won't make it as a popstar. Just wait until disco week and you'll see what I mean!

The X Factor is broadcast tonight at 7.45pm on TV3 and ITV.

Sunday Independent

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