Is Emily Being Munson-ed?
X Factor produced a masterclass in controlling the public vote this week, as we have come to expect from the show now. Freddy was coffin-slotted in trap 1 and informed afterwards by Louis, “The song was too big for you.”
Sympathy for Freddy was shortlived as Louis’s predictable appraisal landed a 10-1 winner for readers who took the advice here and backed this on Ladbrokes ‘buzzword bingo’ market. A winning bet within 10 minutes of the start of the show has to go down as some sort of record.
Emily was tasked with delivering a slowed down version of ’Stop In The Name Of Love’ that was staged funereally, helping to suck the life out of it. Her vocal was rather patchy. She “Emily-ed it”, she has “Emily-isms” the judges were keen to stress. These are ‘under-stated’ and ‘stripped back’, demonstrating who she is as an artist.
The worrying connotation is, who Emily is is someone who sucks the life out of songs. This was a reminder of the hilarious movie ‘Kingpin’ in which being ‘Munson-ed’ relates to the character Roy Munson who loses his hand and any chance of becoming a ten-pin bowling champion. ‘I hope I don’t get Munson-ed’ ends up meaning I hope I don’t end up a perennial loser in life.
Emily will have to go uptempo this week and presumably move around the stage performing her ‘Divas’ song. It is hard to see how this will play out positively for her. The week after we may well get a return to the funereal arrangement and presentation (‘Emily-ing’ it) and the worry for her is, this pigeon-holing could be part of a masterplan to ensure she dies a slow death over the weeks.
He delivered the song with aplomb, leading Nicole to showcase her under-carriage post-song in a way which seemed to want to convey the point Matt is capable of warming the loins of female viewers
Matt was given the chance to shine again with the ideal sort of song for him and ideal time slot as he performed as Strictly viewers switched over. He delivered the song with aplomb, leading Nicole to showcase her under-carriage post-song in a way which seemed to want to convey the point Matt is capable of warming the loins of female viewers.
Relley’s ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’ was very much in her sweet spot as a performer. Despite Motown week playing to her strengths it did feel a little underwhelming and lost on the night, with lots of distracting chat following her performance. She was the last called safe on Sunday night and the view here is she was probably just above the drop zone, along with Gifty.
The arrangement of Sam’s ‘Hello’ played upon her emerging status as a rock/pop chick giving her a clear identity and seemingly lots of good will from the judges about how she can build upon this moving forward.
5 After Midnight seemed sound assisted and the show did a great job of concealing their frail live vocals. They went to town again selling them to viewers, building the live audience into a frenzy. The way they are being promoted, while other acts are slowly having their tyres deflated, it is already looking like a rather dull and uninteresting 2-horse race this year.
Ryan lost his trademark foppish fringe and this felt synonymous with a rather lifelessly staged performance of ’Superstition’. Cowell reinforced this with his negative critique. It was no surprise Ryan finished in the bottom 3, along with Freddy and Saara, before his Scottish core voters helped come to his rescue in Sunday’s flashvote.
You start to get the feeling Emily and Ryan are increasingly aware of how they are pawns in this strange Syco game. Ryan could well go rogue this Saturday promising a performance on his terms. We all know how that usually ends.
There is also a clear policy of being praiseworthy to all the contestants in this series which does a clever job in making a lot of the praise feel cheaply-won. This is probably a response to the show realising Strictly is thrashing it in the ratings on account of its feel-good nature. Syco is still cunningly providing hatchet jobs for contestants but it is more subtle going about it.
Honey G’s performance was all too similar to week 1. While the show is doing its utmost to generate a vote for her, they are going to need to be careful because her rapping her name is already getting repetitive.
Whereas in the past the public could grow to love a novelty act organically, now they are thrust upon the audience forcefully. It is all too desperate and contrived.
The choice of ‘Rockin’ Robin’ may have been an attempt to soften Gifty but again she rather shouted her way through this song and it was far from impressive. This may end up a recurring comment until she actually falls into the bottom 3, but the view here is she must have been very close to falling into the bottom 3.
“They feel you are a little bit cold,” said Louis, in reference to Saara. “They don’t warm to you.” This coldness was cleverly played upon to reinforce the idea Saara is, guess what, a cold performer, from Scandinavia, Finland, somewhere cold.
Sharon said she was ‘speechless, it was absolutely…’ before Dermot conveniently cut her off. Absolutely what, Sharon? Also, is Sharon’s forgetfulness over Saara’s name and origins a way in which she is sticking two fingers up at the prods. for insisting on her putting her through? She was very dismissive in her save of Saara following Sunday’s sing-off and comes across as totally uninvested in her.
Aside from the causal xenophobia of the show doing its best to limit Saara’s vote, she is unaided by pulling unflattering faces as she sings, and her vocal is inconsistent often turning screechy.
There seems to be a regular misconception on X Factor that a ‘big’ voice equates to a great voice – Saara, Anton, Andrea Faustini…. This wasn’t a good performance but Saara can feel extremely hard down by by the show’s treatment.
Four Of Diamonds closed the show but this was a pimp slot in name only
Of course, she is not alone. Week 2 seemed an exercise in putting away all the contestants bar Matt and 5 After Midnight. Four Of Diamonds closed the show but this was a pimp slot in name only.
Both the staging and arrangement were a hindrance. In start contrast to 5am, the girls were given no vocal assistance and had to stand at the top of steps before having to awkwardly move down them mid-song, throwing their vocals off.
The show was clearly intent on ensuring the girlband did not get off to a flyer and viewers were left feeling underwhelmed. Job done. They were name-checked in their VT and given the ‘potential’ tag by the judges post-song but whether they are remotely given the opportunity to realise their potential is open to significant doubt.
Such is the blatant favouritism the show exerts, we are already left wondering who is finishing third this year. Whoever it is, the aim will very likely be for them to reach the final a complete non-threat to Plan A/B.
Keep an eye on the Comments section as hopefully one or two value bets will emerge once we find out this week’s song choices. Further betting advice will follow Saturday night’s show.