X Factor 80s Week : Unacceptable in the 00s

An X Factor 80s week was always bound to be interesting given the fact that none of the contestants except Simon’s ‘Overs’ were actually alive and kicking during the decade in question.

Believe me, I know, the 80s were the best 60 days of my life.

That’s why I was so disappointed that it took three quarters of the night for the 80s to show up. Who’d have thought it’d be up to Stevi Richie to save the day?

Indeed, the cheesy crooner (if you could even call him that) had to swoop in and save the night after a series of morose takes on classic songs that quite frankly almost sent the audience to sleep. Lauren Platt and Fleur East’s offerings were notable exceptions.

To add insult to 80s injury, Only The Young declared themselves above Dexys Midnight Runners’ classic anthem, Come On Eileen, while Jay James’ attempts to put his own spin on the Proclaimers fell utterly flat.

Meanwhile, on the judging panel, Mel B skipped the decade in question entirely and took us back to the Dark Ages with a series of outbursts about what ‘real men’ should and shouldn’t do. You’d be forgiven for thinking the audience was getting a two for one deal: A fishmonger on the stage (Lola gave the now utterly exhausted ‘Imagine’ a decent night out) and a raucous fishwife behind the table.

She wasn’t the only judge that caught the audience’s eye though. Cheryl Fernandez Versini (it’s still a mouthful) had a particularly tough night, all thanks to a little green Lanvin number that the big boss couldn’t resist poking fun at.

The jibe spread like wildfire on Twitter, ensuring that the majority of those watching could forget that the evening’s theme had been abandoned in favour of a search for a suitably slowed down tune that would give this year’s John Lewis Christmas ad a run for its money.

Sure if it hadn’t been for the snaps of the gang back in the day we may as well have thrown the theme out the window before the show even began.

Short changing a synth pop loving audience wouldn’t have been acceptable in the 80s and it sure as hell ain’t acceptable now.

Who nailed it?

  • Lauren Platt’s take on Irene Cara’s What A Feeling was on point but could probably have done with a little more oomph, being honest.
  • A miraculous recovery from a throat infection say Ben Haenow become the first contestant who could actually remember the 80s to take to the stage. There wasn’t a bother on him as he belted out Jealous Guy.
  • Underdog Fleur East brought some much needed bass and bounce to the evening’s proceedings, leading our man Louis to compare her to a young Mel B.
  • The real 80s treat came from Stevi Ritchie though. Rickrolling the viewing public while giving us a trip back in time to the days of Stars In Their Eyes was a solid choice.

Who sailed it?

  • England’s answer to Ryan O’Shaughnessy, Jack Walton, pulled a guitar and a pep talk from One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson out of the bag before giving Paul Abdul’s Straight Up a decent enough go.
  • Adorable Italian Andrea got off to a rocky start leaving me wondering if I was supposed to be listening to Whitey’s One Moment in Time or Sam Smith’s Stay With Me. He pulled it back by the end though and should float on through to next weeks’ show.
  • John Lennon’s Imagine was given its annual outing by Lola Saunders, who did a decent if somewhat forgettable job on it before Paul Akister took on Simply Red in an equally brilliant yet slightly unexciting manner.
  • Chloe Jasmine put an inoffensive spin on Irene Cara’s Fame. Sure, it was a little too vampy but it wasn’t the worst quirky offering the X Factor stage has ever seen.
  • Speaking of quirky offerings, boys and girls band Only The Young did Dexys Midnight Runners with skateboards. They hated the song (the heathens) and it showed in their performance but probably did just about enough to keep themselves and their judge in the running.
  • And finally, Jay James disgusted the internet with a dissected version of 500 Miles. He didn’t do a bad job on the vocals though so, if sanity prevails, he should be back on the stage next weekend.

Who failed it?

  • Several minutes into Stephanie Nala‘s take on Blondie’s Call Me, I felt as though I’d wandered into a rum and coke ad.
  • Stereo Kicks didn’t fare much better, shouting their way through Don Henley’s Boys of Summer. “We’re not One Direction”, the Irish lad pointed out. And he was dead right too.
  • Moving Quickenden-ly on, Jake attempted to prove that he didn’t “want to be the person who just looks good” by giving us a Total Eclipse of The Heart. An eclipse of the ears would have been better.

Oh well, there’s always next year, right?

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