Chart Feed – 12.11.12

I left y’all scratching at the post a little last week because I took my ass on a little vacaycay to Brisbane.

Chart Feed

Bitch, you should’ve seen me lounging on the beach in an island that was practically deserted on a Monday arvo. I was having a Mariah moment frolicking in the sand, trying to look cute for my Instagram photos. But hey, I am back now and here comes your chart feed – which might cover some things I didn’t get to touch on last week.

This has been a good week for Robbie Williams who scored his first simulatenous UK #1 album-and-single action in 11 years. Elsewhere, the following chart showboaters can’t complain either: Taylor SwiftCalvin Harris, Little Mix, Of Monsters and Men, The Wanted, and to a certain extent, Christina Aguilera. SAY!

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X Factor UK: 2011 Winner and Best Moments

Little Mix has made UK X Factor history as the first group to ever snatch the crown. Better yet, they are arguably the most exciting pop act to win the competition since Alexandra Burke three years ago.

The four-piece girl band – cheekily dubbed “Pick N Mix” by Twitter pal Greg – was formed on the show after each girl failed to qualify as solo acts in the under 25 females category.

Rookie X Factor judge Tulisa saw potential in Jesy Nelson (age 20), Leigh-Ann Pinnock (age 19), Perrie Edwards (age 18) and Jade Thirlwall (age 18), and decided to pitch them as a feisty new generation girl band that’s part early-Girls Aloud and part Parade in flavour and styling.

After a short run under the moniker Rhythmix, the group redubbed themselves as Little Mix to avoid run-ins with an established UK charity that’s shares the same name. It’s probably for the best anyway, because “Little Mix” is a lot easier for text voters to spell than “Rhythmix”.

Watch Little Mix celebrate their win with an emotional warble of Damien Rice‘s ‘Cannonball’ – their incredibly redundant and beige winner’s single. Shit, if I had known that this was what Syco had up their sleeves, I would’ve petitioned for these girls to cover Kate DeRaugo‘s stunning ‘Maybe Tonight’.

For those who have followed my UK X Factor posts, y’all know I stan hard for these bitches. Little Mix has been on-point from the very first live shows, effortlessly capturing our attention with their infectious energy and solid harmonies.

They were also most consistent in sticking with their artistic angle and brand. Regardless of the shifting weekly themes, these ladies always deliver a pop performance that doesn’t betray their style.

Little Mix‘s consistency was rewarded with consistent voting love so, they’ve thankfully never found themselves pegged as a Power Bottom Two act. Mind you, no act that has ever been in the bottom two had gone on to win the UK X Factor.

Who run the show? Girls.

There’s been an overwhelming amount of girls “puttin’ it down” in this year’s series – probably thanks in no small part to the independent woman energy Kelly Rowland and Tulisa‘s injecting into the game.

Now that the series has wrapped, it’s been revealed that Janet Devlin won the first four live show episodes where the public was allowed to vote. The waify-voiced singer reigned the hardest when she covered Elvis‘ ‘Can’t Help Falling In Love’ (Love & Heartache week), Guns ‘N’ Roses‘ ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ (Rock week), The Police‘s ‘Every Breath You Take’ (Halloween week) and Jackson 5‘s ‘I Want You Back’ (Club Classics week).

Amelia Lily‘s comeback performance in week six earned her the most votes and she did it again in week eight (Guilty Pleasures & Heroes week) with her dual cover of T’Pau‘s ‘China In Your Hand’ and Kelly Clarkson‘s ‘Since U Been Gone’.

Misha B, although incredibly notorious and well-talked about, never won the most votes in any given week. The best she ever managed was coming second in week seven (Movies week) when she had her epic sob story and cover of Whitney‘s ‘I Have Nothing’.

Little Mix might’ve won the competition but the only week where they came out with the most public votes was in week seven (Movies week) when they did En Vogue‘s ‘Don’t Let Go (Love)’, which will forever be known as their series defining moment.

Speaking of series defining moments, check out this year’s finalists (and one very special guest) performing a medley of 2011 dance/pop hits:

And of course, here are Feed Limmy‘s highlights of the 2011 UK X Factor series:

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X Factor UK: Live Shows Week Six

Change is about to go down as we see a new generation of show stoppers emerge from this year’s UK X Factor line up.

Basically, all our frontrunners like Misha B, Janet Devlin and Little Mix need to check themselves before they lose their place to other acts that are finally getting their game on. Gary‘s boys are steady upgrading their game and at this rate, I’m left gripping tighter to my seat every Sunday, hoping against hope that Craig Colton don’t win this damn thing.

During the week, songs of praise could be heard rising to the heaven-seated lap of Jehovah after news broke of Frankie Cocozza quitting the X Factor. While this had Kelendria stunned with her nostrils opened wide, most of us simply let out a sweet sigh of relief because I don’t think I could see another thoroughly capable performer sent home while the faux rocker leapfrogs through.

Frankie‘s loss is another’s gain as show producers quickly leapt to another headline-grabbing stunt. They decided that the public should vote one of the four acts that were sent home in the first week back into the competition. The polls turned out in overwhelming favour for Amelia Lily‘s return, giving her a 48% lead ahead of fellow axed contestants 2 Shoes, James Michael and Jonjo Kerr, who shall forever be referred to as the booger of this series.

Amelia essentially had 48 hours to get her shit together, learn the song, and slot her ass back into the competition. I’m not sure if I agree with the pink-haired teen’s return at the halfway mark. While I believe she can turn out a quality performance, the odds are very much stacked against her. She’s had less time than than everyone else to get used to the competition and develop her artistic angle. She’s also had half the amount of exposure. Although, I might argue that Amelia‘s one week jaunt was more memorable than however many stints Sophie Habibis has had all together.

Can this really work for Amelia Lily? Is this even about giving a fallen contestant a chance? Or is the X Factor starting to turn out more stunts than a desperate reality series?

Check out more thoughts on this week’s Queen vs Lady Gaga themed show, the standout performers, and why public got it wrong with the Power Bottom Two:

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X Factor UK: Live Shows Week Five

Things are looking pretty bleak – as Mariah would say – over at the British X Factor camp. Show producers are doing everything they can to funnel back the ratings and that means more stunts with the format. We’re talking about the threat of a double elimination this week, the employment of two former X Factor stars on this year’s charity single and rumours of making the judges switch categories.

Our final nine tried in vain to step it up this week with a Floor Fillers theme [Editor’s note: That loosely translates to dance hits, right?]. Despite thinking that we got all the consistent performers on lock, I am starting to see cracks in how some of our faves are being managed.

Pulling off a cohesive week-to-week progression in the X Factor requires strategic thinking and an advanced level understanding of consumer patterns to get right. Something the three new judges might not acquire in their maiden voyage on this series. Leave your contestants to show up and do the same thing they’re understandably good at every week and they get branded “boring” or “too safe”. Change it up too much and you risk breaking their brand and alienating the fan base. You can’t win, no.

Kelendria Rowland returns to the roost after last week’s “throat infection” saga, which I’m quite happy for conspiracy theorists to shout out as some high-level publicity stunt. The Floor Fillers theme saw Janet and Misha pull off hit and miss reinventions. Janet seized control and executed an upbeat performance with great flair, while her sassy stablemate Misha lost her identity altogether. We all know Janet and Misha are the two most distinct performers left – why anyone would try to switch them out of their zone, I’ll never know.

Tulisa‘s two remaining acts may not have fronted drastic reinventions this week but they still came out with two different results. Little Mix might’ve just sashayed away with the crown performance of the night but over in the other corner, The Risk misses their mark. I am not even sure who this boyband’s meant to appeal to any more. They’re all capable vocalists but every dated R&B song choice they serve only renders them more irrelevant than the last time. The fellas seem to lack the charisma and youthful appeal that saw X Factor alumni like JLS and One Direction score big.

Louis Walsh is clearly indulging in Madonna‘s back catalogue this week – commissioning for Johnny Robinson to cover ‘Hung Up’ and Kitty Brucknell to do ‘Like A Prayer’. Where the veteran judge’s category came out ablaze last week, this week both Over 25s turned out comparatively dull performances that set them back to week one standards.

Gary Barlow could be doing us all a favour by sabotaging Frankie Cocozza with a Black Eyed Peas song. If the British public’s struggling to see why this lazy rawker is still in the race, Old Gazza Bear sure wasn’t about to win them over with an ill-fitting and overdone song choice like ‘I Got A Feeling’. Meanwhile, Marcus Collins goes to snare the most popular performance of the night and Craig Colton redefines comedy.

Check out this week’s legitimate Floor Fillers and ill-fitters before I dish some realness all up on the Power Bottom Three:

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X Factor UK: Live Shows Week Four

One month into the live shows proceedings and we’ve already got a contestant quitting, a substitute judge called in at the eleventh hour, and a name change to deal with! Mother England’s X Factor never fails to keep the presses jumpin’.

This week’s Halloween-themed show was a nightmare for Kelly Rowland‘s girls who failed to raise the bar without their mentor’s guidance. Sophie Habibis, Janet Devlin and even the usually unflappable Misha B all took to the back burner while the competition’s more mature contenders – Johnny Robinson and Kitty Brucknell – snatched wigs.

Louis Walsh came surprisingly on-point this week with his Over 25s acts. Where last year’s Halloween-episode yielded surprise show stoppers that became a turning point for then-unpopular acts like Cher Lloyd, I feel like the same voodoo has returned to redeem Kitty Brucknell this year.

Gary Barlow isn’t sending any hearts racing with his predictable song assignments this week. Marcus Collins was made to turn out ‘Superstitious’, Craig Collins given another dramatic Adele jam, and Frankie Cocozza stomped about with some punk track, looking like he hadn’t washed all week. Hit ‘skip’.

By now, Tulisa‘s groups category should be no strangers to line-up changes and sudden shuffles but really, at this stage of the game? One of the members of her last standing boy band – The Risk – quit the show because he felt like being part of a pop group was not in his destiny. So in a line up change that went down quicker than you can say “Sugababes 4.0” – it was out with Ashley John-Baptiste and in with Ashford Campbell from Nu Vibe, the boy band that was voted out of the competition two weeks ago. Meanwhile, Rhythmix rebranded themselves as Little Mix to avoid further hassles from a charity organisation already using the name.

Check out this week’s X Factor trick and treats – and which Power Bottom Two act’s vanishing behind the screen:

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X Factor UK: Live Shows Week Three

Cancel my three o’clock and bring me that damn rule book because I think Tulisa, Louis and I gon’ have a talk.

For the second time this year I’ve seen some backstage behavioural issues superfluously dragged into a performance critique and I’m through with it. It don’t matter how critical you think it is to address a contestant’s rudeness or mean attitude, you can always find five minutes or so backstage when you’re waiting for the caterers to wheel in them chicken sandwiches to have a word with them – privately.

This week, the show’s outstanding urban princess Misha B came under fire from Tulisa and Louis Walsh for apparently giving fever to some contestants with her “mean comments”. The girl had just stepped off delivering a show stealing performance and all anybody could hear after it was this shit storm. A similar situation had happened in our Australian series almost three weeks ago when judge Guy Sebastian called out Mitchell Callaway for bullying another contestant.

Basically, I stand by my opinion that the judges’ verdict should just stick to a performance review and steer clear of backstage antics. It is simply not the right time and place to be airing out dirty laundry. If some kind of behavioural issue needs to be highlighted to the public, chuck it in the pre-performance reel. Make a clear distinction between what’s going down off stage and what’s happening on stage – and during the live show verdicts, baby, we’re gonna focus on what’s on stage. Do you think Tulisa and Louis Walsh did the right thing?

Tulisa also copped a side eye this week for apparently misunderstanding the “rock week” brief. The N-Dubz diva seem to think that she could simply pick whatever song she liked for her two groups and as long as she threw in a rock guitar riff into the arrangement, it was rock enough for everyone. The fact that every other contestant in the competition had come on stage to perform rock songs did nothing to clue her in. Tulisa still assigned Gnarls Barkley‘s ‘Crazy’ to The Risk and, astonishingly, some mash-up of Salt N Pepa‘s ‘Push It’ and Ke$ha‘s ‘TiK ToK’ to Rhythmix. After watching both groups own their respective faux rawk performances, doth I feel like I’m protesting too much. I will let it slide.

This week saw some sub-par performers step up and shine in ways they never have before. Nods of approval for our key improvers: Marcus Collins, who completely raised his game this week with an electrifying cover of Lenny Kravitz, and Janet Devlin, who injected some much needed energy into her stage performance – all without betraying her natural, ethereal vibe.

Check out the highlight performances, show stopping drama and this week’s Power Bottom two:

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X Factor UK: Live Shows Week Two

This is the first week the British public gets to decide who they wanna boot and as you’ll find, there’s no forgiving a flatlining stage presence.

With the competition now calibrated to a bearable line up of 12 contestants, this year’s UK X Factor series is finally ready to put their viewers to work. There are glimmers of promising future pop stars in the mix – some with more pronounced readiness than others. However, there’s still one too many snoozers just clocking time, leaving us with a general feeling of ennui as these live show hopefuls bash through songs of “Love and Heartache” this week.

Gary Barlow – resident serious face and all round irresistible DILF – is probably the biggest beige enabler in the series. The man once again puts his boys through a serious and predictable display of vocal showmanship, picking sizable down-tempos for Craig Colton (‘Best Thing I Never Had’), Frankie Cocozza (‘The Scientist’) and Marcus Collins (‘Russian Roulette’). All failing to stand out with any originality or adequately entertain us, to say the least.

Kelly Rowland‘s two alpha females – Misha B and Janet Devlin – once again delivers stand out performances of the night, aided by some stellar classic song choices from their mentor. As the weeks go by I’m sure we’ll start to see these girls go from strength to strength, effortlessly owning whatever is assigned to them. The difference between Misha/Janet and Kelendria‘s oft-forgotten other contestant – Sophie Habibis – is that the former two have the ability to transform any song into their own. I am sure there is a certain charm to Sophie that renders her as a capable entertainer but not when she’s standing amongst the other two.

There is no question that Tulisa is already one of the most dynamic and forward-thinking mentors the X Factor has ever had but this week, her groups have wound up a little hit and miss. Rhythmix shines the brightest with yet another infectious display of youthful girl power and on-point harmonies, while their male equivalent Nu Vibe struggled to convince us of both their readiness as a unit and as performers. It didn’t help Nu Vibe‘s case that their direct competitor The Risk came out charming the panties off every woman in the country with some saccharine Bruno Mars cover.

I often dismiss Louis Walsh as the redundant judge and mentor but I can’t help but feel like he’s outdone himself a little this week. If there’s anyone on that panel that flaunted three spot-on song choices this week – it was him with his tailored assignment of ‘It’s Oh So Quiet’ to dramatic performer Kitty Brucknell, ‘Can’t Get You Out of My Head’ to queen Johnny Robinson, and ‘I Will Always Love You’ to vocal powerhouse Sami Brookes.

Check out this week’s “Love and Heartache” show highlights, bitch please moments and of course, who the public and judges sent packing:

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