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Do you watch Twelly?

26 May

Yeah, so Twelly isn’t going to happen, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth talking about.

Sarah Smith and Disney Roller Girl have recently written about tweeting while watching telly, specifically the Royal Wedding. Although I was absent from my laptop on the 29th (too busy preparing Pimms and patriotic Red Velvet cupcakes for a party), I do tweet along for a number of shows.

The habit began in earnest last year with The X-Factor. Suddenly it was all my friends and I could talk about on and offline. We weren’t the only ones. Caitlin Moran, Grace Dent and many many more would tweet about every little detail, whether it be Katie Waissel’s crazy eyes, Rebecca Ferguson’s absence of a personality, Cher Lloyd’s street-cred or Wagner’s…well, anything to do with Wagner.

Since then, I’ve tweeted (twat?) along to a load of programmes. I ‘gleet’ along to Glee on a regular basis and the first episode of Made In Chelsea was only made bearable by joining the conversation online.

However, there has – so far – been one massive exception. I don’t tweet along to The Apprentice. Why? Because I can’t concentrate properly on either thing when I’m watching both. Afraid to miss any witty retorts, I stay glued to Tweetdeck. And then someone mentions something that happened on screen which I didn’t see because I was scrolling through the hashtags and it’s suddenly not worth it.

What about you? Is two-screening really the new thing?

FYI

I’m @HellyStuart on Twitter and you can find some of my fellow telly-tweeters here.

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The X Factor – Week Six

15 Nov

Wow, I thought last week was a shocker. I assumed, like everyone else, that Katie was sure to go this week, so hated is she by the majority of the British population.

We were wrong. And wronged. Instead of nutty Aiden (c’mon, even you diehard fans out there have to admit he looked a little unhinged when singing), we are stuck with Waily Katie. AGAIN.

Still, there were plenty of fun and frolics before all that. It was Elton John night, which meant some adherance to the theme was vaguely certain. Of course Cher had to spice it up by bringing out her rappin’ skillz, but overall it wasn’t too bad. Why wasn’t his best song part of the evening though?!

Oh that’s right, John Lewis paid handsomely to have their new ad in the break:

Good ad though, isn’t it?

There were no real surprises on Saturday: Matt and Rebecca were the good, but ultimately boring; Wagner scared the nation; One Direction ensured a million teenage girls went to bed happy and Louis called Paije the first black man he could think of.

Sunday came around and it was all about the Return of the Boy Band. Man Band. Hair Band. Something like that anyway. JLS were up first and did a convincing impression of stale wedding cake. Westlife were up next and underwhelmed me so much that I can’t even comment on their performance. Finally, it was the turn of TAKE THAT (scream). Despite Robbie’s Thunderbirds-esque jittering, I actually enjoyed it.

Not as good as Patience or Rule the World though, is it?

While all this was going on, Cheryl was sporting two dog poos on her head:

Yes dear, you look lovely.

The result came and, rather surprisingly, heartthrob Aiden was in the bottom two. At this point DEADLOCK seemed inevitable – of course Si would side with his Chezza and Louis wouldn’t be able to make the situation undramatic. The fact that Katie got more votes than Aiden was completely unexpected. Some are calling it a fix, and while I don’t entirely disagree with that theory, I believe it is possible that Aiden was seen as safe and so people didn’t feel the need to vote for him. Let me know if you disagree.

It should be fun watching the Daily Mail get itself into a tiz about it all this week. For those of a saner disposition, you could do worse than look at Stuart Heritage’s article over at the Guardian.

 

The X Factor – Week Five

8 Nov

SHOCK! OUTRAGE! DISGUST!

No, I’m not just talking about the fact Shayne Ward was back on our telly screens like the sub-standard Justin Timberlake he is. I am of course, referring to Katiegate (how many more ‘gates’ can this show have, eh?)

It seems like a right swiz to me that we were told it would go to deadlock, which was then switched to majority vote as soon as Louis said he would save Katie Worzel. If you think I’m wrong, watch it again: Dermot talks vaguely about having to take the majority but there is no music or lights that signal Treyc’s fate is sealed – on the contrary, it takes a good few seconds for the producers to relay the info to Dermot that that means Katie gets to stay.

Admittedly (and correctly predicted by me), neither girl deserved to stay. Treyc started the competition well, but has underwhelmed in recent weeks. As for Katie…do I really need to tell you why she needs to go, like, ten shows ago? This week’s pretentious video show behind her should have sealed her fate, but Simon knows he’s got a press cow on his hands and he’s intent to milk it as far as he can.

Will she last much longer though? Surely the furore that has kicked up about this will ensure she goes next week (unless Chez and Si have anything to do with it). Speaking of Cole, she has been a judge for what, 3 years now? Surely even she has worked out how it works. I wonder as well if Louis would have got away with refusing to vote? It’s all pretty childish and actually angered me. You might be able to tell I get riled easily, and at silly things. Never mind.

Sorry to disappoint if you were in search of my usual critique of all the acts; I just don’t see the point when all this nonsense eclipsed what was, anyway, a poor effort. Rebecca was fab, of course, and Matt was pretty brilliant, but other than that I see nothing to add.

Join me next week to discuss what will hopefully be a more enlivened episode of our favourite (faux) reality TV competition.

The X Factor – Week Four

1 Nov

I take back (nearly) everything I previously said about Cher Lloyd. Her version of Stay on Saturday night left me ‘tweetless’ for the first time in a while. It wasn’t perfect, and it wasn’t as good as the original. But it was very impressive and showcased the talent she has that has been lacking in previous weeks.

At this point I am pretty convinced Rebecca could win it this year. Her rendition of Wicked Game was another stormer and it seems she can do no wrong. True, she has a severe case of the Leonas (stunning voice, no personality whatsoever), but she is outshining most of the other contestants on a regular basis.

Aiden did his usual psychotic thing, Matt sang a woman’s song and Paije underwhelmed. Dannii might not have it as sewn up as she had originally thought. She’s still looking good though and I actually agree with her most out of the judges this year. Either she’s softened as a result of becoming a momma, or I have (not because of childbirth in my case though, I’ll blame my age instead). Looking fierce, girl.

Simon is left with just one act in the show after Belle Amie (rightly) got the boot on Sunday. He’s surely safe for a while with One Direction though. Whose idea was it to make them up as Edward Cullen this week? Boyband + Twilight = £££££££££ from the teeny bopper market. Bravo Cowell, you evil genius.

Thank goodness we’ve had our first DEADLOCK, although I reckon Louis only went there to add a bit of drama to proceedings. Katie should be scared though, our patience wore thin with Christina Aguilera when she did the cutesy-pie vintage schtick, and at least she had the voice to back it up.

Mary was alright, a good opener, but I wasn’t overawed. I tire of watching Wagner’s mid-life crisis – at least Jedward were funny and not desperate. He’s got to be on the chopping block sooner rather than later. Treyc dodged a bullet this week: her song choice was weak, performance was lacklustre, and she’s becoming forgettable. Plus we already have Alexandra Burke. We neither need NOR want another one.

Jamiroquai was an odd choice for the Sunday night show – and clearly displayed his distaste for the show. A bit of a waste of a booking, it seemed to me. Bon Jovi was also clearly wishing they weren’t contractually obliged to appear on a talent show; I don’t blame them, I wouldn’t want to share a stage with most of the contestants and I’m not even one of the world’s biggest bands.

Rihanna, on the other hand, blew me away with her Gagaesque performance. The song is top (I even downloaded it after) but it was the theatrical edge that showed the wannabes what a real pop star looks like.

Please do leave a comment if you agree with my ramblings – or if you think I’m a witch who needs to accept how great Katie is (this seems unlikely).

Matt Edmondson – Web TV God

28 Oct

If you don’t know who Matt Edmondson is yet, you will soon.

For those of you not cool or hip enough (that would usually include me), he’s the cheeky chappy who has interviewed many a ‘sleb or pseudo-‘sleb for gossip site Holy Moly, chattered on Radio 1 and appeared all over your telly screen.

This year he is reaching for the stars with his official vlogs for both The X Factor and The Apprentice.

The F Factor can be found here and provides an irreverent look at the comings and goings chez Chezza and the Gang (catchy, non?). Despite his switch to the big time – last year’s unofficial vlog can be found on YouTube – he still films it in his living room, showing he is still, reassuringly, ‘one of us’.

The Apprentice Fast Forward is here – it’s not hard to take the mickey out of this rabble but it is difficult to do so succinctly, and Matt manages it.

I usually save my sycophancy for Mad Men and Downton, but I wanted to give this man a shout out so you can all benefit from his comic skills.

Enjoy.

The X Factor – Week Three

25 Oct

Were you watching CherylTV this weekend? Not content with TWO X Factor shows, performing her new single on one of said shows,  a repetitive whirl of cosmetic adverts, and Piers Morgan’s Life Stories, the Nation’s Sweetheart (because we’ve all forgotten the toilet attendant thing) also dominated the hairdos of her X contestants.

Rebecca went way out of her comfort zone and sang a sultry number in a husky voice. Oh, but wait, it was “something different” because she looked a little bit like Ariel from The Little Mermaid. Treyc (not a real name) also rocked a red streak and as for Cher…well, the less said about that monstrosity the better. Katie managed to escape Cheryl’s scarlet grasp somehow, but she was duly punished with an awful song choice.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a bit of old school Disney jazz as much as, if not more than, the next person. But X Factor is neither the time nor place. Nor is it a guilty pleasure.

Honestly, why do they even bother with themes any more? In SyCo world, Chaka Khan, Led Zeppelin, Shirley Bassey are guilty pleasures. Never mind Britney – oh, ok Travis:

Matt really made it his own didn’t he?

At least Wagner got to awkwardly shout along to the Spice Girls and Ricky Martin (but just one of the songs would have sufficed, I am not a fan of the lazy mash ups this year).

John definitely deserved to go over Treyc, especially after his horrific rendition of Because Of You. I agree with Simon though that Louis completely mismanaged him and put him in the usual Radio Incontinence box he likes to put most of his acts in. It’s enough to make you miss Jedward.

I found it all a bit dull and predictable this week, and not for the first time. Maybe I’m suffering from X Fatigue or maybe I have other things on my plate this year, but I’m just not loving it. Hopefully once more of the chaff has gone I’ll get properly into it.

Don’t forget to check out Matt Edmondson’s brilliant F Factor here.

The X Factor – Week Two

18 Oct

This week’s theme was Musical Heroes. Who’s yours? Kelly Clarkson? Bruno Mars? Duck Sauce (Ok, I’ll let that one slide because of the brilliant reference to Louis)?!

Why are they even bothering to pretend that they are adhering to the themes? This angered me more than the sadly premature loss of Diva Fever.

Storm, on the other hand, was sure to go. Call it the ‘sing-first-leave-first’ curse or the ‘most-annoying-act-except-for-Katie-oh-and-Cher-because-they’re-Cheryl’s-and-will-stay-in-whatever-happens’ curse – he was the obvious evictee.

Katy Perry and Diana Vickers were the star performers on Sunday’s show. Neither were good – very much a case of style over substance, so I’m sure Dannii was thrilled.

Also keen on the ‘look’ of things rather than anything possibly lying behind it is Cher. I can’t be the only one tiring of her street urchin on acid schtick. Rebecca, on the other hand, is beginning to convince me that there is more than a touch of the downtrodden single ma to her – I loved her version of Feeling Good and thought she looked pretty fierce. You go girl etc.

Matt, Paige and Aiden were all dull as Louis’ new hair colour, so I won’t bother with them.

Tesco Mary (as she will forever be known) was pretty good, as was to be expected. Is it really true about her and Wagner? I’d ask Louis but he wouldn’t know who I was talking about, unless I mispronounced the name too, obviously.

John will leave next week, unless Louis does something incredible and actually picks a good song for him to sing. Everyone else was either rubbish or forgettable. I’m hoping the contestants will get a bit more interesting next week, but I’m not counting on it.

In more exciting news, Matt Edmondson is BACK with the ludicrously funny and new and improved F Factor vlog. Make sure you set aside 10 minutes to watch it here.

X Marks the Spot

11 Oct

Before I start, it is best to insert a disclaimer. I only watched about the first 20 hours of this week’s X Factor – the next 50 were too much for me to bear.

Ok, I’m exaggerating a wee bit, but by gum it was long, wasn’t it?

Thank God they’ve culled two of the acts – next week will be at least half an hour shorter once they cut all the ‘journey’ and/or ‘destiny’ waffle.

Starting at the very end (not a very good place to start):

EPIC LOUIS FAIL. Need I say more? The video at the end of this post pretty much sums up my feelings.

I was surprised Nicolo went. He had the pink vote (although it was split with Wand Erection…oops, One Direction, so they’ll probably get a lot further now) and had the ‘entertainment factor’ (yes, I really just wrote that). Nothing to worry about though, he wasn’t exactly brimming with vocal talent.

Joe’s performance was rather Technicolour Dreamcoat – just in case we missed the gay memo – but nice enough. Poor lamb shouldn’t have been made to follow Usher though – not that it was such a top performance, just that, well…he’s Joe McElderry.

On to Saturday’s show.

I won’t waste your time (and mine) talking about the performances. Let’s just say the majority of them left me lukewarm at best. Even Magic Tesco Mary was a bit underwhelming (she was ill though, so fair enough).

It’s all a bit hysterical this year. More so than usual. The shrieking, the raucous audience, Louis camping it up more than ever. Let’s go down to 6 on the scale, please. I’m surely in the minority though – ‘the people’ love the drama. And the accompanying hullabaloo.

The styling was pretty shocking – undoubtably Katie was the worst in her odd Daft Punk/Gaga mash-up, but Rebecca also lost out  in her matron’s mourning dress. Poor Paije – not every big black youth needs to dress like Sean Kingston.

As for the famed style showdown – I’d call it even. Dannii looked AMAZING on Saturday (and I don’t even particularly like her) but Chez rocked some stunning Vivienne Westwood danglers from her lobes. I wasn’t such a fan of Dannii’s look on Sunday though – I get what she was going for, but, just….no. Cheryl won that one by default alone but her mocha-laced dress was  lovely. Shame about the South Shields ‘do she sported.

I’m hoping now the awkward first show is out of the way, the competition can really begin. Let’s hope next week brings better singing, more inspired song choices (I’m talking to you John Adeleye) and, for the love of Karl, better styling.

As a ‘treat’, for those of you who haven’t already seen it, here’s Katie ‘I’m so vulnerable and kooky’ Waissel, or, Vogel:

Gamu-Gate

9 Oct

Thanks to Papture for this image, which is the funniest thing I’ve seen all week.

Is it not all a bit ridiculous now? I will, of course, be tuning into The X Factor regardless, so check back after the weekend for more telly talk.