Thursday, 21 October 2010

Let's get it started...

Okay, so if you read my x factor blog, I apologise for no update at the weekend, I was pretty much laid up with a horrible bit of tonsillitis, ow, ow, ow. I'll be back on Sunday between shows!

So, it's nearly the end of October now, and half of my deadlines are in November, so expect blog overload! You know what I'm like, in fact, I should be writing a short story right now, for 'peer apprasial' (which translates as public humiliation) tomorrow. It's alright, I started it ages ago, when I was all fresh faced and enthusiastic after a five month summer, I'll just tweak it some in a minute!

I really miss gigging! Seriously, not having twice weekly practices and gigs aplenty is really a big chunk missing from my life at the moment, but, I'm in a band, and we'll be good when we get started properly, if they're not sick of me, I've had complete writers block in terms of the music I'm working with so far! BUT, I'm not the only girl this time, our new bassist is of the fairer sex also, which is brilliant!

I really want to start an acoustic thing up, and I have a couple of people I need to talk to about that, I've got loads of lyrics that I have set up properly in my mind, I just can't play much apart from the violin, and it's pretty difficult to sing with one of those bouncing off your chin!

I'll write again soon, this is just a quick one, so you know I'm still here!

Saturday, 9 October 2010

X FACTOR: The Good, Bad, and What Exactly Is THAT?

Hey, I'm Heather, and if you know me, you know I'm an X Factor addict. As in rehab worthy. If you don't know me, hey! I'm Heather, and I'm an X Factor addict!

And now, I'm also a blogger, so the two shall meet!

I felt a bit pathetic in work today, with the amount of excitement I seemed to be harbouring about the first live show, but it honestly is the most excited I've ever been over a TV show before, last year I didn't really have a solid favourite as such, and this year I do (woop!) Which makes all the difference to me, I love being able to get into the show that much more, and although I was rooting for Joe last year, there wasn't really any of that.

So, to business!

The opening of the shows was dedicated to the new 'Wild Card' contestants, Paije, TreyC, Diva Fever and Wagner, showing the judges going to their houses in a (not at all staged) surprise reveal! Alright, maybe I'm being a cynic, but they must have had an inkling. At least Simon didn't pick Princes and Rogues. It would have been difficult getting them all in one place at such a specific time without anyone clicking.

So, the first performance of the night was by FYD.

Up until this point in the competition, I've quite liked these guys. I wouldn't call myself a fan, but I do like them, I like their dancing. Tonight, their dancing was the best part of their performance. The harmonies, weren't brilliant, and one of the guys seemed to struggle keeping strength in his voice. I'm not sure what his name was, but he was the second one to sing, with the mohawk. Maybe it was nerves? I thought the high harmony sounded a bit dodgy as well. I liked the performance though, I liked the choreography, and if they stay in, I hope they do more of that. I agree with Cheryl (for once)! I'd like to hear more of the others' voices too.

My verdict: 6/10
Safe/Danger: In danger. The combo of being first on and the shakiness doesn't get them off to the best start.

Next on was my favourite, Matt Cardle, I promise not to be biased!

I was worried at first, partly because I was expecting him to do a stripped down version of the song, not the full on Summer anthem, and also, because he sounded a bit shaky, and I was willing his voice not to crack (which I needn't have, it's never done it before, and he's got an amazing upper range), but as the song went on, it became obvious that he had a handle on it. The ending, after the 'Tonight, tonight, tonight' bit made me beam, and that's always a good sign, because I'm usually overly nervous for my favourites. I didn't even notice the hat, which may mean I now subconsciously view it as part of Matt himself? I think he should probably lose it though, or it might become his version of Diana's claw.

My verdict: 7.5/10
Safe/Danger: Hopefully safe. Good performance, good amount of airtime, and fanbase indicates yes, and I hope nobody forgets about him because of his place in the running order. YOUTUBE is your friend people!

Next up, Louis with John Adeleye, who for some reason, wasn't shown much at all until the Judge's Houses stage.

I quite liked John at that stage, he seemed fun, and happy, and quirky, and Gnarls Barkley-ey, but hey, I present you with Louis Walsh. The man doesn't do funky contemporary cool, in fact, Louis Walsh does not do cool. Louis Walsh, as much as I love him, has two modes. Westlife and Jedward. That is all. So here we have John, suited and booted singing a 90's ballad. Brilliant. There's him out of the running then.
The guy can sing! He's cool! He's funky! WHY give him THAT song? When JLS did it, they were already in the running, and it was Mariah week. It's 2010. What he was doing was great, current, and Boys II Men/Mariah, just aren't. Louis Walsh, you have crossed me.

My verict: 6/10, :(
Safe/Danger: In danger. Bad song choice, cliche, and third on. Tomorrow it may be bye bye John. Majorly screwed over.

Now the girls, and my other favourite going into the live shows, my fellow Liverpudlian, Rebecca.

I love how raw and soulful her voice is, and you wouldn't expect that to come out of somebody from Anfield, at least I know I wouldn't. Rebecca's amazing. I love her whole image, the classiness, and I love how unassuming she is of her own talent. A voice like hers is so rare. Tonight she sang 'Teardrops', and I think it was the first upbeat song she's done, and way to prove she can! She completely nailed it, and showed everyone that she's not just a sob story, and that she can have fun with a song. Also, she kind of has the same demeanor Leona had. One of my favourites of the night.

My verdict: 8/10
Safe/Danger: She HAS to be safe.

Next, it was back to the boys...oh wait, no it wasn't, does anybody know why they did that? Next, it was back to the overs, with Storm Lee.

I love this man. He has an amazing voice, that goes without saying, and the performance, he really got everyone going, but he could do that even more, really get the audience involved. I love how flamboyant he is, and the dancers, and his style, I do, however, realise he's an acquired taste. He's basically born to do this, and he did it brilliantly in my eyes, but I don't think he has wide appeal. Cheryl said he 'didn't need it', meaning the image and the performance, because he has the voice, but who wants to see him singing Bon Jovi ballads every week? Not me, for one.

My verdict: 7.5/10
Safe/Danger: Safe. Has to be. Made enough of an impact, and has an amazing voice.

The first of the groups was Simon's DIY girlband Belle Amie, who I really wanted to like.

Girlbands never do well on this show, and hey, I like girlbands! Every year I wish and wish they'll find a brilliant, different, good girlband, and year after year, they have potential but nobody votes. Belle Amie sang 'Airplanes' by Haley Williams and BOB, one of the biggest songs of the summer, and ehhhhh...the vocals weren't good. The chemistry wasn't too good. In general, not good. They hadn't really gelled as a group, which is understandable, they haven't known each other too long, and they were thrown together. Maybe some of them have never sung harmonies before, who knows? I bet Husstle were screaming at their TV's.
Part of me wants to see them stay and get better, and show me what they can be, but for me, they were kind of the weakest link tonight.

My verdict: 5/10
Safe/Danger: In danger. There's no girlband vote, and the vocals weren't the best. Would be surprised if they stayed.

Next is Cheryl's pet, Cher Lloyd.'m confused with Cher. I actually don't know whether I like her or not. She killed Viva La Vida (in a bad way) at bootcamp, yet I found myself weirdly drawn to watching it online afterwards quite a bit! She seems determined, and as if she might be quite sweet, but the faces she pulls scare me, she reminds me of someone who used to annoy me (same scary faces when performing), and sometimes she gives off a cocky vibe, oh, and THOSE EYELASHES! Horrendous. Alright, on stage fine, but she's a gorgeous looking seventeen year old girl, and doesn't need it all, at all. HA. You wouldn't think I was only twenty from that comment right? I sound like my mother...

So Cher sang 'Just Be Good To Me' and at the sound of the first note, I thought, 'oh no.' But it got better as the song went on, she can dance, and she's not afraid to, which is pretty beneficial. She's confident on stage, and it seems as though she's already there, from her stage presence. I didn't really think much of the vocals. The song seemed to be low down in her range, and she has more power at the top, which she should use. I did, however, really like the rap, which surprised me. It was just effortless for her, and didn't sound stupid. I did, however, think the judges overpraised her, but with all the press she's been getting this week, maybe it was what she needed, nobody wants to see a seventeen year old girl break on TV.

My verdict: 6.5/10
Safe/Danger: Safe. She has too much of a media following not to be, and she's not afraid to be different.

Diva Fever...

So they sang 'Sunny.' I liked it. I would. My Dad hated it. He would.

I love that Simon's put these guys back in, they give the show 'the fun factor' as Louis would say. In fact, I bet Louis' gutted he doesn't have them in his group. I love how they played up the campness, it wasn't the best vocal performance, in fact, I'm pretty sure only one of them sang, apart from a few harmonies, but the performance, and the costumes made up for it. I really hope they stay.

My verdict: 6/10
Safe/danger: Safe. There're so many acts, and they were fun.

So at the halfway point, both of my favourites have performed already, which is a bummer, but, the show must go on, and I must remember that I'm not the only person in the country.

Next up is Paije. I loved his first audition, but he wasn't one of my picks for Dannii's category at Judge's Houses, purely because I loved Nicolo and Aiden a teeny bit more. It was a close one, he is brilliant. And this is why they should just pick the best twelve finalists, and then split them into mentor groups.

So Paije sang Killing Me Softly, a song I love, but which since the age of twelve has reminded me of the film 'About A Boy' and killing ducks with loaves of bread.

This was one of my favourites of the night, definitely. Paije just screams 'Old Skool' and I love it. He has a really soulful voice, and I was a little bit gutted when Mary sang 'A Man's World', because it was Paije's audition song. Apart from the blinding jacket, there was nothing really fault worthy here. His voice was brilliant, and I loved the way he walked off into the audience, and had them all up. He didn't come one with a 'fourth pick' attitude. He worked it.

My verdict: 8/10
Safe/Danger: Safe, definitely. Voice, presence, and he's really likeable.

Now, Katie Waissel.

Firstly, I wasn't impressed that she sang a song from her auditions, everyone else managed to sing a new one, so so should she. This is basically how my mind processed Katie's audition.

Oh, I don't think she'll do too good
Quite a weak voice
Does she only know one song?
What is she wearing?
Makes her look desperate and attention seeking
Looks quite cool though
At least she's really trying
Ooh, she's playing the keyboard, cool :)
What are those men doing?
Hey, her vocals are quite good
Where are the drums :(
Ah, there they are
Pleasantly surprised
What exactly is that on her head?
If someone told me to guess which two contestants were friends, I'd immediately go for Katie and Storm

My verdict: 7/10
Safe/Danger: In danger. I fear the press, and the weirdness of that performance may go against her

Next up is Mary 'Tesco' Byrne, I like her. She seems nice.

A good, solid performance from Mary, looks like a woman I work with. Maybe every shop has a Mary Byrne?
She's got such a powerful voice, and she puts everything she has into every performance, although this one didn't move me, like her others have. When she started the song I was a little scandalised that she was singing Paije's song, but the performance was pretty brilliant, and I would have teared up at the end when she started crying, but my Dad would have disowned me.
I really can't fault this one, apart from the fact that I don't see how she'd fit into the charts. She should go for the West End, and I really don't mean that as a negative, they have to have AMAZING voices, probably moreso than recording artists. I LOVE musicals.

My verdict: 8/10
Safe/Danger: Safe, safe, safe.

Now, Nicolo!

Just Dance, by Gaga. Hmm...his vocals were rough in parts, and his hair!
I like Nicolo though, and I kind of like the performance, he was trying to be the Diva that he's been cast at, it's just, I'm not too sure that that's who he really is. The performance wasn't bad, but it wasn't too good either. I like Nicolo, so I hope people vote for him.

My verdict: 6/10
Safe/Danger: Danger :(

One Direction are next, the guys who make me feel old!

Viva La Vida eh? I was half expecting one or two of them to do a Cher-esque JERUSALEM! BELLS ARE RING-A-DINGING! While the rest sang the normal chorus, but there were just a few overly loud ahhhh, ahhh's.

They were brilliant though, they look really good together, and they sound good too. The blonde one's really happy, and I've developed a soft spot for Zain? He seems to be one of those people that nonchalantly go round messing everything up, bless him. He won't dance, he messed up in rehearsal, maybe one week he'll fall of the stage (not in a serious way), which will make for good viewing.

Seriously though, for a group that haven't been together all that long, they were brilliant, I definitely prefered this to Cher's rendition, and maybe, just maybe, they could win this thing.

My verdict: 7.5/10
Safe/Danger: Safe, without question. They're good, AND have the teenie vote. (But they make me a bit sad that I'm no longer in that category).

So, there was Nicolo, then normality, and THEN.....

Watching this, I had that moment, of What the HELL am I watching? What IS this?
Seriously, I still don't know. I think my jaw was on the floor for the entire performance, but I think...I THINK I liked it. Although Louis, you know you can't just recycle Jedward songs all series!
It was so odd! The bongos! The change from She Bangs to Love Shack! What?
I think Louis may be trying to play him as a Jedward/Chico combo.
Will it work?
Who knows, I don't. I don't know anything anymore, that blew my mind. It'll take days to recover from this.

My verdict: 7/10 (weirdly)
Safe/Danger: No idea. No idea at all.

The final guy is Aiden, who I really like, and who kind of looks like Aaron from Emmerdale.

So, Aiden sang Mad World, like Adam Lambert, off American Idol, I don't know if he was aware of how difficult a position that put him in, after Simon Cowell's reaction to Lambert's version, but it didn't matter, because he loved it anyway.

I thought it was good, but intense. You could see him shaking, and he had a weird look on his face. No idea if he was told to do that, or if he was really nervous, but it really had a almost mad feel to it, and the white polo neck didn't help.
I like his voice though, and I did really like the performance, I just wasn't expecting it to creep me out like that!

My verdict: 7.5/10
Safe/Danger: Safe. He's an 18 year old guy, on at the end, and he's good!

Finally, was Cheryl's wildcard TreyC, who frankly, should have been put through instantly at Judge's Houses, along with (IMO) Rebecca and (Gasp!) Gamu.

She shouldn't have kept saying how grateful she was to Cheryl for putting her through AS A WILDCARD, she should have berated her for making her miss out in the first place. It shocked me in her video when she said Katie and Cher weren't very welcoming. I didn't think she would've been allowed to say that...

Her vocal was faultless, her voice is amazing. And I loved her songchoice. I really hope she goes far, she deserves it, it was one of the performances of the night for me. I loved her 'I'm here' attitude too.

Go TreyC!

My verdict: 8/10
Safe/Danger: Safe. Last place, memorable vocal. TreyC Cohen. Silly Cheryl.

Best of the night: Rebecca, TreyC, Paije
Worst of the night: Belle Amie, FYD, John Adeleye

Friday, 1 October 2010

Happy October!

Ooooh, I love the autumn, I think it's probably my favourite season. Jumpers and hats and scarves, and fires, I LOVE IT. And, yesterday, I finally had a bit of money, *enter shopping trip*, which was exactly what I needed! Nine whole hours of shopping, with Jess, Andri and Abbie. I was in my element. And now, I think I have just about enough stuff to see me through till December, when I can get more chunky knits and hats.

I love hats. Did you know?

I bought some fab boots as well, but they're a size five, AKA too big, which is something I've never done before, I've gone too small, but never too big, but I figured I'd just wear slipper socks with them, because neither New Look store had them in threes or fours.

These are them.

So worth it. And, it was twenty percent off, with my student discount.

Which brings me nicely onto my next point.

I spent £42.50 on a poetry book today. £42.50.

I don't even like poetry! My soul shrinks a little everytime we get assigned one to read. I know, I chose literature, and duh, obviously there'd be poetry, but I didn't know there'd be so flippin much, or that I'd have no choice in writing fiction or poetry, and would have to do both! I can't write poetry, I don't like writing poetry, and I think it brings out the pretentiousness in a lot of people, and I don't want to be like that! In all fairness, I don't have to write any until January, I just have to carry a book that probably weighs more than Jessica around with me for twelve weeks, whilst trying really hard not to mess it up because I intend to sell it at the end of the year. Oh well.

Since it's been a while since I wrote last, I get to break the news right now that Dear Chicago are no more. :(

I think it had been coming for a while, it was pretty obvious by the end that certain people weren't happy with how things were being done. In fact, we were all pretty tired. I'm not one to bitch, so I'm not gonna say much. But I'm not too ecstatic with the way things happened, and don't actually think it was too fair on me at all, especially now that a little bit of the truth has come out. But Liam and I have started up a new band, with two new guys, Callum and Nick, which will take some time, but it'll be worth it, to not feel guilty for being a girl...
Sean's started up a metal band as well, with some people from his college, and DC's bassist Chris, and I hope they do well, because Sean's so hard working, and he really deserves it.

So, it's Autumn, pretty much a time of change, and hopefully things are going to start taking shape. I'm applying for teaching courses, so hopefully I get on one of those, and maybe this time in two years, I'll be qualified. I'm pretty nervous about going into Winter though, I definitely don't want to repeat last year, when I was pretty much a nervous wreck for about three months. I REALLY don't want that, it was absolutely horrible, but I don't see why history should repeat itself after a positive nine months. Plus, I know how blessed I am, compared to a lot of people at the moment, and it'd be utterly selfish to work myself up into a state when there's people around me going through some really tough times.

So, on that upbeat note (:P)
I'm going to bed. Work then party time tomorrow!
Nanight! xx