Sunday, October 16, 2011

X Factor Live Shows Week 2 Review

First up is Nu Vibe, with a performance of U2's With or Without You. Once again they're bloody awful. Tulisa attempts to convince us and herself that the performance was somehow "decent", but Louis and Gary have got it spot on, No Vibe is absolutely right. 2/10. Which is generous to say the least.

Onto Sami Brookes, with Dolly Parton's I Will Always Love You. After her decent performance last week, it's back to shockingly bad again. Better than No Vibe though. Slightly. 3/10.

Craig now, with Beyonce's Best Thing I Never Had. Unfortunately it's nowhere near as good as last week's performance. Best so far, but SO disappointing. 4/10.

Oh, God, it's the 6 year old Janet Devlin again. Straight away she's offending my ears with her awful tunelessness. It's Elvis Presley's Can't Help Falling In Love. All of a sudden, Nu Vibe are safe again by a long chalk. Godawful. 0/10.

As hard as it can be to follow up with something worse, here's Frankie. We actually listened to a couple of words before realising it was SO awful, especially with a song that means so much to my better half, that we basically had to skip over it. -100/10.

Jonny now. I'm amazed. I actually enjoyed that. And I don't even like the song, which is Kylie's Can't Get You Out Of My Head. So far, he's quite possibly the best act I've seen. I really can't believe I'm saying that, because I've never taken Jonny seriously, comparing him to last year's Wagner. But I did NOT see that coming. Good work Jonny, 6/10.

Marcus now, with Rihanna's Russian Roulette. This has actually got to be the worst X Factor ever. This is terrible. 4/10.

Rhythmix up next, and once again my ears are offended. Which idiot was it that suggested this might be the best girl group ever on X Factor? Worst, maybe... Louis sums it up when he describes them as "fun". Didn't he describe Wagner as fun last year? 0/10.

Misha B, reminding me of Grace Jones comes out, with Charles and Eddie's Would I Lie to You. It's not amazing, but so far... she's up there with Jonny. 6/10.

Whilst I'm seriously thinking of ditching X Factor altogether now, here's The Risk with Bruno Mars' Just The Way You Are. It starts off very badly, but as soon as we hit the chorus, it's actually REALLY good. I enjoyed that a lot. If it wasn't for the start, I'd have give them the highest mark so far. But they'll have to settle for another 6/10.

Sophie on stage now, with The Calling's Wherever You Will Go. The first Chorus is good, but everything else is pure tuneless. 2/10.

Kitty to finish, with Bjork's It's Oh So Quiet. Well, based on singing ability, she was far from the worst, but she wasn't anywhere near the best either. 4/10.

To sum up quickly, then... X Factor is in BIG trouble. A true lack of quality, throughout, no-one really blowing me away, but Frankie and Janet have GOT to be in the bottom 2. And either of them can go, I really don't care.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

X Factor Week 1 Eliminations Review

Deary deary me. Never in the history of X Factor has the gulf in talent been so wide. Never have I been so confused as to why judges make their decisions. Let's get down to business.

First off, Craig Colton.
Let's face it, he stole the show. As the out-and-out best contestant this year by such a long margin, it is inevitable that he will somehow finish 2nd, like G4, Rhydian and JLS.

Before we move onto the doom and gloom, let's quickly talk about Sami Brookes.
OK, I was harsh on her. Her audition was crap, can't even remember her at Boot Camp, and she was crap at the Judges houses... but on the live final she shot ahead of all before her in my opinion with what was, quite honestly, a good all-round performance. It didn't rock my world or anything, but she clearly took the lead until Craig came along. So I will admit I may have been slightly wrong, and say a big well done to her.

Moving swiftly along, it all goes downhill from here. "Misha B", as she is now apparently known, gave an ok performance let down badly by resorting to rapping. Please, everyone, learn from this, rapping does not go well and detracts from a decent vocal.

Now for the worst 3 acts of the night... all of whom managed to stay in thanks to the lack of public vote.

In 3rd... it's Janet Devlin.
 Now, I'll be honest: She's got a decent voice... for a 6 year old. As far as X Factor goes, she's well below par. I'm not understanding the fuss behind her one bit.

In 2nd Worst place, it's Kitty Brucknell.
After I'd actually praised her following her performance at Judge's Houses, she decides to tackle not only a Queen song, but my PERSONAL FAVOURITE SONG OF ALL TIME. If it wasn't for the fact that there was one person even more hideously bad then her I'd be wishing her an instant disqualification on the grounds of being an insult to the show. But the fact remains, she stayed in, along with Johnny, ahead of Jonjo??? Now that's just wrong. Even worse was her reaction when Jonjo was dismissed, the double fist-pump of victory. When she gets voted off, I'm sure she'll receive the same gesture a million times over from the population of the nation.

And finally, this week's mouldy cabbage, possibly the single worst vocalist to ever disgrace the stage of X Factor (Yes, worse than Jedward, and by a long chalk)... it's Frankie Corcozza.

Aside from looking kind of like Noel Fielding, he sings worse than a parrot with a sore throat screaming while trapped in a food blender. I mean really, can anyone be that bad without actually trying really hard to be so bad? And yet in he stays. I hope it's not all down to the fact that he's supposedly a "stud", because I sincerely believe the girls names apparently tattooed on his behind are probably either made up, or what he calls his right hand on various days of the week.

Despite all this, one thing is very clear... the groups are screwed and stand no chance whatsoever.


Sunday, October 09, 2011

X Factor Week 1 Performances Review

So how did last night's X Factor go? Here's the tale of the evening.

Amelia Lily
Michael Jackson's Billy Jean (Heavy Rock version)
Not a great start to the X Factor. She looks awful, and sounds not much better. As usual,

The judges make out it was an amazing start to the show. My reaction... Meh. 4/10.

Jonny Robinson
Cher's Believe
We're waiting for a judge to put their hand up as they would in the original auditions to stop it. It's THAT bad. Sorry, Jonny, think you're a great guy, but that just reminded me of either Pinky & Perky or Alvin and the Chipmunks. Capable of better, but doesn't stand a chance of winning. Surely? 3/10.

Don't know what the hell it is.
But it's crap. Someone's going to have to really try hard to be worse than this. I stand by my original prediction. 0/10.

Frankie Corcozza
Ed Sheerhan's The A Team
JESUS. He managed it straight away. This is so awful and disrespectful to the original song. GOT to go, he can't even sing a single note. It's an insult to the X Factor that he's on this stage. -10/10.

Sophie Habibis
Katy Perry's Teenage Dream
I don't know the song at all, but I thought that was the first decent performance. Still not blown away though. 5/10.

Jonjo Kerr
The Kink's Really Got Me
Kind of disappointing, not helped by an awful choice of song. But his quality showed, and he gave it his best. I know he's capable of much better. But for this performance, 5/10.

Two Shoes
Girls Aloud's Something kinda "ooh".
Another terrible song choice. I expected so much more from these girls, but they didn't impress me at all. 4/10.

James Michael
The Beatles' Ticket To Ride
Looks like he's on Coronation Street. Not a great performance, but feel like he's got much better in him than that. 5/10.

Misha "B"
Adele's Rolling In The Deep
I actually really liked how this started out... then it went all wrong when she started rapping. That spoilt it for me. Best act so far, but still... where's the X Factor? 6/10.

Nu Vibe
No idea what the song was.
Pah. What the hell was that? Gary gets it spot on with "hiding behind the song". I really hope something good is going to happen soon or this might be the last time I watch X Factor. 1/10.

Marcus Collins
No idea of the song.
A decent performance, but still, nothing to get over-excited about. 5/10.

Sami Brookes
Know the song, but can't remember what it's called or who it's by.
Shockingly quite good. Best performance so far. But still... not breath taking. I take it back, Jonny in bottom spot for the overs now. 7/10.

The Risk
Plan B's She Says
Well, that's that then. The Groups have NO chance. At all. They're all crap. 2/10.

Craig Colton
No idea what the song is.

Kitty Brucknell
Queen's Who Wants To Live Forever
If you're going to sing my favourite song of all time, don't murder it. D'oh. Too late. But at least she wasn't as bad as Frankie Corcozza. 0/10

Janet Devlin
Coldplay's Fix You
Awful, tone-deaf performance. Completely rubbish. 1/10.

Overall summary then... Craig in a different class to everyone else so far. Acts to go out should be Kitty from the Overs, Frankie Corcozza from the boys, Janet Devlin from the girls and Rhythmix from the groups.


Friday, October 07, 2011

X Factor - Week 1 and the "Twist"

OK, so we've had the twist announced already... 4 acts gone in week 1, one from each group and the judges have to choose their own top 3. What, no public vote? No, apparently not. Who should stay and who should go? Hmmm. I'd say it's a toughie, but when it after the performances I think it'll turn out to be quite easy.

Since I'd already called Rhythmix and Sami to be out, that's the groups and over 25s covered. The next easy one will be the Boys. Only one choice, Frankie Corcozza. He can't sing very well, enough said.

The girls on the other hand... Janet Devlin definitely has the weakest voice, but if she uses it well, this could be a tough decision. So, I'm going to hang on until the performances to decide. It could be a very tough choice.


Thursday, October 06, 2011

X-Factor Week 1: Preview

So what if you don't like the X-Factor? Millions do, you're in the minority. Get over it. LOVE the X-Factor? Yeah, so do I. Sometimes it's a car crash, sometimes it unearths some genuine talent. This year... well, the competition's probably the weakest it's ever been. But still, it could be good.

First off, let's talk about who didn't make it to the finals... And the one everyone's talking about... Jade Richards.

Seriously, she wasn't good enough. Every single one of the girls that has got through was better than her, and whilst she might be better than say, Kitty, Goldie, or Rhythmix, she doesn't belong in those categories. Besides, if I'd had to hear her murder Adele's Someone Like You again, which you know she would if she'd been in the bottom two at any point, I think I would have had to stop watching X Factor. No-one really pronounces the word "hurts" like that, after all.

Conversely, from the boys category, we are without John Wilding, and in his place... Frankie Corcozza. Why? No idea. But I'll come to what's wrong with that in a minute.

Anyway, that aside we are left with the following hopefuls:

Amelia and Janet... Meh. Not really impressed me so much, but let's give them a chance, eh?

Sophie and Misha are, in my opinion, the heavyweights of this category (not literally, I mean vocally, obviously.) I'm expecting a good long run in the finals for both these, unless they go to pieces.

For the Over 25s, we've got Kitty, who annoys me intensely but almost won me over with her performance at Louis' house. Almost. Johnny...well... I don't think he's got a prayer of winning, but I like him. He's like a better version of Wagner from last year... not the worst act in the competition, and can stay in for me until the competition gets serious.

Then there's Sami... who is awful, and hopefully out in week 1. Leaving the only serious over 25 contender, and what a contender he is, Jonjo. You can never be sure until the live shows, but for now, he's one I'm really looking forward to hearing, and I hope he doesn't let himself down.

Onto the boys, and very much a "meh" start again. James... well, nothing against him, he's not bad, we'll just have to see how he goes. Frankie? Well, how he got through I don't know. I hope it's not solely for the fact that he's got his "conquests" tattooed on his backside, because all that screams to me is "male slut". I remember when he first auditioned and Gary said Frankie "brought something new to the competition". Yeah, genital warts or some other STD.

Marcus seems pretty decent, but Craig Colton's the one I've got my eye on. I'm expecting big things from him.

Onto the groups. Rhythmix are my other pick for a very early exit, mainly because they are the very definition of crap. Meanwhile 2 shoes are ok but nothing spectacular. They'll probably be around for a week or three.

And finally Nu Vibe and The Risk. Nu Vibe are definitely this year's "One Direction", except they actually sound quite good... So nothing like One Direction after all then. And The Risk? Haven't heard this lineup sing yet. It's either going to be spectacularly good or spectacularly bad, in my opinion. Disappointed that Marlon wasn't kept with it as he was an excellent singer, so for that reason my expectations are low. But again, let's give them a chance.

Once we've lost the deadwood, I think reckon we should be left with Sophie, Misha, Jonjo, Craig and Nu Vibe. Let's see if this "Top 5" changes any between now and then. I'll write with my week 1 reviews as soon as I can after the performances. Keep on reading and watching.


Friday, September 09, 2011

Erm... It's like, new and stuff.

After all this time. Finally I have made my website look vaguely modern. As someone wrote on the old guestbook, my website looked like a Geocities website from the late 90s, which was, quite frankly, an accurate description. But now? Well, judge for yourself.

 GONE! Is the crappy multi-image menu and the text menus of old, here is a slightly funkier CSS site.

Now, I must stress, I don't want to completely alienate people, so I will be adding a text only "quick-link" site for those who just want quick access to the content. But for now, accept that for those who do use more than just plain text surfing, the website looks much snazzier and easier to use than it ever has been. I'm especially happy with the format of the Retro Zone, and keeping the site up to date should be a cinch. Fingers crossed.

As a bonus, there's a little new content on there, in particular a lot about my visits to the Whit Walks and Macclesfield Bikeathon for the last couple of years. Which is always interesting.

Anyway, I've got some TI99/4A content lined up for the weekend (Sunday, most likely), the links pages to finish off, and then the hard work is done and the regular updates can commence. Hopefully lots of TI99/4A and Retro stuff will follow in due course.

As always, the Guestbook is there for you to tell me what you think... feel free to use it.

All the best folks, hopefully write again here soon. Much sooner than 9 months, anyway.

Monday, January 31, 2011 - Major overhaul imminent!

OK. So updating the website looks like it’s fallen by the wayside? You’d be wrong.

The truth is, I’ve found myself a little project to work on, and my website is the vehicle for it to be carried on.

Basically, I’ve decided to focus the website more on useful stuff rather than pictures of me and my family, especially since Facebook gives me the chance to share pictures with the people I actually want to share them with for free anyway. So that will be going.

The Retro Blog, Retro Reviews, XM Music and even Fruit Machine Emulation, despite the fact I haven’t done a release for God knows how long, will continue to have a home here.

The new addition to the family is the TI99/4A project.

Basically, I’ve not found anywhere on the internet that provides a decent resource of non-cartridge or disk games or software. This does mean a large quantity of games will remain unplayed by the modern retro gamer. Well, I want to do something about it. Especially since I have access to many listings and tapes with software on them.

Yes, it’s probably going to be slow and laborious, but I don’t mind. I like to be useful.

The Guestbook will be getting a sprucing up as well. So it’s all change really! Brace yourself for the “new” website coming online this coming week.

In other news, I’m still keenly gaming online on the likes of Uncharted 2. Oh, and I just turned another year older. Bah.