World of Chig   

The X Factor begins (properly)

And I am quite excited, although I don't much like these early stages of the knockouts, when we are supposed to make a judgement and throw someone out after about ninety seconds of singing a song which has been edited to death, because that's all they get. Is there anyone here not expecting Daniel the pool cleaner to be first out tonight, if not one of the groups? Goodness only knows what was occupying the tiny mind of Minogue when Dannii put him into her final three last week. He was the worst of her six and simply cannot sing, except in the pub crooner/Vic Reeves style, which just sounds rubbish. If it was sympathy for his lost wife which got him through, it's very misplaced, so I can only think it was tactical. Dannii wants to attract the votes to her other two singers, so she is prepared to sacrifice one early on. It does make a kind of sense.

I have enjoyed the audition shows of this series so far, even if the judges have completely failed in their very simple mission to find some called Leo, who would obviously have been this year's winner, following Leona and Leon.

I have also had an added double frisson of excitement while watching this year. I recognised one of the auditioning acts in the second programme, as they have crossed my path before, photographically speaking, not once, but twice (and very nearly three times). The photos are sorted and ready to go to the tabloids, for a huge amount of money, should the need arise, because yes, they have made it to the final twelve. Hurrah! Can you guess which act it is? At the very least, the photos will appear on here during this series.

One of the other talented acts, wait for it, used to be babysat by the partner of the woman I sit next to at work. Oh yes, we are at the cutting edge of showbiz here. Sadly, that was floppy-haired schoolboy Liam, who made it to Simon Cowell's (rented) Barbadian bungalow, but the sight of Sinitta in her gold lamé bikini appeared to put him off and Simon didn't choose him for his final three. (Mistakenly, in my honest opinion. Eoghan is nowhere near good enough to be there.)

At this early stage, I think only Diana, Laura, Alexandra or Austin are potential winners. None of the groups has a cat in hell's chance, and JLS are nowhere near as good as Louis keeps pretending they are. Austin can really sing, but needs to calm down emotionally. He has also undergone a goth/New Romantic makeover, which is slightly worrying. Diana is captivating and amazing, and with Eva Cassidy having left the role of 'living Eva Cassidy' vacant quite a while ago, there's a place in the market for her, surely?

Who's your winner? (I wonder if anyone would have said Leon at this stage last year? I certainly wouldn't have done.)

One final thing that has occurred to me while watching The X Factor and Strictly Come Dancing this year:

Are the bookies accepting bets on the winners of both series having the same name? I can see it happening...

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