I watched John and Edward Grimes’ second live performance on the X-Factor last night, which was a laughably awful version of Britney Spears’ ‘Oops!…I Did It Again’.
The two talentless Johnny Bravo’s pranced around the stage in one of the most confused choreographed performances I’ve ever seen. Dressed in shiny, wipe clean PVC suits, they were pushed around on hotel lobby luggage trolleys by a female dance troupe (who were all dressed like the crash helmet girl from the Zovirax ad). It was acutely random.
In an effort to compensate for the complete lack of any discernible talent, Brian Friedman’s choreography for the twins is becoming increasingly bizarre. I see a future performance when the dynamic duo will be made to wear Spandex leotards, while they strain their little voices delivering a painful rendition of Tiffany’s ‘I Think We’re Alone Now’. Meanwhile, all around them, dancers will slink about dressed like Maureen Lipman (as Beattie Bellman in the British Telecom ads). Viewers and judges will be so perplexed by the performance it will slip under the radar as one of the worst things to ever be broadcast on prime time television.
Still, last night’s busy performance wasn’t enough to distract anyone from the fact that, yet again, it’s blatantly obvious that they simply cannot sing. They’re not even karaoke good. Furthermore, they have all the timing of two people who’ve arrived late to an aerobics class, whereby they’re constantly two moves behind everyone in a fruitless attempt to catch up with the session.
Surprisingly, Simon Cowell, Danni Minogue and Cheryl Cole all described John and Edward’s performance as “entertaining”. Although, I’m assuming they meant it in the same way that watching this is entertaining. To be fair to the judges, though, the veneer of saccharin positivity was delivered in such a deadpan and slightly bewildered fashion, it completely failed to disguise the fact that they all thought the performance was, at best, a ridiculous novelty act. (I love the reactions of this viewer who watched J&E’s performance last night.)
As usual, it was left to Simon to deliver a brutal (but accurate) assessment of their performance, saying: “In the same way I reacted to the first time I watched The Exorcist, I didn’t like it but I wanted to watch it again. And that’s sort of how I feel about you.” John and Edward both smiled as if they’d just been signed to Sony BMG for eighty squizillion pounds.
When Dermot turned to the boys and said: “It was weird, but did you enjoy it?” John immediately offered what sounded like a serious explanation for the performance, saying: “The thing that happened was…in the middle [of the act], my microphone came off because Edward boxed me in the face.” OK, that explains about half a second of the performance, which few people will have noticed, but how does it explain your basic lack of talent?
In general, John and Edward’s live performances have been so bad that the judges have been scraping the barrel for ways to respond. After their first live performance, Danni and Louis (the twins’ mentor) both sat on the fence and went with: “The whole country is talking about you.” That may well have been true. But the whole country has also previously talked about things like Dr Harold Shipman and swine flu. Being a water cooler topic of conversation doesn’t automatically make you popular.
Perhaps one of the most absurd things I’ve heard so far was during the first live show, when host Dermot O’Leary said of John and Edward: “You know what? These are 17-year-old guys, [they’ve] come over from Dublin. For that, they deserve a round of applause.” Did I miss something? Since when did a ferry journey from Dublin to Holyhead become deserving of national recognition and applause?
The X-Factor’s ‘creative director’, Brian Friedman, is apparently now tipping John and Edward to win the competition (describing them as “so bad that they are good”). Only last week, Simon Cowell said to the twins: “I just had this horrific thought…you winning the competition. What it would do? I mean, it would be a disaster.”
So, I was thinking. Seeing as we, the British public, have the ultimate power to either crush the hopes of X-Factor contestants or deliver them their dreams, can we not do our utmost to keep John and Edward in the competition? In fact, I’m going to go a step further – let’s engineer it so that they win the fucking competition!! Let’s orchestrate the victory of an act so untalented and undeserving of a multi-million pound recording contract that it ultimately makes a mockery of the whole programme. I think we have a unique opportunity here to shake up a boring, repetitive talent show format.
I’m so sick of the X-Factor’s formidable PR machine plaguing us every year, with the competition winner performing vocal gymnastics everywhere we turn (and making Simon Cowell a fortune in the process), that I want to see them scrabbling around trying to market an appalling act like John and Edward instead.
With great power comes great responsibility. So let’s make this happen, people of Britain! Let’s break the X-Factor!