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At least it's now even - with three in each category after Carolynne failed to impress voters sufficiently and found herself at the bottom of the pile last week. Louis got all the blame and Gary walked out but it's time to move on now.

I like the way Dermot's taking charge of the show. And there's a change of seating 'after nine years'.

Dermot lists the numbers. Cue the screams. On that basis, Union J win and Melanie doesn't. But let's see how they all do tonight.

Jahmene


Spot-on singing but no connection between the amazing voice and the lyrics. Great performance but lacking real emotion. One of Louis' 'favourite ever ever contestants'. What? Out of all nine years?

Nicole calls Jahmene 'Baby Cakes'. No-one quite likes to ask.

Dermot said he wouldn't but, yes, he does the heady patting eventually, despite Jahmene ducking out at his first try!

Christopher

Big ears looks like a football ref. Sings like one after a few beers. dreadful start. Oh, it's the Heart number again. Typical karaoke stuff. Solid voice but who'd going to buy this sort of stuff? He separates each word. Sounds odd. looks odd. He gets only modest applause. He needs to go.

Dermot doesn't heady pat Christopher.

Union J

Hope they get the song together better than they did their attempt at 'Team Louis' in unison. My God, it's bleedin' Bleeding Love. That works really well actually. An excellent arrangement. Brilliant. That'll go down well with the fans - and the voting fans too.

No heady patting though.

Ella

Can someone please leave her hair alone? She looks so good naturally. Are the 40s coming back? If so then release her album now and get it over with. This, though, is one of the most difficult songs ever. Loving You Is So Beautiful. OK, she hit the notes, amazing notes at that, but... but there was no emotion or connection at all. It was a bit clinical and, talented as she may be, that's not going to get her the most votes this week. Minnie Ripperton had the feeling and the notes and, whilst she didn't have any more success than that to my knowledge, if you dig out her version you'll see what was missing from Ella's. That might change the odds a little, especially with such a strong Union J performance. Doubt I'll get 25-1 on them again for a while.

So, will she get some heady patting from Dermot. With that hair? Perhaps not.

James

Nicole says 'This is my first time in a pub' during the preview bit.
James gets a call from Mary Blige and, unless he's acting really well, he handles that extremely well - he's looking and sounding very mature, not at all as I'd expected him to be coming across.

Now this guy can do feeling. No More Pain was delivered as if he meant every word. This guy's good. That was a 'moment'. Well done, James.

Nicole likes his trousers. No heady patting.

Lucy

After all the bad news she'd had in the week, and in 'Love and Heartbreak' week, she does a cheery song. Gold Digger. Remarkably well done as if she'd written it herself. Nice performance, totally natural and relaxed. That should be popular.

No heady patting for Lucy either.

District 3

They didn't like the song. I Swear. Heavy production. These guys have good voices and harmony and pull off this tricky number. Not bad but Union J get the boy band votes this week.

Nicole wants them like tabasco on apple pie. And baby oil, with all the actions. Well, not all of them but enough to make you wonder.

It'll be interesting to see how the votes total up - will there be enough for both to be safe? If so then when one does eventually go that could well seal the deal for the other. If not, they'll be out soon.

Jade

Forgettable song last week, despite an excellent makeover. Love Is A Losing Game. Accentuating the tone of her voice that distinguishes her but that also showed the notes that she didn't make which was a shame. I'm not a big fan and I'm not sure how many voters are. She seems very much on her own in this competition - that might help her but she needs to make her own space somehow, like Rebecca did.

Louis says she's in a tough category. That's right, for sure, and I think she knows it but there's nothing to stop two girls being in the final four. Unfortunately, I don't see her being one of them.

She gets a shoulder pat from Dermot instead of heady patting which sends her off before he's had a chance to read out the voting number so he has to call her back. Still no heady patting, though.

MK1

The bloke in the group puts on some sort of comedy act this week. Charlie's great but even her style makes this version of I Want You Back weird. That didn't work and even the dancers were totally irrelevant and mostly off screen. It was a bit like Jedward had returned in places. They may be in trouble.
they did make a good point themselves that they are aware that the people that like their style of music are not the type who normally watch X Factor, let alone vote! Fair comment and all credit to this pair for that.
They get hugs from Dermot. No heady patting.

Kye

This guy could easily be a future producer. Reminds me of Chris De Burgh. Great voice and production - I just wish he'd hit the high notes better in the first half. He may have rescued himself near the end when he was right in his best range and sounded good. He's a talented chap but may struggle. Christopher's and MK1's unpopular-sounding performances may just save him, as should the judges if it comes to it.

Rylan

Clear favourite to go at the start of the show but now looking safe with the bookies, at least! He doesn't wind up the show but he does wind up Gary by starting sing one of the Barlow numbers. Lovely. Starts then stops and is very relaxed in swapping from number to number in this weird mash-up and way OTT production. The budget's gone to hell. Groove Is In The Heart was never in tune in the 70s so he could get away with some dodgy bits but actually was not at all bad. It was weird but interesting and even included reference to Gangham Style and loads of references to the new wave of Korean stuff coming our way in there too. An informed production for which Brian gets all the deserved credit. I've no idea what to make of it and nor will many voters but it was bizarre enough to keep him in.

No heady patting as he towers over Dermot like a giraffe.

Melanie

White trouser suit. Flares. That says 1970 to me. Bond-style silhouette behind her is more interesting than Melanie. Two Worlds Collide was over sung but oversung pretty well. Not sure how that'll go down. I'd have given her a Righteous Brothers track.

Louis says the old school is now new school. OK? Whatever that means.
Tulisa, in an attempt to catch up with the million points already scored by Nicole this week, says Melanie was in MILF mode. No baby oil, though.

Nor heady patting.

So that's Week 2 done - apart from the results. It should be Christopher going home but might be District 3 or MK1 getting the close shave. Jade, Melanie and Kye should thank their lucky stars for another week.

The first results show. Wow! If SYCO were looking for headlines in the tabloids, a mass of Twitter messages and to hit as many other publicity buttons as they could to boost ratings then they did a good job with this show.

Dermot raced through the acts that were safe - he had ten of those and calling out District3's name between Ella's and Lucy's was the first surprise. Union J, Christopher, Carolynne and Ryan were the four left standing. Being 'in no particular order', putting Union J on the safe side of the stage was predictable as they may well have had one of the biggest votes, despite a lacklustre performance last night.

That left us with Christopher, Carolynne and Rylan. We guessed that Christopher, having only just been brought back from obscurity with public wild card votes, was safe and it was, indeed, Carolynne and Rylan left standing as the two acts with the lowest votes.

That was quite a surprise. Both had put in reasonable performances last night. Both had been in tune and stronger than several of the others but this is all about who the people actually voting prefer and, certainly to me, Rylan had not garnered as much of an early following as I'd expected and Carolynne had just not impressed anyone with a song that her natural supporters may have recognised. She may have fared considerably differently with a safe standard as she was confident, looked really attractive and sang very well but just not in a way that appealed to enough people pressing the numbers on their mobiles on a Saturday night.

Their sing-off performances were both good. Rylan was in his element with an excellent choice of One Night Only which I wondered might be apt. He was in tune and it was a strong performance with a gorgeous background and everything just worked for him. Carolynne was faultless and produced a stunning performance which all her supporters must have wished she'd done the night before. As she finished to impressive applause from everyone, she was the obvious choice to stay if anyone was to be judged on those performances.

Betfair's odds showed Carolynne favourite to go at the beginning of the sing-off. As she sang those odds reversed and Rylan became the clear favourite to go instead.

Now the fun starts. You know that Gary would support her and Nicole would support Rylan so it was down to Tulisa and Louis. You can also be pretty sure that the judges had been tipped off beforehand as to the voting and would have chatted about what to do. My guess is the producers had told Louis to take it to deadlock and Gary to argue and do something like walk off in disgust.

So that is more or less exactly what happened. At the end of the day, Gary would have to accept that Carolynne's bottom place in the voting wasn't boding well for her in future weeks and Rylan does have that entertainment value too which, in the absence of a Jedward or Wagner this year, the show seems to insist on.

Louis played along brilliantly and got everyone annoyed, not least good old Dermot O'Leary desperately watching the clock and trying to get a decision out of him. In fact, Louis first said he was saving Carolynne and you really did have to feel sorry for her when he clarified that, well, completely reversed it if we're being accurate, and said that he wanted to leave it to the public vote - hence saving Rylan.

That gave us tonight's unexpected result of Carolynne falling at this first hurdle and Rylan living for another week. It may also have given SYCO  better viewing figures for next week by the time the headline writers have had their day!

By tomorrow night we really should have seen at least a glimpse of all the Live Show contestants so, after last week's poor showing, let's hope audition show 9 gives us some hope.

Not a good start, with 70-year-old Nick, grumpily blaming 'Tulisia' for not getting through. Thank goodness. Life improved with Jade Ellis, singing well and with a marketable look and a pleasantly different tone that worked well. She's easily through but very quietly with none of the enthusiasm or cheers or OTT comments from anyone that many with far less talent have had. Odd. Maybe that was because Leona was the 4th judge, although I could swear that it had been Rita a few minutes before. Shot of baby in the background.

Madeleine next, who went to school with Tulisa, although Tulisa didn't make a very good job of remembering her. She was reasonably good, if a bit shouty. Nice personality, polite too. She's through to bootcamp.

Selina is a wedding and corporate singer so you kinda expect her to be reasonable. She's much better than the others so far today, with an earthy, more soulful sound. Good and safely through.

Deanne struggled with some notes and gets through. Not exactly 'incredible', Gary. Another baby daughter gets into the camera. No obvious fathers for any of them though.

Bianca looks good and is confident. Ah, she's Paul Gascoigne's daughter who has already had plenty of tv exposure in more ways than one. I was expecting a Geordie accent so the London drawl was a surprise. Tulisa looks as there's no way she'll vote for her from the start. No love lost there by the look of it. I might have put her through just for that reason alone. I suppose she hasn't got an abs which is all Tulisa and Rita seem to be interested in. Bianca tries I'm Going Down which is a difficult song at the best of times but that title will not have helped her at all either. there are some dodgy notes but no more than most of the others we've seen almost sailing through so far. The audience is strangely quiet, though, so I guess Bianca doesn't score well in the popularity stakes at that venue. My guess is that the local paper had something that morning.

Mel B now magically appears as the 4th judge. This is getting confusing.

Lauren comes on an puts on a guitar. She seems to have a natural, light and cheerful attitude and could be a surprise if she survives bootcamp. Nice, folksy singer with an edge I liked.

Tammy has a loud and slightly annoying laugh. She's brassy and comes from Derby. I was already expecting her to be quite good and bluesy. they bring her Gran on. Why?? But she does eventually start and, yes, she is good. Straight in, belting it out in good karaoke style. She wouldn't have made it in Simon's day. But she's at least on par with the average getting through so that's that. I can see her doing It's Raining Men and whatever the one by Gloria Gaynor was called.

God, the adverts take up so much time. Dr Who on BBC 1 had finished at 8:20pm and this started at 8:10 so I'm watching a recording time-shifted. By half-way through and fast-forwarding through the ads I'd caught up with the live broadcast.

Now it's yet another 4th judge, Anastasia, an early American Idol winner, and they're in Glasgow. This show is so badly edited. It's another Jade, Jade Collins this time who's representing Scotland by the seems of it. Oh dear, it's another sob story. No daddy around. At least she knows who her father is unlike many of the contestants to date, or their babies. This girl had better be good after all that stuff. You know it will be, of course. It is. Jade is a natural little pop star. Pretty in a chubby way, great trousers, 17. the best so far today, in tune and with feeling in the words and song that comes across well.

As seems traditional, the show ends with a great act. I should have guessed.

Switching over to the Xtra Factor, I am beginning to think this is the better show at the moment. Caroline Flack is doing well on her own without Olly, although he is missed and does make the occasional appearance on a pre-recorded bit.

We start with Mohammed. I do hope I can keep out of trouble with that name and not find the Taliban in the village in the morning. He is The Fish Man and already has a 2 million following on YouTube. And that's really all he can do - the 1lb of fish song. Nice enough chap but televised for the laugh, that's all.

The fish theme gets extended as Caroline then takes a tray of fish through to the judges during a break. Gary announces that she smells of fish and that she should go into the back room. Caroline remarks that she hopes no-one had just tuned in at that point. She's often much more on the broadcasting ball than any of the judges, Louie excepted.

Hey, there's an ad for X Factor USA!! 'Coming soon'?! Hmmm.

Oh dear, Collagen Cleavage is next. She says that when you're born you have a blank canvas as some kind of ridiculous validation for changing bits of her body. I reckon she also had a blank brain. No hope there, we're inclined to think. Seems an awful girl. Hope she can't sing. But actually she can. Louis calls her a cross between Pete Burns and Cher - brilliant! As I believe that she was, herself, genuinely surprised to get the deserved four yesses, I did start to feel a bit bad about the comments I made before. Still don't see her as Live Show material, though.

Jason P comes on and we think that we're going to get a rock performance at last, and possibly a good one too. First let down: he's singing Adele. Second let down: he emphasises the word 'new' when referring to who's with him tonight - it's his 'new' girlfriend. You have to feel sorry for both the old and the new. Simon would have stopped him and asked for something else. It still probably wouldn't have worked, though, as the guy had no upper range at all. Pity but that's it. Bye.

Flashes of a few more apparently getting through.

Dana is our worst nightmare of a forceful training manager in a quango in Richmond. You can just imagine her with a ready-made PowerPoint and notes galore, lecturing men twice her age on Safeguarding or Communal Analysis Trends. Thank goodness she can't sing.

Nice filler next from James who we've seen before, James Arthur? in Middlesborough. the guy looks a hundred times better than his dirty red-faced audition in what i think might have been show 1. I have no idea why but Olly Murs and James do an excellent jam of My Heart Skips A Beat. Now that worked really well.

Last act is Hayley Evetts who came 5th in Pop Idol back in 2002. She's good but not 'amazing' as some judges say. Just good and I can see her in the Live Shows for sure. She'll be a safe and reliable contestant and I expect she'll come 5th again.



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