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So now we know the Top 12 who will be performing in the UK Live Shows from next week. In fact it'll be a Top 13 with, presumably, Christopher, joining as a Wild Card. Although someone less like a wild card I cannot imagine. A beetroot that's been peeling onions seems closer to the mark.

Tulisa wouldn't have had to think for long for her first choice Ella who is the very clear favourite to win, currently 7-4 (with James at 15-2). Lucy will be fun to watch and will add some interest to the shows for a while but she must have seen something in Jade Ellis that I've missed. I guess we mustn't forget that Tulisa won last year with the girl band Little Mix, that she created out of several other 'mixes' and individuals, and that they have proved to be pretty successful (against quite a few predictions) so perhaps we'll see why she chose that Jade instead of the Jade Collins I'd hoped as the Live Shows get under way.

Ella

Lucy

Jade

Nicole was always going to have trouble with her third choice, James and Jahmene looking pretty certain, but the exclusion of Nathan, and not even ranking him 4th out of the six is the big surprise of the evening. Rylan will make good  TV for a week or two but he shouldn't plan to be around for much longer.

James

Jahmene

Rylan

Gary made exactly the right decision to give Kye a chance, Carolynne a second chance and Melanie is going to bring something with an edge to what is otherwise looking quite an inert line-up. He may well have gambled that Christopher would get the public Wild Card vote whereas Melanie wouldn't. Clever.

Kye

Carolynne

Melanie

Louis surprised many by choosing both of the young boy bands, which I'd predicted, but did, indeed, drop Poisonous Twin and brought in MK1 instead which I didn't. 

Union J

MK1

GMD3

In a twist at the end we discover that there will be a single Wild Card addition to the first Live Show. The public can vote for one of Times Red, Christopher, Adam or Amy to join the chosen twelve. So that's Christopher through after all then.

Times Red
Christopher
Adam
Amy





It's Judges' Houses Week - the contenders who have survived this far have now had their makeovers and professional photos taken and get to spend some time with the judegs' teams at various expensive locations. Although they don't get to perform that much, just a selected few getting screen time for a start to finish performance and even those being remarkably short, we do get to see how they come across as individuals and how they relate to the judges whose decisions will make such a huge difference.

This is the week when the Top 12 (assuming there are no wild cards this year!) are chosen, three girls by Tulisa and Tiny Tempa, three groups by Louis and Sharon Osbourne, three boys by Nicole and Neo-Yo and three over-28s by Gary and Cheryl Cole. They each have their own preferences, which may not match the initial enthusiasm shown in the first audition and Bootcamp rounds, as now they're guided by advice behind the scenes on who would make good TV as well. This is the stage when mistakes are usually made, most memorably by Louis! Will Sharon Osbourne - seen tearing up and throwing one group's card into the pool restrain his temptation to put Posionous Twin (for surely it must have been theirs) through? Neither seem to get the accomplished but odd Duke or Mitsotu and the acts must have wished they had a Neo-Yo or Tiny making the choices instead of what looked a couple of old fogies on holiday.

My guess is that Union J are safely through - especially after Louis went to all the trouble of pulling back not only the three Triple J but also resurrecting George Shelley from the Boys rejected at Bootcamp. GMD3 ought to be in there too. There will be some debate about their similarity and splitting votes possibly resulting in neither getting as far as they could but that's the way Louis was thinking, from what I could tell. But who gets the third spot? MK1 seem slightly weak as just two and whilst the girl is really talented and a great performer, I don't see them making it. So it's between Times Red and, yes, you guessed it, Poisonous Twin. There's no way the Powers That Be will let the Groups be just ten guys so you can see where that's going.

Gary has a far better mix to choose from than Louis had last year with the Over 28s. Christopher is a near certainty. 'Viewers will love him', says Cheryl. He sang really well too. Not my idea of the best new act for the 2010s in British pop history but there can be no doubt he's in. It's also safe to assume that Nicole is out after a pretty poor audition and, despite all his efforts to put her at ease regarding his earlier comments that she was annoying (and the fact that she is the only act who received less than four yesses initially), she'll be going home. Brad Shackleton has had virtually no screen appearances at all which can't be good news. He has very strong, raw vocals and hits all the right notes and reminds me a bit of Bruce Springstein. But Brad just doesn't seem like someone who'll be going through. He comes across as one hell of a ladies man, being very forward with Cheryl when she arrived and I can imagine a lot of viewers cringeing at his style. He's also up against the nice Kye who, we keep being reminded, is a chimney sweep and seems a decent chap all round.

Both guys, though, have to contend with Melanie and Carolynne. Carolynne is trying so hard, putting in superb auditions and looking attractive too. Being rejected in favour of Johnny Robinson and JonJo last year can't have done her self-confidence much good at the time so you tend to think that a wrong needs to be righted this time around. So I'm giving the second slot to Carolynne and, unfortunately for Kye, I see Melanie getting the third slot. That'll be a touch decision to watch, whichever way it goes. But with the Boys group comprising comparatively older guys this year and Kye actually looking younger than some of them, I fear for his chances.

As for the Boys, Nicole may have a simpler decision to make. James Arthur is, to my mind, a front runner for this season. Nathan is good (although, strangely, we haven't seen much of him to date) and I have a feeling the Powers That be will insist on his inclusion anyway. The third place is likely to be between Rylan and Jahmene. Rylan for the etertainment value, perhaps, although he did put in one of his best auditions just at the right time. He's not going to win or anything close to that but will have a fan club develop and could be good for the ratings. The logical entry would be Jahmene on talent alone but he does seem ridiculously nervous each time and there has to be a doubt about whether he would really make it through the live shows. Jahmene has a remarkable singing talent and, whichever doesn't make it will be emotional television. The other two, Adam Burridge and Jake Quickenden are both good-looking mature guyswho look good on the screen and sing reasonably competently. I just don't think they'll make it through which, again, promises to be a real tear-jerker next time, especially with Jake using the very ill younger brother thing (which is genuinely sad but shouldn't influence their decision) to make us want him to succeed. I can't imagine Nicole choosing either of Adam or Jake over Rylan and Jahmene, though, which lands them in the 'going home' category.

Lastly, the Girls. Ella Henderson is my tip to win the whole thing and simply has to go straight through. Her audition even further emphasised that too. Choosing from the others is tough, though, and I'd hate to have to make that decision. Jade Ellis will have helped her cause with a great version of Stand By Me and you just have to have some sympathy for someone who admits that her little daughter 'shouldn't be in a pace where she's quite scared'. However, she hasn't really shone that much so far and needs more work on her appearance but I can see her making it.

Amy's hair annoys me but she is a good singer. The Adele style can get a bit tiresome. She may have to wait for another year, despite her talents.

Leanne does look attractive and seems to sing really well. However, we get such a short audition clip that it's impossible to tell what she's like or, for that matter, what Tulisa thinks of her.

Jade Collins, too, flies by and we learn almost nothing. I've been really impressed with her before but this time I simply can't tell.

Lucy Spraggan, in complete contrast, has had all the screen time and bags of publicity, creating a groundswell of popular support that makes her a pretty likely choice for the shows. I am not convinced the X Factor is what she's all about, though, and have doubts as to what she'd do in some rounds and, certainly don't see her naturally handling the 'let's all dance around' stuff.

So, if pushed, it will be Ella, Jade Ellis and Lucy but my choice would be to give Jade Collins a chance instead of Lucy, who may well succeed anyway.

All will, of course, be revealed in a few hours!


Lucy Spraggan gets to start Bootcamp Pt2 as the judges look at individual performances and we see much more of what some of the contenders can do. She comes out with another of her own sparky little compositions. She ought to work with Dennis Potter on some series with that witty and delightfully accurate observation of daily life. She'll make the Judges' Houses, I'm sure and could be an entertaining act on the live shows but it will be as entertainment rather than a potential winner in the Girls category.

Rylan's track is far too loud to hear his voice and it's not an impressive performance. He's a likeable character, playing the Essex card as well as the gay card well. Again, an entertainment act, not a winning act. Gathan appears and then disappears. Odd bit of editing.

Jahmene has a melt down so we see what's left of MK1 instead. Pretty average and uninspiring. the girl can do better than that, I'm sure. Again, no winner there.

Triple J, Melanie Masson, Chris Maloney and Carolynne Poole come go, all doing kinda OK acts and you get the feeling they're safe enough. Kye Sones, though, is the first real act that really hits you and makes you think Hey, this guy's good!

From Above won't survive, way out of tune. Jade Ellis seems nervous but has some touches of quality in the performance. Not sure what to make of her at the moment.

Joe Whelan has a good vocal performance, as do Times Red, looking and sounding pretty good.

James Arthur, in glasses and looking big and much healthier than before, is relaxed and just excellent. He has to make the live shows on how he's doing so far - a really talented guy.

Leanne Robinson we haven't seen much of so far but she's attractive and hits all the right notes too, with signs of more than just natural talent but some sort fo training and experience too.

Adam Burridge sounds cool. Not so sure where he fits in but a decent act.

Ella Henderson is the last we get to see. She sings Believe, the Cher track that first introduced the world to autotune. This was a stunning performance of the track, totally different and this girl is going to be extremely difficult to beat. Only 16, too. This week someone had sorted out her hairstyle so much better too so she looked more 26 than 36. I reckon it could be between her and James Arthur. I know they haven't even made it through Judges' Houses yet but they are both that strong.

Now we get to learn the actual Final 24. This is the really important cut when 24 acts will get a chance to perform and get to know their mentor and make a real impression as to what they're really capable of and show whether they've the range of talents to get through to the live rounds and the personality and reliability needed for shows where emotions will run high and the public will expect to be entertained too.

We also learn, through a call from Simon Cowell in the States, just showing who's still boss, who gets to mentor which categories.

Nicole gets the Boys:
James Arthur
Jahmene
Nathan
Adam
Rylan
Jake

In Xtra Factor, Nicole gives a clear indication that she thinks James is the artist, is hoping that Jake will be the one for the girls and eithet Nathan or Ryland for entertainment.

Tulisa gets the Girls
Ella
Amy
Jade Collins
Jade Ellis
Leanne
Lucy

Tulisa sees Ella as the clear winner and admires Lucy. My guess is that she'll add Leanne to the mix. Whether one of the Jades replaces Lucy at the end of the day remains to be seen.

Gary gets the Over 28s
Kye Sones
Melanie Masson
Nicola Marie
Brad Shackleton
Carolynne Poole
Christopher Maloney

Gary has some strong acts. He favours Kye, Chris and will need the third to be either Carolynne or Melanie. Nicola and Brad, I fear, can assume they've got as far as they're going to go.

Louis gets the Groups
MITSOTU
Duke
MK1
Poisonous Twin
Rough Copy
GMD3

GMD3 won through a sing off with Triple J. That was a close call. You had to feel sorry for Triple J. I wonder if they'll get the call when Rough Copy can't travel to Louis' place?

This is one mixed bag and not the make-up I'd expected at all. Rough Copy would walk away with winning in this category but won't so at present it has to be GMD3 that are likely to make the running. Duke we have seen so little of but Louis has high regard for them. MITSOTU too seem to have caught his eye but will he, as usual include the novelty act to bring on the fun? If so then we'll have to put up with Poisonous Twin a bit longer.

So now we know.

Having remarked at how rubbish the production has been so far in this season, and not exactly looking forward to reviewing what is usually the most annoying set of programmes, I have to say that Bootcamp this time has started very well indeed.

200 candidates will be whittled down to a mere 24 to go forward to the Judges' House round over two days, of which we saw the first 24 hours. For about 70 or them that had made their way to the venue, the only good thing was to see JLS live for a few minutes as one-third got sent home. presumably the judges realised that they'd made some mistakes during the audition rounds. We could have told them at the time and saved SYCO a few bob but never mind.

Tulisa appears as a blonde - a distinctly custard tint or that may have been my telly. Nicole is now on board rather more seriously so there's no ex-Spice Girls or a somewhat lame Leona to interrupt debate at this stage.

At the start of the programme we're shown glimpses of all the familiar people which is a pretty good hint as to who we can expect to see more of as the weeks progress. Basically, there's about 130 we've never seen so far and probably never will, apart from a fleeting glimpse in a large room or prancing around on stage.

Gary tells the remaining people that they have 72 hours and a massive digital display starts to count down in tenths of a second rather ominously and, to my mind, pointlessly. We then see him telling them It's been four hours... and the huge display says 57 hrs something or other. Continuity guys just got fired but at least Tulisa's hair is still custard coloured. Louis' hair has changed but that's nothing unusual.

So off we go.

Joe Douglas and Jahmene get through in the first group. Jahmene has been one of the favourites so far but still looks odd in a jacket two sizes too small. maybe the trousers are similarly too small which accounts for the falsetto. He makes a poor job of the audition track but is forgiven by the judges who clearly have him marked down for the live shows. Not so sure about Joe.

A group called From Above  get through next, as do Times Red and the two comprising MK1 now, both of these last two putting on an excellent performance. A group called The Lightbulb Thieves ask why they're not put through and all credit to Nicole for an excellent explanation which put her several steps up in my estimation. She's been good on X Factor USA too last year, if a bit indecisive in the live shows.

Lucy Spraggit scrapes through in her group despite a lousy performance but, again, she's almost got a ticket for the live shows too.

There is then a string of people, most of whom we've seen plenty of before, flying through. Amy Mottram, Leanne Robinson, Harriet, Maisy Sylvester, Jade Ellis, Carla Jaye, Eli Cripps and Melanie McCabe. I'm really not at all sure about a couple fo those names who were entirely new to me and probably you too. My guess is we don't see them for long.

two more groups fight it out: GMD3 and Triple J. Both were excellent and it's beginning to look quite difficult for whoever has to choose which three will be going through in that category. Cue some heavy disappointment scenes for a few weeks' time.

Britt Love beats both the annoying Collagen and the nice Deirdre Lawlor. I am very glad not to have Collagen's collagen and cleavage on the screen any more. But why give the annoying and untalented girl yet more air time afterwards?

There is then a slew of rejections, but no-one we've seen before so nothing of interest there. Gary was very firm and, understandably, getting a bit fed up with some pretty useless performances. Now I know that it is really crazy to expect people to work together and learn something they may not even think suits them or like in a short time but several really appeared not to have made any effort at all. If they really talented then they can get away with that but they weren't, and didn't, we,,, mostly they didn't.

Finally two more groups come along and really excel. Rough Copy and Mr Xoto or something like that were very good indeed. Unfortunately, you'll find that Rough Copy, who might have been dead certs to appear in the live shows, get cut as one of them doesn't have a valid passport. Duh!

I'm thinking that we haven't seen many decent boys go through yet. Plenty of Overs, Girls and even Groups but not many for the Boys  category.

Poisonous Twin join the groups going through and could add some fun to the live shows if Louis gets to choose. they don't really deserve a place on their singing although they're streets ahead of most of last year's.

Finally we get some in the Boys category. Jo Whelan is the only one out of five to get through. Then James Vickery and another favourite and potential winner James Arthur show how this stage should be handled with some excellent performances, followed by an extraordinary trio of gays who could be a group if someone wanted. Rylan and Gathan are joined by an odd-looking new guy to the screen, Octavio. Gathan is pretty full of himself and doesn't associate much with the other two but nevertheless they manage to pull off an impressive show of talent although I reckon Octavio's days are numbered and is there really room on the screen for both Rylan and Gathan. That'll be an interesting battle to watch.

Amongst the girls, now, the  very reliable Hayley and a new girl Nicola Marie, get through nicely. More boys in the shape of Jake Quickenden, and Adam Burridge are easily through but poor Robbie Hance, one of my favourites and who I saw as a definite live show contestant, simply tries to wing it and fails. I was really impressed, though, by his honesty and lack of show. He simply made a sign of having shot himself, lay down the microphone and walked off quietly. Very disappointing and if I were the judges I would still rush after him and give him another chance.

In Xtra Factor we see some more successes: Brad and Shelley and someone who appears to be called 2BStream join the Overs with some good vocals particularly from an elderly and not exactly pretty Shelley. 2BStream is a black guy with a very high voice.

Eddie Spring and Mitch Summers go out on the tiles and hit the sack at 4am. Eddie has a great personality and I get the impression he's extremely bright from some of the responses he gives. he's bound to annoy a lot of viewers but I'd like to see this Jagger-esque figure in the live shows. He'll either sink or swim. My guess is that he'll swim. Anyway, for all that, his performance is great but his drinking companion's isn't. So Mitch is quite surprisingly out but he's only got Eddie and himself to blame. They perform on stage with the much straighter Kian who is also through and hoping he can get on on his own from here.

We get glimpses of Clapz Shazzahne, or whatever his silly name is, who chats up anything in a skirt. Mia & The Moon, who should get through just because of their name in my view, three groups Array, LMNY and Electric Punx. Not sure whether any of the last three get through.

Someone with a name like Corm Malloy is though. No idea who he is and then we get to see that four very, very reliable performers are safely through, and likely live show contenders too, being Carolynne Poole, Melanie Masson, Christopher Maloney and Kye Sones.

I think I've counted 40 getting through so far. That makes about 60 that didn't and still 30 or so that we haven't seen at all. Maybe tomorrow?

We'll see. Or not, as the case may be. My feeling is that we will have seen the winner today. But I'm not making any bets yet!







It's the last week of audition clips. Blink and you'll miss some. In theory we should now have seen the winner and every act for the Live Shows (which is really when the series gets properly under way). Yet more bizarre editing by the new production team means that we never know quite where we are, who the guest judge will be next or even whether we're watching one of several audition recordings at times.


Another group bounds on stage to start the show. Rough Copy comprise three fun and hyperactive guys with sensible jobs. They're pretty good and clearly can entertain and hit most of the right notes at the right time, in so far as rap needs either. Some decent voices in there too and, having seen so few groups so far, they must be likely to get through at least to Judges' Houses and I'd reckon a bit further if they can keep up the standard.

Some guy called Clapz and another called Dale fly past the screen with about 5 seconds each. Both seem OK but we'll have to wait for bootcamp to learn more. Adam B gets a lot more time, possibly a hint as to how he gets on, with a serious and seriously good audition with a hat and a guitar.


Triple J - another group - are decidedly average but manage some decent harmonies. They just don't look like the sort of band you'd expect to see on an album cover. They all look married, settled down with semi detached suburban lives at 23.


George Shelley is sort of OK in the few seconds we get, Nathan F Gayle has a great voice and attitude and I have a feeling we'll see more of him - he seems to be called Boy Nathan in some reports but I don't know where that came from.


 

Robbie Hance was the stand-out audition for me. Playing guitar and singing from the heart, right in tune and totally natural as if he'd been doing this for years. I can imagine people going to concerts to listen to this chap and buying his albums. No, he's not the sexy strutter or long-legged blonde - more like Paul Simon with hair. Absolutely brilliant, with one of the very few full length auditions we get to see.


A bundle of bad singers come and go and you can almost predict that, with eight minutes to go, it's time for the last act which is the one the producers reckon is the One To Talk About afterwards so we'll remember to come back next week. Carolynn Poole you may remember from last year. She made it through to Louis' boot camp where she was booted out in favour of people like JonJo, Mary from Tescos and Johnnie Robinson. I didn't think that made much sense then and nice to see her back. This could be the first time we've had someone who got that far returning in a following year. Maybe if Amelia Lily hadn't been pipped to the Number 1 spot in this week's chart by The Voice's Danny, the Script and Will.i.am then she might have been thinking about having another go with a better mentor too! Looks like she's going to do fine now, though.

Carolynn is excellent and must stand a good chance of getting to the Live Shows this time, and with Gary running her group this time, her ability to hit the right notes and be reliable on the telly should help.


Still convinced that we can't possibly have seen all the acts that make it through yet, I switch over to the much better produced Xtra Factor and, in between shots of Caroline Flack's legs and hearing that laugh of hers, look for signs of talent in amongst some other auditions.

I tend not to bother commenting on the dead acts but couldn't help but smile at a weird Japanese guy in a green hat shouting 'Herro Rondon' at the start. For some reason that escapes me now ITV2 blur out Gary's V signs at some point in the funny exchange that takes place. And there's Nicole on the panel, that's a rarity - and possibly, according to some news sources, the last time we will see her on the panel anyway. No, the Japanese guy can't sing.

Back in Liverpool now and Geri's on the panel. She's not the most popular girl in the world but she has been a good judge so far. Her panel gets to see the Poisonous Twin audition. I'd seen some preview pictures of these and thought they hadn't got through but they do. They're not bad, could be a lot of fun and, yes, they're a bit out of tune but more because of nerves than inability to know which notes they should have sung. They're honest and nothing like as brash and annoying as you would expect. Those teeth, though, especially on one of them, are glaringly white. Not a good look, unless you're in Essex. I can see I shall have to turn the contrast down on my TV if they more on past bootcamp. With so few groups so far - and this is about it by now - they might even do just that in a sort of Jedward move.

After another switch of judges, Rita gets to make eyes at a bloke from Venezuela who is pretty forgettable but may win the Caracas version of the show. Nicole's back again a few minutes later - boy, is this confusing, - and Dale Ali gets a second chance to impress us with an Olly Murs Mk2 audition that wasn't at all bad.

Talking of Olly, the show ends with the lad out and about again - meeting Ryland from the very first show. Ryland was blonde with black roots but is now black with blonde roots. We get to see the contents of his make-up cupboard. He has also had an extraordinary white teeth job done and looks quite ridiculous.

So that's all folks. Blink and you might have missed the winner. Over to Betfair now to see if they've got a clue. To be honest, I haven't. I'll get hold of the videos and watch them again - I have a feeling it won't be too difficult to get a top 12 out of this lot. Bootcamp should be a doddle.


So here we go again. Either Peter Dickson was speaking more quietly than usual or the letters were smaller but this was a classier start than usual and Dermot O'Leary is in there at the start, along with Olly Murs in fine form, on video at least, with Caroline and the judges.

This year for Kelly Rowland read Nicole Scherzinger which could be confusing for American readers, especially when X Factor USA kicks off soon. Nicole steered the excellent and not immediately marketable Josh Krajick to 2nd place in America's version, (Simon winning, naturally, with Melanie Amaro) and if she can actually make her mind up and keep back the tears a bit while she's over here then she's likely to be an improvement on her predecessor. Gary seems a little less desperate to impress, Tulisa looks older but still very pretty and Louis has more hair in several shades of grey. He is so fortunate that Simon isn't on the panel.

The show was under way really quickly and someone calling himself Sheyi takes the stage with a big smile, great manners and obvious talent. A natural entertainer but for some reason he rasped away in a bad impression of Louis Armstrong in tight trousers which no-one in their right minds would expect to get through. I'm convinced that this was some kind of set up - maybe they didn't have anyone amusing and reasonable for the first act so got this guy to act up for a few grand. Two reasons: one, when he dropped out of the rasping growl voice for the intermittent 'yay' or 'hey' you heard a decent and absolutely in tune voice, the sort you'd expect from someone like him and, two, my daughter tells me that he's Deputy Head Boy at Royal Latin School in Buckingham, or was last year, and that's neither his name nor his style. She also rather doubted that he worked at Nandos in London - Milton Keyenes, maybe - or came from Camden. Camden does sound cooler than Buchingham, though.

We moved on and someone with a name like Feckton sings Freedom pretty well, Rick's a fireman with red blotches and gets through as does Tasha with a nice tone and a first glimpse of some real talent. Then comes Jahmene Douglas. You think he's going to be the joke act and whine a lot or something. He has a nervous laugh at the end of each short sentence and long ones seem to be beyond him. The shiny grey suit is worrying too, looking like something someone bought for him and poured him into before feeding him up.

Then the guy sings. At Last is a pretty smart song at the best of times and he is just brilliant. Every note absolutely spot on, a totally natural singer. Outstanding voice but I don't know - despite all the raves from everyone there - how will he fare as the stages progress and can we really, honestly, imagine this chap dancing to an Abba song or whatever they get the poor contestants to do on the Live Shows? Writing this rather later than I should did give me the befit of a peek at some odds and the bookies have him as an early favourite so I guess he's safely through for a while yet.

We get a better chunk of Peter Dickson now with some competition that doesn't even have a question to answer. Eh?

Zoe does a Pink tribute not particularly well, despite a build up that made us think she'd be a good act. There's some nasty behaviour as she storms off and you do have to wonder whether the return of Brian Fieldman to direct the shows has had an influence on upping the drama.

Off to Manchester next and we get Scary Spice Mel B in various shades of strange orange being particularly grumpy with almost everyone. To be fair, they all deserved it and it was quite refreshing to see a judge telling acts that they weren't much good instead of pussy-footing around as most of the others have tended to do for fear of breaking some Single Equality Act regulation.

The one that didn't get the grumps was Ella Henderson who sang one of her own compositions. Now that's a brave move anyway but both her writing and her singing are damn good. Perhaps she will find herself aligned with Adele too much and it is to be hoped that she can pull herself away from that overdone genre. One class act and another tip for the top.

These are, though, very early days. It is, thank heavens, a long time 'til Christmas and the Final! I suspect there will be more contenders than the two everyone is talking about this week.

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