Seeing as it's another late recap, let's get straight down to business.
Last week MK1 left the show. I didn't like them (well, specifically her) so I wasn't particularly heartbroken.
This week's theme: Hallowe'en.
Dermot and his entourage enter to Michael Jackson's Thriller. Judging by the red devil horns he's wearing, someone's been to the Steps reunion tour recently.
The judges are here. Ah ha ha ha ha ha methinks Nicole didn't get the memo that we don't really do Hallowe'en here like they do in the States. Wonder how long it took to back-comb her hair to that height. Tulisa's opted for some slightly more subtle fangs. Gary and Louis have chosen not to dress up at all.
Gah, this is why I dislike watching on the ITV player (the picture's gone). Sound is still working, for the moment at least, so I shall persevere. Unfortunately this means I won't be able to admire/take the piss out of the contestants costumes. Fiddlesticks.
Dermot's just informed us that Lucy is unwell and won't be singing tonight. So we're down to nine performances.
Kye - Let Me Entertain You
Kye just wants to have fun this week (he was in the bottom two last time). Robbie Williams gives him some tips (which basically amount to 'go for it').
Having no picture really sucks. Vocals are good though. It sounds like he's doing a good job of getting the audience involved, which seemed to be his problem in previous weeks.
Nicole thinks it was a great way to open the show and that he came out swinging. Apparently there was dancing too. Dammit ITV player! Louis thinks it was probably a shock for Kye to be in the bottom two last time and he hopes he has done enough this week (he winds the audience up by suggesting it may not have been enough). Tulisa disagrees with Louis. She thinks Kye gave everything. Gary says Kye came back with a bang, boom and a crash. If you say so, Barlow.
Union J - (don't know the song)
Every time Union J get asked about what it's like to be in Union J, they tell people, "It's bananas." What fun, fun, incredibly simple guys they are. One of them tells us that every single second that they're awake, they're having fun. Even when you're on the toilet? I mean, necessary? Yes. Fun? Not so sure about that.
It doesn't start very well. They sing much better together than separately. I suppose that's good for a boy band and maybe I'm just being picky when I want them to be able to sing individually, but I'm not wowed.
Tulisa thinks the vocals are really good tonight but she reckons they played it safe. Gary agrees - he thinks it was safe. Nicole thinks it was absolute perfection. Louis believes in this group. Well that's nice to know.
The adverts play perfectly. Sound and picture. In fact, they're louder than the show. Grumble, grumble, stupid ITV player.
Rylan - (various)
Rylan's had a good week. Kylie and Robbie have apparently both shown support for him. Robbie's like the X Factor whore this week. It was also his birthday (Rylan's not Robbie's) and Nicole tricked him into thinking she couldn't go to his party. You tricky trickster, you.
Rylan vocals (without Rylan picture) is awful. It's another medley from him this week. Why does he do that? Does he feel it necessary to destroy three songs at once, instead of just one?
Rylan reminds Louis of a young Jean Paul Gautier - this is a good thing, I know because Louis told me. Tulisa says Rylan 'may not have the best voice in the competition'. May not? MAY not? Surely that's not even up for debate, is it? Gary says it wasn't any worse than last week, that the music was so loud he couldn't hear Rylan singing, and that he liked the dancers. Nicole says it was her favourite performance so far.
Rylan says that if he gets through to next week's show, he'll just stand and sing (no gimmicks) to prove he can sing. Well I'll believe it when I see it.
Ella - Bring Me To Life
"I may be the youngest contestant in the competition, but I'm having the best time ever." Clearly 'being the youngest' is just Ella's thing now because why would being the youngest mean that you couldn't have the best time? Sigh.
Oh guess who Ella met this week? Yup. X Factor whore.
Vocals are ace, but you knew they would be, didn't you? This is Ella. I recommend listening to Ella without watching her - you totally forget she's so young - well, you do until she stops singing and reminds you of it.
Gary thinks it's disrespectful that people keep saying 'she's only 16' - well stop reminding us of it all the damn time, Barlow! Nicole says it was her least favourite performance of Ella's because it was in the wrong key. I love Nicole. She says the weirdest things and then surprises everyone by saying something that shows she actually knows what she's talking about. Louis doesn't like her hair because it's scary. Tulisa thinks Ella's special.
Christopher - I Just Died In Your Arms
Gary likes that Christopher uses his nerves positively, and he thinks Christopher is starting to believe in himself.
Vocals are good, but just like with Ella you expect that from Christopher. The audience is pretty quiet actually. You notice these things when you can't see what's going on - sort it out ITV.
Nicole says it was fun and that she felt like she was watching an '80s Hallowe'en pop opera. Louis says Christopher must be doing something right because he hasn't been in the bottom two yet - backhanded compliment if ever I heard one. Tulisa asks Gary how many '80s classics he's going to let Christopher destroy. Meow. Barlow doesn't have a comeback so just accuses Tulisa of having bad breath.
District 3 - Every Breath You Take/Beautiful Monster
Wow, Robbie Williams gave the guys some advice this week. Robbie Williams! Wow.
Ok, from the sound of it, Louis is going to be in their performance this week. I need to see this. YouTube to the rescue.
Oh disappointment. I misunderstood. Louis is not in this. Bored! I'm sulking now, I'm not even going to comment about their shaky vocals and weird make-up. Nope.
Tulisa loved it until they went into the Ne-yo bit. Gary thinks last week was a massive step forward and this week was a massive leap back. He's also fed up of mash-ups. You and me both, Barlow. Nicole agrees with Gary ... and me (re. their make-up). One of District 3 defends their mash-up choice by saying, "It's Hallowe'en and we did a monster mash-up." Leave. Leave right now. Someone escort that man from the building.
Sounds like Dermot's with friends and family. At least I don't have to see the plebs this week.
Jahmene - Killing Me Softly
It's time for my favourite. Yay. This week Samuel L Jackson asked Jahmene to sing for a charity thing he was doing. Take that, Robbie. Heh, Take That. Pun.
Ah it's perfect. Of course it's perfect. What do you expect me to say? I love this little dude. If you're expecting any sort of an unbiased critique of this guy you ain't gonna find it here!
Louis says Jahmene is the best singer in the competition. State the bleeding obvious, Walsh. Tulisa can't find anything negative to say. Don't try, Tulisa - there's nothing negative to find. Gary says it was effortless. Nicole says it was Ja-mazing (this earns an excited grin from me).
Jade - Freak Like Me
It sounds alright. I think I preferred her previous performances with slower songs that she can belt out, though. This one sounds a bit too fast (maybe she's dancing?) and like she's trying to catch up with the backing track.
Gary reminds us that Jade was unwell last week and has come back fighting. But he says that vocals were slightly weaker than usual. Nicole: "Thank god it's Hallowe'en because that was frightening." Louis thinks it was a bad song choice and that Jade didn't look comfortable. Tulisa argues (quite well actually) that the themes help contestants try new things and experiment with their style.
James - Sweet Dreams
Emile Sande wants to work with James - she told him backstage last week. So did Labyrinth. Good for you, James.
This is going to be ace. I can tell from the first three notes. In fact, I may well go and take another look at this on YouTube afterwards.
(I'm enjoying this too much to comment)
Louis loved it and says that a record deal can't be far away. Tulisa praises James for taking an old classic and then making it modern. Gary calls it incredible. Nicole says, "You are the difference. You are the difference." I don't understand but the audience likes it.
Right, I'm off to get a cup of tea and go and watch James' performance properly. Who left the show on Sunday?