The X Factor 2011: Unreality TV’s Bonfire Night Top 9 Chart

by Gerard McGarry

The X Factor LogoAnother night, another ear-bleeding series of X Factor performances. Tonight’s floor fillers theme was such a baffling line-up of tunes that there might as well not have been a theme at all.

Regardless, you probably found it hard to concentrate on the performances themselves once the judges got stuck into each other. Operation Raise The Tension Levels To Raise The Ratings was in full effect as Louis Walsh and Gary Barlow bickered over Frankie Cocozza’s performance. Louis notably – and we agree with him on this one – told Frankie that he’d never be a rockstar.

Tonight’s episode also brought about a change in fortunes for several of the acts. Kitty Brucknell left us cold with her mostly yelled Madonna cover, but not as much as Janet Devlin’s Jackson 5 attrocity. On the other hand, The Risk and Marcus Collins both gave excellent performances. We still wouldn’t buy their records, which is a problem that the show is going to have to deal with. But at least they improved. Here’s our Top 9 chart:

  1. Misha B: Seriously, if Misha Bryan doesn’t walk away from this show with the winner’s record deal, then there’s no justice in the world. Misha effortlessly ruled the night this week, especially in the light of weak performances across the board.
  2. Marcus Collins: Marcus gave a masterclass in turning lemons into lemonade. He got arguably the worst song choice of the evening, the horribly dated Reet Petite, but miraculously turned in a great performance. He can sing, he can command a stage, and he’s definitely the strongest of Gary’s acts this year.
  3. The Risk: SHOCKER! The Risk turn in a tuneful, pretty good performance. We even enjoyed the rap in the middle of the song which proved that if The Risk can work on being consistently good, they may be in with a shot of getting to the finals.
  4. Kitty Brucknell: A fall from grace for Kitty this week. Not helped by the poor song choice, but Like A Prayer also demonstrated the weaknesses in Kitty’s voice, sounding more shouty than tuneful.
  5. Craig Colton: Poor Craig. We just can’t warm to him. Sure, he did an admirable job tonight. But if he wins this competition, it’ll be Leon Jackson all over again. He’s not a recording artist, despite the X Factor’s frequent attempts to bill him as the male version of Adele.
  6. Little Mix: Argh! One week they’re good, the next week they’re horrible. Little Mix took on Rihanna this week and Rihanna won. Awful harmonies and garish styling ruined this performance.
  7. Janet Devlin: Where did Janet go? Awful song choice and she forgot her words. Not only that, but even her vocals sounded amateurish tonight. It’s unfair that the judges have been advising her to break out of her “ballad queen” comfort zone, but then she chooses a baffling Jackson 5 number. She’s definitely in danger this week.
  8. Johnny Robinson: Ah, this is one joke act that’s worn thinner than Kelly Rowland on a crash diet. Johnny gave a schizophrenic performance tonight, helium-voiced in the first half and weirdly gruff in the second. I honestly can’t wait until this series is over so I can forget about this guy.
  9. Frankie Cocozza: If you thought a novelty act like Johnny was annoying, Frankie Cocozza is clearly the X Factor’s social experiment: how long can this guy go on singing out of tune and keep getting voted through? Hopefully this week the voters will see sense and let this hedge-haired wannabe become the has-been that he’s destined to become.

If there’s one piece of good news on the horizon, it’s that there’s a double-elimination tomorrow night. Two of your least favourite acts will be returning to the obscurity from whence they came. And about time too.

We have high hopes that Frankie Cocozza and Johnny Robinson will be sent home. And before you go shouting at us, we like Johnny, but his pantomime-grade performances are just boring now. This is a battle for a record deal, and there’s no way Johnny’s selling records after this. He’ll make his money on the tour (that is, if any of you can be bothered buying tickets to see him live) and retire to the Z List.

But enough about what we think – who are you hoping will get eliminated tomorrow?

Gerard McGarry is a jet-setting, world-renowned Reality TV critic. In real life, Gerard works with web and social media strategy. His personal blog is at or follow him on Twitter @gerrybot