X Factor: Judges refuse to judge

First things first: How did Christchurch boy-band Moorhouse, the handsome SBWs, end up in the bottom two at last night’s elimination episode of the X Factor Hadn’t we all agreed that not necessarily the best voices win but rather those who appeal to a certain fan base Like to teenage girls

I blame their song choice on Sunday’s Best of British show. Why not have them perform one of those cripplingly cute songs from One Direction or someone their target market actually knows Having them sing The Police’s 1983 creepy stalker anthem Every Step You Take in a pretty average, static arrangement was probably not judge Mel Blatt’s best decision.

But back to the start. Host Dominique Bowden again kicked off the decision show in his now-trademark grey suit. With a grey tie. And a powder blue shirt. Funky! He really knows how to roll with the young ‘uns.

After a quick recap of Sunday’s show that was oh so full of praise and “prouds” the host presses the judges to pick who they saw as most likely to go home.

Daniel Bedingfield (dressed of course in his battling tartans) picks Tom Bachelor (who he actually “didn’t really hate” the night before) and Anna Wilson. Ruby Frost (whose lipstick clashed terribly with her pink hair) has no love for L.O.V.E., Stan Walker chickens out (It’s too tough, man!) and Blatt picks Fletcher Mills.

Then it’s time for an “exclusive performance of Walker’s new single Bulletproof”.

“Exclusive” meaning he’s not performing anywhere else tonight Wow!

He knows what he’s doing, but geez, who is dressing him He’s wearing a mumu-like oversized t-shirt with rolled up skinny jeans while doing a bit of hip shaking and stomping around.

But all that doesn’t really count, given the love the judges show for their performing fellow judge. Bedingfield is dreamily singing along and Blatt is doing some semi-enthustiantic chair dancing. Happy faces all around.

Now finally (IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER!) Bowden announces who’s through and who isn’t.

Whenua Patua made it, so did leather-pants Bachelor, little Cassie Henderson, charming Bennie Tipene, heart-throb Fletcher Mills, soulful Maaka Fiso, lovely-voiced Jackie Thomas, pretty Anna Wilson and feisty girl-group Gap 5.

Bowden’s overdoing the pauses between announcing the acts so much that it doesn’t add an element of suspense, but produces the urge to kick him in the shins to make him hurry up.

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The only ones left on the stage are judge Blatt and two of her groups. Not really surprisingly L.O.V.E. are there, and to the shock of scores of teenage girls, so are the Moorehouse hunks.

Blatt now has the toughest job of the night. One of her charges would definitely be sent home and she would have to pick her favourite. It’s like being able to save only one of your drowning children in a rip. Tough call. Tears well.

In the sing-off L.O.V.E. perform TLC’s No Scrubs and they’re actually doing a nice enough job before Blatt tearfully introduces Moorhouse, who perform a rather boring version of U2’s 1987 song Without or Without You. Somebody should introduce their mentor to some songs of this decade if they want to have a shot at stardom.

When it’s up to her to do her judging she tells them she thought she’d failed them and stubbornly refuses to vote off one of her acts. Even Bowden’s firm words can’t convince her and she’s just snaps: “I am not doing it.”

Fair enough.

Walker is yousing it up, telling both groups heaps of nice things before sending L.O.V.E packing. Next up is Bedingfield who is also giving a long dissertation on how amazing L.O.V.E. are. He also says he’s not judging although that is the only reason he’s here tonight.

In the end he picks the guys and that’s the end for “the only people with real swag on the show”, Hamilton’s L.O.V.E.

And before we were allowed to go to bed, Bowden announces another twist.

Next week, not one but two acts will be leaving the X-Factor for good.

Possibly not the best omen for the show. Are the producers getting bored Do they want to speed the process up

Or are they running out of judges willing to perform as the stars on the dragged-out decision show

We’ll see.