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Elton-themed X Factor
Monday, November 15 2010

Perhaps it was Simon’s ultimate revenge. The X Factor’s most famous hater, Sir Elton John, had the honour of the show on NOvember 13, 2010 being dedicated entirely to him.

“There will be a fair share of tantrums and tiaras,” said Dermot deadpan, shoe-horning the first of many Elton motifs into the show. If he did tune in, one can only wonder what the multi-million- selling singer would have made as his back catalogue was put through the shredder.

It was only a few weeks ago that Elton – never one to shy away from an opinion – had his most recent rant about the reality TV show. He doesn’t like talent shows. He doesn’t think they prepare singers for stardom. The whole concept, he said witheringly, is “boring, a***- paralysingly, brain crippling”.

At the time Simon promised to send him a tape of Rebecca Ferguson singing to prove him wrong. Perhaps he should have stuck with his original idea as the one thing the show on November 13, 2010 proved was that there is only one person who can sing Elton John – and that’s Elton. Act after act gave it their best shot but most were overpowered by the songs.

Actually, Rebecca, who sang last, gave one of the better performances. Her take on "Candle In The Wind" was typically understated and rather beautiful. And boy band One Direction were impressive with "Something About The Way You Look Tonight". But elsewhere everyone struggled.

Confronted with difficult songs, many of the acts simply bellowed over the backing track in the hope no one would notice they didn’t quite have a handle on the melody. The show opened with Paije singing "Crocodile Rock", which kick-started the judges into a fervour of criticism. It was the wrong song and sounded like “bad karaoke”, said Louis.

Simon said that Paije now had zero chance of winning the competition. Cheryl, who you presume as a judge might have boned up a bit on Elton’s oeuvre, said she wasn’t familiar with the song in question but it looked like Paije was “having fun”. Paije, bless him, looked as if he was about to cry.

Aiden sang "Rocket Man" and deviated from the original melody so frequently it’s up for debate whether he, to use X Factor lingo, “made the song his own” or just didn’t know the tune. Mary bellowed "Can You Feel The Love Tonight" and Katie, looking like the demented love child of Olivia Newton-John in Grease and Lily Savage, shouted her way through "Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting" while punching the air a lot.

Matt did the best he could with "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road", an incredibly difficult song. And then there was Wagner. He concentrated so hard on remembering the words he looked in danger of passing out. Cher was better but still not as good as she has been. It wasn’t a vintage show and, by this stage of the competition, one was hoping for a bit more.

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