We are Frisky and Mannish, the nation's foremost pop academics and a "global phenomenon." [The Times] We have been educating audiences on pop mechanics and semantics since our first show, School of Pop, at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2009.
As such, we are fully qualified to analyse the inner-workings and cultural repercussions of that Saturday night pop music behemoth, the eighth series of the X Factor. Video-blogging (or VidBlogs) seemed the natural extension to our popular #xfactor tweetalongs, especially since there are many occasions for which 120 characters aren't enough. (We refer you to Wagner, Chico, and Goldie's scarf.)
Since we started our VidBlog series in October, we have been hosted by the online branch of the esteemed publication, heat. This must surely be due to our rigorous analytical style and thought-provoking debates, with titles such as "What precise semantic change has been wrought by the colloquial vernacular of 2 Shoes?" We ask the important questions.
This series of the X Factor has been remarkable for many reasons, a few of which we list below:
- Blatant discrimination towards cabaret and pantomime (Johnny, Sami)
- Blatant favouritism towards bland competence (Marcus)
- Bullying claims both backstage (Misha) and online (Little Mix)
- Boybands that are interchangeable (Nu Risk Vibe Rusk Risk)
- The press surrounding Frankie Cocozza (this decade's Deirdre Rachid)
- Dermot's dancing
The contestants have been an odd mixture of yawns, weirdos and people we've come to love. Craig, Sophie and Marcus lamentably fell into the first category, despite all being perfectly nice people about whom we'd not wish to be rude. Kitty undeniably owned the second category, purely based on comments made before or after her performances - all of which were rather quotidian and not as "controversial" as she'd have liked us to believe. The third category kept us going through the weeks. Our "precious one," Johnny, we loved in all guises, from geisha to grande dame. Little Mix - we will not enter into this ludicrous Muffins business - have emerged as serious contenders for the throne departed by Girls Aloud. (The Saturdays can just give up, it's over.) And Amelia's "journey" alone has given the series some sense of the fall and rise of a great tragic character in the mould of Lear. Bravissima.
The judges, three of whom are on the panel for the first time, have each contributed the most memorably ludicrous moments of the series. Returning granddad Louis Walsh had surpassed the realm of self-parody by week four, embracing his joke-butt status and offering endless adaptations of "You're only however-old-you-are, and you remind me of a young whatever-it-is-you-look-vaguely-like." Tulisa has been studying for a BTEC in Reality Television Judging, and kept referring to the course modules, talking about rehearsals/brands/trends/PAs/backstage events. (Smoke and mirrors, Tulisa, come on.) Kelly Rowland pulled a massive sicky and did a fake coughing voice, which is obviously something we've all done, but not usually live to an audience of millions. And Gary Barlow wears lip balm and has microdermabrasion facials. Finally, Alexandra Burke.com. Let us never forget the lessons learned on that bleak eve.
All of our previous VidBlogs are still available for perusal on our official YouTube channel (LadyFitzFrisky), and we will be cracking open the bubbly wine and Pringles for next week's finale. We hope you will digest our wisdom, and improve yourselves in the process.
You can also see Frisky and Mannish live in London tonight at Shepherds Bush Empire, doors open at 7pm