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ALLY ROSS

X Factor can’t win the ratings war against Strictly… not with painful shrieking ‘singers’ like Soheila Cliffford

ED Balls' waltz could have been funnier - but was still a sight better than the X Factor 'talent' and a real draw to the BBC show

HARDLY any proper singing at The X 짯Factor?셲 6 Chair bunfight, at the weekend.

But there were a thousand more invitations to switch channel and two of the most impressive egos ever seen on the show.

The X Factors six chair challenge revealed an absolute dearth of talent
PA:Press Association
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The X Factor’s six chair challenge revealed an absolute dearth of talent

The first belonged to former Waterloo Road actor Will Rush, who invited everyone to sing along to ?쏿 catchy little song??he wrote at Boot Camp, while lowering 짯himself into a hot bath.

It went ?쏰oooh aiieeee, oooh aiiieeee, oooooh-aiiiiieeeeeeeeeeeeh,??and was greeted with the most deafening silence of the series.

Something closer to dumb terror, though, was the response to the arrival of stage-school monster Soheila Clifford who revealed, last week, that her parents re-mortgaged their house twice so she might scream her lid off for a living.

Soheila Cliffords parents remortgaged their house so she could pursue a singing career... and what a waste of money that was
PA:Press Association
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Soheila Clifford’s parents remortgaged their house so she could pursue a singing career… and what a waste of money that was
She told Simon he should take her as she has a lot of secret weapons - and shes right as her shrieking singing could kill
Splash News
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She told Simon he should take her as she ‘has a lot of secret weapons’ – and shes right as her shrieking singing could probably kill

This week she told Simon he had to choose her as: ?쏧 have a lot of secret weapons stored up.??The so-called 짯Saddam Hussein option and, in fairness, Soheila does have a voice like mustard gas which could take out most of 짯Wembley Arena, if ever used in anger.

The most telling words of the whole wretched process, however, came from Nicole Scherzinger, who said that, above all else: ?쏧 want to see some balls out there.??/p>

Me too, Nicole.

Nicole Scherzinger wanted to see some balls... and so did I, so I tuned in to Strictly
PA:Press Association
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Nicole Scherzinger ‘wanted to see some balls’… and so did I, so I tuned in to Strictly

Ed of that ilk, to be precise, who was Saturday?셲 biggest draw and the one real wild card in this year?셲 Strictly Come Dancing line-up.

The Beeb know this as well, which was the reason they?셝 drip-fed us tantalising details about the former Shadow 짯Chancellor?셲 opening dance for days.

It would involve a waltz, Elvis Presley?셲 Are You Lonesome Tonight, lots of sequins and, hopefully, a huge degree of embarrassment.

I?셫 reasonably pleased to report then that Ed Balls waltzes as expertly and 짯furtively as the next top-shelf newsagent prowler.

He came last as well and, ever the politician, described this defeat: ?쏛s a good base to build from.??/p>

Ed Balls fails to impress the Strictly Come Dancing judges after finishing last
Judge Rinder dances the Cha-cha-cha on Week 1 of Strictly Come Dancing

It was nothing like the jitterbugging humiliation I?셝 been longing for, though.

In fact, it wasn?셳 even as funny as Judge Rinder?셲 짯cha-cha-cha or the look of slight horror on the face of Ore Oduba?셲 wife when she realised his partner, Joanne Clifton, was her 짯absolute double.

Strictly always does this, of course. Introduces us to someone with great comic potential then vanishes them for three weeks and drills all the fun out of the situation.

It?셲 my biggest gripe with the show, though not the only one, as it still hasn?셳 resolved the Tessbot problem and 짯continues to overload itself with dance-trained bookings, like actor Danny Mac, who ruin it as any sort of meaningful contest.

I do think dance-trained celebs like Danny Mac should stay away from Strictly as it makes the competition unfair...
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I do think dance-trained celebs like Danny Mac should stay away from Strictly as it makes the competition unfair...
...And Craig Revel Horwoods right, the sob story around Daisy Lowes waltz DID make it too saccharine...
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...And Craig Revel Horwood's right, the sob story around Daisy Lowe's waltz DID make it too saccharine...
...But joyous moments like Louise Redknapps waltz secure Strictlys status as the best of Saturday night TV
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...But joyous moments like Louise Redknapp's jive혻secure Strictly's status as the best of Saturday night TV

I?셝 be an idiot, though, to pretend it isn?셳 still a great light-entertainment show which deservedly trounced its rival and produced both the week?셲 most joyful moment (Louise Redknapp?셲 jive) and its most unexpectedly touching (Lesley Joseph?셲 waltz).

You wonder then why the hell it also felt the need to introduce us to Daisy Lowe?셲 sob story.

Open the door on that one, as Craig Revel Horwood pointed out, and you end up as ?쐓ickly, schmaltzy, mawkish??and insincere as The X Factor where this year?셲 most prominent sob story, Christian Burrows, has grandly announced he?셲 no longer content with just being a 짯bartender.

He would now like ?쏷o be on stage, 짯touring the world?? Attaboy, Christian.

Today Wembley Arena, tomorrow the NEC Birmingham Food & Drink roadshow stall, shaking cocktails for the entire world.


National Treasure doesn't live up to its name

Channel 4 will have thought its new drama National Treasure was a sure-fire BAFTA winner, but the show misses its mark
PA:Press Association
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Channel 4 will have thought its new drama National Treasure was a sure-fire BAFTA winner, but the show misses its mark

CHANNEL 4 has been clearing a space for the Bafta trophies ever since it came up with the idea for National Treasure.

It had THE storyline, an incredibly talented cast and Robbie Coltrane, who?셲 not only brilliant enough to convince you he?셲 a daytime quiz show host but also looks like he does actually give the remotest toss about that hideous daughter of his.

So what could go wrong?

Well, quite apart from the fact no drama script could ever be more sensational than Operation Yewtree, there?셲 a Frank Skinner cameo to negotiate (plus Rylan?셲 ex-copper husband on technical duties) and an issue with Coltrane?셲 screen wife Julie Walters, who?셲 reached that stage of her career where no one?셲 brave enough to point out she can?셳 do accents.

Scottish? Irish? Search me. It pinged back and forth, like the Stranraer/Larne ferry.

It seems no ones told Julie Walters she cant do accents - and as her character appears so often this is very irritating
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It seems no one's told Julie Walters she can't do accents - and as her character appears so often this is very irritating

For darkly symbolic reasons, her character Marie also spends an unnatural amount of time looking furious at the top of a staircase, with her voice doing the rounds of Edinburgh, Belfast and Dublin.

The point at which it made an unscheduled stop in Montego Bay, though, was the moment I heard myself muttering: ?쏪ump, jump, jump.??/p>

Expect acclaim, tears and a container load of award nominations to follow anyway.


Locked Up could be a repeat

Jodie Marshs TV documentary Locked Up repeats the tired cliches of every other prison documentary
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Jodie Marsh's TV documentary Locked Up repeats the tired cliches of every other prison documentary

JODIE MARSH got Locked Up, Tuesday at 10pm, on TLC. But don?셳 bother forming the conga line just yet.

She was back out again by 11, having spent an hour with the female inmates of Dallas County Jail, where ?쐃very woman is given an intimate body search before losing their freedom, clothes and dignity??

A real busman?셲 holiday then for Jodie, above, whose visit bore an uncanny resemblance to TLC?셲 Vogue (Williams) In Prison and followed the pattern of almost every other prison documentary British television has ever made.

The
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The saccharine 'That could be me...' musings just weren't interesting now we've seen them in so many other shows

Arrive with some preconceived prejudices. Make some thunderingly thick observations (?쐄irst comes arrest, then jail??. Believe whatever the hell the last frightening person has told you. Then challenge the viewers with a poignant image and a ?쐔here but for the grace of God go I??quote.

A tiny cell. A single flickering TV screen. ?쏮entally disturbed women, digging in their private parts, blood all over the walls, throwing faeces.

?쏧t?셲 something we have to deal with 24 hours a day.??/p>

So make sure you never EVER complain about 60 minutes of Loose Women again.


TV Gold

Dalai Lama tells Piers Morgan that Kim Kardashian is no match on GMB

The Dalai Lama tickling Piers 짯Morgan?셲 chins on Good Morning Britain.

Gogglebox?셲 Scarlett Moffatt trying to get her head round Jilly Cooper: ?쏧s she p***ed or just really posh???/p>

Cold Feet capturing male middle-aged disappointment with life to uncomfortable perfection.

X Factor?셲 Olivia Garcia confounding everyone?셲 expectations, at the 6 Chair Challenge, by singing in tune and not wearing ripped jeans.

Goggleboxs Scarlett Moffatt spoke for us all in her confusion over Jilly Cooper
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Gogglebox's Scarlett Moffatt spoke for us all in her confusion over Jilly Cooper

And The Night Of, on Sky Atlantic, which may be the most brilliant, tense, darkly funny, beautifully acted and thought-provoking television show of the year.

Though, hand on heart, I haven?셳 caught up with last Thursday?셲 episode of Gok?셲 Fill Your House For Free yet.


 

Random TV irritations

Aston Merrygold leaving Bear Grylls' Celebrity Island really irked me this week
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Aston Merrygold's cowardly departure from혻Bear Grylls' Celebrity Island irked me this week

Gutless Aston 짯Merrygold wussing out of Bear Grylls??짯Celebrity Island.

The almost universal assumption all viewers find OTT gay men, like Ottavio and Bradley, utterly hilarious.

This Morning?셲 Phillip and Holly still refusing to let anyone in on their secret joke.

GMB guest Stephen Mangan greeting 짯Britain?셲 Paralympic team at Heathrow without the 짯appropriate signage: ?쏧 am one hullava guy.??/p>

And none of Channel 4?셲 Hunted contestants having the simple presence of mind to head straight for the Radio X building, inside which Chris Moyles vanished off the face of the earth in September 2015.

Presumably for a celebrity version with Dr Christian Jessen.


Great Sporting Insights

Arsenal scored against PSG but commentators strangely said they couldnt win playing like that...
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Arsenal scored against PSG but commentators strangely said they couldn't win playing like that...

Lee Dixon: ?쏛rsenal got a point against PSG but play like that against PSG and they?셪l get beat.??/p>

Paul Walsh: ?쏧f it wasn?셳 over now it definitely was before.??/p>

And Roy Keane: ?쏷aking nothing away from the free-kick, the keeper?셲 taken a step to the left which makes it easier.??/p>


Great TV lies and delusions of the month

X Factor's Caitlyn Vanbeck is deluded if she thinks judges' compliments are 'huge'
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X Factor's Caitlyn Vanbeck is deluded if she thinks judges' compliments are 'huge'

Celebs Go Dating, Eden: ?쏷he real Charlotte Crosby is a beautiful and wonderful human being.??/p>

Celebrity Island, Aston Merrygold: ?쏧?셫 better off in a studio writing songs and choreographing dance routines.??/p>

The X Factor, Caitlyn Vanbeck: ?쏝eing compared to Kelly Clarkson, that?셲 a huge thing.??It?셲 not and don?셳 call her ?쏿 thing??


Think-tank imbecile of the week?

Think Tank doesn't always bring out our best and brightest...
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Think Tank doesn't always bring out our best and brightest...

Bill Turnbull: ?쏻hich controversial dating website had its membership hacked and partially published on the web in August 2015???/p>

Rob: ?쏡avid Walliams.??/p>


Obituaries

Irony, asphyxiated up Kevin Pietersen?셲 back passage, on September 14, 2016, at the very moment Piers Morgan told Susanna Reid to: ?쏶top sucking up to everyone in show-business.??/p>

And, of course, the Labour Party, 1900-2016, suicide.

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