Leona had tonsillitis this week. She could hardly croak a note by Wednesday and was filmed sitting on her bed pretending to sing. But even a Leona with tonsillitis is more than a match for the rest. I had asked in a previous blog entry whether the world needed another Whitney Houston, and Leona obliged by singing a Whitney Houston song, I Will Always Love You, exactly the way Whitney would. She also sang Lady Marmalade, very much “voulez-vous chanter avec moi ce soir?” as opposed to “coucher.” Would I like to sing with her this evening? Huh?
She still blew everyone else off the stage.
The group who have consistently endured the most cutting comments from Simon Cowell have been Scottish duo, the Macdonald Brothers. He calls them a wedding band, which is indeed what they did before entering the X-Factor. This week, they decided to sing the Proclaimers classic, 500 Miles.
It backfired on them a little when the Proclaimers’ manager was asked to offer his support for his fellow countrymen, and instead barked that the Macdonalds hadn’t half the talent of the Proclaimers and represented “everything that was wrong with this kind of show.”
He’s right in a way. The Proclaimers do have vastly more talent. People who can write a song as good as Letter from America (brilliantly ironic video too!)are way ahead of anyone on a TV talent competition. But the manager also misses the point, I think, as the X-Factor isn’t really about talent, despite being billed as a talent show. It’s entertainment – the sparring of the judges, the unpredictability of the public vote, the way acts can be hyped one week and booted out the next, the backstory of each of the contestants and the way we begin to feel we almost know them.
And frankly, the Macdonalds shone for the first time last night, and although they added nothing to the Proclaimers’ original, they looked as if they were finally enjoying themselves. And Simon was forced into telling them that it was “very good.” Yay! Well done, guys...
I’m still working on a sonnet for Sonnet Sunday. Coming up. Before midnight, I hope.