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Rylan Clark: Is he the worst 'X Factor' finalist ever?

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Among all Louis Walsh's face-pulling, Gary Barlow's pouting and the "shadowy man" whispering on Sunday night's X Factor, one minor point has managed to get overlooked - Rylan Clark's survival song performance was hideous.

Not just bad. Not merely out of tune. Not just mildly underwhelming. It was poke-yourself-in-the-ears-with-a-knitting-needle-to-make-it-stop awful.

The X Factor Results Show: Rylan

© Ken McKay/Thames/Rex Features

The X Factor Live Show 1: Rylan

© Ken McKay/Thames/Rex Features



Throw in his Saturday live show routine, which involved him parading his lanky limbs around the stage in some BacoFoil and too much eyeliner to a slapdash dance reworking of Spandau Ballet's 'Gold'. Like a giraffe with a George Michael goatee beard wig Pritt sticked on, the only surprise is that anyone actually bothered to pick up the phone and vote for him.

When it came to the sing-off, Nicole Scherzinger feigned shock and horror that the Essex terror had not won over the hearts of the nation with his blend of screeching, bum notes, terrible enunciation and look-at-me stage moves.

Of course, Rylan was never going to leave in week one. The judges and producers hope that he will stick around to irritate us and clog up magazine and newspaper columns for at the very least a month. The only real surprise on Sunday was that it took Louis Walsh two minutes of bad acting (the Irishman's 'concerned face' looked more like a seizure) to make his call.

Watch (if you can face it) Rylan Clark's song for survival - 'One Night Only':



The X Factor Live Shows have a tradition of novelty acts dating way back to Chico in series two.

Chico laid down a blueprint for all future X Factor oddballs and joke figures. Simon Cowell walked out after his first audition. He wooed one of the judges with his 'charm' (Sharon Osbourne). After a grinding relentless assault of silliness, the British public eventually warmed to him. His debut single 'It's Chico Time' even knocked Madonna off No.1.

After Chico came Same Difference, Jedward, Wagner, Katie Waissel, Kitty Brucknell, Diva Fever, Storm Lee and 2 Shoes. All very different acts, but the one thing uniting them was the fact that they were chosen with TV ratings in mind, rather than record deals.

Watch Chico performing 'Chico Time' on the Live Shows:



The difference between Rylan and the above acts is that he's lacking the vocal talents of some (Kitty, Storm, Same Difference) and surreal, WTF charm of the rest (Jedward, Wagner, Diva Fever).

When Wagner came out on the first live show with booby-rubbing dancing girls and some congas, it was jaw-dropping, classic Saturday night TV. When Jedward bounced around to the theme to Ghostbusters, it was hard not to smile.

Where Rylan differs is in his desperation for fame. A failed Big Brother applicant. A contestant on Katie Price's TV hunt to find 'a new Katie Price'. He's the sort of person who can't possibly walk past a selection of hats in a shop without trying them all on.

There's nothing wrong with being fame-hungry. Brucknell was addicted to the camera. But she was one of the best singers in the competition. Katie Waissel is probably the closest comparison, but even she could hold a tune and if Rylan sings something as impressive as her week two performance of 'I Would Rather Go Blind' on Saturday, we'll flash our buttocks in Oxford Circus.

Watch Katie Waissel on The X Factor:



There isn't a contestant who has a bad word to say about Rylan and from what we've heard from those who work on the show, he's one of the funniest and most lovely acts they've ever had behind the scenes. But when he takes to the stage with his Butlins dance moves and self-consciously diva routines, there's a horrible chemical reaction that occurs.

Frankie Cocozza may have sounded like an asthmatic pensioner when he plodded through his songs last year, but that was at least all part of his faux rock 'n' roll, reality TV star-shagging, golden-rule breaking act. We were supposed to hate Cocozza, he was a bad boy.

Rylan's schtick is supposed to make us laugh, giggle, shock us, entertain us. It doesn't. It's like watching a succession of bad Big Brother audition tapes, being performed by a tone deaf buffoon.

Do you think that Rylan is the worst X Factor finalist ever? Let us know below!

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