Category Archives: Reality TV

Jordan’s a celebrity, why did she get out of there?

So, Jordan’s left I’m A Celebrity and many would say good riddance.  But I for one will miss her.

The glamour model was nominated for seven consecutive trials

The glamour model was nominated for seven Bushtucker trials in a row (Photo courtesy of Phil Guest)

I know, I know.  Katie Price knew what she was getting herself into when she signed up for I’m a Celebrity. She was hardly the nation’s sweetheart when she went into the jungle, famed for pushing the boundaries of human suffering.  But I think the British public should give her a break.

Yes, her split with Peter Andre may not have shown her in the best light.  But unlike Peter, who seems to have been told to stare wistfully into the distance and talk about his kids every few seconds, Katie did what any self-respecting celeb would do.  She went to Ibiza, got trashed and nabbed herself a cross-dressing, cage-fighting boyfriend.  Ask yourself this question:  if all celebrities were like this, would the world not be a far better place?

And like all true celebs, she has an alter ego.  Beyonce has Sasha.  Jennifer Lopez has J-Lo.  Katie has Jordan.  By day she is Katie,  the average, stay-at-home type, but at night she becomes Jordan, the surgery addict who likes to play with the notions of human decency and taste.  She is almost like a modern day superhero.  And to top it all off, she is willing to eat a kangeroo anus to win favour with the British public.  If that isn’t true star quality, I don’t know what is.

No, I’d keep an eye on Stuart instead.  His dazzlingly white teeth and chiselled jaw may have blinded a few people, but I just don’t trust him.  Look at how long he was prepared to stand holding water in a tube to escape nominations.  And after all that, he moaned about his immunity and claimed he was “taking one for the team”.  Unless he has an unusual fetish for saving water, something doesn’t quite add up, methinks…

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Jedward song choices

So Jedward delivered another monumental performance on Saturday, inspired by 90s rap legend Vanilla Ice.  Simon even gave them their own country of “Jedwardland”.

Now that my love for the twins has become public, I thought I would address the one question on everyone’s lips this week:  what will the twins sing this Saturday?  Here are a few of my suggestions:

1.  Chumbawumba – Tubthumpin’ Perfect for the boys  – they get knocked down, but they get up again, you ain’t ever gonna keep them down.  Plus it doesn’t have much of a tune – although Jedward are becoming less vocally challenged, I’m still not sure they’re quite ready to attempt the high notes.

Could the twins rock the 90s look?

2.  PJ and Duncan – Let’s Get Ready to Rhumble After Louis suggested the twins could be the new Ant & Dec, it seems only right they pay homage to one of their 90s numbers.  And who didn’t secretly love PJ and Duncan?  I can see a classic Jedward outfit coming on – nineties fashion at its best.  Tracksuits would also  make a welcome move away from their PVC numbers…

3.  Beastie Boys Fight for the Right to Party Jedward may be too young to remember who the Beastie Boys are, but I think they could do them proud with this song.  If they manage to incorporate any of their ground-breaking dance moves in with it, all the better.

What do you think?  Any suggestions welcome…

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Jedward survive another week

The twins have caused more controversy this week

So Jedward have ousted Lucie in a shock X Factor result.  Simon’s decision to rely on the public vote has provoked widespread outrage.  And as much as I love Ireland’s dynamic duo, I was surprised and disappointed to see a contender like Lucie go.  But let’s not be too hard on the boys.

Yes, many people find them annoying.  Their singing talents are at best mediocre.  And to the untrained eye, their performances may resemble a bad pantomime act.

But let’s consider how many gifted artists have been unappreciated in their own time.  Van Gogh.  Bach.  Wilde.  Maybe one day people will look back and marvel at how the twins’ genius went unnoticed.  There’s a lot of potential behind that mass of generously backcombed hair.

The “Jedward experience” is unlike anything we’ve seen before and, in many ways, ahead of its time.  Who could ever have imagined that a Ghostbusters dance routine would become such an integral part of the X Factor?  Say what you like about them, they’re certainly different.

And what they lack in conventional ability, they make up for with enthusiasm.  That requires one hell of a lot of enthusiasm.  Every week they come out and desperately try to win over the audience.  They wear humiliating costumes.  They do backflips.  They attempt Irish rap.  What more could an audience ask for?

"If there's something strange in the neighbourhood": the 3am girls have started a nation-wide craze for Jedward masks

"If there's something strange in your neighbourhood": the 3am girls have started a nationwide craze for Jedward masks

So, as unpopular as it may seem, I’ll be backing the twins to the bitter end.  And it seems that I’m not the only one.  Little by little, people are seeing the light that is Jedward.  As Louis puts it, they “have something”.  Whether it’s a good or bad thing I’m not sure, but they definitely have something.  And that’s a great place to start.

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Strictly Arlene withdrawal

Arlene Phillips

Do we miss Strictly's queen of mean?

Strictly Come Dancing has been far from quiet this series.  Not only has Anton caused a race rowAli Bastian has fallen for her dance partner and Jo Wood’s been branded a bush kangaroo.  But despite all the controversy, there’s still only one question on everyone’s lips:  should Alesha Dixon have replaced Arlene Phillips on the panel?

I’ve never been a huge Arlene fan.  I know she has a wealth of technical experience and has taught choreography for years.  But most of her comments on the show seemed to be either unintelligible sound bites or unwanted overtures to the male contestants.  I’ll never forget the mixture of embarrassment and pain on Mark Ramprakash’s face as she raved about his “snake hips”.  Or the forced smiles of the other male celebrities who had to fight off the female equivalent of Len Goodman, who seems to enjoy the skimpy Strictly costumes far too much.  Saying all that though, I do miss Arlene.

Yes, she could be irritating, cutting and sometimes bizarre.  But she was like an annoying relative.  You can’t wait to get rid of them when they’re with you, yet for some inexplicable reason you miss them when they’re gone.  Although Alesha’s nice enough, she just doesn’t come out with meaningless metaphors the way Arlene used to.  In a quest to find out if I was the only one suffering from Arlene withdrawal, I asked a few people on the street:

Do you think Alesha Dixon has made a good replacement for Arlene Philips on Strictly Come Dancing?

Ann Goodman, 54, lecturer, Cardiff

“No, Arlene Phillips has a lot experience with choreography and I think she’s the expert on that.”

Kieran Hart, 25, traffic warden, Cardiff

“To be honest, no, just because she doesn’t have Arlene’s experience.”

Vicky Bailey, 31, receptionist, Bristol

“Yes, I can’t stand Arlene Phillips so I think Alesha’s an improvement.  At least she doesn’t sexually harass the male contestants!”

Jack Howell, 51, construction worker, Bristol

“No, I think she’s a nice girl but she doesn’t say anything that we wouldn’t say at home.”

Sue Kendrick, 45, housewife, Bath

“Not really, it’s a shame because she was great before on the show, but I just don’t think it’s worked the same way as it

Rhian Jones, 19, shop assistant, Bristol

“Yeah, I think it’s good to change things once in a while.  You get bored with the same old judges all the time, don’t you?”

Caroline Wain, 47, housewife, Gloucestershire

“Personally I don’t.  I don’t dislike her but I don’t think she’s got enough insight into dancing.”

So it looks as though I’m not the only one missing Arlene’s bizarre charm.  Rumour has it that she may rejoin the series after being asked back for the Strictly Come Dancing live tour.  Perhaps Arlene will be making a comeback in the near future?  Watch this space.

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Oops! John and Edward have done it again

When I heard X Factor’s John and Edward would be performing Oops!  I did it again, I mentally prepared myself for one of the most disturbing performances of all time.  Things didn’t get any better when they emerged wearing tight, red PVC jackets.  But I think it turned out to be the most entertaining performance of the night.

Yes, the other contestants can sing and dance well, but John and Edward have a unique selling point:  they can’t do either of those things.  As irritating as it was when they believed they were the next Backstreet Boys, they’ve now become weirdly entertaining.

And I’m not the only one who’s fallen for their “unique” brand of entertainment.  Last week they managed to avoid the bottom two despite a truly hideous performance of Rock DJ.  As unlikely as it seemed at the beginning, it seems that they are gathering a following as a novelty act.  Even Simon is warming to them.  Looking unusually happy, he told the boys on Saturday that their performance reminded him of The Exorcist.  Perhaps not the ideal compliment for an act to receive, but he has a point.  Parts of the Britney Spears rendition were truly terrifying, yet for some reason I wanted to watch it again.

Don’t ask me what’s so entertaining about the deluded duo.  Yes, the out-of-time dance routines provide endless comedy moments.  And the out-of-tune singing is equally funny.  But couldn’t we see something similarly hopeless at a local school play?  No, John and Edward have something else which makes us support them against all our better judgement.  The X Factor, perhaps?  If so, we may have to prepare ourselves for the most unlikely winners to date.

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Danni’s X Factor Blunder

The X factor is no stranger to controversy.  Over the years we’ve watched Sharon storm off, Danni dish the dirt and Simon sort the can-bes from the wanna-bes.   But it seemed that no-one was prepared for Danni Minogue’s jibe at contestant Danyl this Saturday.

After singing the traditionally female song “I’m telling you”, Danyl was heavily criticised by the judges for being over-confident.  However, Danni took the criticism a step further with a controversial remark about his sexuality.  The audience were unusually silent as the judge told Danyl:  “If we’re to believe what we read in the papers, there was no need to switch the gender reference in that song”.   The complaints flooded in as Danyl left the stage teary-eyed, prompting calls from some viewers for Danni to leave the show.  So on a programme where contestants are regularly reduced to tears, why has this caused such controversy?

Perhaps the main issue is that the comment wasn’t relevant to his performance.  Simon has made some pretty personal remarks in the past, but they’ve mainly been points which could affect the contestant’s chances.  When he called John and Edward obnoxious, the audience was mainly behind him.  Not only because the fake American accents, metre-high hair and blazer get-up had provoked the same feeling of nausea in all of us, but because their image could cost them votes.  Danyl’s sexuality, however, shouldn’t affect votes or performance.  This is maybe why Danni came across as being excessively personal and unfair.  In fact, Danyl later revealed that the comment was an in-joke between him and the judge and was not intended maliciously.

That’s not to say the comments between the judges are quite so innocuous.  Louis and Simon regularly exchange personal jibes regarding each other’s sexuality, style and taste in music and yet no-one bats an eyelid.  Perhaps because the judges are better-positioned than the contestants to defend themselves.  Or perhaps because anyone who wears high-waisted trousers, whitens their teeth and says their most treasured possession is a mirror deserves whatever is thrown at them.  Although if there is any truth to the insults, I think Louis and Simon would make a lovely couple.  Where else could you find two middle-aged men who openly admit to liking Westlife?

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