The would-be-famous cry us a river in X Factor, Gary Barlow claps like a seal, and in Downton, Mary finally gets her flirt on. Oh yeh and there was the little matter of the return of perhaps the greatest Irish television drama ever Love / Hate .... But you can read about that here
This week, it was the judges houses for X Factor, and as usual, their swanky pads got us feeling like we’d tuned into an episode of Cribs. If only. This week, I can report that Nicole’s gone blonde, Gary spent the evening wistfully gazing across the New York skyline, and we even had some added help from Mary J Blige and Olly Murs. Cool as Mary J is, however, she hasn’t released much for a while, and one couldn’t help but wonder whether some of the young songstresses performing for her really had any idea who she was. There was weeping a –plenty, as Nicole gave a couple of her girls the boot, especially from poor old Mary McCabe – hopes dashed for the fourth time. Abi Alton pipped her to the post, and there was mascara all over the place in celebration. Meanwhile, with the battle of the bands, Kingston Road made the cut (and induced Gary’s rather odd seal celebration) before a pile-on ensued. Similarly, despite there remaining some rather ominous “visa issues”, slowing down Rough Copy’s progress (one of the trio was unable to get to America to perform on Gary’s rooftop), Barlow has put his faith in the boys, and went to surprise the missing bandmate and invite him to rejoin his pals in the next stage. Miss Dynamix, formed at the last minute in the previous episode will also be heading to the Live Shows. Hilariously, not only did we see the successful candidates go and report home to Mum, but the unsuccessful ones also. This gritty. hard-hitting, dream-crushing side to X Factor is still an angle the producers are yet to master - we all know it’s really just a talent show where the winner never does as well as the joker who comes second or third, but they’ve tried to inject even more emotions than the years of sob stories have provided. Alas, it hasn’t made us like any of the candidates any more, if anything, it’s just made us want to avoid people with tears in their eyes at all costs, forever, in case they sporadically break into song.
Downton has at last surrendered to some eventful plot lines, hooray hurrah, and Mary it seems, is almost ready to get back in the saddle, even if she’ll be “stiff as a board the next day”. She goes riding with her would-be suitor, and though tries to avoid him for a dance, her Grandmother is having none of it, and so rises to the occasion in a dress that looks suspiciously French Connection. Eventually though, she has to run off and weep because Rose is playing the records on Matthew’s gramophone, ouch.
It turns out the slutty servant from last week, who’d been fired before, but we couldn’t remember why, had been trying to get with Branson. AHA. This week, she pours him a pretty strong looking whiskey, after he has to cope with the shame of being both Irish and not friends with the Powerscourts. Come on Branson, get over it, you knew these Grantham’s moved in lofty circles. Don’t get with her, she seems like a sneaky one. Oh, and it turns out he’s from Bray in case you were wondering. Lovely.
While Carson is bemoaning the topsy turvy world he lives in, Bates ruins a game of racing demon for everyone, by being his usual damp self. However, the excitement has given Anna a headache, and when she nips downstairs for a painkiller, the visiting servant who introduced racing demon, rapes her in the cellar. Her screams are drowned out by the opera raging on upstairs, and when Mrs Hughes discovers her later, Anna makes it very clear she’s not to tell a soul. Bates limps along to her side later, and she won’t go near him – obviously it’s all going to cause some serious issues in the coming weeks for the pair of them, especially if she insists on staying schtum. In more light-hearted news though, Edith’s beau finally manages to get Lord Grantham on side, by winning back the money he’d lost at poker the night before. Cue him dashing off with Edith to Germany, or at least trying to, if we’re not very much mistaken.