Our friend Robert turned up this evening for some posh nosh and a bit of X-Factor.
The Ugly One, emboldened by a freezer full of hoity-toity meat, had been to The Wholefood Shop to buy a matching set of posh mushrooms.
Thus we had mushroom risotto, followed by game bird pie with five-vegetable mash and madeira gravy, followed by raspberry and passion-fruit pavlova.
A touch of verisimilitude was added to the evening by my discovery of a piece of shot in a portion of bird. I’m not sure if it was partridge or pheasant. I just know it had been shot, presumably by some posh person out in the country.
The X-Factor is getting more bizarre, particularly in view of the fact that they are inviting guest artists more known for their success than their actual talent. Last year we had Celine Dion, who had to be forcibly silenced on stage after gabbling on interminably about the other acts. This year we have already had Mariah Carey (why use one note when thirty seven will do perfectly well?) who grinned manically through her botox death mask while muttering ‘awesome!’ through her seemingly wired-together teeth.
Tonight it was Britney Spears, and because Britney was due to appear, the poor contestants had to perform Britney songs. I was not convinced there were enough well-known Britney songs to go around, but apparently there are.
I knew three of them.
As was to be expected, the contestants did not do well. Britney songs are, for one thing, not particularly good ‘songs’. As recordings, they were no more than over-produced dance tracks with augmented or adjusted vocals, and wouldn’t stand alone as ‘songs’. It is obvious that the producers saw the appearance of Britney as something of a coup, and consequently the interests of the contestants themselves were sidelined, particularly in view of the fact that she was not in a mentoring role as all other guests have been.
The highlight of the show was Britney herself, but for all the wrong reasons. Stumbling around the stage and miming very obviously and – one might add – incredibly badly, she was then interviewed very very briefly by Dermot O’Leary and, when asked about the other contestants’ performances, avoided the question and talked about how awesome London was.
It appears that Ms Spears did not see any of the contestants’ performances.
On the X-tra Factor later it was only ‘Gavin & Stacey’s James Corden who was brave enough to point out Britney’s deficiencies. ‘She comes on, does a half-arsed bit of miming and then buggers off straightaway to do a set at Heaven.’
As it turned out, Heaven was to be disappointed, since Ms Spears failed to turn up and took an early morning flight back, hopefully to eventual obscurity.