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Now that good ol’ (OK, bad ol’) Simon Cowell has taken his X Factor juggernaut Stateside, and the Australian and UK version keep on trucking, the interweb world is literally swimming in X Factor. Which is not a problem over here in Big Cheese land. Not at all! Especially not now that things are rolling, the live shows have well and truly kicked off, and the lamer acts (and sometimes not so lame ones) are dropping like flies.

In fact, now we’re only a couple of months away from Christmas, when the steam train that is the X Factor thunders towards its crescendo – like the hopped up locomotive at the end of Back to the Future 3, pyrotechnics exploding like the roaring engine, ballads and big notes spewing from contestants mouths like steam from the chimney – I can’t get enough! So who are our favourites? Who have we been sad to see go? What have we enjoyed so far in all three seasons of our favourite guilty pleasure?

Let’s start in Australia, where they’re down to the final 5.

 

REECE MASTIN

 

My favourite (and the contestant I think most deserves to win) is the fabulous Reece. He has had a shaky couple of weeks, but (much to my relief) he has held on. With the right song choices (come on Guy) he has the potential and the talent to win the whole damn thing.

 

JOHNNY RUFFO

 

Controversial, I know, but I just can’t help liking Johnny. Sure, he’s not the best singer, but neither are half the pop stars on the charts. I mean, have you heard Cheryl Cole sing?? But you’ve gotta admit, the guy is gorgeous, and boy can he move! Plus, he actually sang great last weekend. I hope Johnny makes it right to the end!

 

THREE WISHEZ

 

I have been rooting for these guys since the start, because I genuinely can see them having a career. It hasn’t always gelled for me, but there is definitely a lot of potential there, and every week I hope they smash it.

Now, over to the UK, where things have been going all pear shaped! Frankie knocked out for boasting about using cocaine, The Risk eliminated unceremoniously last week (which actually really disappointed me, and if it weren’t for Marcus I really wouldn’t have any interest in the show at all). Kelly “sick”, Louis destroying the credibility of his acts (as usual), Gary hating on fun, Tulisa saying “blew me out of the water” every chance she gets – it’s been a veritable whirlwind. Ok, Misha is good. And I don’t mind Little Mix. But with Janet and Craig vying for most bland act ever, how do we feel about the race to the finals? Who do we want to win?

 

MARCUS COLLINS

 

I love Marcus. Mostly cos he’s lovely. And a total cutie. And he always puts on a good show. And he’s getting better every week. But I do wonder if he’s doing so well because the other acts are mostly LAME! I want him to do a big ballad and prove he can really sing. Make me feel it, Marcus!

 

THE RISK

 

Ok, Ok… I know they’ve gone. But I miss them already. And I LOVED their performance last week. I’ll miss their cute cheeky faces, and little dance moves. I’ll miss Derry trying to chat up every female pop star he could. Now Frankie is out, bring back The Risk! I don’t care how many times their line up changes. As long as Andy, Derry and Charlie are there, I’ll be happy.

And now, over to the States! They are a bit further back in proceedings there, with only two live shows, and one live vote under their belts. And it’s already gone awry! The AMAZING Stereo Hogzz in the bottom 2! Luckily they survived the chop to be awesome another day. I only have three favourites in the US version. Who are yours?

 

STEREO HOGZZ

 

A little bit of Motown, and a little bit of current,edginess. Smooth moves, great voices. What’s not to like? Why were they in the bottom 2 America?! Vote for the Hogzz. The show will be boring without them. You don’t just want to watch Stacey Francis and Melanie Amaro have a ballad-off, do you? BORING!

 

MARCUS CANTY

 

The other Marcus. I totally love him. Of course, it didn’t hurt that he did Bobby Brown last week, and that he danced and sang his little booty off. Go Marcus!  I look forward to seeing what you do next this week.

 

ASTRO

 

Ok, so this is a late edition to this post, because Astro totally smashed it on tonight’s show! He’s always been good, but now I think he totally deserves to be in this list. He’s a real talent.

So, these are my favourites, and the acts I look forward to seeing every week. What are yours?

So, the interweb rumour mill has cranked into overdrive, this time with the news that Arrested Development is back! There has long been speculation that an Arrested Development movie was in the pipeline, but now comes the news that the movie is to be preceded by a short season, with one episode following each of the characters, building up to the release of the film.

The news has emerged from a cast reunion at the New Yorker Festival, where series creator Mitch Huwitz made the announcement, which was followed up by the New Yorker Twitter feed stating: “Arrested Development coming back for one more TV season before movie.”

New York Times reporter Dave Itzkoff was also at the Q&A and he tweeted “Mitch Hurwitz says he plans limited Arrested Development series (9-10 eps, 1 character per ep) that would lead into movie.”

And just this morning Jason Bateman has confirmed all the speculation by tweeting about the news himself: “It’s true. We will do 10 episodes and the movie. Probably shoot them all together next summer for a release in early ’13. VERY excited!”

The news is also bound to have the show’s many fans very excited, and counting the days until everything comes together and goes to air.

So, now Arrested Development has been resurrected, there might be hope for Freaks & Geeks yet!

Dear God, why can’t I stop thinking about this man??!!

I’ve watched Rock N Rolla, and the BBC series’ Oliver Twist and Wuthering Heights all in the last week and I still can’t get enough! I love his eyes, and his lips and his voice… oh his voice. And that’s before we even get to the body, and the tatts and…. Sorry, I just drifted off there for a moment!

AND, what’s more, he’s an amazing actor. Mark my words, this man is destined for greatness. Bring on Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and the new Batman, The Dark Knight Rises. Frankly, I can’t wait til he gets to play a bit of a romantic lead, cos if I love him when he’s playing a psycho I’ll be beside myself if he’s being gorgeous…

Ok, so I know I’m behaving like a 16 year old girl. But seriously – LOOK AT HIM!!

Ok, I’m off for a cold shower. I’ll catch you later Cheesers!

In even more big Superman news, one of my favourite actresses, Amy Adams, has been picked to play one of the most speculated and coveted roles in Hollywood, Lois Lane in the Superman reboot. This is the best news I have heard since it was revealed Henry Cavill is to play Superman. Now, I’m not even a big comic book movie fan, I’m just thrilled that Henry finally gets the lead role he deserves, and that my favourite redhead continues to shine.

In other Superman news, Zack Snyder has selected Kevin Costner and Diane Lane to play Superman’s parents… But is that Superman’s real parents? Or his earthbound adoptive ones…? Hmmm…..

If the current success of One Direction on X Factor, and the domination of Take That 2.1 is any indication, the boyband is back.

Perhaps I’m showing my age here, but I remember a time long ago. A time before One Direction, and JLS . Before Take That, and N’Sync. Before Boyz II Men even. A time when there was one name and it was New Edition.

They are almost legends of the scene now, but I’m sure a lot of the Beiber heads, and JLS fans have never even heard of them. So here is your New Jack Swing-ducation. I hope you have half the fun I have been having listening to these old school jamz.

Want more? How about the side project Bell Biv Devoe..?

Word.

Hooray!!

It’s a whole new season of X Factor, and with the live finals about to commence, there is a good degree of anticipation in the air. And, I will go as far as to say, I’m even more excited about this year, than last year. Last year, I was all about Danyl, as some of you will remember. After the judges houses, he was my only favourite, and remained so throughout the competition. But this year, I have quite a few favourites, and even more acts I really like. Let’s take a look shall we?

Matt Cardle.

Oh sweet Jesus. Hold me back! Who is this dishevelled beardy man with the voice of an angel, and the gorgeous personality? I love him. There I said it. I would quite like to have his cute little beardy, hat wearing babies. And we will paint and decorate the world with our love, while we all sing, like the new Von Trapp family. Too much?

John Adeleye

He’s so cute and cool and likeable! And he has a great voice. I think he’ll be a lot of fun, and I look forward to hearing him do some old school soul choons. I was a bit worried, like Louis, about the level of freak in the eight Over 28’s that went to judges houses. As someone who is over 28 myself, I really struggled with the thought that out of all the 1,000’s of people who auditioned, they were the best?? I mean, you don’t hit 30 and suddenly become a freak! But Wagner, and that freaky guy with the pointy ears who looked like he escaped from G.A.Y nightclub? Jesus! John is awesome though, and I’m really happy he made it through. Looking forward to seeing more of him!

FYD

How cool are they? Not at all JLS mark 2. They’re original and talented, and I think they’re going to pull off some amazing productions. And they’re much much better than Princes & Rogues, so I’m glad these boys got through. If I was Simon, I’d be rubbing my manicured hands together, and seeing all the pound signs rolling across my eyes, like a one-armed bandit display. Cha-ching!

1 Direction

Ok, stupid stupid name. Who the hell thought of that? But look at them. A completely manufactured boy-band, aimed 100% at getting the teenage girl vote. And it’s gonna work! After the road-accident that was Lloyd last year, Simon has learned his lesson. You can’t win X-Factor on cute boy looks alone, you need to really be able to sing… But maybe if you take that cute boy factor, make sure they can all sing a bit, and times it by five – winner!! I have to admit to being very sad when little Liam didn’t get through, because I really thought he deserved it and had real potential. So I’m glad he got another chance. And looking at his little face, along with the other four, it is hard to imagine the girls not falling in love with them a bit more every week.

I also quite like Aiden Grimshaw, and think he can do well. Probably fulfilling the Olly quota for the year, but much cuter and less of a douchebag. And I like Storm Lee too, even though Simon hates him! I kinda want to see those fireworks fly! Belle Amie have potential too. A lot more than Miss Frank did last year!

Biggest gripe so far is Cheryl putting Cher and Katie through even though they totally ballsed-up their auditions. I mean historically, if you don’t bring it at judges houses and you go home! Not really fair to those who did perform perfectly. But I guess Cheryl is learning from the Rachel Adedeje saga of last year. You can be as talented as you like, and sing your heart out, but if you don’t have something different, or special, it’s curtains. And Cher and Katie will at least be interesting to watch, but you can’t help getting annoyed at them for being such drama queens. You can’t imagine Simon being as indulgent!

So that’s my first 2 pence for the year! What do you guys think? Are you excited? Who are you backing?

I’ll tell you one thing. Roll on Saturday!!

Get in line, right? I mean, this is a name I have heard thrown about in tabloid, teen-crush circles for about three years, and I didn’t get it. To be honest, I didn’t get the whole Gossip Girl thing. I kept catching a few minutes of it as I flicked between channels, and it just didn’t seem all that riveting.

Then one day, when I had run out of Entourage, Mad Men and Jersey Shore to watch, I thought maybe I will try this show from the start. I will watch the first episode, and if I don’t like it then I’ll know it’s not for me. About three episodes in I was hooked! I finally got it. It’s the OC, but in New York! Overprivileged kids and their cool but messed up parents, living in amazing houses/apartments. Throw in the fish-out-of-water/class divide, some bitchy girls, and amazing clothes, and you’ve got yourself a show!

I’m now 2/3 of the way through series 2 (so don’t tell me what happens!) and loving it. All the characters are great, and although Serena displays a lot of Marissa-like tendencies, she is waaaaaay less annoying, and Blake Lively is unbelievably beautiful. Penn Badgley as Dan, Matthew Settle as Rufus, Kelly Rutherford as Lily are particular favourites. And of course, the show would be nothing without the ongoing Blair/Chuck storyline.

But the surprise package for me has been brooding little Chace Crawford, as Nate. At first I thought he was a bit yawn worthy. Dull, serious and obviously cute – but not all that. And then, little by little, it dawned on me. Wait, this kid is gorgeous. Less pointy and saccharine than his obvious comparison, Zac Efron. Even his hair and eyebrows stir a little something in my chest – and elsewhere!

And I feel terrible about it! I mean, he’s about 23, and his name is Chace, and 16 year olds have pictures of him on their walls! No no! This can’t be! I like Ron Livingston, and Henry Cavill, and Dylan Moran. Dark, handsome MEN. Not Gossip Girl posterboys! No!

But what can I say? Gossip Girl and Chace Crawford have won me over. I admit it.

Now if only those involuntary dreams about him would stop.