There were many, many surprises on the X Factor last night....
1) Silencing several newspapers with a series of frenetic hip-swivels (impressive given she's officially not in possession of that body part), Cheryl Cole sang Fight For This Love. Live. They even provided close ups of Ashley Cole and Girls Aloud (sans Nadine, the usual). To highlight the "LIVEness" further, they showed her departing the stage and heading over to an applauding Simon and Dannii. To drive the point home further, Cheryl stayed in her racy onsie for the remainder of the show.
2) The size of Cheryl's hat.
3) Whitney's dress exploding halfway during a half-hearted, warbled and strangely hooted rendition her new single, Million Dollar Bill. Instead of singing the chorus (which had lyrics, unlike the remainder of the song which was all "OoOOooo WWwwooww Uuuh HOOOOOs!"), she grappled with the straps, mumbling at them in a confused manner. She then broke out into a hectic shimmy and continued on, like the trooper she is.
4) Despite her dress detonating of its own according, Whitney's performance arguably paling in comparison to Cheryl's. Cheryl was nervous, but that makes for preferable viewing - when the other option is largely confused and trilling hoarsely.
5) Rikki and Rachel finding themselves in the bottom two, while the chronically uncoordinated and tonally defunct JEdward were sent straight through to next week's show. No amount of dancing extras from Zovirax ads will deter from their lovable inadequecies. And I shudder to think of their bizarre Titanic reference mid-crow... the mind wibbles.
6) Rikki and his Walnut Whip eyebrow being sent home.
7) Cheryl being a bad sport, huffing "I can't believe John and Edward are through and he's standing here." To which Dermot haughtily replied: "Well, they're through because the public voted for them."
8) Simon muttering: "I'd rather watch those two than Rik..." only to be interrupted by Cheryl saying "Don't start you, Simon. It could be you next week."
9) Wee Walsh's floating head, popping up to give his two cents from Dublin.
Some Not So Surprising Happenings:
1) Whitney looking like bemused when engaged by Dermot after her performance. For example, when he asked her when her album was released, she said, "Uhhh… Album? Oh, this week sometime." It was down to wee O'Leary to inform her that it's, in fact, released today. Whitney, however, was on the money when asked about the contestants' abilities. In a surprisingly astute (if a little laborious) answer, she said: "I thought they were……. Hmmmm... How do I say this so they sound good............ They're young... They've got a lotta room to grown... As Clyde says, 'practice, practice, practice!'" In other words, "They're mediocre as hell, Honey, now where do I pick up my cheque."
2) Rachel having a miniature meltdown, instead of celebrating being saved by the judges for the second week running. She had a face best worn by a toddler whose just had their candyfloss pilfered by an agrressive pigeon.
3) Xtra Factor panellist, Chipmunk, not looking too thrilled when Holly mentioned that Alexandra Burke had knocked him off the number one spot.
4) Xtra Factor panellist Rupert Everett looking like he'd borrowed his latest bulbous brow from GI Joe. But as long as that brow contains a brain which formulates sentence such as "Those twins are supernaturally badly co-ordinated", we'll leave him off.