The X-Factor judges: Who would win in a scrap?

Sharon Osbourne’s estranged brother David Arden has claimed that the X-Factor judge will quit the show soon, partly due to rivalry between the judges. The 56-year-old is quoted in The Sun as speculating that: “She will hate Dannii. She’s always had a problem with women who are better-looking. But Dannii’s been such a hit. Sharon’s days are numbered.” Arden has also asserted that his sister hates other judge Simon Cowell.

As true professionals its all smiles for the cameras and air-kissing when the world is looking, but with this news of alleged back-stabbing and bitchiness, how are we to know who likes who and who hates who in camp X-Factor? And if the ITV talent contest was to get nasty, as it so often does with all the water throwing, who would come out on top? Let TV Scoop referee the fight as we see which of the judges truly has the X-Factor.

In the verbal battle

Simon Cowell Simon has earned his reputation as TV’s Mr. Nasty with his sharp tongue and dead-pan delivery. He has amassed a fortune based almost entirely on his ability to articulate the most spot-on but brutal feedback to singing wannabes and is both loved and hated in almost equal measure for this talent. This man can most definitely talk the talk, with classic insults such as these top ten:

1. Simon: “What normally happens when you sing in public, Deborah?” Deborah: “I’ve had a few people cry.” Simon: “I can believe that.”
2.”You have just invented a new form of torture.”
3. “What do you think we are looking for – a two-year-old who can’t sing?”
4. “You have the personality of a handle.”
5. “You sounded like Cher after she’s been to the dentist.”
6. “If you had lived 2,000 years ago and sung like that, I think they would have stoned you.”
7. “The look, it was like something out of the Addams Family.”
8. “I’m tempted to ask if you sang that the night before your wife left you.”
9. “Can I ask you a question? Do you and your girlfriend sing together at home? Have the police ever called?”
10. “I presume there was no mirror in your dressing room tonight.” All too easy. 10/10

Louis Walsh The twinkly-eyed Irishman can be quite cutting in the putdown and is the most unapologetic when scoffing at the losers. He also showed a ruthless streak when he tried to avoid meeting with his number one fan after her dismal audition. Sadly, Louis is all too often a big softie. He cried last season when his favourites Robert and Eton Road were in the bottom two and seems easily swayed by Simon and Sharon. Too spineless for this level. 4/10

Sharon Osbourne Mama Osbourne is known as the wife of rocker Ozzy, and if he is the Prince of Darkness does that make her his Princess? She is an odd mix of high-pitched, sugary sweetness and vicious hell cat. She switches with effortless ease (maybe she’s bipolar?) and terrifies people with this dangerous unpredictability. Keen to establish a reputation away from X-Factor as a ‘housewife superstar’ (her website’s words, not mine) she has hoped that by smacking her bum in Asda adverts and cosying up to celebs on her axed chat show, she will fool everyone in to thinking she’s nice. It hasn’t worked. 8/10

Dannii Minogue The faded popster has been a revelation on the new series of X-Factor. She has refused to indulge the sympathetic losers and has remained firm even when her fellow judges have yielded. With her deep voice and broad Aussie accent, she has an unexpected gruffness that lets you know that Kylie might be the more successful of the Minogues, but Dannii can make her sister eat dirt any time she feels like it. 6/10

The winner so far: Simon Cowell

In the physical battle

Louis Walsh Louis looks like an overgrown leprechaun and with his squishy exterior would be the first one the others turn on for a good kicking. He has had his moments – namely when he doused a grouchy contestant with a glass of water, but is easy prey for hardened brawlers. The first to visit the nurse with a bloody nose. 4/10 (points for trying)

Simon Cowell Strong in the insult, I suspect that Simon might be disappointingly weak in the punch. Come a scuffle, the professor of putdowns would run for cover, too frightened to get his smart black clothes dirty and Heaven forbid – his hair messed up. He would retreat to a shady corner to check himself out in a mirror and pull up his trousers. Substandard. 2/10

Sharon Osbourne Marginally younger than Louis, Sharon has more than just age on her side. The MTV fly-on-the-wall show The Osbournes depicted a family environment ruled by chaos, shouting, dogs pooing and more shouting. Sharon has lived the rock and roll lifestyle, kept husband Ozzy in line (though he probably wouldn’t make it far these days) and survived for decades in the cut-throat world of celebrity. She has crazy red hair and a scrappy attitude. She would unleash those polished talons and go straight for the jugular – nasty. 8/10

Dannii Minogue The youngest (though it’s hard to tell her real age after many reputed trips to her surgeon), Dannii would, like all the wannabe singers, be ‘in it to win it.’ Those perfect pearly whites would blind and dazzle her opposition into submission before she tied them up and made them listen to all of her singles – sheer torture. 7/10

And the final winner is: Sharon Osbourne

Dannii put up a good fight but the boys were quite hopeless. Maybe after a few more seasons she will be able to compete with Sharon, until then the other judges must bow down and worship the toughest X-Factor judge – Sharon.

TV Review: University Challenge, BBC2, Monday 27 August, 8pm

It might have been the Bank Holiday yesterday which for many meant enjoying the last of the summer sunshine, barbeques and traipsing around Homebase – but that thankfully that didn’t disrupt University Challenge.

It was an Oxford versus Cambridge affair, with Worcester taking on Pembroke (pictured right) in the eighth round of the academic contest. With the students assembled, Paxman explained the rules in his usual hasty style and soon the action began.

Worcester, Oxford (a very diverse looking team) Guinness – studying Biology. First name Hector – best Christian name so far this series (so says the blogger called Button.) Howley – studying Classics and Egyptology. Won a starter for ten on George Harrison and earned my love forever. Smith – (captain) studying for a PhD in Engineering. Cassidy – studying Politics, Philosophy and Economics. Proving that females can be blonde, pretty and intelligent in a way rarely represented in entertainment.

Pembroke, Cambridge Spiro – studying Veterinary Medicine. Highcock – studying Physics. A slight Doogie Howser look – maybe that’s what comes with being super clever. Pemberton-Ross – studying for a PhD in Maths. He might be top of the class, but the rugby shirt showed he can play sports with the lads as well. Hammond – studying Social and Political Sciences. The strongest contestant in this round, Hammond looked like the youngest but was seriously impressive across the subjects.

The first points went to Pembroke with Worcester quite slow to get going. The team from Oxford were very slow in their decision making and their answers were often wrong. Pembroke did not fully capitalise on their rival’s sluggish start and the scores remained close during the early stages.

By the half way point, Pembroke enjoyed the lead with 70 points scored compared to the 45 from Worcester. A starter for ten music question asked the students to identify the lead guitarist performing the played guitar solo. Jimmy Page from Led Zeppelin played over the speakers and each of the eight contestants looked bemused. One from Pembroke suggested “Jeff Plant”, only for Worcester to also fail by answering “Robert Plant.” Once Pembroke earned the music questions, they performed much better with Hammond recognising BB King and Eric Clapton, though surprisingly considering his previous right answers, didn’t score with Keith Richards.

As the contest continued the gap between the two teams remained roughly the same, with the scores 75/ 105 in Pembroke’s favour. Guinness scored a starter for ten earning him some rapturous applause from the audience and Paxman seemed delighted at the possible rejuvenation of the contest. Could Worcester claw their way back into the game?

They began to respond to the audience’s support and began to notch up the points. With three minutes left to go, both sides were on 125 and we were in for a close finish. Pembroke’s captain Pemberton-Ross scored a vital starter for ten but Cassidy swooped with a solo display of brilliance on the abbreviations of French political parties. Guinness followed by scoring again and soon it looked like the momentum could have swung in Worcester’s favour.

The scores finished 160 to 130 with Worcester’s late surge having stolen a last minute victory. Paxman lamented Pembroke’s loss: “Bad luck. I thought you had gotten it in the bag” though congratulated Worcester for coming through: “You left it late but then comprehensively surged ahead.”

It seemed a shame for Pembroke to leave with nothing, especially as the impressive Hammond didn’t deserve to be on the losing side, yet Worcester hit form when it really mattered. They will have to perform more consistently in the next round if they hope to go any further in the series, but should be confident after having gotten past a good Pembroke team.

Week 7: Lucy Cavendish, Cambridge lost to Warwick Week 6: Central Lancashire lost to Sheffield Week 5: St Cross, Oxford lost to Trinity Hall, Cambridge Week 4: Birmingham lost to St Andrews Week 3: Liverpool lost to Leeds Week 2: Magdalen lost to SOAS Week 1: Lancaster lost to Nottingham