Friday, 25 September 2009

X-treme makeovers

As the X-Factor hopefuls prepare for the nerve-shredding terror of boot-camp, press attention is once again returning to the judges. But aside from the usual questions of who hates who, and who's got which category, most of the articles published in the last week or so seem particularly obsessed with the judges' ever-changing appearances.

For a start there's Cheryl Cole, who in the space of 15 months has transformed herself from scrappy Geordie battleaxe into national feminine treasure (which admittedly makes her sound like a gold-plated tampon).

She's been talking up the importance of good hair, which makes sense, given that hers constitutes a good 40 percent of her body weight. Cheryl considers her hair a 'safety blanket' although, given the amount she displays every weekend, there's probably enough for a mattress and a couple of pillows too.

Dannii Minogue, who's changed her appearance so much she must struggle to pick herself out in a group photo, has decided this year to finally ditch the Botox needle. In previous years, her face has been as immobile as a hotwired BMW, but she must have grown tired of having to express her emotions with hand gestures.

Given that she's only had one expression for the last three years - the glare of horrified surprise as modeled by Lee Remick in The Omen - it must be a blessed relief to finally be able to do 'jaunty'.

But the biggest shocker this year is Louis Walsh, who has finally given in to Simon's malignant influence and subjected himself to a little nip and tuck. Thanks to a dose of Botox and some surgery on his eye-bags, the little Irish pixie is looking a million percent (copyright Louis Walsh) better than he did last year.

Admittedly, Louis Walsh having surgery is a little like pasting go-faster stripes on a tortoise, but one has to applaud the effort. At least now, Louis can look in the mirror and recycle his favourite line again: "Louis, you look like a diva, you sound like a diva."

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