Well, as if this season couldn’t be any more on a roll, the NMTB gods have made this panel one to remember. Not only is Josh Widdicombe on Phill’s team, along with olympian gymnast and then-Strictly contestant Louis Smith, but Noel’s entire panel is one for the ages- Paloma Faith on his left, and Tony Law on his right. Which means I don’t think much coherent thought will be coming from Noel’s side.
Hosting tonight is TV personality and bandleader Alex Horne, and his ENTIRE HORNE SECTION. So..hopefully that’ll be cool.
The opening is a version of the NMTB theme by the insanely cool band onstage, which is a nice little change of pace.
Also, THIS is what Noel’s panel looks like tonight:
…this is gonna be insane.
Alex even calls out Josh for wearing too normal clothes.
Josh: “I mean, I came in with a checkered shirt, and they said ‘no, it won’t work on TV’..”
Tony, southern accent: “Josh, you look good, don’t listen to ’em…”
Tony: “Tell us about your look, Noel…”
Noel: “I’m a mouse-cat. MOUSE-CAT…he chases himself…MOUSE-CAT, he’s…awkward in social situations…”
Noel’s team has to answer a question about Michael Jackson
Phill: “Normally when someone on this show gets a Michael Jackson question, they usually take the tactic that he’s a bit weird. I SENSE YOUR TEAM REALLY WON’T BE ABLE TO DO THAT…”
Louis says he’s a big Michael Jackson fan.
Josh: “Olympic gymnastics would be a lot better if you just moonwalked…”
Louis: “What, up and down the pummel horse?”
Josh: “Yeah, if you’d have gone up and down the pummel horse, moonwalking…you might have won gold…”
Louis: “WE’RE ON THE SAME TEAM!”
Noel: “The thing is, I get the feeling that Michael Jackson might have had a llama…”
Alex: “…what d’you mean ‘had’?”
The periodic band digressions, one for Louis and the pummel horse, remind me of Roger McGough’s poetry breaks…only these ones are slightly more entertaining. SLIGHTLY.
One of the options for Susan Boyle is ‘start a fight’
Phill: “One would reckon that when Susan Boyle starts a fight, she damn well finishes…”
Josh: ‘When she started a fight, she didn’t actually GLOVE UP…”
Noel: “I feel like she was getting something out of the oven, and then started a fight…”
Tony: “Hey, if you’re with someone new you should always glove up…amirite?”
Louis is being very coy about the details of his X Factor audition
Noel: “What did you sing?”
Phill, grasping his suspenders: “MY CLIENT DOES NOT HAVE TO ANNNSWER THESE QUESTIONS.”
Alex, already starting a bit, is going “well, I won’t make you sing” to Louis…and then he starts putting on the glove, and Alex goes “OH SHIT…”
Alex: “That makes it hurt less, right?”
Louis: “…just makes it less…illegal…”
Louis ends the intro of Ghost Town with a little ‘ta-daaah’ arm motion.
Josh: “…I really hope you ended your X-Factor audition like that…”
Instead of playing in the clip for ‘here’s how it should have sounded’, the Horne section does a really good rendition of each one- the Ghost Town one really works.
Josh, after the 2nd intro: “I’m sorry Louis, but you haven’t made it through to boot camp…”
Louis: ‘THIS HAS TO STOP.”
Josh: “…I’m sorry…”
Louis: “You’re not sorry at all.”
Josh: “ALRIGHT! I’ve never before been so scared of a gymnast!”
Right before his intros round, Tony just flat-out puts on a luchador mask to concentrate.
Tony: “EEET’S TIME FOR RRRROUND TWO!”
Man, this guy is just out of bounds..
To complement that, Paloma and Noel do the first intro in spanish, and Tony’s even cracking up a bit.
Louis: “I know it’s not Moon River, cause I’ve been dancing to that all afternoon…”
Paloma: “A SNEAKY PEEK INTO THE BACKSTAGE AT STRICTLY!”
I love how two of the intros are House of Fun by Madness and Ghost Town by the Specials, kicking back into the ska roots of the Mark Lamarr era, as well as making the replays by the band a bit easier.
Alex, trying to speed the show ahead: “Joe’s got a gig tomorrow, so I might have to push you ahead…”
Noel: “What, at least you brought your own band. I’ve got Paloma and THIS NUTCASE…I’m like Jack Nicholson in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest right now…”
Alex has the one silly, Rich Hall-esque joke of the night: “If you’ve never heard of Deep Purple, they’re like a cross between Simply Red…and Blue.”
Josh: “2…is made of wax. 2 is made of the fat you lost two series ago…”
As Alex has been picking fitting music to go with rounds, esp. ID Parade, he asks Paloma for a genre suggestion.
Paloma: “…let’s go with prog-rock…”
Noel: “That’s why I love her.”
Paloma: “#5 looks like his eyes never get wet in the rain…”
Phill: “This show is gonna have to have a separate audio channel explanation on the red button…”
Noel does another good minute of MouseCat digressions with Tony, and while they’re all funny and too good to write down, the funniest part is when Paloma just flat out interrupts the MouseCat-ing by just yelling out “ONE!”
They do keep Next Lines, but the questions are performed by the band, which is a nice touch.
Best part is when Paloma realizes they’re singing her song, and chimes in with a perfect melody of the song. It’s a great moment, especially with a natural performer like Paloma Faith.
Overall: A fun little show, maybe falling closer to the middle this series. The entire panel had some great moments, and everyone was on- Noel’s team was on fire tonight in the wildest ways possible, though Tony’s show wasn’t as good as his last one. Paloma had a great night, Josh had some great lines, and while Louis didn’t have very thick skin about the X-Factor jabs, he did at least look like he was enjoying himself. Alex was a good host, though the little songs he’d make up sort of detracted from the show a bit.
Guest Host Rating: 8/10. Not bad.
Best Regular: Noel
Best Guest: Paloma
Best Runner: MouseCat