Sunday, September 23, 2007

Fat people + foreigners = comedy gold

Audition show 6: 22nd September 2007

The show starts with the same recaps of the same shit that we’ve seen fifteen times. The same people again and again and again and again. TONIGHT!! They have saved the best for last – by which they mean least shit, I think. There is certainly no evidence of ‘best’ in the upcoming events..

They’re in Manchester again. What? I’ve given up trying to understand the chronology of this programme. Dermot explains the categories. I stab my own ears out. Then Dermot introduces the judges again. For crying out loud, this show. Start the fucking programme and stop telling us things we already know. Even if someone had never seen an episode of this programme they wouldn’t need all that information – people audition and that’s it. It’s all fairly straightforward.

We meet 46-year-old hairdresser Jackie. Jackie loves performing. Jackie thinks this could be her last chance. Jackie says she’s going to give it 110%. Jackie speaks entirely in X-Factor clichés to a terrifying degree. Jesus. They really could just invent a generator of stock phrases and stop filming the actual show. Just flash up the words ‘This is my last chance’; ‘I want this more than anything’; ‘Performing makes me forget my troubles’; and ‘I’m going to give 110%’ on a blank screen while the chase music from Benny Hill plays. It would be about the same level of interesting. (Useless fact: I switched over a bit late, and I missed Jackie's intro. I still, however, knew her name was Jackie before the show told me. I knew the show was formulaic; I hadn't realised the contestants were going that way too. - Steve) Jackie sings ‘Something Inside So Strong’. Well, ‘sing’ is such a strong word. She bellows it in a marble-mouthed sort of way. Simon says she has an odd voice. ‘Like there’s someone else in there’. It’s true that her singing voice bears no relation to her speaking voice – she sounded a bit like Vic Reeves singing In The Club Style. (It's an epidemic! - Steve) They all had trouble understanding her and its noes all round. [But interestingly Simon's comments triggered her to visit an ENT specialist, and he found that she has some godawful bronchial disease. So The X-Factor SAVED HER LIFE. Thus she is NOT DEAD. - Carrie]

In a shocking twist, this is the first of many noes including a weird guy with a mullet to end all mullets and yellow glasses singing ‘Mr Blue Sky’. There are two weird boys called Creativity Within Anger who sing Linkin Park. (I thought their name was "C with an A", perhaps because they both worked at C&A. God, I'm showing my age. - Steve) (I'm not sure. I think they said it was 'C within A' but then explained that that stood for 'Creativity Within Anger' if only because 'Creativity With An Anger' makes absolutely no sense.-Joel)They are clearly taking the piss.

We see a parade of lots of shit people and lots of noes. During which the judges are wearing loads of different outfits. For fuck’s sake. Don’t try and claim they’re in the same place or in chronological order in your bizarre desperation to say ‘lots of bad people in a row!’ and then prove yourself immediately wrong by showing that the judges are wearing different clothes and that these things clearly took place at different times in different places. This fucking show.

Dermot says ‘it’s been a terrible start’, which it has, but not in the way he means. We meet 14-year-old Luke. He’s a wee bit gay. His voice hasn’t broken. He’s very sweet. He says, ‘When I sing, people usually enjoy it’. He sounds like a woman. Not a boy. Not a man. A definite woman. Kind of like when they get women to voice boys in cartoons. He sings ‘Maggie May’ and it’s pleasant. Sounds like a woman, but a woman with quite a nice voice. Not awesome by any means, but he has a nice tone. Louis says he was the best boy today. Simon says it was a poor choice of song. Luke starts to cry, so Sharon gets her Mumsy on. Like, immediately she snaps to attention and starts comforting him. Crying children are catnip to Sharon O. Luke wanted to impress Simon. Simon says he has to come back tomorrow and sing something more poppy. ('I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman'? Just a thought. - Steve)

Schoolgirl Annalisa is very confident and bubbly. Bubbly in a good way, not in a ‘euphemism for so annoying you want to crack her in the jaw’ sort of way. She’s 17. She sings ‘And I Am Telling You’ and has an extremely adult voice, and manner. She has a nice little growl to her voice and really performs the song rather than just hitting the notes. She’s kind of great. Simon says ‘I think you’ve got an incredible voice!’ and he also likes her attitude and performance. Yeses all round, deservedly.

Guess what, viewers. Brace yourselves because I think this might come as something of a shock. Annalisa? By being good and going through? Has given rise to a sudden spate of talented performers and suddenly there’s lot of yeses. I know! It’s unheard of! A hot boy in a vest goes through. Again, all the yeses come from the judges in different outfits and see above re: the utter retardation of it all. This fucking show. [Also, several of these clips clearly have only two judges on the panel. WHAT THE FUCK? - Carrie.]

Zita is 46. She is, if I can place the accent correctly, Nigerian. She wants to win for England and is wearing a red suit and a union flag t-shirt. (Win for England? Haven't all the winners so far been English? What the hell? - Steve) This entire section basically exists because isn’t it hilarious how African people sound different! She sang it ‘cundle in the wind!’ These hilarious foreigners trying to sing in English! It’s like teaching a parrot to speak! This fucking, small-minded, racist, pile of crap show. She gets three yeses anyway, Simon being the no [on the basis that she sang "cundle" rather than candle. He ACTUALLY SAYS THAT. - Carrie] . We won’t see her again.

44-year old Raj invested life savings of £50k into his dream of being a singer. He quit his job and lost relationships to it. He’s so clearly going to be shit. Oh, guess what! He is. He drones some weird little song I don’t know. One he wrote himself maybe? They try as hard as they can to break it to him gently that he’s shit. He keeps going on about ‘it will happen!’ possibly in Japan or America. They keep trying to tell him that no, it wont. He says he’s worked with people for years, who would have told him if he was shit. No dear, they took your money. Some people in this life aren’t very nice and will lie to you if it suits their ends to extort money from you. It’s all rather depressing.

42-year-old Barbara is here to prove her husband wrong because he left her 2 months ago. ["My husband, who IS A BASTARD." - Carrie.] Jesus fucking Christ. I don’t know where to begin with the flaws in that plan. I mean, seriously. She claims that she’s going to sing Barbra Streisand’s ‘Somewhere’. Louis loves Streisand. Of course. Oh, she actually means ‘Somewhere’ from West Side Story. Perhaps sung by Ms Streisand, but certainly not ‘Barbra Streisand’s “Somewhere”’. She bellows it out in a largely tuneful and wholly theatrical way. She has a bit of wobble in the middle. Sharon yelps ‘Good for you, Barbara!’ Simon, asking for Louis’s opinion, calls him LouLou, which I find oddly sweet. Simon, rightly, says no. The rest say yes because they’ve bought into the lie that debasing yourself on national television is the correct way to prove you’re over someone rather than, you know, getting on with your life in a dignified manner.

A boy called Ryan sings N*Sync’s ‘Pop’. It is not good. He gets noes. Two horsey girls called ‘Disco Divas’ sing ‘...Baby, One More Time’ dressed in school uniform, but with tartan pleated skirts rather than Britney’s grey. When Simon queries this, one says ‘we didn’t have any grey skirts’, which I found hugely amusing. [Me too! - Carrie.]

A Japanese guy called Hiro shouts ‘Stay With Me’ and gets four noes (but maybe he can go back in time and try again? - Steve).

Next up is Emma. She is 17. She is, to be blunt, massively overweight. As is her entire family. I honestly think the term ‘morbidly obese’ would come into play. Her Dad made her dress, which is quite pretty, but wholly inappropriate, looking like something from a beauty pageant or a bridesmaid. In the background, the music from ‘The Flumps’ plays. That is fucking inappropriate. I’m fully aware that we write nasty things about the people who go on here, but they’re very unlikely to see it and we focus more on the show’s presentation of them and on people who are horrible rather than people who are just a bit fat or stupid or foreign. (I love how our defence is "they were never meant to see it!" I'll ring our lawyers and instruct them accordingly. - Steve) I mean, she’ll watch this back, and see that music played and see how she’s being presented for utter ridicule. It’s just not on. Her mum says that her parents have ‘pushed her and pushed her and pushed her’ because her mum used to be in the choir. Jesus Christ, people, stop living through your children. It doesn’t work. Emma sings ‘My Heart Will Go On’ and isn’t very good at all. She has no power and no tuning either. She loses the words halfway through and says that she can’t go on. And the worst thing is she knows she’s bad but her horrible parents have forced her into it.

Noes all around, in a fairly nice manner. Emma goes out and of course her parents come storming in. Simon says ‘you’ve got to look at yourselves’ and blames them for encouraging her to do something she clearly isn’t good at. ‘We haven’t pushed her!’ says her mum. Lying bitch. You just said that you ‘pushed her and pushed her and pushed her’. People, I repeat: do not do this to your children. Emma’s mum says that Emma has ‘won awards’. Simon responds that, ‘People who’ve won a rosette in the Donkey Derby don’t go on to win the Grand National.’ Harsh but fair. In the Booth of Bitterness all her family say she won’t stop and she’ll try again next year. God I hope she watches it back. The ridicule bit is bad but hopefully she’ll see how bad she is and pursue something else. It’s all rather depressing.

Personal trainer Rhiddion is next. I have absolutely no idea how one would spell that name, so consider that a guess. (I thought perhaps it was meant to be Gideon but the registrar of births in his district was Scooby Doo or something. - Steve) He goes by the name of Rid anyway. He’s very pleased with himself because he sing operas and he thinks that there will be no-one in the young group singing opera. Apart from ALL OF THEM. Seriously, opera is the new ‘You Raise Me Up' in terms of being abused at audition. Simon asks what he’s going to sing and he says it’s ‘about an Italian bloke finding his first love.’ Which, I wager, is not the title of the song.
‘So it’s a love song?’
‘Good. Sing it to Dannii please.’
It sounds a lot like ‘All Coming Back To Me Now’. Dannii flicks her hair and swoons as he sings. He’s actually not very good. They say he’s too opera and you couldn’t sing, say, Dancing Queen. He proves them wrong by sounding much better doing a pop song but still a bit mannered and ‘La la LAAAAA!’ about the whole thing. Dannii says no. Louis, Simon and Sharon say yes, so Rid is through.

In another shock twist, yeses beget yeses and we see lots of people go through. Some frog faced brat called Matthew goes through but I thought he was a joke contestant because he was so awful. A girl called Emily sings Xtina’s ‘Beautiful’ and goes through. A boy called Adam sings something about ‘jump so high’ and goes through. (He ought to have been hot, but he wasn't. - Steve)

Charlie, a barman with nice hair, is asked ‘Do you think you can win?’ and responds ‘Who doesn’t?’, which is a great answer to that question, because it implies ‘even the delusional bridge trolls think they can win, so why shouldn’t I?’ He sings Mika’s ‘Grace Kelly’ and does the high bits. It was odd but I quite liked it. He goes through.

Stephanie from Lancashire sings ‘Ben’. She is awful, glassy and shrill. She gets four yeses, bizarrely. Simon says ‘I think you could be a little bit special’. No comment. [I thought this was the most mannered performance of the night. But I'm prepared to be proved wrong. - Carrie.]

A big fat lass wearing a leather coat and a newsboy cap (please can we embargo newsboy caps? They never do you favours, kids) wants to be Madonna. She’s called Dawn. She used to be an apprentice jockey. Louis starts to laugh. So does Sharon. They’re laughing cos she’s fat and because they’re aresholes. ‘Hahah! She’s quite fat but she was a jockey! HAHAHA!’ We’re allowed to laugh but we don’t do it in her face. Have some respect, judges. Dawn tries to sing ‘Cherish’ and has the words on a piece of paper. She has a whisper of a voice. Simon makes Louis and Sharon leave because they’re still laughing. We finally see the fabled ‘Sharon walks into the door moment’ and it’s rather lost its impact after being previewed about 46,531 times. Dawn laughs too. Sharon has a really infectious laugh and I start giggling. Dawn starts to sing again. Dannii laughs and gets sent out too. Dawn says ‘maybe next year’ and Simon agrees. She’s very good-humoured about the whole thing, when she’d be within her rights to be furious.

They recap for us Luke singing and getting told to come back. Obviously 30 whole minutes ago is too long to remember for the drooling simpletons that are this show’s target audience. He has come back with a new song under his belt and sings ‘You Raise Me Up’ but only the chorus. He chickens out of the key change on the chorus repeat. He really does have a lovely tone but his voice hasn’t broken properly. Seriously, come back when you’ve gone through puberty. Simon tells him off for not learning the verse. He says he didn’t have enough time, which is balls. I know a verse and chorus to loads of songs – I wouldn’t have to specifically learn it and if I had an entire day to learn about 50 words, I think I could manage it. (Much as I hate to defend the contestants here, I'm wondering how specific the instructions they gave him were. I always thought you were meant to do a verse and a chorus whatever the circumstances, but either that's bollocks or the editing LIES because hardly anyone ever does. - Steve) Sharon and Louis tell Luke off as well. Good. Pull your socks up, little boy. Simon says Luke is too young. He is. However, Simon, you lowered the age limit and can therefore not ever use that as grounds to boot someone. Dannii says they asked too much of Luke in 24 hours. Which: no, Dannii. She says yes, as do Louis and Sharon. Simon says no because Luke is too young, and because he likes him. Luke is thrilled to get through and his mum seems lovely.

So, in the supposed 'best for last' episode, the only person worthy of any recognition was Annalisa. One whole talented person!

No more auditions! We see the judges throwing papers up in the air with excitement. Except they’re not wearing the same clothes they were for auditioning Luke, which is allegedly the last audition. This fucking show. We then get five minutes recapping and previewing, which I’m not going to talk about. This fucking show. Suffice to say, next week bootcamp and two episodes for the price of one. God help us all. (Aren't we supposed to know who's mentoring which category at this stage? Stupid show. - Steve)

In other news: we're branching out. The estimable Carrie is setting up a similar recap blog for Strictly Come Dancing, called, perhaps inevitably, Strictly Come Bitching., along with Steve, me and Georgi. Let more light-entertainment-based venom for you to enjoy. We spoil you.

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