Sunday, September 28, 2008


Boot Camp: round 2
September 28, 2008.

Welcome back to the X Factor! Yesterday, lots of people sang for us. The ones we'd seen before all went through! Some randoms went home! Today, we see who goes through to the next stage! The judges find out their categories! Cheryl is very excited about hers! Are you ready to face the music? I can’t contain myself.

We are welcomed back to a bunker in the O2 Arena for the next round of Boot Camp. Apparently they have had a list of 25 songs to choose from today. What’s the betting we see a maximum of ten of those performed?

First up is Austin, who babbles a lot about not taking his dream away and acts all entitled and petulant. Look, I know a lot of you like him, but it’s all so desperate. And just a reminder of how hungry he is for fame:

Anyway, he sings Something About the Way You Look Tonight and Simon agrees with me that he is way too desperate. Cheryl is working bad hair – it’s in a ponytail, but crimped and it looks like she went out the night before and didn’t have time to wash it. Dannii looks fierce and the men just look the same as ever.

Onwards. And for once (and the only time ever) on this show, it all goes at a ridiculously fast pace.

Bat For, I mean, Bad Lashes do a serviceable version of Back to Black and Dead Wife Danny sings Without You, which is all a bit maudlin considering his circumstances. An unknown schoolgirl called Rachel does Back to Black, but I sense we shouldn’t get too attached. Someone called James Williams, who is apparently a former pro golfer and is Welsh sings When You Believe. He could so play Rhys’ brother in Torchwood.

JML Direct, sorry, JLS, are next. One of them has unnervingly wonky hair. They sit on stools (sadly we don’t see them stand up for a key change, but let’s assume it happens) and sing Sorry Seems to Be The Hardest Word. It’s perfectly fine, but I don’t know what separates them from every other boy soul band this show’s ever featured, apart from not having a 4 in their name. Still, Simon says they are 'so on it', so I could be wrong.

Laura is up next and I do wish she would brush her hair. She KNEELS to do Back to Black and skats over the intro, wobbles all over the place in the song itself, constantly goes out of time and is rather screechy. She has some talent, but only about 10% of the talent she thinks she has and she’s getting on my nerves. Shut up now, kthnxbai. The judges were disappointed in her performance. Cheryl says she was doing an Amy Winehouse impression, only it was Amy when she was drunk. Heh.

Still to come, someone losing their rag, and one of 4instinct walking off.

Cyril is up next (according to last night’s edition, there was another old bloke who got through to this stage, but I guess he wasn’t as telly as Cyril. I also call we won’t see that bloke tonight either). He’s never going to get past Boot Camp but good on him for trying. He sings Amazing Grace. It’s not amazing.

Eoghan is up next and he sings ‘You’ve Got a Friend’ and it’s so utterly, utterly mediocre. Simon and Louis love him, though. Simon says he seems younger than 16 and maybe he’d be better next year.

Rachel’s back, and we see footage of yesterday where she completely lost the plot and Simon called it. She sings Amazing Grace, which is a good choice, as it avoids the obviousness of something like Amy Winehouse, although it is a bit of a standard for 'reformed characters'. She does have a very nice tone in places, but she’s also incredibly rough in places. She could be great, but needs a lot of work. Simon says she is incredibe and she could have done more, like a key change, because he is clearly playing the drinking game and isn’t merry enough yet. [I laughed a lot at this. "What's Amazing Grace missing? I know, a key change!" I still haven't recovered from Paul Potts's Ave Maria plus key change. - Carrie] [It was just so telling about Simon's attitude to music that I laughed until I cried. Tears of anger. - Steve]

Hannah looks washed out and wears an odd outfit, but doesn’t have the bad hair she had in her first audition. She oversings You’ve Got a Friend, and has pretty much cemented her place as the second one out in live shows week. [But she's not a black vocal harmony group! - Steve] I do like her, but she won’t win.

Desire squeak Push the Button and it’s pretty nasty. [Seriously. All of you singing at slightly different levels of squeakiness does not a harmony make. - Steve] Anastazia does an ok job of Something About The Way You Look Tonight.

Mali sings If You Don’t Know Me By Now and it’s good for a 15 year old, and he seems sweet, but unremarkable. By rights, this is not the boys’ year, but then year 2 was the over 25s’ year and Shayne won that, and last year was anyone but Leon’s year and look what happened there.

So here’s something new. Apparently four boys auditioned and made into a band like FutureProof last year, even though we have seen nothing of this at all up to this point. Guess they realised we’d only seen girl groups and r’n’b bands and thought they should show us a boy band eventually. We then see them ‘yesterday’ and it actually looks like they made two bands of solo people and then joined two from each up to form this boyband who are on now but we never saw any of this before, and it’s really confusing, to be honest. Anyway, they are Priority, and warble Amazing Grace. It could be good, but they are overharmonising and losing the tune.

4 Instinct are next and they enter, all in white, like tiny angels. They sing Walk on By. Or at least attempt to. The backing singers are out of tune, and the girl doing lead misses some words out. She bails. The piano keeps playing for no reason, even though it’s all fallen apart. The judges are shocked. They have another go and they all lose it and it’s a complete shambles. It’s sad, because they are only 15-18 and, yes, they’re terrible, but they are cute and it’s hard not to feel very sorry for them. Simon has apparently never seen a meltdown like that in his life, Cheryl is devastated, but Simon likes them. Now there’s no way they should go through after that, but a) we’ve seen a lot of their journey so far and not a lot of many other groups, and b) being an R’n’B/soul band with ‘4’ in the name is the next best thing after having a sob story to guarantee getting to the live shows.

Ashley Cole mark 2 sings like he’s possessed and gets it all wrong. Cheryl puts her head in her hands, for she knows there will now be no Sharon Osbourne style lusting over him in the live shows.

Stance – who? A 3 piece girl group, drop their words and walk out, and we’ll never see them again. Joelle goes mega out of tune on How Do I Live, and we have Alexandra and Anastazia to fulfil the black girl quota, so pretty as she is, she’s surely going home.

Everyone is feeling the pressure, but nobody feels pressure more than Jeffrey Paterson an anonymous 45 year old man who’s clearly been thrown in so we can see someone we ‘know’ get kicked out at the end of today’s episode. He blahs some clichés about having a family to feed, this is the last time, chasing the dream, blah. He sings If You Don’t Know Me By Now, and, oh, the irony.

The liar boy is up next and apparently he was the least confident person auditioning (although he was clearly confident that his made-up sob story would get him far). Remember how he was all doing this to show his family he wasn’t worthless? Well, one tabloid exposure later, and he’s now not doing this for anyone else. He then goes on to say that Simon’s been like a father figure, as he’s never had a father figure giving him advice, which clearly shows this was filmed before the world discovered his lies. He sings something that apparently is Desperado, the Journey South tribute song, and it’s all so whatever, and he wouldn’t have got this far without his tapestry of lies to support him.

Diana’s up next, and she also needs hairbrush, and some dark lipstick wouldn’t go amiss, either. She sings Hallelujah. She could be OK, but she’s so affected and belongs to the Laura school of overhype and she also looks like Peaches Geldof on a pyjama day. This performance is all a bit Amy Winehouse, but apparently Amy impressions are in and the judges love her. I quite liked her first audition, and if she behaved herself with some proper coaching, her voice would sound great, but I’m beginning to hate her now.

Liam is next and I don’t remember him, then they show us his audition and I remember that he was a fucking swing boy and DO NOT WANT. He does Your Song, thankfully not swing style, and he’s ok, serviceable enough for a 17 year old. Not remarkable, but not terrible. I’d quite like them to give him some indie to sing, but apart from perhaps Snow Patrol, that’s never going to happen.

Girlband do an OK version of I’ll Stand By You. Suzie, who was apparently in The 411, but as with Austin, her musical past shall not be mentioned, does a nice When You Believe and is quite possibly this year’s Maria. Pontins boy, sorry, ex-Pontins boy, does Hallelujah and sounds better than usual, but I still don’t care much about him. Louise, 48, does a mediocre Walk on By. She cliché pieces to camera about how she is going to do it. No other choice, I will succeed. Yawn.

Alexandra does Hero and is great and clearly going to make the top five, but is a bit warbly and really needs to contain that. Still would rather her over Laura though. Spanish Ruth has brushed and straightened her hair. Thank fuck someone was listening to me about the importance of a brush. She sings Sorry Seems… in Spanish. Then she sings in English. I blame Simon. That’s the kind of trick that would do down well on American Idol, because, you know, a lot of people over there speak Spanish. In this country, where we’re too lazy to speak anyone else’s language? Notsomuch. She’s OK, and Simon loves her. She seems nice enough but I can’t see her getting many votes.

Dead mum girl Amy is next and I wish they’d stop bringing up her sob story because she’s lovely and I don’t want to hate her. Sings Christina Aguilera’s ‘Hurt’ and Simon says there are far better singers, for which, read, ‘dead wife trumps dead parent in the sob story stakes’.

Laura says if she doesn’t get through today it will be it for her. What, she’s going to top herself? I don’t like her very much, but that’s a bit extreme, isn’t it?

Still to come, Cheryl likes her category.

It’s decision time. Joelle and a whole bunch of anons are off. Diana, Austin, Eoghan, Alexandra and Suzie are all on stage and are so clearly through. Rule the World plays, earning Gary Barlow another million or so. Adante, that bloke from earlier, and several more anons are out. The tension on this show is so… non-existent. Cyril and Rikki are up, and they are onstage with a load of anons, so bye, gents.

JLS and one of the girl bands, possibly Girlband, I can’t tell, there are so many of them, are through. More anons are off and so is Liam … but wait a minute! What is this? Simon’s having second thoughts. The last time this happened, he gave bloody Ray a reprieve, so I’m not sure I trust Simon’s second thoughts. Anyway, Liam is back, and don’t tell me this wasn’t set up, because they only have six places for judges’ house round, so either they told someone they got through and then changed their mind and told them they weren’t through at all, or they planned this all along. Stupid show.

Spanish Ruth and Dead Wife Danny are in as are the made-up boy band and Bad Lashes.

They then say ‘this all went on your performance’ and we see 4 Instinct, Laura and Rhys’ brother, whose performances were all shit, but they all go through anyway. 48-year old Louise, another girl group and a boy are unanimously through, and when the judges said their decision was unanimous, I had horror flashbacks to that time Sharon Osbourne told some people they were unanimously going home. The next people were not unanimous choices, although I don’t believe them: Rachel, Alan the liar, Amy and Anastazia are all through, as if there was any doubt.

So, your roll call of those who are through… the boys: Lee, Austin, Lewis, Alan the Liar, Mali and Eoghan. Not much to care about there. The girls: Anastazia, Laura, Diana, Hannah, Alexandra and Amy. Strongest category, surely? The ‘overs’: Danny, Ruth, Louise, Suzie, Rachel and James, which has three good people, two weak people and one strong sob story. I think we all know which four in this category are going to make the live shows, don’t we? The groups: JML, Desire, Girlband, Bad Lashes, 4 Instinct and Priority. So much for ‘the groups are amazing this year’ – clearly not.

The judges talk about which groups they want. Simon pervs that he wants the young girls (who all say on The Xtra Factor that they want Simon) and says he doesn’t want the boys because they’re all too young, which doesn’t make sense, as Austin and Alan the liar aren’t that young, and also, you put them through, so cram it. Louis wants the groups or boys cos he’s scared of girls and old people. Cheryl wants the girls and thinks it’s all over for her if she doesn’t get them. Danniii doesn’t get a say.

One of the evil producers phones them from behind a blind. Simon is on a landline and clearly didn’t get the memo that the show is sponsored by the Carphone Warehouse has the boys. He pulls a bitch face and says he’s thrilled for THEM. Ouch. Dannii gets the over 25s. She’s allegedly excited. She has a Blackberry. Louis’ mobile is a huge Nokia, because he hasn’t realised the sponsor changed a couple of years ago (and this moment is the first time all series I properly miss Sharon, just because I used to like the fact that her phone wasn’t a Nokia). Fake waiting. He has the groups, and is alleggedly happy. Whatever. You’re going to lose, Walsh. Again. [I feel a bit sad for Louis in his big empty flat with a Westlife poster on the wall. - Carrie] Mwahahahaha. Cheryl therefore has the girls, because this show loves her this year. She lets out big screams. Louis gets his bitchface back on and says Dannii’s not going to win. And neither is he.

Next week! Another double bill! We go to exotic locations! Barbados! Cannes! St Tropez! IRELAND!!111!!! ZOMG!!! The boys take their tops off! Emma Bunton and Dannii form a team of awesome! Sinitta and her parasol! Kimberley Walsh! Er, Kian from Westlife! Oh, and the final 12 are revealed, and your Bitch Factor team draw straws to avoid getting the first, eight hour long (approximately) live show! Join us then!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am in love with your blog.

The only good thing about the category allotting this year is that Dannii can't possibly win. She is to be fully blamed for the awfulness of Leon being inflicted upon us week after week and then leaving it in the hands of Scotland to make sure he won it. I am quite enjoying her lack of screen time but I do wish the camera wouldn't hone in quite so pervily on Cheryl and her ever present little smile/ hovering on the edge of tears.