Audition show 3 (only 3?! HOW?)
Tx: 5th September 2009
"The dream has always been the same!" says scary voiceover man. And we look back on those X-Factor winners who have fulfilled their dream - SHAYNE! LEONA! ALEXANDRA! Obviously no Brookstein, because he's burnt his bridges with Cowell, but I almost feel sorry for Leon, who's a big fat failure no matter how you try to spin it. "But this year! The bar has been raised!" I know it's their job to hyperbolise, but I have really not seen any act that has been good this year, rather than mediocre or good by comparison to the rest of the talent voids.
Anyway, obviously it's time to face the music. Titles!
Dermot welcomes us to "THE NORTH", which is Manchester. Police officers on horseback do the X thing. I am ashamed that my taxes pay their wages. There's a totally superfluous bit where we meet the judges, like we don't know who they are, but perhaps they're more interesting than the sacks of shite they're going to wheel out on stage today. Cheryl mocks Louis, though, which is always good for a laugh.
Barman Alan is twitchy, nervous and high-pitched, and has brought his mum along. This is not going to end well. He says what makes him different from everybody else is that he is better than them. He sings When The Going Gets Tough in a whiny voice. His dancing looks like a broken marionette puppet. He forgets the words. Everyone sings along. Simon does not. He rolls his eyes. Dannii says it looks like Alan was being electrocuted. It's four no votes, obviously. "Ah've never seen a rhythm like it," concludes Cheryl.
Oh, and apparently now we are around the country, rather than in THE GENERIC NORTH. Gurdip, a police admin officer, emulates a Pussycat Doll. Louis loves it, as much as he pretends he didn't. Tom Idelson sings falsetto to Kiss, and Louis loves that too. Steve Loczy performs 9 to 5 in the style of a drugged Billy Ray Cyrus. Ian's alias is "G W S - Guy With Style" and he picks U Can't Touch This as a suitable song to showcase his talent.
Time for a break already.
Ooh, it is BEAUTIFUL CARDIFF! You can tell because Charlotte Church is the music being played over Dermot's VO, and because the auditionees like Shirley Bassey and Tom Jones. Louis Walsh pretends that he has heard of and likes the Manic Street Preachers.
OH DEAR GOD. A trio called 2 Gorgeous 4 Words come on and do some gymnastic posing. They inform the judges that they were put together via auditions at college. "How many people auditioned?" asks Dannii. "About 12," comes the answer. They sing Let's Hear It For The Boy, miss out the second half of the first verse, and reach the chorus too soon. The look of abject horror on their faces is painful. When the judges tell them to jog on, their supporters backstage try a spot of bolshiness, but it's really quite unconvincing - "I don't care what they think, I think you're MARVELLOUS anyway." Well, perhaps, but you're not the one with a record contract on offer to them, are you?
Ashanti Webbe is a full-time mum (still object to that description) and she sings I'm Goin' Down to a hideously tinny backing track. I think there's a nice voice in there somewhere but it's not the big diva belt she's trying to emulate. Cheryl liked it, anyway, and so did Dannii, and Louis, and even though Simon is still wavering she gets four yeses altogether.
Daniel Williams plays rugby but thinks singing is more important "100 per cent". He sings Let It Be. He's quite decent, but then Simon voices my thought - "What type of record would this guy make?" Louis answers, "Middle of the road, Michael Ball, for mammies and daddies." Oh, fuck OFF, Walsh. I hate the way he can take the name of one of the FINEST SINGERS IN THE COUNTRY and make it sound like an insult, even if he is trying to argue that Daniel is good. Anyway, four yeses.
Randoms talk about the importance of the opportunity they are being offered. Simon PTCs that people need to take advantage of the opportunity they are being offered. One girl, who looks a bit like she's trying to channel Gabriella at the end of High School Musical 2, is from a small village in Wales (where all her friends ARE DEAD? No? Sorry, wrong series), and gets plinky-plonky piano music of meaningfulness as she takes her audition number from the desk people. Lucie's sob story seems to be that her village IS SMALL. It has a school and a village hall and some sheep, and that's about it. This is the worst narrative ever.
She's going to sing the single-noted dirge that is Whitney's version of I Will Always Love You. We have the obligatory delay while the man with the mixing desk puts the right CD in the slot. Her voice is quite pretty, but there's something about it that makes me think she'd have been better doing the Dolly version, with a more country feel. [I thought that too. I realise this is a slightly pointless comment since all I'm doing is agreeing with you, but she was one of the very few people I actually had anything to say about one way or the other because this series has been SHIT so far. - Steve] She sings with her head tilted, looking away from the audience - a bit like a singing Princess Di. Cheryl loves the vulnerability "because it makes me think that you don't realise how amazing you are." Yeah RIGHT. Louis tells her she was born to sing. Simon likes her. Four yeses. Cheryl wanders backstage to give her a hug.
Back at the auditions, there is a crazy man with a goatee beard; a scary lady who screeches; the same crazy man singing a song about a lonely llama. What? I am sad for chef Gareth Evans who wants to change his life because he dislikes all of it. Can someone get him some CBT? [Sure, if you think learning to ride a motorcycle will help... - Steve, A Fan Of Hilarious Misunderstandings] The crazy man sings a song about shepherds' pie, and Simon pretends it wasn't all a total set-up.
Lloyd Daniels has only ever sung karaoke and performed at school shows. But he has pop star bleached blond hair and gets a manly hug from Dermot, so I think we can be sure he'll do well. He's not that comfortable on stage while he waits for the introduction to his song (a Jason Mraz one), and when he sings it's perfectly melodic, but the judges do some fakery and pretend they don't like what they're hearing. Seriously, Cowell, you did this fake-out with Shaheen Jafargholi on BGT, and it was unconvincing then. [I thought he was SHIT, so I was totally with them at this point. - Steve] Anyway, Lloyd sings acapella, and then they all beam at him. Everyone cheers. Lloyd smiles. Four yeses. [He was no better the second time either. If he gets past boot camp, I suspect he may become my nemesis. - Steve]
Combined Effort consists of the notorious couple who were once engaged and have now broken up. Three days prior to the audition. The audience laugh. And oh my fuck this is the most uncomfortable piece of viewing I have ever seen. Oh it's dreadful. They make them VT about the reasons for their break-up. And then Simon grills them both on stage about it. Jack says he ended it. The audience boo. Oh oh oh it's horrid. They both reckon they are still friends. Simon appreciates this because he is always friends with his exes (actually that's one of the main reasons I love him). Anyway, they are singing Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now - Jack forgets the words, Kirsty can't reach the high notes, they hold hands and it's just terrible. Simon smiles, as if the power of his smile can mend the awful inappropriateness of this song or their broken relationship. Then all four judges try and get them back together again, and they cry. Jack does a really unconvincing plea to Kirsty to give him another chance. Everyone applauds. They kiss in the booth of bitterness. I hate this show.
Jade is doing her A-levels and taught herself to sing; her friends and family tell Dermot she is AMAZING. She sings And I'm Telling You... acapella. Dermot looks a bit misty-eyed. She could be good with a bit of training, I think; this performance is based entirely on Jennifer Hudson's, obviously, so you can't really tell what she'd be able to do with another song. In fact, they then play Hudson's version over the judges' comments, and the gulf between the vocal capacities (at the moment) is made very very plain. Regardless, four yeses. Jade has a lovely smile.
Lots of randoms come to the UK just to audition for The X Factor, as we've seen over the previous fortnight, and this makes me very sad as well. Catering assistant Fouad moved here from France six months ago to follow in the footsteps of his idol Mariah Carey (srsly). He sings Vision of Love, and he is clearly not at all serious about this - he gurns his way through it, mocking all of Carey's affectations, and is evidently trying not to laugh. They ask him for his next song, and he says, "Hero." The audience whoop, because they are morons, and Fouad plays up to them. The judges laugh into their mugs of water. Simon goes a funny puce colour. If Sharon was here, Fouad would be going through on the basis that he is "entertaining" and "foreign". Just sayin'.
Have we seriously just spent ten minutes on a comedy contestant? Why, yes, I think we have. Next week! More terrible auditions! Simon snogging randoms! A dog! Join us then! [Apparently this show is going to the dogs in more ways than one. Oh fuck, I'm down to recap next week, aren't I? Christ on a cracker. - Steve]