Monday, September 06, 2010

The Hit Factory

Third audition show
Tx: 4 September 2010

Previously, on The X Factor, Autotune! Hasty autotune removal! Oh, sorry, apparently the search reached fever pitch! Geri! Katy! 'The worst group we've ever had!'

Tonight the competition hots up as it hits London (again) and Birmingham with guest judge Natalia Imbruglia and that girl who punched her friend in the face. It's! Time! To! Face! The! Music!

Dermot welcomes us by saying that the search has hit the capital (as if we haven't already been here plenty already) and the whole of London has turned up. He doesn't use the word 'literally', but still, thin ice, O'Leary, thin ice.

We only have three judges in London again. Louis VOs that he wants something that'll sell millions of records. Thriller plays in the background as we are told that more twins than ever applied. This is all Louis' fault of course, even though he couldn't have put John and Edward through without Dannii and Cheryl also giving them yeses. We then see a montage of Louis saying yes to rubbish twins, most notably scruffy-haired teenage twins Bejon. Bejon get through on both Cheryl AND Louis' say so, though you wouldn't know it by the way Simon snips at Louis, 'what IS your problem?' All of which: come off it, show, you give us a set of quirky twins this time each year - and the international versions also love this gimmick. (I was checking the MacDonald Brothers' Wiki to see whether or not they were actually twins and though I didn't find out, it made me chuckle when it said they 'tour the country to sell-out[citation needed] crowds in Scotland'. Hee).

Next up are French twins Samir and Medhi, aka Twem (or is it 'The' Twem, which Samir seems to say when they go onstage?), which is Arabic for twins, apparently. Anyway, they are 'determinated'. They are each wearing a solitary glove (as is the fashion on the show this year. Was it the anniversary of Michael Jackson’s death when they filmed these or something?), except they’re each wearing them on a different hand meaning they bought a pair and split them. I suppose if you have to do the Jacko one-glove thing, it’s more eco-friendly if both gloves get some usage.

Simon eye rolls as they walk on. Louis asks them where they’re from (Paris) and Simon gets a little snitty that they haven’t gone on the French show. They say the UK one is better. If so, I really don’t want to see the merde they peddle over there.

They’re doing Lady GaGa’s ‘Just Dance’ and the one on the left is slightly better, and though they’re being built up as a crap act they’re actually a mediocre act with the gimmick of being slightly scary twins, one in white, one in black. Hang on a minute, haven’t I seen mediocre twins, one in white and one in black somewhere before?

Simon says it’s the effect Louis had on Europe, the two monsters he created are now spreading. Harsh words to say about Boyzone and Westlife, but I can’t disagree. Louis and Cheryl both say yes again like the tired retread of series three that they are.

Next up is a middle-aged bloke (and then the captions tell me he’s 37? Hard knock life my friend) called Storm Lee, in a leather hat and jacket. He apparently wants to prove Sting wrong. A noble aim in life at any time (but sadly his reason for wanting to prove Sting wrong is that Sting slagged off this show. I could think of better reasons). He then performs Every Breath You Take, presumably with the aim of insulting Sting by ruining the song?

Anyway it’s incredibly meh, and that should be an end to it, but what’s this? He has another song you say? The ‘sing another song’ gimmick is this year’s WHO IS DEAD and I am so, so over it already. [It gives me fond memories of Spirit and Destiny, though. "Sing 'em a song, Della!" - Steve] It’s clear many of them have always sung multiple songs given we have, in previous years, seen clips of this on The Xtra Factor, but we don’t need to see several acts an episode do two songs. This gimmick can bite me.

He does ‘I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For’ and I am longing for it to be appalling because I am desperate for this show to one day pull out a genuine SHOCK! TWIST! But nah, it’s pub-rock sub-Jamie Afro bollocks and the judges proclaim him the third coming of Christ (Cheryl being the second, of course).

Cheryl says Simon rude for calling him Lee and not Storm. She changed her name to Cole after all and look where it’s got her. OK, a cheating husband and a divorce, but what price is that compared to being the Queen of all Our Hearts? On that issue, by the way, I had a living X Factor nightmare yesterday. I was in Meadowhall and it was its 20th anniversary party. The headlines on the papers were mostly about the Cole divorce, one of which, I kid ye not, was ‘Simon: My Battler Cheryl’ [*rage* - Steve] and as I saw these, Lloyd DANIELS was ill-advisedly ‘singing’ a bizarre arrangement of ‘Chasing Cars’ live. A couple walked past me muttering: ‘Ooo’s that?’ ‘I dunno but he can’t sing’. Poor lamb. He is, however, quite pretty. [Oh Ruth. - Carrie]

Next up is sixteen year old (sixteen like Lloyd DANIELS! See, it wasn’t a tangent!) Ruth-Ann St Luce and I feel like I should support her because my name is Ruth Anna. Anyway, she sings a really awful arrangement of Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow but she’s cute as a button and her voice is OK so she’s through.

John Adeyele sings ‘You are so Beautiful’ and goes through. My notes on him read thus: Blurgh, boring, hate. Porkpie hat. [Ah, but he is a Nice Man. - Carrie]

Elesha Moses is next. She’s very pretty and 29. She sings ‘She Said’, though it’s the Plan B version not The Longpigs’ one, which would be awesome. She’s very good and goes through. I realise that Twem got twice as much airtime as these three singers put together, but that shouldn’t really be any surprise.

Ads. Everyone on Twitter simultaneously tweets that £20 isn’t enough to make them buy the Daily Mail. Heh.

We’re at Birmingham NEC, and treated to some dreadful people outside singing. Natalie Imbruglia is here. Apparently she’s Dannii’s friend. According to the BIG BLURB, she’s a platinum record seller and a Brit award winner. For all the ripping Geri got, not one of the other guest judges is going to come close to her sales are they? They play ‘Torn’ and ‘Shiver’ in her VT. Now, you may think she only had those two hits, but if so then you are clearly not thinking hard enough about the bubbles of love we made (my favourite Imbruglia track, fact fans). [Mine too! - Steve]

Dermot tells us that no-one’s been waiting longer for these auditions than Liam who auditioned way back in the dawn of time, otherwise known as 2008 and had to wait two WHOLE years to come back. I think Rory from Doctor Who might have something to say about this longest wait ever claim. This is not explicitly stated but basically he got through to judges’ houses when he was fourteen but then the show quietly changed the age brackets back up again the next series so he couldn’t audition again. Not sure what point the show is trying to prove here - ‘He was great at fourteen and got through to judges’ houses which proves how right we were to put children through, but then we sent him home because we realised we were wrong and then he had to live through the horror of not being on the show last year even though that horror was entirely down to us fucking with the ages again and now he is back at sixteen to prove that we are right to keep the age at sixteen and would never do anything silly like audition fourteen year olds’. He looks just like Justin Bieber.

He sings ‘Cry Me a River’ (not the Timberlake one) in an awful stagey American voice. [I blame Bublé. - Steve] [The Timberlake one would have been better. This was mediocre karaoke at best. - Carrie] And I really thought he was someone else begging the change the song treatment, because while his voice might be OK the boring song choice and horrible OTT style seem like the kind of thing the judges might gripe about. But no, Simon is overcome by his inner OMGSOMEONEWHOCANSINGMACKTHEKNIFE and everyone erupts in applause, Simon and kissass Natalie even giving him a standing ovation.

Cheryl says, and I quote ‘You’ve definitely got it, whatever it is you’ve got it’. Is the ‘it’ a) The X Factor b) ‘Mack the Knife’ in Big Band week or c) The role as the new Ray Quinn? I told you this was a series three retread (although Liam was a swinging teen back when he first auditioned as well, to be fair).

Natalie says he’s impressive, really really impressive. Louis says he has a brilliant vocal. Louis tries to jib Simon about not putting him through before, Simon says Liam wasn’t ready and he said to him to come back in two years’ time. The fuck, Simon, shut it up.

Simon gives him one massive fat almighty yes. No word if this is valued higher or lower than 1 million percent though. We see his family backstage, Dermot manhugs him and witters some gibberish about how the boy becomes a man. His Bieberness is mentioned.

Ads. Already?

Britain’s second city is looking for its first ever win, and apparently many people want to be like divas, none more so than 41 year old Patty who wants to be like Celine Dion or “Mara” Carey. Everywhere she goes she wants to her people say her name, Patty Patty Patty. She should team up with John Barrowman John Barrowman John Barrowman. She has four kids and likes singing.

She’s singing ‘For Your Eyes Only’, and of course it’s out of tune, squeaky etc. I really hate them prolonging agony like this. Simon and Cheryl say no, Louis ‘was gonna say yes’, Natalie says nowt.

That Americano song that was in the charts the other week plays, so get ready for the LULZ. One guy is laughed off for having an unusual name (I can’t tell you what because ITV player has crapped out on me as usual). Seriously, X Factor? Chad Kennedy, aged 19, reads from a sheet and is tuneless singing something I don’t know. His excuse is he had a chesty cough. Simon says even with a chesty cough he could have learned the words. The guy says ‘put me through and you’ll see’, and the judges all take the piss out of him. Oh The X Factor. Laughing at the borderline mentally ill since 2004. The High St Boys are next, and are two bespectacled skinny white blokes in white tops looking a bit vacant, singing ‘I Want it That Way’. If you can’t guess how that goes down, you have never seen this show. Elton John lookalike Scott in a piano hat, wants to stand in Reg’s footsteps. He has performed when he’s been walking all over and also at two family funerals. He does a ropey ‘Your Song’. INSERT CRAPPY JOKE ABOUT FUNERALS HERE.

Brenda, 67, a retired chemistry teacher, thinks she can win The X Factor, and I am slightly too ashamed to type what my first thought was when I saw her but I bet most of you terrible people thought the same thing. She sings ‘So What’, and I kind of love her until she wiggles her hips. Simon says ‘we already have a Kylie, do we need another?’ and I’m not sure if he was deliberately trying to burn Kylie, but I’m offended on her behalf.

Next is Katie Melua, oops 16 year old Cher, who, we’re reminded, is only just old enough to be on this show, because she is SIXTEEN and not FOURTEEN or FIFTEEN, because this show would never have such young people on. She’s wearing jeans that are more rip than jean (Oh God. I have become my mother) and a Madonna-esque jacket. She also has one glove on. Le sigh. I don’t yet know Steve’s opinion of her but based on her appearance I am guessing it’s not high. [I currently want to slap her, and then feed her several sandwiches. - Carrie]

Louis asks ‘is that your real name?’ She says it is. He asks ‘Did you call yourself that ‘cos of the popstar?’ She replies, ‘I think that’s why my mum called me it’ because, like most people on this show who aren’t called Storm Lee, she didn’t actually give herself her real name, Louis, you twerp. Louis says she looks older than 16 (I don’t think she does, but she is wearing too much make up). Sings ‘Turn my Swag on’ by Soulja Boy but Keri Hilson’s version. At least, unlike 99% of people on here, she acknowledges the original and the cover artist, so props for that, I guess. She sings a lyric about her ‘haters’ and I was about to question whether a 16 year old girl has any, but then I thought about what Steve would say to that. Anyway, well done her for doing a different song to everyone else, but I really don’t believe her performance. She’s like one of those posh kids that pretends to be ‘street’ (O hai Lily Allen and Jaime Winstone) and she’s OK but this performance is very overdone. Still, give me hip hop week over big band week any day. [Admittedly I have no idea what the original is meant to sound like, but I thought she was awful. A horrid, tuneless mess. - Steve] [Ditto. - Carrie]

Cheryl says she is right up her street and her favourite audition so far. The Lord hath spoken, everyone. Twitter is split right down the middle, with 50% declaring her the best audition ever and 50% crying that we don’t need inauthentic, wannabe Cheryls. This year’s Marmite contestant then?

Simon says there’s something special about her. She gets a lot of 100% yeses, which is clearly less than a million percent, but is it as much as one massive fat almighty yes?

Cheryl says backstage, ‘She was made for me, she even had a tattoo on her hand’. [Looks like Cheryl's mentoring the girls this year then. - Steve] Louis says Simon is gonna want her. Cheryl says he’s not getting her. Louis sings ‘you gotta fight fight fight’ and though it’s scripted to all hell it’s still quite funny. [I liked Cheryl's attempt to pull a bitchface, which went a bit wrong because she started laughing. - Carrie] Seriously, though, if Cheryl gets the girls and Louis gets the groups again, I will cut a bitch. Mix things up a bit, show! I really think Simon or Louis should have the girls and Dannii or Cheryl the groups, just for a change.

Ads. Cheryl tells us we’re worth it. Alexandra tells us her deodorant keeps working for 48 hours, the shower-avoiding weirdo.

Back in Brum, and we’re with Keri Arrindell, who is an impersonator. She’s asked if she’s fed up with impersonations, and then, hilariously, does ‘Midnight Train to Georgia’ sounding like every generic black female singer ever but Louis says she’s special. Some annoying bloke gets through. Wagner Fiuza-Carrilho, a retired PE teacher with wild grey/white/black hair sings something operatic [not very well - Carrie] that I didn’t catch, and Simon says his mum would really fancy him. Four yeses, although I really don’t see why he’s not on Britain’s Got Talent instead.

Justin Vanderhyde is next. He’s Dutch, Portuguese, West Indian and Indian. Simon says this is ‘great’, so it’s clearly only the French he hates. He does ‘Superstition’ and dances like a better Olly. Cheryl says he looks like an action figure, and he gets four yeses. Have they made JLS action figures yet? Treyc, who was mostly awesome last year, but who Simon sent home in favour of the cock-fest that was Jamie, Danyl and Olly fucking MURS. (Number one? I hate you Great British Public) and is back to give everything. She does ‘You Got the Love’, which The Xtra Factor led me to believe was not allowed because everyone does it. She’s actually a bit screechy, and I think she’s worse than last year, to be honest. Sorry, Treyc. Love ya really.

She gets 3000 yeses, and I would really appreciate clarification on the order of ranking of a million percent yes, a hundred percent yes, one massive fat almighty yes and 3000 yeses. Any mathematicians out there?

We then have Xtra Factor style footage of Simon in the dressing area with his head down. Louis and Cheryl wonder if he’s meditating, doing yoga or praying, and some upbeat sitar style music plays, so I’m not 100% sure which religion they’re going for here as my extensive research into religious documentaries identifies this as the regular telly background music for Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and several Eastern faiths (trufax folks). He says he was steaming, not praying, and jokes that it’s good none of them have got weird. I’m taking it he doesn’t mean praying is weird, or Sinitta will be after his guts for garters. Come to think of it, she needs a sensational comeback outfit after she was allegedly sensationally axed from this year.

Abi/Abby/Abbie/Abbey and Lisa are next [what happened to those happy times when we got names put up on screen with ages and occupations? - Carrie], and they tell Dermot backstage they are called Ablisa, but in an earlier VT they say they are called ‘Abi and Lisa’. No word whether they chose the name change or whether the show foisted it upon them to make them look even more stupid. They VT about how BFF they are. Remember kids, this is LOLarious, as we all know in a bit she punches her in the face. Lisa, 17, is like Pandora from Skins only less clued up, whilst Abi, 18, is more gobby (in terms of attitude, I mean: they could both talk the hind legs off a donkey). They want to live the dream.

Lisa gets on stage and is clearly incredibly nervous and overwhelmed by it all. She says ‘oh my God it’s Cheryl’ then Abi says the same about Louis. Lisa says that Abi was saying Louis was really fit and she said ‘he’s a really old man, he could be my granddad’. Louis says, ‘What do you mean old?’ Simon tried to establish relationship between them and asks if they’re sisters. Rather hilariously, they both look offended at this. They say they’re friends, well, cousins, well Lisa’s sister is Abby’s cousin. Then Simon snarks ‘well, you’re either friends or sisters’, which: they just told you what their relationship was, SIMON. [Also: you can't be both? Still also, if Lisa's sister is Abbey's cousin, then wouldn't that make Abbey Lisa's cousin too? Oh, never mind. - Steve] Simon asks why they are here, and Abby says, ‘I dunno’.

Lisa, clearly flustered, says ‘Will everybody stop laughing at me?’ and it’s clear she’s got major self-esteem issues and should never have been put on the stage, PRODUCERS. The audience keep laughing, they keep babbling. Lisa tells the audience to shut up and becomes my new hero. Essentially she’s not angry shouting at them, more panto-style, but then we see shots of everyone agape. How dare someone tell the stupid fuckwits in the audience they need to shut the hell up? Ugh. This entire episode shows exactly why the live audience is a bad thing. Well, that and the utter tedium of nothing but live audience performances since they fucked up both this round and bootcamp until we get the slight relief of judges’ homes.

Abi thrusts her mic at Lisa and walks off, Lisa following, and one of them swears. They’re then sent back on, presumably by the producers, who are fuckwits. Simon tells the audience to hang on. They’re going to sing Shayne Ward. Poor Shayne, no longer seen as an X Factor success, now doomed to be used as crappy contestant fodder. Abi tells Lisa to stand on the X and it’s kind of clear who the bitch is in this friendship, and who’s the needy one who does what her friend says. In other words, it genuinely is like watching a working-class version of Effy and Pandora from Skins. Abi stares at the back of the stage all the time while they are performing ‘That’s My Goal’, except for a bit where they try to do the creepy X Factor duo looking in each other’s eyes thing. The singing? Funnily enough, not good. They shout ‘change the song’ and the audience boo. Well, it worked for Gamu, Hatey and Storm amongst others, so it was worth a shot.

Lisa then babbles that they don’t really care, they just came up here, and whilst this is a sucky attitude, it’s clear she’s trying to put a brave face on and the cockiness is just an act. Hey, I’ve watched every series of Big Brother. I can do cod psychology. Abi says Lisa was being a bit over the top. Simon says they have the worst attitudes of any contestants on these shows, and I think the previous six years have taught us that this is not in the least bit true. They’re just two stroppy young girls hideously out of their depth, and I can think of many older contestants with far worse attitudes. [*cough* Danyl *cough* - Steve] Lisa calls back that it’s hard when they boo. After Nadia’s eviction from UBB on Friday I have even less sympathy with hateful TV audiences than usual so I agree.

Abi tries to get it back on track and says the audience have to have their opinion. Natalie says her third line of the show (nowhere near as good judge value as Geri or Katy Perry, though she did look pretty) and tells them they weren’t very good. Lisa asks Natalie who she is, and whilst this is pretty classless, she seems genuinely confused, and if I were a naïve 17 year old I don’t think I would know who Natalie Imbruglia was, because when she started as Beth in Neighbours, Lisa WASN’T EVEN BORN.

Abi then walks off and thumps Lisa in the face. Cheryl does her shocked bit, and security are called as they storm off. This is not hilarious, despite how many LOLs ITVPlayer are trying to wring from it. It’s just vicious and kind of sad. Maybe it’s because I work with young people but I really find 17 year old girls being thumped in the face as part of prime-time family entertainment rather distasteful. Sorry. [Also, Cheryl reacting like someone being smacked in the face is the most surprising thing she's ever seen is a bit disingenuous, isn't it? - Steve]

They VT – Lisa says that she genuinely didn’t know who Natalie Imbruglia was, and Abi that she would never do anything with Lisa again and how dare Lisa call out one of the star judges (even though she blatantly doesn’t know who Natalie is either). Downer ending, no?

Coming up soon, Simon sitting on a pile of cash, and Cheryl expiring FROM! EVIL! MALARIA! Join us then!


sozzifer said...

100% yes = 1 yes. Therefore 3000 yeses = 300,000% yes, and 1,000,000% yes = 10,000 yeses. No idea on the massive fat almighty yes, though. Sorry.

Soz (mathematician)

Brian Gooch said...

I guess how large a massive fat almighty yes is depends upon how obese it is compared to the average (therefore 100%) yes.

It may also depend upon whether it is a UK or US one, as they are often different. In terms of numbers as well as obesity.

Fiz said...

I have still yet to hear anyone who can actually sing!

Sarah Daly said...

Whenever Simon turns to the audience and says 3,153 say yes, I really want someone to stand up in the audience and be all "Er, mate, you missed me out. Cheers.".

Fiz - That's a bit of a, well, stupid statement to make. Of course there have been people on there that can sing. Admittedly, a lot of them shown can't sing, but there are a few which can.

Fiz said...

Really, Sarah Daly? Both of my daughters have had their voices trained professionally, by a ex-West End singer, who now teaches at an elite drama school. If you consider what you have heard singing, then I'm profoundly sorry for you.

Sarah Daly said...

@ FIz

Yeah, you say that, but Maureen Flemming also said the same about Emilie's training...and that didn't mean jackshit.

Yes, they may all need a little work, but the potential is there. Although Cher was a little OTT, she was still a great performer.

And, please, don't feel sorry for me. I know what I heard, and there was some talent there. Sitting in the live auditions you could tell that some people were great, but only a glimpse of those acts is shown in the Saturday Night shows.


Fiz said...

Whatever. I have my opinion and you have yours. Let's agree to disagree.