Auditions 6: 19th September 2010
Previously on The X Factor: They came in their thousands, the judges have seen it all, Pixie Lott nearly fell off her seat, she punched her in the face, and I can’t remember anyone particularly good.
Still, tonight it’s the final auditions in MANCHESTER and some of the preview shots are people who we’ve already seen on last night’s show and last night’s Xtra Factor which doesn’t give me great hope that Manchester has it, to be honest. IT’S TIME TO FACE THE MUSIC (AND WEEP).
Dermot says we have steamed into Manchester and we have the usual audience blurb about how they’re going to win. With Dannii and Cheryl away, the panel is “once again” joined by Nicole Scherzinger. Simon tells Louis he’s putting on weight. Nicole says if he tells her she’s putting on weight she will knock him out. Weirdly, Cheryl is all over tonight’s Xtra Factor as if she’d never been away, which is a bit jarring. [And she gets a judges' credit at the end of tonight's show, despite having not been there for any of it. Also weird. - Steve]
Damien Devine, 19, from Derry has been flown in. He wears a lot of ruffles. He wants to be the biggest person to ever come out of this industry. Somewhere, Elvis, John Lennon and Michael Jackson are quaking in their graves. He says that he’s here to win the X Factor and put on a fabulous performance. He makes his own clothes, apparently, which explains why he looks a bit like he just threw on the school rag bin. He puts on some shades and his dancing is somewhat Jedward-esque as he ‘performs’ ‘Poker Face’. He gender-switches the lyrics and I wonder what Dannii would make of this, as my eyebrows were certainly raised at it. Backstage he has a couple of female friends in Damien Devine T-shirts. Simon says it was horrendous. Nicole says he put on a great performance but the vocals weren’t there. Louis says he’s really talented at making clothes. Three noes and he waves at the audience. Simon says he’s a nice polite guy. Awww. [At least he had an awesome popstar name. Unlike Eoghan Quigg. - Steve]
‘I Don’t Feel Like Dancing’ cues up some dreadful dancing. Joe, 24, has a pig in a bumbag sticking out of his crotch and thrusts it during his performance. Blee. Lifeguard Dean, 39, did ‘Blame it on the Boogie’ on Xtra Factor last night and we see it again with added footage of Simon saying he looks like someone who comes out of a nightclub drunk and sings Blame it on the Boogie. A nightclub on a seaside holiday camp circa 1989, perhaps. Wojciech wears a horrible technicolor jacket that clashes with his denim-blue bandana and is dreadful but gropes his groin a lot, and Louis and Nicole put him through for unfathomable reasons.
Ads, including the Super Mario 25th anniversary one where everyone gripes on Twitter about how it’s not really 25 years because they’ve ignored Donkey Kong. [Which is entirely missing the point, because it's the 25th anniversary of Super Mario Bros., which came out in 1985. - Steve]
‘Fire with Fire’ plays as we return from the break. The Scissor Sisters are doing well out of this episode. Tobias from Hull is next and he tells us about his many jobs, all of which were shit. The X Factor apparently feels like a massive job interview for the best job he’ll ever have. He’s 20, and has had 15-20 jobs. He also claims he doesn’t like singing in front of people. Simon suggests the audience leave, which is the most sensible thing anyone will suggest all series. [Seriously, what is the point of this tosspot? (NB not Simon) - Carrie]
He’s doing the Moulin Rouge version of ‘Your Song’. He stands with his arm smugly folded across the other. Haaate. It’s alright, at least by this series’ standards. Some bits of it are on, some are off, but I really don’t like his personality and that overrides everything else for me. Louis says he has a nice rock voice but needs to work on his interview technique as he didn’t come across well. Nicole likes him. Simon says he has a good voice but is worried about him, given he’s 20 years old and this is his 21st potential job. Tobias says he’s punctual, and I’m not really sure that this works as a gag. Simon says ‘it’s not going to change my life but it could change yours’ and tells him it could have been so much better. Nicole says there’s a reason he’s here (because he’s slacking off work and about to lose another job?) and she’s going to say yes. Louis says he’s going to have to start taking things seriously as very many people would love to be in his place but he gets three yeses anyway. The Moulin Rouge version plays. Ah, I love Moulin Rouge. I wish I was watching that instead of this right now. His all-female family pile on him backstage. He says this is the biggest thing he’s ever stuck to. What, a five-minute audition? That’s some commitment, right there.
Ramena Fahari, 17, is from Southport, which she says is a ‘small town’ in the hope of picking up those Lucie Jones-style “tiny village” points. She sings sings You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me, and it’s OK, at least given the standard on offer, and gets three yeses. In a clear attempt to curry favour with Carrie, she has a nan. [Yet in a clear attempt to piss me off, she's only just average. - Carrie]
Chrissie Pitt, trainee dental nurse, 25, sings the opening of ‘Ain't No Mountain High Enough’ although I’m not entirely sure she’s au fait with the tune. She’s through anyway. Next up is Karl Brown, who’s 19. Simon says he reminds him of someone and points at Nicole. I presume he means the boy looks like Lewis Hamilton, although there are shades of ‘they all look the same to me’ here because he doesn’t look that much like him. [I thought they were suggesting he looked like Nicole. Your interpretation makes more sense. - Steve] He’s cute as a button but not a great singer - still he’s better than Lloyd DANIELS and Eoghan QUIGG. Three yeses. By the way, Nicole’s outfit keeps changing throughout. Good to know the continuity on this show is as robust as ever.
Next up is Charlene. She’s 17 but looks younger, and is a tiny little thing. According to the Xtra Factor, she auditioned before when she was 14 but Simon said she was too young. She sings ‘Listen’, which is a bit too big for her as she goes screechy in places, but there’s a decent voice in there that could be worked with. She goes through. [Nothing will ever be as good as Alexandra and Beyonce's duet of Listen, so nobody should ever sing it again. - Carrie]
House of Fun plays as we meet Harry Styles, 16. Apparently he used to be in a group that won a battle of the bands competition. He’s wearing a scarf and cardi in a laddish hipster annoying precocious way, and I already hate him. We learn that he works in a bakery (hopefully not Angela Maher’s) and is going back to college in September to do his A-levels. Simon asks why he’s there. He says he’s always wanted to audition but has always been too young. Is this a vague sob story about the cruel age changes this show put in place the other year? He is doing ‘Isn’t she Lovely’, which is a song about a baby girl. Has someone informed the Daily Mail of this potential advocacy of teen parenthood? His mic goes weird halfway through, which is a bit offputting. He’s singing in a nasally American accent, and I hate it when British singers put American accents on like that. He’s alright but nothing particularly special - but then I feel I could say that about every ‘good’ contestant this year. Bootcamp better be an improvement on this. Nicole loves him, Louis says he’s a bit young and needs to improve in time. Simon says that someone in the audience said rubbish when Louis said that and he agrees (normally he’s the one to tell people to come back when they’re older so whatever, Simon). Louis says no “for all the right reasons” (DRINK!), and the audience boo like the cretins they are. Come on, audience, do you really look at Harry and think he’s going to set the charts alight? Simon says they haven’t booed loud enough, and encourages more boos. I’m all for boos for Louis normally but I’m kind of on his side with this one, and I also hate the audience even more than Louis, so this puts me in the awkward situation of sympathising with him. Nicole and Simon say yes, so Harry’s through.
We then have an extended VT of Louis being ‘doom and gloom’ in greyscale, as ‘Always look on the Bright Side of Life’ plays. Louis looks good in greyscale. Anyway, he rejects a load of mediocre crap (although the woman singing ‘Enough is Enough’ was OK and you’d think that song would be a Louis shoo-in), including some pretty but tuneless girl called Lucy who goes through as Nicole and Simon call Louis grumpy. Dear show, stop making me agree with Louis Walsh.
Will the next act turn Louis around? Well, we’re over the Louis4Nicole4Eva shenanigans of last night and back firmly in the LouisIZGAYLOL camp as YMCA plays and we meet duo Diva Fever. [I must admit, the part where Louis suddenly snapped back into colour as the twinks appeared was the first genuine laugh this show's given me all series. Well played, X Factor. - Steve] They say that there’s been no-one like them since Wham! and Wham! were a long time ago. Hee. They have hairstyles like Sims. Their names are Craig and Joseph. Craig has a Don’t you Want Me Baby t-shirt on and is a student, whilst Joseph works for British Gas. They're going to sing ‘Let it Be’, and given that this is the least appropriate song for a couple of sparkly (presumably) gays called Diva Fever, do I smell a change the song coming on?
They go for the none-more-stereotypical Proud Mary, because no little twinks have ever sung this before, except they do a shitty slowed-down version. I want dancing and jumping about from you, Diva Fever. Their harmonies are a bit shit to start with but as they get into it, it gets better. Nicole gets up and dances, the big fag hag. They’re not as fabulous as they should be yet, but NotLouis could have a lot of fun with these guys come the live shows.
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We’re back with Richard Thomas, 28, from Hull. He sings in pubs and clubs but tells us a lot have closed down BECAUSE OF THE RECESSION. Or possibly the smoking ban. He tells us that it’s hard for ‘artists’. He met his wife through singing and if he wins this they can have the life they really want but he doesn’t want to say this too much in case it doesn’t work. He and Simon have a bit of a sob story chat about how hard it is to make money singing and Simon tells him to choose the song to prove he’s a recording artist not to please the audience. One shot one song?, he asks. Yeah, because ‘one shot one song’ has totally been the motto for this series, hasn’t it?
He says he’ll do something fun, and goes for ‘(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher’, which is a very cabaret choice, so he clearly hasn’t listened to Simon’s rants about cabaret every bloody year. He has a terrible karaoke backing track that drowns him out, although his voice is pretty weak anyway. He sings in a whiny, sub-Bono style. Louis says the song choice was good but everything else was all wrong. He has picked up too many bad habits from singing in clubs, and he doesn’t think it’s there any more. Simon says it was the wrong song and he thinks he knew it at the halfway point. Simon sounds sombre and here we go, let’s brace ourselves for a song change.
Richard says he doesn’t want to come across as boring. Nicole says he doesn’t come across as boring at all, he has great spirit and she wants to come where he’s at and hear him sing but when it comes to a recording artist’s voice she didn’t hear that at all. Nicole is very good at doing the letting people down gently thing, isn’t she? [She occasionally veers into the patronising end of the sphere, but on the whole I agree. Nicole Scherzinger: only guest judge all series to be actually worth the effort. Who saw that one coming? - Steve] Louis says no. Nicole says no. Simon says no. Downer. Considering he had a kind of sob story (albeit a rubbish one) and he has kids, everyone was expecting him to go through, but he didn’t even get a second song. That’s a twist of Sixth Sense proportions for this show. He then cries. Not one person gives a shit.
We return to the mega-queues and discover that Manchester has a wheel. Has everywhere got a wheel now? I know Sheffield has one and we’re usually pretty behind the times at these things.
Next up is someone wearing a stupid hat, though not at a jaunty angle. Marlon Mckenzie is a receptionist. He has cute children, but his job is shit. Presumably he will counter Richard, as the can’t piss on the dreams of two fathers in a row, can they? He started singing at seven and wanted to be like Tina Turner. As Carrie pointed out, he has a hat, he wants to be Tina and yet he has kids. Surely the very definition of metrosexual there.
In another vague sob story moment, he has been trying to get a record deal since he was 15 and keeps trying. He is, everyone say it... Doing it for his kids. Simon asks why he’s not had the break, and Marlon says he always used to fall at the last hurdle. Simon says the show is here for people like him. But not people like Richard, clearly. He’s singing ‘Ain't no Sunshine’, though he doesn’t sing the actual tune, and is utterly shit. He’s attractive and has cute kids, so the audience whoop like deluded fools. To be fair, if he sang an actual tune he might be good, but I am having Danyl flashbacks right now and we all know how far away from the tune he liked to stray. Simon said that when he said he was going to do that song he thought ‘oh my god we’re going to hear the same version we’ve heard a thousand times’. What, the correct version, the one with a tune? Simon says him making it his own made it current - which clearly doesn’t say good things about the state of current music. Nicole says everything happens for a reason, Louis says he made the song his own, and the big book of X Factor clichés gets a sound beating. Three yeses. Backstage, his cute little boy says ‘daddy was very very very fantastic’. Awww.
‘Nothing's Gonna Stop us Now’ plays as Dermot gives us a ten-minute recap of the series so far as if to rub in how much time we’ve all wasted. We see: the biggest auditions ever, Simon wanting a world famous star, Cheryl VOs about it having happened to her (Cher footage plays as she says this). We see loads of footage of shit auditionees, then Gamu, I think still with autotune. There are a couple of other ‘good’ people I don’t even remember, more shit people including the High Street Boys and the Jacko wannabe. The good are represented by Mary, Cher, and some standing ovations. There’s some bloke I don’t remember in a scarf who Simon calls a pop star, more shit people, Ablisa, Lisa asking who Natalie Imbruglia was, then the punching in the face plays in tune to the ‘hey’ in the music. Classy. We see some bloke getting an almighty yes, Liam getting a massive fat almighty yes, and Hatey getting a yes. The group of plumbers are the only ‘good’ group we see. I call shenanigans on the ‘they want a group to win’ theory and predict they will be setting up a female winner again. We see Geri, Pixie, the guest judges saying they enjoyed it, and Katy Perry saying it was ‘err, a fun show to be part of’.
Next week! Boot camp! Two more shows! There are literally no second chances! Someone ruins it for themselves! Nicole comes back! [Yay! - Steve] NotLouis does some mad group dancing bollocks! Join us then!