Sunday, September 11, 2011

Lascel, sell, sell.

Week 4, Part 1 – Broadcast September 10 2011

Hello everyone, and welcome to the first part of this week’s Bitch Factor. Before we start, allow me to introduce myself for I am new. You may well know me from being fierce over at Bitching’s Next Top Model. If you don’t, then why not? It’s really good. Honest. I’m now turning my eye over to the big reality guns. Oh yes. It’s time for me to be less about giving good face and more about FACING. THE. MUSIC.

And so to business.

Titles! The judges are on fire! There are four of them! They have one mission – Finding the next big thing. Shot of Kelly getting over excited. Screechy Montage! It’s Saturday Night! WOO!

We begin with a recap of last week. Gary tells someone they are awful. Someone tells him that’s what he thinks. That’s kind of the point of the show. I don’t understand why people get angry when Judges judge them. The clue is in the name. Someone tells Tulisa she is in no way qualified to judge singing. Moving on...

Montage of angry people, shocked people and people giving the finger. Montage of people who are good including the obligatory cheering Nan. Louis is crying. Yawn.

The booming voice of X tells us that this week the search is continuing in this weekend’s double bill. We are treated to a montage of what we are about to see, which includes Kelly giving someone a speech about empowerment and presumably not dissing people on the internet because her mother taught her better than that. I have no such qualms though... Time to face the music!

*makes a cup of tea whilst the over long titles are on*

Dermot welcomes us to the X Factor over shots of Manchester over the opening bars of Greatest Day by Take That. Presumably this means that we are in Manchester this week. We see Gary B doing his stuff proper on the Progress tour. He’s stood on top of a giant robot with a flashing suit on. Last night, Gary was the star allegedly, though having seen that tour I can tell you that a “red bull”-ed up to the Eyeballs Robbie Williams was by far the standout performance of the night. But anyway, that doesn’t make this metaphor work. Last night Gary was the star and now he’s looking for one. DO YOU SEE?

We have some stop motion dawn breaking shots to indicate that it’s not last night anymore and that Gary is now ready to go out and be a judge. Gary thinks he’s going to find something special today because it’s his hometown. It isn’t. I was a teenage Take That obsessive and know that he’s from near Chester. To be fair, Manchester has got Chester in it and Gary is a man so we’ll let that one slide. Anyway, Gary persists in the charade and does a piece to camera from the back of the big car to say it’s good to be home. [If he's from Chester, how come he's never been a guest star in Hollyoaks? Or has he? - Rad]

Dermot tells us that it’s the biggest turnout in X Factor history. A few people in the crowd interview that they can’t wait to meet Gary Barlow. Oh, that electric personality strikes again. Gary thinks they will find their superstar in Manchester. Kelly lies that Gary always says beautiful things about Manchester. Tulisa wants the winner brought on and Louis thinks that there must be an awful lot of pressure on Gary because it’s his hometown. It’s not his hometown Louis, and even if it was, he is not personally responsible for the level of talent in there. To bring the point home that Gary has a vague association with Manchester we see him walking down a corridor and shouting “Manchester, na na na” whilst rubbing his hands together. He loses impetus by the second round.

What follows next is a bit of a Gary love-in over hair and makeup. Louis tells us that all the judges went to see the show last night and it was a spectacle. Tulisa said she was screaming “WE LOVE YOU GARY” from her booth. Louis then explains that Kelly didn’t know who Gary was until last night and now she knows. Cut to Kelly on her hands and knees before the Barlow whilst Dermot looks on in amusement. Gary is clearly embarrassed by this and all but drags her up whilst Tulisa and Louis look on and cackle. Kelly gives Gary a hug and tells him it was a beautiful show before giving a big “WOW” right in the camera.

The judges arrive inside the arena whilst we meet some of the contestants outside. We have cheerleaders, appalling dancing and some terrible teeth.

Dermot tells us that the first ones in looking to impress Gary are a duo that are aiming for the top. These two boys are afflicted with Orange, giving them the air of off-duty Oompa Loompas allowed to run free. Quick Mr Wonka! Get them back to the factory! They have drawn on eyebrows and one has pink hair whilst the other is blond. They are Kendro and they are going to win the X Factor. No, you’re not lads. Sorry. Kendro consist of 18 year old Alejandro and 23 year old Kendal. Do you see what they did there? Anyway. I think that they should rename themselves “Kendro – All similarities to Jedward are entirely coincidental” Henceforth, they shall be known. They admit that their name isn’t that imaginative whilst Kendal dissolves into giggles. Dermot speaks to them outside. They say that they exist only as Kendro – All similarities to Jedward are entirely coincidental in a yin-yang type way. I wonder which one is the evil one? They met four years ago through Kendal’s housemate and became friends before deciding to perform together. This means that Alejandro was 14 when they met or lying about his age. We hear about how they’re a confident force of nature whilst they put their lipgloss on. We see them applying their makeup and camping it up before they insist that they aren’t putting on an act. This is how they are. Kendro – All similarities to Jedward are entirely coincidental want to be wordwide and as big as Gaga. They hope they’re going to prove it today.

Dermot ushers them onstage. They introduce themselves to the judges and get a massive cheer. Kelly is impressed by the name. They insist that they do everything together and that they are like twins. Presumably this is a plea to Louis that they are Jedward mark 2. They wink at Kelly who openly laughs at them. They’re told to take it away but have to apply their lipgloss first. They launch into a disastrous version of Born this Way. They can’t sing. Tulisa laughs at them whilst they are cheered on backstage by their equally orange friends. The crowd love them.

“You guys had fun, right?” asks Kelly, leaving off the “because that’s what matters here”. Kelly thinks the vocals need to come up a bit and some of the notes were a bit off. Kendal agrees that they may well have been on another planet. “Not even in the BUILDING” Kelly replies, missing the point of trying to outdo someone. She says she had a lot of fun watching them. Tulisa thinks they have star quality but the vocals are disgraceful. Kendal asks if anything can be done. Tulisa doesn’t think so. Louis thinks there’s “something there”, presumably because they are the lovechild of Diva Fever and Jedward (now *there’s * an image). Kelly wants to hear from Gary. He thinks they’re everything the competition doesn’t need. He thinks the lipstick and the hair dye are all to distract from the fact they’ve got no talent. Well, DUH GARY BARLOW. This does not impress Alejandro. Louis tells Gary off. Gary does a “Bothered” face. Louis says yes, Tulisa says that they’re marmite, but she’d spread them on her toast so it’s a yes from her as I cry that Marmite has been turned into an adjective. Gary says no. Louis begs him for a chance but he refuses, leaving it all to Kelly Rowland. Kelly isn’t sure if she has the time to bring them vocally up to scratch. Louis tries to bully her into it. Kendro – All similarities to Jedward are entirely coincidental bully her into it and she caves. Louis admits that they aren’t good singers but could sell records. Gary says they’re the worst singers and Kelly tells him off. Gary reminds them that they might end up in one of their categories. Or his. Don’t worry Gary; you’ll be rid of them by bootcamp [although they're still the group with the most airtime so far... - Rad].

Advertising break. God, that new French Connection Ad is so full of itself it’s beyond parody.

And we’re back! Dermot tells us we’re still in Manchester, which is good, because we’ve only seen one audition. Someone in the crowd remarks that the crowd must be their fans because that one’s never been done before. Tulisa’s having yet more makeup applied. We learn that the venue is so big that they have to go round in X Factor golf buggies. Gary and Kelly slide into theirs like the superstars that they are whilst Tulisa and Louis argue about who gets to drive. Louis wins.

Gary tells us that t' Northwest is the place. Gary is told by a scary old lady that he’s sexier in real life than on the telly. Christine Rogerson, 50, squawks out a rendition of It’s Raining Men which makes Geri Halliwell’s sound sung by a professional. She sings in a broad Manchester accent whilst wearing a strapless playsuit that looks very precarious. She gets four nos. Surprisingly. Kelly asks if it’s always like this in Manchester. Louis laughs, Gary doesn’t answer, opting to look to the stage wistfully.

Next up is Andy Brooks - 17. He’s a beauty student. He’s spotty enough to make me turn over from the HD channel, poor soul [I had no such joy because I recorded it in HD, fool that I am - Rad]. The fact that he’s spotty and a beauty student seems a bit much for the judges to compute. He sings a version of “Irreplaceable” by Beyonce entirely through his nose. He doesn’t even need to open his mouth. Gary wishes he’d went all the way to the left and off the stage. He gets a no. “Things can only get better!” says Louis before grimacing.

Next up is Carl Stevenson – 21. He is unemployed and he likes singing, raving and having it large. HE does a one handed cartwheel and his mobile phone falls out his pocket. He does a lot of dancing and a tiny bit of rubbish singing. He’s reminded that it’s a singing competition. He agrees that this is a problem. He gets four nos. NEXT!

Gary is looking increasingly pissed off, but what’s this? It’s 31 year old Barmaid Samantha Brooks! She likes working in the bar because she can spend her tips on a kebab. She’s auditioning because she just wants to sing. You go, girl! She thinks it’s surreal to be on the stage, she’s shaking. She introduces herself and says that she wants to be famous so she can have Louis then shows him her bottom. She says she wants to give people goosebumps with her singing, but she can’t dance because she has a funny arm. She demonstrates this funny arm whilst Dermot eats his fist.

She says she’s going to sing One Moment In Time. She begins to explain why she’s singing it but Gary cuts her off. Classeh.

She launches into her version of her song. I can tell that we’re supposed to think that it’s good because the music and the expressions on the judges faces tells me I’m supposed to be moved, but it’s a bit like a sub-par Jane McDonald. If it were any more Cruise Ship she would be surrounded by girls with feathers in their hair and we’d all be feeling seasick. It’s a bit rubbish, really. [It was classic "loud is the new good". - Steve] Her family all cry backstage. She whips off her hat because of all the stuff she’s feeling. At this point Twitter exploded and I began to wonder if I was watching the same thing as everyone else. It’s like Tesco Mary Junior.

Oh, Kelly’s on her feet, Gary joins her. Kelly’s doing that American air-punch thing and can’t sit down because she’s TOO EXCITED. Louis wants to know where she’s been hiding. She was shy because of her look. Kelly tells her her size is SEXY. [Oh, KELLY. - Steve] Gary thought she was amazing and that the quiet notes were pure. It’s a yes from him and a massive yes from everyone else. Her family storm the stage. They all file off whilst the judges go on about how great she was. She meets Dermot backstage and calls him Durrboy, tells him that she’s sweaty and that her pants are falling down. Class all the way. Dermot goes in for the hug and she does her wobbly hand thing again. Gary thinks she’s going to be fun. That’s fun in an X Factor way then...

Adverts. It’s a shame Brightdancing never caught on.

We’re back to a montage of Girl Groups. Tress are first. They’re singing Bust your Windows badly. Kelly gives them an impromptu singing lesson [which made them sound even worse - Rad] and can see their potential so they get yeses. Next up in the singing makeup room are Sassy, who have come as bad drag queens. Two of them look like Mercedes from Hollyoaks and one looks like Michaela. They are not good and get nos. Backstage Dermot interviews them wearing a polo neck and they admit to being terrible. Next we have Sorelle, which I’ve only ever heard of on Masterchef. Only one of them can sing and they get four nos. One of Sorelle gets upset because you can’t impress Beyonce’s best friend.

Kelly wants to see some tight Acapella. Twisted are next. We see them getting out of a pink mini. They are all dressed as Bratz dolls. They are Chrissie, Cheryl, Katie and Paige. They are friends who decided to sing together. Dermot pretends to recognise Chrissie. She auditioned last year and got to bootcamp [but they probably never even filmed her there given the lack of archive footage. Stupid show. - Rad]. She thought her dream was over but the girls picked her up and now she has ANOTHER CHANCE. She wouldn’t want to do it with anyone else because they are her best friends. I smell shenanigans. We see them rehearsing as Chrissie tells us that they were born in her bedroom. In the makeup room they tell us that this is their dream. They want to be recording artists and work with their best friends every day. They keep mentioning the fact that they are best friends and it all feels a bit portentous. They file onstage and introduce themselves. Louis pretends to recognise her from bootcamp again. They want to be as big as Destiny’s Child. It’s at this point that we learn that one of them is 27 and I spend the audition trying to guess which one it is. They sing an Adele song. Well, Chrissie does whilst the others go “shoop” in the background.

Surprisingly, Kelly wasn’t crazy about the harmonies. Kelly wonders why Chrissie brought them along, no disrespect, then wonders aloud why she brought them. Chrissie says that it feels right that she’s brought them with her. The other three look murderous. Chrissie maintains that she loves them and doesn’t want to do it without them. Kelly suggests that she’s just a bit scared of failure.

They’re going to make her audition on her own, aren’t they? Poor thing.

Tulisa agrees with Kelly. Gary thinks that it’s not a band, just a solo artist with mediocre backing. Tulisa gives them a yes. Kelly thinks she shouldn’t have doubted herself and gives her a no. Louis just gives her a no.

Backstage, Chrissie wrestles with her conscience whilst the other three cry. One of them says it’s the most humiliating thing she’s ever done. The judges go on about how great Chrissie is.

Apropos of nothing, a member of the production team comes over and asks what is happening. Kelly wants to go and get Chrissie because it’s worth giving her a shot. People in the audience look confused. Kelly finds her and tells her that she has a unique voice and the girls are totally, like bringing her down. Blonde Twisted 1’s boyfriend shoots over some evils. Kelly asks her if she wants to come back. Of course she does, because it’s her dream, but she’s feeling guilty. Kelly then gets all up in her face about how it’s her opportunity and how she shouldn’t let anyone get in the way. Tell that to LeToya Tucket, LaTavia Robertson and Farrah Franklin, Kelly Rowland. Chrissie’s dad tells her to take her chance. She’s all red and blotchy and she comes onstage all sadfaced about how guilty she is. Kelly gives her her best understanding look. Kelly thinks she should chill out a bit and that’s swelling up her vocal chords and she should get it together because she doesn’t want to sing like she’s going over humps. She sings Forget You, and the timing is all wrong but she honks it out whilst the rest of Twisted give her the side eye. It’s at this point where I realise how differently dressed she is to the rest of the band. Almost like they’re part of their own band and she was just tacked on the side to give her a bit of a journey, but the X Factor would never do that, would they?

*says nothing*

The judges love it, however. The rest of Twisted certainly do not. Kelly thinks there’s work to be done but she’s got it. Tulisa thinks there’s something that gives her an edge from everyone else. IF ONLY THERE WAS A NAME FOR THAT. Gary thinks that if they’re really her friends they’ll understand. Two of them do. It’s a yes from all of them. It’s a beautiful thing. Kelly thinks her biggest enemy is going to be herself. We see ¾ of twisted walk away whilst Chrissie waits in the background. Kelly frets about breaking the group up. IT’S A BIT LATE FOR THAT NOW.

Adverts. Does the Katy Perry experience involve anything to do with Russell Brand? If so, DOES NOT WANT.

We’re back! Landmarks tell us that we’re back in London. Next up is Student Lascel Wood who is 20 and from Brighton. He looks like all of JLS. He’s been singing since he was a little boy in his bedroom. He tells us about his TRAGIC LIFE STORY which involves him being in foster care because his mum has Bipolar Disorder. He felt lost at times, but he survived through the POWER OF MUSIC. His mum has come with him, and they have a great connection. So great, in fact, she’s never heard him sing. Backstage, she tells him he can do it. Quite how she came to this conclusion having never heard him sing is anyone’s guess. He hopes today will be the start of something good and this is an AMAZING OPPORTUNITY to begin. Tulisa asks him about himself. He says he can’t see himself doing anything other than singing. Tulisa asks him about his life because a runner told her to. He explains about his TRAGIC LIFE STORY. Kelly makes understanding faces while he explains that his circumstances have only made him stronger. Tulisa asks if his foster parents are supportive. He explains that he’s left foster care and is here with his mum. Your real mum? asks Tulisa, as mum sobs. He announces he’s going to sing his own version of Use Somebody. His mum sobs again before he’s even opened his mouth.

He sings the song. He adds in so many notes I wonder if he’s being sponsored per note. He goes up and down more times than Cheryl Cole’s (insert your joke here). Several members of the audience are moved to tears whilst the judges make stunned faces. His mum is still crying.

He gets a standing ovation. He looks genuinely humbled. Tulisa asks him how he feels. He’s feeling emotional. Tulisa asks him to bring out his mum for a lovely televisual moment. His mum is very proud of him. Kelly does that eye waving thing whilst Tulisa tells him he was amazing. Kelly’s feeling emotional and she’s proud of him and his beautiful relationship with his mother that he knows nothing about. She thinks his passion was beautiful . Gary thinks his audition was stunning because he believed every word. Louis thinks he’s got soul. Four yeses. One of them massive, one massive-massive. As if there was going to be any other outcome.

“One to watch” says Gary to the judges, then does a piece backstage about how Lascel was a butterfly who grew through singing. What a torturous metaphor. Kelly is excited because the competition is getting better.

Tomorrow! Old men! Elvis! Shattered dreams! Crying!

Join me then!


Merseytart said...

I'm sure Lascel's foster parents loved being dismissed so quickly.

Helen said...

Yeah, he kind of forgot about them, didn't he?

StuckInABook said...

Well, your first write-up is brilliant :) Foolishly I watched the Xtra Factor yesterday too. Not a single audition that even the show could consider good, and several repeated from the main show. Lame.

Rad said...

You watched The Xtra Factor? I am rather worried for you....

Anonymous said...

I wish you guys made tv. It'd be epically cynical.

Helen said...

Thank you for saying lovely things. It makes me warm inside. We'd love to make Television, Anonymous, but they won't let us :(

StuckInABook said...

I know, Rad, I know. If it helps, the punishment fit the crime.

Rad said...

Steve and I made TV once, with Chris of Monkseal and Bitch You Think You Can Dance fame. And Helen almost did. When I say make TV, I mean we were contestants on a highbrow quiz show. WHICH IS THE SAME THING RIGHT??

StuckInABook said...

I was totally on Countdown once...

Anonymous said...

This is the only way I can watch X Factor these days and stay remotely sane....thank you for the words!

Helen said...

Woah, COUNTDOWN? I bow before you. I was on ITV telethon and in the background of Get Fresh if that counts.

And thank you for the kind words second anon.

StuckInABook said...

It was fun, and terrifying, and I didn't do very well (although the person who beat me came third in the series, so I felt vindicated!) Also on Tomorrow's World as a precocious 11 year old, and - most bizarrely - in sweeping footage of Oxford, having been unaware that my picnic had been filmed.