Sunday, September 23, 2012

Rylan of hope and glory

Boot Camp 1 – Saturday 22 September 2012

Hello and welcome to Boot Camp! I’ve always wondered why they call it Boot Camp. It’s not like they’re training or anything, though they are weeding out the wheat from the chaff so I suppose it’s more like the Long Walk or The Hunger Games or something, but they can’t call it that. [I always assumed it was because they're booting out contestants in great numbers. - Steve]

SO ANYWAY. “The judges” have been scouring the country looking for talent. This talent includes lots of generic White Boys in Hats With Guitars and Missus Possibly Only One Song From Sheffield. The search is over now, and now it’s time for Boot Camp. There are 200 of them going to Liverpool. They kept that quiet. Well, I suppose that “You’re going to Liverpool!” doesn’t have the same ring as “You’re going to Hollywood!” (Soz Liverpool, you’re lovely but, YANNOW) but only 24 are going to judges houses and this promises to be the toughest 72 hours of their lives and for some the pressure will be TOO MUCH. Really? I understand it will be hard but we’ve got at least two people who’ve spent time on the streets and some of these women have been through childbirth so I think that’s a pretty broad claim, X Peeps. We’ll see. It’s time to face the music etc.

(They show us what we’re going to see at this point, which is lots of people crying, but we’re going to see that in a minute anyway) TITLES.

We begin proper with one of those pointless filmed segments which consists of people getting ready. I recognise Rylan who seems to have sorted out the white hair situation, and Amy who they sniggered at because she’s a bit chubby. She says that the X Factor is a dream and she finally feels special and like someone. Rylan can’t believe he got to bootcamp. That makes two of us. Mr Shakey Orange Liverpool (I can’t wait until there are less names) hugs someone goodbye and leaves in the twilight. Surely of everyone he lives the closest? I don’t even know with this show any more.  He’s feeling like he’s going to burst. Someone who I’ve never seen before is going to rock the house. I think he’s being shown because he’s not a generic white boy. This fixes EVERYTHING! Well done, team X!  GHB do a little dance in their car as lots of other generic white boys come down the stairs. OOH, SO CLOSE. Someone else needs a break and the fairy lady can’t believe she’s going.

Dermot tells us that ‘they’ have been scouring the nation looking for the next pop sensation and now everyone has come to Liverpool to face a massive challenge.  This bootcamp is the TOUGHEST EVER because they’ve put 200 through and they only have three days to cut that down to 24 for judges’ houses. Yes, Dermot, we’ve had all those numbers before from the shouty man. Keep up! Before the hard stuff starts there’s a party for everyone! Yay enforced fun!

We’re told that this party is happening at 1pm and everyone is drinking Mojitos and high fiving each other because they’re so cool.  Rylan notes that there are other good looking people around so he’s worried about the competition. Yes, because that’s what it is. A pretty competition.  Everyone is dancing. It’s ONE O’CLOCK ffs.  A few people talk about how daunting it is that everyone is so pretty, including what looks like Hayley Evetts.  Could it be?

Across town, the judges have such a big job on their hands that they’re standing on a balcony waiting for a helicopter to come past and take their photo. The pressure is on, apparently.  Gary is being a funsponge by sending people home before they’ve even had a chance to sing again. Louis agrees.

Back at the uncomfortable afternoon party, they’re being treated to JLS who bound on stage like the adorable puppies that they are and tell everyone that the winner is in the room.  Thyroid JLS tells everyone to take the opportunity with both hands and tells them that the person who wants it the most will eventually be the winner. YEAH, COS THAT’S HOW IT WORKS. [Yes, that's why Katie Waissel won in 2011. - Steve] Sheffield one song girl has got herself a microphone from somewhere and asks them to sing because she wants to know if they’ve still got it.  They have, clearly, as they bust out some COMPLETELY UNPREPARED acapella.  Marvin (I know him) [I know all of them.  Marvin, Oritse, Aston and Yellow - Rad] [MERRY CHRISTMAS! - Steve] reminds them all that they’ve only got ONE SHOT SO MAKE IT COUNT. We all see what you did there, Marvin. There now follows a montage of orange people who like JLS.

Meanwhile, back at the Death Star, the judges are still carving up the numbers by saying who they thought was good.  They’ve obviously decided Rylan is the star of the show so we linger on him for a bit and Tulisa says IBEEFA again. They then all slag of some twins that Tulisa isn’t sure why she put through. She argues that they are fun and Louis jumps to their defence, because if it wasn’t for Louis, this show would be more beige than a Damart catalogue. Nicole can’t take her eyes of someone, they all love someone else. There’s been a decision made.

Back at the awkward afternoon party, the acts are summoned to the arena. Nicole tells us that they’ve cut a third. Funsponge tries to tell us that this is a good thing because giving one third of the people absolutely no chance this gives the other two thirds more of a chance. Nice scumbag logic, there. [I believe he lifted this policy directly from David Cameron. - Steve] Louis knows he’s doing the right thing. Tulisa thinks that every category is strong and she’s never seen so much talent. Funsponge heralds the beginning of the competition proper.

Dermot tells us that all the acts are on stage and the judges are about to deliver some potentially devastating news. Like you don’t know, Dermot. The judges arrive and everyone cheers. Tulisa ‘congradulates’ them on getting through to boot camp and reiterates that this will be the toughest 72 hours of their lives. Nicole tells everyone that this is three days and by the end of it they will know who is going through to judges houses. Funsponge tells them all that they’ve reviewed the tapes and the bar is extremely high this year and some of them don’t have what it takes. Louis apologises and tells them that some of them are going home now. Ridiculously, they’re calling out the names of the people who are staying, because it’s easier to read out 124 names than it is to read out 66. CLEARLY.  First through is Jade Collins whose dad is in prison. Dermot catches a few nondescript people backstage and they all talk about how hard this bit is. They’re whittled down until there are only 20 places left as people get less and less gracious as they are called. This goes on until the last person is waiting to be called and it’s the nervous man. How could they do that to him? His nerves must be on a knife edge! I’ve seen some cruel shit on this programme but this takes the biscuit. Tulisa is honestly sorry to everyone else but they’re going home. They’re understandably gutted but Nicole is here to justify it to us all by saying that it had to be done. One girl cries about having to go back to work. Funsponge says that they have to concentrate on the ones that got through because it’s their shot now.

Everyone is called back to the stage for Louis to inform them that this is where the hard work starts. Tulisa tells them that there’s going to be a sing off tomorrow and Nicole reminds them that in 72 hours there will only be 24 of them. This is illustrated with a gigantic ticking clock.  Dermot reiterates the numbers before telling us that the first challenge will be being put into line ups and trying to out-sing each other in a segment that’s not at all ripped off from that other singing programme on the other channel. The first one to say that he’s not here to make friends is an Irish boy wearing a hat that we haven’t seen before so whoever had that on the sweepie collect your winnings.  Each line up has to agree on a song so everyone is doing their best to force the song choice in their favour.

One such line up is Rylan who is in a group with people called Gathan and Octavio. They’re singing Respect by Aretha Franklin which is fine with Gathan but he fears that the others in his group have underestimated it.  I notice at this point that Rylan is wearing SILVER UGG BOOTS. The phrase “KILL IT WITH FIRE” has never been more apt here. Octavio interviews that Gathan trying to tell them that they have no business singing Aretha is him thinking he’s better than them because he can sing in falsetto but Octavio can do stuff that he can’t do because he has breathy whistle tones.  Gathan sings the song whilst Rylan gives him the side eye and Octavio doesn’t even look at him. This will no doubt be the highlight of the evening.  Octavio then goes on to say that he asked Gathan if he thought that Rylan could sing Aretha and he said no. I think that anyone with ears would come to that conclusion. Rylan tells Gathan that he can take the competition and if he’s going through, he’s going through.

Dermot tells us that it’s four hours since the challenge has been set and Rylan and Octavio head off to bed whilst Gathan stays on to rehearse more. Octavio tells Rylan that he sees Boot Camp as a job interview and in an interview there will be candidates that you don’t like. Gathan says that Rylan and Octavio don’t have the drive and that’s all good for him because he’s singing with them and can only do better than them mainly because he has a work ethic. This is interspersed with shots of Rylan drinking wine.

Oh god, adverts. Thank goodness.

When we return, Dermot tells us that it’s now the next morning and the judges arrive as the acts rehearse backstage. Funsponge thinks it’s great to hear everyone singing. Tulisa can only imagine how everyone is feeling.  Dermot then appraises us of the rules for the forthcoming section. Solo acts will sing in groups of three and each will have their own section of pre arranged songs.  Have we got that? Good.

First up, Tasha, Amy and Maisie who seem to have been grouped together because they’re all a bit chubby and their faces don’t match their necks.  They’re singing Stronger by Kelly Clarkson. Maisie hits a couple of bum notes. Dermot tells us that the decision will be instant and it is. Tasha and Maisie are sent home and Amy is told she did “fantastic”.  Nicole wonders whether this whole thing isn’t all a bit brutal. It is. Some of the people in this segment aren’t even given names. Those that do are the ones we are supposed to like so that’s handy. The chosen ones are the hitherto unseen Leanne Robertson, Harriet Marsland, Mia Sylvester, Jade Ellis, Carla Jaye, Eli Cripps and Melanie McCabe who I’m sure has been in something else.  Every one of these girls is excited and can’t believe they are through.

Backstage, Jahmene is nervous. He’s got a new song and new people which is nerve-wracking but he’s got a nice group which helps. At this point I realise that he reminds me a lot of Derren Brown.  The rest of his group tell him he’ll be fine.  We’re reminded of Jahmene’s audition which I remember liking at the time.  Jahmene and his group arrive on stage and Tulisa asks them how their night was. Jahmene says he spent a lot of time trying to get the lyrics down. Tulisa advises them to try and enjoy it. Lazy s*x tape joke.  Jahemene and his group are singing Moobs like Jabba and the first boy who doesn’t even get a name is terrible. The second boy Jae Walters is mediocre and Jahmene stuffs it up. The first terrible boy gets a name and it’s Craig. The whole thing is so bad that Craig resorts to some terrible camp arm waving to try and save it. It doesn’t. Funsponge calls the sorry mess to a halt and Louis asks Jahmene WTF he’s doing. Jahmene explains that he wasn’t confident with the song and he chose it because there wasn’t much else he could do.  They deliberate. It’s full of words like potential and comfort zone. Jae gets another chance because they think he’s still got potential. Craig is sent home. Funsponge tells Jahmene that he was his favourite audition and based on today’s performance he should be going home but SURPRISE! He’s getting another chance. They all go on about how gutted they are that his audition was crap. Jahmene interviews that he wanted to sing Respect but the other boys didn’t and he should have stood up for himself as he could have impressed with that one.  He cries and says it’s nice to be appreciated.  Bless.

More adverts, and when we return we are unnecessarily told that we are still in Liverpool and there is a montage which includes lots of randoms and Cheese String. It culminates in Funsponge doing some terrible rapping  because he’s down with the kids and not a tedious funsponge. Look how whacky he is. He’s so RANDOM.  GHB are back though and it seems this show is still insisting that they are good. They’re going head to head *snigger* with Triple J which is like Jessie J only WORSE. Much to the chagrin of Triple J, GHB start their Rubes like Jafar with a backflip. The backflip seems to be in lieu of any actual singing and Triple J blow them out of the water.  The judges deliberate about which mediocre three piece get through. It’s both of them yay.

The girl bands are taking it seriously too. As we all know the girl groups on the X Factor represent women everywhere so it’s not just about singing and dancing.  Voxe and From Above go head to head on some Kelly Clarkson and it’s hard for me to tell which one of them represents me better. Voxe go home because they look like they’d steal your boyfriend.  A pair of trios, Times Red and Duke, face off next. Duke are aware that their thunder may potentially be stolen so they’re on the lookout and have the weapon of terrible beatboxing in their arsenal. Both get through. Tulisa declares it the strongest year for groups EVER.

MK1 MK2 show up next. Remember them? They’re the ones that auditioned with their creepy ‘producer’ and he demanded a third of their earnings when they ditched him.  They’re up against a band that look like they’re a Black Eyed Peas tribute band named Heinz Baked Beans. They’re the Lightbulb Thieves.  MK2 do what sounds like Plan B. This lot seem to be the only ones that understand the concept of Battle and MK2 fight dirty. The Lightbulb Thieves get sent home and one of them wants to know how on EARTH the judges could have arrived at this clearly erroneous decision. Nicole replies that they decided from the audition that they just did. STOP MAKING ME LIKE YOU, NICOLE SHERGAR, I WON’T HAVE IT. [I loved that. If Nicole can bring that level of cutting criticism to the live shows, she's got the position of my favourite judge sewn up. - Steve] MK2 openly laugh in their faces as Funsponge tells them  that they did a good audition. Then Nicole chooses that moment to tell everyone why the Lightbulb Thieves got sent home, which she should have said to them (crap rapping, being off point and lateness) so I dislike Nicole again and all is well with the world.  The Lightbulb Thieves insist it was skulduggery, shenanigans and thunder stealing that was their downfall as MK2 just insist that they were better and they came out on top because that’s what the industry is about.

Back with the soloists, the next trio is Farrah, Jessica Beckett and Lucy Spraggan. Remember Lucy? She sang a song about getting drunk.   We’re reminded of her audition. There is some fake jeopardy shoved in around Lucy for some reason. Apparently, she’s NEVER SUNG WITHOUT HER GUITAR before and this is a DIFFICULT THING.  I’m quite pleased about this section because this should mark the bottom of the sob story barrel being scraped.  They’re singing Rude Like Shabba too. It’s not Lucy’s song. She really struggles. In fact, they all do. Lucy is probably the world’s most uncomfortable woman. I suspect that this has more to do with singing someone else’s song. Nicole calls it messy and Lucy admits to messing it up. Funsponge doesn’t think that she picked the right song. That’s why he’s getting the paycheque, folks, insight like that.  Nicole notes that they’ve taken her out of her comfort zone. Farrah and Jessica are going home and Lucy is left on her own. She insists that she was rubbish because of her lack of guitar. Nicole tells her that even though she was rubbish there’s something special about her so she’s getting another chance. Lucy interviews that she does five gigs a week she’s never felt like that after one of them. Louis says she has to deliver tomorrow.  Adverts!

Funnily enough, we are still in Liverpool and the judges are getting their makeup done on their break. Funsponge moans about being stiff *snork* and tells Tulisa she really should get into yoga. Mainly because you’re on your knees a lot in yoga and we all know she’s good at that. (I will stop these jokes eventually.) Although it’s all fun and games with the judges, backstage it’s TENSE.  The next contestants, Britt Love, Diedre Lawler and Collagen Westwood who are three of the most amazingly named people I’ve ever come across have a problem.  Collagen is drunk and Brick and Diedre are annoyed that she’s letting the side down. Collagen don’t even care anyway because she’s a solo artist and not in a group so haters are just gonna have to hate.  Brick thinks that you shouldn’t get drunk in a competition and bandies about the accusation that some people are there just to be on telly. HOW DARE YOU!  They arrive on stage. Collagen looks like Pete Burns with boobs in the most clanging case of irony ever. She sways as she stands and Louis asks if she’s ok. She says she’s nervous because she wants it so badly.  They’re singing Kings of Leon. Brit starts and is shockingly bad. Diedre isn’t much better.  Collagen is her ACTUAL NAME and she sings the song in the club style, slurring and stumbling. Funsponge declares it the worst audition ever. Louis remarks on the lack of chemistry. Britt blames the lack of time together. Louis straight out asks Collagen if she’s been drinking. She says she’s had a drop of whiskey for her throat and Britt shakes her head. Funsponge tells her that drinking doesn’t help your throat and she says ‘Whoops’ in a manner which could only be made more drunky if she burped afterwards and she had her pants on her head. The judges deliberate and Louis insists on keeping someone that turns out to be Britt. The other two are going home.  Collagen says she’s got plenty more opportunities and Dermot says that she wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t important to her. He asks her if she thinks her boozing was her downfall and she says that it was for her voice.  Dermot reminds her that Funsponge disagreed with that theory and she says that he’s not the Holy Grail of singing. BRILLIANT. Collagen thinks he’s mean and horrible.

Apparently Funsponge is being a funsponge today and this is illustrated in the form of a montage. Joseph Daniel and Matt Daley are told their missing a melody. Electrick Punkz and Array are told they are the actual worst and AKA are stopped for not knowing the words and they cry and are sent home. Lase are a tepid girl group who Louis enjoyed and this is met with a curt “you would”.  Next up for the chop is Max Tuohy who is told he is depressing and he’s using the chance of his life to look like he’s standing at the bus stop. His dream is over.  He then has a grumble about nobody having the passion. He gets so annoyed he comes backstage and tells everyone to come out like they are winners and they should go out and mean it. [I only just watched this yesterday and already I don't remember who any of these were.  Vintage year. - Rad]

Let’s see how Flick White and Charlotte Howard fare. They’re terrible. NEXT. He’s extra specially annoyed at them because he’s been backstage and  told them specifically. Can Rough Copy and MITSOTU change the editing of this section? They’re going to give it everything they’ve got and enjoy it. They’re doing Plan B too. They work together and it’s to both of their credits and benefit. It works really well and it’s probably the first performance today that doesn’t irk me beyond reason. They’re both through. Funsponge tells them that they did it properly and they should do it backstage for the other children so they know how to behave. Competition blah blah.  I love how there isn’t even a question any more. Adverts!

FUNNILY ENOUGH, we are still in Liverpool and its still boot camp. Two girls who are in a group and one of them looks very like Steph from Big Brother in the year that Dogface won says that she thought it was going to be like a holiday and it wasn’t.  Jade thinks it’s  brutal. Joseph Whelan is through, Cory Spedding is out. I’m not invested in any of those people. The man who couldn’t say Tulisa properly isn’t through.  4th Avenue are terrible as are Eli Prime and they make Nicole do Smell The Fart acting before they’re sent home.  I need some people to care about. HERE THEY ARE!

We have James Vickery, James Arthur and Curtis Golden who are anonymous, Asbo divorced parents boy and wide eyed fun cover nervous boy respectively.  Curtis needs the toilet and is scared to make eye contact with Tulisa. They do The Fray and over egg it so much it’s practically custard. James Arthur even pulls at his shirt. I really like Curtis but he’s more murdery than Aidan Grimshaw which is a feat that I never thought I’d see pulled off.  James Vickery does a Vickers claw and some trendy falsetto. The judges eat it up and all three of them get through.   It’s the most emotionally draining moment of James Arthur’s life. Oi! Storyliners! He’s been homeless and has been a tearaway, remember?

We’re back with Rylan, Octavio and Gathan. Rylan and Octavio have lost their voices from arguing. If we didn’t already agree that Rylan is the actual worst human being ever, let the fact that he’s wearing a t-shirt of himself sway you.  Gathan is using this time to rehearse. Dermot asks if they’re confident. They’re not any more. Tulisa  wants to know how they’re feeling. Rylan and Octavio are ‘fine’ while Gathan is pumped. Tulisa then asks them about the last 24 hours. Rylan says they’ve been eventful and sharing a room didn’t help but they’re loving life now. Rylan now has wings made out of hair extensions.  Octavio vogues until Louis cries with laughter. Rylan isn’t as terrible as I think he’s going to be and asks for some respect from Gary. Gaythan does some freestyling at the end and Octavio doesn’t want to be outdone so adds some of his own much to my amusement. Louis is the only one laughing on the panel. I don’t understand why the others aren’t. It’s hilarious.  Nicole describes it as a ‘Diva Hoedown’ and I like her again. DAMN YOU SHOWANDTELL. Octavio and Gaythan are through. Octavio actually says “oh em gee”. Rylan and his wings are left alone on stage. He’s through too. He can’t believe it either. He thanks them all and declares them “real”. Octavio and Rylan hug backstage and Rylan is happy not to have to work with them any more.

There now follows a party political broadcast for the Nicole and Gary have personalities party. They do a little skit about how Nicole isn’t whooping and a’hollerin like normal. She threatens him with “it”. Ooh er.

Next up are Hayley and Nicola who’ve lost their third member Tammy. I think that is Hayley Evetts from the Pop Idols. They’re all prepared to go on by themselves though. It seems Tammy has left the show for personal reasons, so they’re going to have to. Nicola is just going to have to count out Tammy’s beats. They arrive on stage and say they can’t find Tammy but are going to go on bravely. They just leave out her section and dance through it awkwardly. Nicole stops them and tells them to sing through it. What’s wrong with them?! You’d think they’d want to steal all the lines for themselves. Nicola does this and steals ALL THE LINES! They’re both through. Louis calls them survivors. Yes, filling in for one missing girls makes them survivors.

Crap clap app and adverts! Are we nearly there yet mum?

Look! We’re still in Liverpool to see Carolynne get through, along with Melanie the fairy lady and the nervous Scouser, Kye Sones and Callum Malcolm.  Nicole thinks they were singing for their lives. Next up and hopefully last is a group which contains homeless Robbie, who didn’t attend the party but chose to drink a can of special and chill by himself instead. He’s decided to have a kip instead of practicing which causes his team mates Jake Quickenden and Adam Burrage annoyance because they can’t practice and they do some pop psychology on him. They grass him up in about 2 seconds to the judges and he rightly gives them a sarcastic thank you.  Robbie says he feels prepared to an extent. The other two are totally prepared.  Robbie messes up and giggles.  He messes up again on his next line and mouth s that he’s going home. Messing up the third line, he puts down his microphone and walks offstage. He blanks Dermot and the other two look appallingly pleased with themselves. They say they feel let down as Robbie interviews that he’s not waiting around for the inevitable. Jake and Adam are through. Robbie interviews that he’s got more to lose than everyone else but (heartbreakingly, in one of the only genuine emotional moments in the show) self destruction is what he does.  He’s milked for a story about how much he regrets messing up and he obliges then walks away. [They really, really should not have put him on telly - Rad]

If that wasn’t bad enough, we have a montage of people who have been chucked out. 70 acts are through and will sing tomorrow with a full arena. They choose the song. There are 48 hours left before we find out who’s singing at Judges houses. Tulisa is already mentally picking categories, Funsponge is looking forward to tomorrow, and Louis is spoiled for choice and doesn’t know who’ll be picked tomorrow. Kye is feeling his last shot, Amy knows how much she wants it. James Arthur’s life is in the balance.  Puhleeze.

Tomorrow, the acts will sing in front of everyone in the performance that could change their lives forever. Join Rad to see how that one pans out. 

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