Auditions Show 7: Sunday 16 September 2012
It’s *wheeze* the *splutter* final *sigh* audition show. Like that poor unfortunate marathon runner who did it in that diving suit that one time, I have been charged (/lumbered) with bringing up the rear on this blog. But hallelujah, folks, the end is in sight. If we just prop each other up, we can do it.
As an opening gambit, the show tries to baffle us with stats. There have been 86,145 singers, 86,144 of whom swore at the judges/audience/producers/futility of life, 86,143 of whom were bland white brunette men with guitars and 0.086145 of whom were any good. We’ve had 6 cities, 5 ‘guests’ (but only Geri and Mardy Mel were worth the trouble), 4 judges – although you wouldn’t know Nicole was on the panel what little we’ve seen of her, 3 “yes’s” and countless grammar fails.
As if banging on about the Twitter was not enough, The X Factor has now been sponsored by YouTube apparently as we have a clip of people getting hits which looks just like THAT satchel advert. I’m assuming this is product placement but I don’t even know with this show any more, it’s desperate enough to give Google free advertising. Which would be a bit of an own goal given they put clips on the ITV site and ITV Player – although maybe the show has just accepted what the rest of the nation has known for years about the usefulness of those particular technologies…
First up, Rita Ora is back because I don’t know why, and it’s a lesser spotted group! Quick, don’t frighten it, or it might go away again. Anyway, this one are a three-piece called Rough Copy. One of them gets inappropriately touchy-feely with a poor woman in the audition queue. Sexual harassment is going to be a theme tonight. Just warning you.
They’re asked which band they want to be as big as. No one, apparently, they want to be 'the biggest band'. What, bigger than The Polyphonic Spree? Or St Winifred's School Choir? Or Gary Barlow's funtime Commonwealth band feat Gareth Malone and the Military Wives? Can they dare to get more people on the X Factor stage than The Unconventionals managed? Ambitious [it's like the Magic Numbers died for nothing - Helen]. There’s an initial whoomp at the start of their performance that makes it sound like they might be doing something exciting like dance music or hip-hop or pop or… well, anything except yet another bog-standard cover of ‘Use Somebody’. Three black guys doing it is, I suppose a twist on the brunette white bloke with a guitar, but nowhere near enough of a twist. They’re not even in tune/time for much of it although one of them exhorts us to ‘make some noise’ at one point, which makes it edgy, right? Nope, it was hella boring – so guess who absolutely loves it? Oh yeah, Funsponge looks like he’s about to orgasm (which is a whole heap of do not want that’s stuck in my head now in that uncomfortable space occupied by Edwina Currie and John Major). He says they’ll be difficult to manage. Rita Ora says what they’re doing right now is what everyone loves. Yes, bland, MOR carbon copies of carbon copies of a very overdone song is just what this show has been crying out for. So original. So clearly getting four yeses. They start flirting with Tulisa. One of them calls her T-T for… reasons, I guess.
Their audition is the cue for… a spate of groups? More Kings of Leon covers? Nope, it’s an uncomfortable montage of Tulisa being sexually harassed HOORAY. I have no idea if this is the editors’ sly reference to the S*X T*P* which shall not be mentioned, but I suspect they're not that bright.
We have more of those KILL IT WITH FIRE KILL IT NOW WHY IS IT STILL HERE uncomfortable staged TOWIE backstage bits of boys saying how sexy she is (including a couple of boys for whom I would think it was "somewhat unlikely" that Tulisa would be their pin-up of choice) and then a bunch of auditionees. First up is Shizzane who says she can call him baby, then tells Louis not to whisper to her because she’s his baby – yes, Shizzane, Louis Walsh is your competition there. He gives her a scratty old flower and she feigns gratitude then he demands she kiss him and she looks scared – even more so when he raps asking her to be his ‘mistress’. She puts him through and presses the panic button under her desk at the same time. Louis says he’s perplexed that everyone loves Tulisa when last year he didn’t even know who she was. Dale sings a FUCKING OLLY MURS SONG dedicated to her, which on its own should be cause for a restraining order, and then he gets right up in her face, like seriously close, to the point where she should seriously consider suing for the producers for sexual harassment by proxy, and she keeps looking away with a terrified grin on her face. She lies that she loved it and he is cute. (Clue: he isn’t). Somehow, he gets four yeses. (Or should that be yes’s, show?) Backstage, Louis joins in and ribs her about the attention, saying that she ‘loves it’. Good to see this show’s progressive attitude to women remains as strong as ever. DOUBLE THUMBS UP.
Ads. Proctor and Gamble trying to wring the last drops out of Limpic fever with ‘Victory’ scented Febreze. I mean, what does Victory smell of? David Weir’s sweaty gloves after the marathon? Victory V sweets? Matt Cardle’s bitter tears?
We’re in London now, and to try and balance out that last horrible segment with a bit of ‘look, men can be sexual objects too’ sentiment, we have a montage of men grooming themselves and taking their tops off. But that’s all just filler. It’s time for the main event…. BORING WHITE BRUNETTE GUY OVERLOAD. And, calm yourselves people, SOME OF THEM HAVE GUITARS!
The first one is Adam Burridge, who works in a family double glazing firm and whose mention of a girlfriend elicits boos from the audience because god forbid women can be seen to be anything other than rivals. Funsponge implores him not to mention his girlfriend (and they can’t mention their boyfriends either, eh, Marcus Collins?). Adam is wearing a woolly hat and is doing an indified version of ‘Titanium’. I can feel Steve’s teeth grinding from here. He’s through to the Bland White Brunette Bloke Boot Camp of Borelow’s Boring Dreams (and certain, sweet, sweet victory for this category for the sixth time). Next up are Triple J, which I swear has been a band name on this show before. They initially seem to be doing same indifying trick to We Found Love although the beat kicks in eventually. They are also all white and all brunette, although sadly they’re a boy band so they’re not going to be the new Leon Jacksons any time soon unless the show de-groups them. A boring white brunette guy who’s also a Harry Spence lookalike indifies Toxic – with a guitar as well -and is also through.
Interrupting our parade of identikit men is a man the great Public Benjamin on Twitter dubbed Marvin Gayle for his mash-up of soul with the type of reggae beat not seen since ‘Sweetness’ and I can’t better that nickname, so I won’t. After that non-white, non-genre, non-guitar (although he was at least brunette) moment, we’re sort of back on track with another beardy white hat-wearer, although his hair looks a bit blonde for my liking. Robbie’s sob story is that he’s homeless after a hard time in care and he often sleeps rough, which is an actual sob story, but does make me slightly concerned that the producers went round the streets of Londoncastlechesterpoolfastdiff (the show has given up trying to tell us where we are now) looking for homeless people who looked a bit handy with a guitar. He has a hat. It looks exactly like the one Ian Beale wore when he was homeless. I don’t want to suspect the producers of making him wear that deliberately, but…
Also, I have to interrupt his audition for a big fat WTF is Gary wearing? It’s a powder blue jacket, the likes of which have not been seen since the days of Mr Humphreys. It’s coupled with a brown T-shirt, though, of course.
Robbie is doing a Damien Rice song, but not one of the famous ones, which is possibly a good thing. It’s called ‘Coconut Skins’ and sounds like all Damien Rice’s other songs. It’s OK in a slightly boring kind of way. He has a sob story that the show will treat like the best journey narrative they have ever had. He is white. He has a hat. He has a guitar. His blonde bits look like they might be dyed over brown hair. He is so through to the Brunette White Bloke Live Shows of Destiny, never mind Boot Camp. Judges’ comments are the usual blah about his hard life and him not having had a chance to live up to his potential. Funsponge says 'we're going to take it to a vote Robbie' which cued up a million jokes on my Twitter feed about it not being the first time he's said that. This tale does seem to have had a bit of a sting in it, given the reports that he disappeared recently (although has turned up again since). That’s sometimes the problem with people that have genuine sob stories, show. Their chaotic lives might not suit your pre-ordained narratives.
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My rough notes tell you all about the next auditionee, so I don’t feel the need to punctuate them with needless extra words: Camilla Small, 26. Any relation to Heather?. Eyebrows. ‘Emotions’. Scream. Clearly deliberately bad.
What did Camilla do today to make herself feel proud? Well, she ushered in a series of bad auditions – or at least half-heartedly bad in the way all the comedy auditions have been. O, Wagner/Jedward/Goldie/evenbloodyChico, where art thou? Alex Mireles is 17, ‘from England’ and has big hair. He does ‘Halo’ in a very high pitched, voice breaky way. Louis asks ‘Did you ever record yourself to listen?’ He says yes, and he needs improving. Alan who looks like Shrek is next, with a screechy ‘When You Believe’. I say next but the judges’ clothes and the guest judges keep changing of course. I swear these were all deliberately bad, but that’s better than laughing at the mentally ill.
Next up is Scouser Danielle Scott who looks like the lovechild of Beth Tweddle and Emma from Big Brother 5. She says she gets compared to Amy Whinehouse and Adele although I am guessing she doesn’t mean in looks. She questions, ‘Is this the best that life has got to offer when you’ve got such a talent?’ Truly a question of Shakespearian depth, and I’m sure it’s a question messrs Brookstein, Ward, Jackson, McElderry and Cardle ask themselves a lot. She does a wobbly ‘Turning Tables’. Note that she is 25, and I hope she’s not one of those allegedly wonderful 25 year olds they were banging on about last night when they were teaching Bianca Gascoigne to KNOW HER PLACE. Geri says she’s just an Adele tribute. Danielle protests that she’s versatile. So versatile she’d like the chance to do an uptempo song. They let her. She does an acoustic version of ‘Price Tag’. VERSATILE. It’s rubbish. Gary says she didn’t sound like Jessie J but she didn’t sound like anything good either. Was that a subtle burn on Jessie J, Funsponge? Nicely done if so. Danielle becomes our next auditionee to flip their shit, swear, kick things and call the show a joke.
Next up, almost as unseen as the groups, it’s the overs, which contains Michelle McManus and Lisa Maxwell lookalikes amongst others. We see two brief clips – Tanya, whom Borelow calls ‘a really mediocre singer’ (which is normally his favourite thing, but only if it has XY chromosomes) and white brunette Jason Patrick Pritchard who has given up his job to do music… yikes. He does a snoresome Adele and doesn’t go through because Adele is so last year. Claire does an anaemic and out-of-tune ‘You Learn’ by Alanis and doesn’t understand what went wrong. Lack of effort, love?
However, the only one we get to see properly is Carolynne Poole from Fame Academy. She was at judges’ houses last year and because she just can’t give it up despite not being successful on the back of reality shows not once, but twice now. Anyway, she felt she was a bit anonymous at judges’ houses last time - but then, who wasn’t except Goldie? This time she’s bucked her ideas up and got herself a new Mitzeeeeeeeee from Hollyoaks look and a big ol’ sob story to ensure she gets further (this one is failed IVF and separation from her husband, which is kind of sad but also rather calculated).
She comes on stage and Louis does the ‘I remember you’ spiel. He says it was like she was just ‘there’ last year, and she says she was. She said she brushed it off but it broke her heart – oh give it up, Carolynne, you’re no Alexandra Burke wreaking vengeance for the series two Louis Walsh-inflicted travesty of Chin-Eye and Philip whatsisface and that brunette white bloke who won it and maybe a fourth one I don’t even remember. Anyway, after being a bit depressed – presumably about the IVF/husband thing, although it sounds like it could be about judges’ houses, rer rugby-playing cousin dragged her out of bed (we can has cousin pls?) but instead of doing something useful, she decided to hawk herself out to reality shows YET AGAIN. At least she’s in the same job as last year – antique furniture restorer, which gives me some hope that she has a life outside of telly. She does a fairly dull Emily Sunday track (‘Clown’) but misses a trick by not peppering up her performance with references to the Olympic opening ceremony. (I don’t care if that joke is supposed to be over. It’s not over for me). She’s fine, but you know that already. Fine isn’t going to do that much for her. The judges (including Mardy Mel again – where on earth is Nicole??) love her and she’s through. [With all due respect, I feel it's a representation of how limited the talent pool this year when permanent ITV2-dweller Carolynne off Fame Academy gets a full audition shown on the main show. - Steve]
And that’s the final audition (and we hear a little bit of mawliddlejaw on the soundtrack because the show has remembered he exists now he’s back in the charts) – but there’s a good few minutes left, so what are we to do? I know, let’s have a montage! I swear at this point there have been so many of these that the montages are actually montages of montages now. Anyway, featured in the montage we have Older Vickers, a couple of last year’s judges’ houses rejects, dozens of anoni-white brunette bloke WINNERS (most with attendant guitars), several people I don’t remember, one group (Rough Copy) and two thirds of one group (that one who brought their weird geeky mate ‘songwriter’ along), then loads of people swearing because it’s all about the swearing this year. RATINGS GOLD! We have Nicole’s mouth opening even though we haven’t heard her say a word since episode one I don’t think. Essex girl, then more white brunette blokes, someone dancing, a family mobbing the stage whom I don’t recall at all, Geri being an amazing Borelow troller, more and more anoni-white brunette blokes, Nicole crying, the Sheffield lass, and some more people I don’t remember much about. WHAT A VINTAGE YEAR EVERYONE.
Next week: boot camp! Some of these people will be going home! Some of these people will be staying! Barely any of these people will be memorable enough for you to care! Join Helen and me then!