Auditions 2 – 25th August 2012
Hello and welcome to the second week of this latest series of X Factor. I must say that it’s a pleasure to be back and I’m really hoping not to get fired again this time, but we’ll see. I’m always saying stuff. I can’t help myself so I can’t promise anything. I got fired from Bitching’s Next Top Model last week but the entertainment employment tribunal is on Tuesday morning so we’ll see. [You have a job for life here as long as you want it, I promise you. - Steve]
ANYWAY. To business. My V+ (other home recording systems are available) box cut off the very beginning so I begin with THE SEARCH CONTINUES and some fast moving pictures of a ginger boy, some bellowing, Rita Ora calling someone a superstar, Gary saying something was crap and Louis giving someone an out and out “NO”. This person appears to be wearing face paint. As a side note, I know I usually call Gary Funsponge but he’s getting a week off for making me cry at the closing ceremony. Yeah, I know. I’ll get my stuff. I can only assume I’ve missed a recap of last week.
Dermot bites his fist, Tulisa gives someone an OI and Rita Ora is excited. I get the feeling that happens a lot though. IT’S TIME TO FACE THE MUSIC!! Titles!
We begin with one of the Towie style filmed segments about the auditionees. Some Lost-Style numbers fill the screen and we’re told that it’s 14.5 hours until auditions. Someone wearing a hat and playing the guitar is telling someone who I can only assume is his dad that he’s been rehearsing for weeks and now that it’s here he needs more time. A rag tag bunch comprising of another man in a hat, someone who looks like he’s escaped from The Wanted and a girl dance in front of a window then sit on the sofa like the world’s worst Doritos advert and talk about how hard they’ve worked and it’s their opportunity. Someone else wearing what appears to be a white party wig does a camcorder confessional about how it’s 12.30am and he’s got to be up at four to get to the O2. He claims to be ‘nerve’ and excited. This camcorder shot is interspersed with men at work putting up rigging and suchlike. Someone else closes their curtains as the clock counts down further and the sun rises behind the O2. Mr white party wig blow dries his hair, an alarm clock beeps at 6.30am. We see the first people arriving to have their fates sealed. We’re reminded of the official hashtag. God, I hate it when people do that. Especially if it’s the one that I use. [I can just about cope with shows posting the official tag - if it's sensible. It's all the other tags this show tries to make happen that bother me - Rad]
ANYWAY, a man in a high visibility jacket reminds all the auditionees that even though there are lots of them they will all be seen. We see Mr white party wig getting a spray tan in a tent. The woman giving him the spray tan remarks on the ridiculousness of the situation. She’s the only person I’ve liked so far. Someone else who is so keen to audition she is sat in front of an ice cream van rather than in the queue talks about how she has so much passion and she works hard to be a performer.
A man dressed as both members of Jedward at once tells people who I can only assume are his family members about how he’s always told them he wants to be a performer. Who I think is his mother remarks about how he’s ALWAYS been practicing and now this is it. He thinks it might be too.
Mr white party wig now appears to be getting his nails done because he wants to be perfect. He can’t control his voice but he can control his tan and nails so he’ll be half alright. This is where I sort of agree with the concept of The Voice. Having your nails done does not make you a half ok popstar. GRR. Another bloke asks a comedy contestant in a pink jacket if he knows who the fourth judge is. I don’t think he would know who it was even with a name to be honest. It seems to be Rita Ora, who I only know from reading other people’s magazines. [You know she's only on this 'cos she's hot right now. Oh come on, that was such an obvious joke. SOMEONE had to make it. - Steve]
The judges arriving is symbolised by a fancy car going up the motorway. Louis helpfully explains that they’re having a guest judge in each city, and they’re all divas. The biggest divas in town, if you will. Rita Ora would like to discover someone who knows themselves. God help me, that’s made me like her. I like Rita Ora by complete Aisleyne proxy. Damn you universe! Louis and Tulisa get out of their respective cars to cheers. Rita Ora is looking for someone that’s confident because that’s what makes a star in her eyes. She and Gary arrive as Mr white party wig gets something waxed. Rita is introduced to the line up by someone with a walkie talkie and we should surely be beginning now please? I think it’s time. Yes, they’re in their seats. There’s the X...
No, more posing from Mr white party wig who is currently having a debate about whether to have his hair in front or behind his cubic zirconia wearing ears. He is surely the world’s biggest poser. His name is Rylan Clark, he’s 23 and he’s from... ESSEX! Who KNEW! I am so shocked. Dermot shakes his hand and Rylan says it’s a pleasure to meet him. Dermot asks if the girls with him are his friends and family. They are, but he chooses to introduce Dermot to his spray tan lady who he claims is responsible for his look. I think someone should take responsibility. Fabio is already supermarket Fabio so this guy must be Londis Fabio. He’s been tanned, teeth whitened, hair straightened, eyebrows have been waxed and that’s all down to Claire. We see him being a wuss about getting his eyebrows waxed and he interviews that he spends all his money on his look to the point where he’d pick foundation over food. I’m sorry, is this the message that we’re sending out to the children now? I can’t even... He thinks that if you do your best to look good you should do alright in life. That’s what we’re saying now, is it? Nothing matters as long as you’re pretty. Come on, I know this show isn’t exactly responsibility central but this is taking things a bit far. He says that he potentially might make too much of an effort and that he’s borderline drag queen. I’m saying nothing. [According to the good people of Twitter, this chap was also on Signed By Katie Price. That is both his crime and his punishment. - Steve]
He then declares himself not the kind of person who could work in an office with someone called Maude, which begs the question what does he actually do. He then announces that he could be the male Lady Gaga. I have an announcement for you “Rylan”. You are a fucking awful human being and if you’re going to dye your hair WHITE then you should at least think about not having a black beard. OKAY? Good. He then points at a random old man and asks if it’s Louis. So vain, arrogant and unfunny then? Let’s hope you can sing.
Backstage, Dermot asks if he’s ready. He’s not sure. Dermot insists that he’s got to enjoy it. He’s just going to go out and see what happens. Dermot wishes him luck. Rylan says that people look at him and think that he’s a joker, and he is but being on the X Factor means the world to him. He says this whilst asking his beauty slave if he’s shiny. This could change everything for him.
He walks on stage with a HELLO LONDON. God. Rita Ora wants to know how old he is and how he gets his hair so shiny. He replies that they’re extensions.
Rylan declares Gary’s blazer as ‘love’ and Gary gives him a yes. Suck up. Gary wants to know what kind of music he listens to. Rylan is all about IBEEFA and is a ‘Tulisa kid’. I don’t think you’re allowed to talk about the Tulisa kid on television. He declares that he was in a boy band in IBEEFA and he was in a band that was both a Take That and Westlife tribute band. I hope that they did original Westlife because the Gary/Br(y)ian (oh come on, they would HAVE to be the same one ) would have to sit out of half the songs. This makes Louis gasp. Apparently, Gary’s parents came to see the show. Gary says that the people were liars. Who pretends to be Gary Barlow’s parents? Rylan declares that the pretend Barlow parents were given free drinks and everything. Dermot declares that plan genius. Rita would like to know what he’s going to sing. He tells us that it’s going to be Kissing You from Romeo and Juliet.
OF COURSE it’s terrible. So terrible I do a squawk of joy. He clearly thinks he’s amazing. But then it takes a turn for the worse and he says it’s going to go IBEEFA. A horrific disco beat starts. He’s still terrible. Louis dad dances to it. FOR THE LOVE OF SIMON CAN WE PLEASE MAKE IT STOP. Rylan declares the whole thing “nerve wrack” and a #nervewrack hashtag pops up on the screen. REALLY ITV? [These people really do not have a clue what hashtags are or how they work, do they? Also, I can only assume this must be very confusing for the large percentage of viewers who have no idea what a Twitter is and do not intend to ever find out. - Steve] Louis says that if he’s done that many gigs in his life he shouldn’t really be nervous. Rylan admits that he could be delirious from sunstroke as he’s totally fake baked. Tulisa and Rita think this hilarious. Rita thinks he’s fun and wants to see what else he’s got. Gary loves his personality but hates his voice and declares the song choice bizarre. Rylan promises to bring something else to the table at boot camp. Don’t be tempted, Barlow. Tulisa loves the fact he brought a bit of IBEEFA but she can’t find the word to describe what she thinks of him. He offers ‘Cabaret’ and she agrees. Louis is confused. He can see that he’s fun but he’s worried. Rylan promises to “knock the fun out of him” which brings the biggest ever “OOH ER” my flat has ever seen. Louis and I think this hilarious. It’s a yes from Rita if he gets some vocal lessons. It’s a yes from Tulisa too. It’s a no from Gary. Thank goodness. The decision is left to Louis so he milks it for all its worth then says yes. Of course it’s a yes. Rylan is overjoyed and swears to the entire panel, especially ‘G’ that he won’t let them down. He thanks everyone and goes backstage to hug his beautician. Louis declares him different. Gary says that he’s different in that he can’t sing. Rita says that Gary could be an amazing mentor for him. I like Rita more. Louis says that his voice is OK but I don’t think we were meant to hear that.
Londonporn welcomes us back, followed by another sub-Towie section featuring people talking about what they think of the judges. One lady talks about how much she loves Rita Ora. Three guys who I’m assuming are in a man band wonder if Rita will think they are gangsters. They won’t. Rita talks to the other judges and says that she wants to get over to the auditionees how she knows what it’s like to have to make a first impression and how she persuaded Jay Z to sign her. Louis wants to know how she did that whilst Tulisa conceals her envy so badly that she develops a squint. Rita says that she just decided that when she left the room Jay Z would remember her. The trio from the segment earlier think that Rita will be the one that gets them most. We then see Tulisa and Rita wind Louis up about being sick and ill. It means good, kids! These comedy old people! Louis plays into it by saying that he feels ok. Gary thinks he looks ok. The judges sit down again. This is apparently worth a full minute of television.
Next up we meet 29 year old Kye who is a chimney sweep complete with flat cap. He admits it’s a bit Dickens but he can’t knock it because he has a job IN THIS CURRENT CLIMATE. Kye has 90’s hair and is applying to the X Factor because he needs a lucky break. He’s been trying in music for 10 years and has played in toilets up and down the country and it’s a hard pill to swallow that he hasn’t made it. Maybe if you’d played in actual clubs, etc. BOOM. I make myself laugh. Dermot asks Kye where his friends are. He says that he’d rather do it alone and keep it quiet until he sees how well he does. He’s singing a mashup of a Rita Ora song, but he TOTALLY DIDN’T KNOW she was going to be here so it’s #NerveWrack because he’s singing her song and she’s fit. Dermot wishes him luck. He says the day is massively important to him because he’s not good at anything else apart from music.
Kye arrives onstage. Rita wants to know his name and Gary wants to know how old he is. Rita wants to know why he’s here. DUH. He replies that he wants a lucky break and tells his chimney sweep story. As sob stories go, it’s pretty lame. Rita acts this out. He says that music and songwriting is his passion and he wants his songs to move forward from being pieces of paper in his flat. He starts singing and Louis and Gary immediately look at each other with raised eyebrows. I think this means they think he’s good. Tulisa simpers at him. I don’t know any Rita Ora songs so I can’t comment on the quality of the mashup. It’s at this point that I realise he looks like Ricky Wilson from the Kaiser Chiefs after some face liposuction. Gary gets to his feet and the Elbow strings start. Oh god, everyone is on their feet. I mean, it was ok, but not that good. Kye is on his knees. Gary wants to know if he enjoyed it and that the greatest thing about him is that he’s a singer and an artist. He’s excited because Kye knows how he wants to sound. Louis is incredulous that he’s been cleaning chimneys because he’s born to sing. Tulisa could listen to him sing all day long and his voice could sell albums. Rita just OH MY GOSHes at him and tells him he made her song cool. She thinks he’s a superstar and he just about bursts into tears. Louis declares he has the X Factor and gives him a yes. It’s an easy yes from Tulisa. He’s so good he makes Rita shake and Gary thinks he well deserves three yeses.
Kye is so emotional about the whole thing that he asks Dermot to hold him. He tells him that he’s emotional and Dermot replies that it’s easy to get emotional. Dermot tells him that he’s nailed it. Back at the judges table Rita is remarking that you never know where you’re going to find people and can’t believe that a chimney sweep can sing. Gary says that this is the beauty of the show. Louis says that Kye illustrates that talent is actually out there in the UK and can’t believe that nobody has given him a chance. [Again, according to Twitter during the show, he's actually been signed by two major labels and dropped by both of them. - Steve] [So he'll be perfectly at home with his fate if he wins this series then - Rad] Kye tells Dermot that he couldn’t have dreamed it better and goes off home happy. Aww.
We’re back in Manchester with Mardy Mel. There’s a montage of auditions and backstage warm ups which includes someone with a metal face. Someone with a guitar talks to another auditionee who is saying that she’s scared and pleased to be there. Gary interrupts a group that’s got Simon Pegg in it to tell them that they’re really annoying whilst someone in Olivia Newton John trousers OMG’s at the noise the crowd is making. The lady with the guitar also remarks and tells her companion not to shake. Shaking girl is Shannelle and guitar girl is Lucy. Lucy is worried that one of the judges will say no. Shannelle wants to please all of them which is hard because they all want different things. This is illustrated by Louis and Mel disagreeing. Lucy just wants one person in the audience to think she’s funny because her music is funny. WRONG SHOW LUCY.
Lucy is 20 and she lives in Sheffield [REPRESENT. I still miss that one time they came to Sheffield for auditions and it pissed it down with rain and there were about twenty people in the queue when I walked past it - Rad]. She sells baby portraits and it’s boring. She’s always written her own music and wanted to perform. She’s been gigging for a few years and has always wanted to perform. Shannelle tells her that she’s shy and only sings to her full potential in her bedroom. Then she says she feels sick and she shouldn’t have had those chips.
If anyone can explain to me what these sections are for can you let me know in the comments? I’m struggling. Many thanks. So even though we’ve just met Lucy we’re hearing Shannelle sing first. She’s 17 and she’s going to sing All I Can Do Is Cry. It’s good, but it’s a bit unpolished. Mel thinks she was out of tune and it didn’t go as well as it should. Louis thinks she lacks presence and Gary thinks she needs more experience. All fair points. Lucy is being queued up backstage and is listening to this. Tulisa wants her to find out who she is as an artist. While you’re at it, can you find out about Tulisa? Kthanx. Lucy says that she’s different to the usual X Factor fodder and knows this could change her life but is worried about how the audience will see her.
Lucy finally arrives on the X. Tulisa asks her to introduce herself. She says she’s nervous. Mel looks excited and Tulisa offers her water. They ask her what her job is, because that’s what we’re all about this year. She explains that she sells baby photoshoots. She does her pitch to the arena. She doesn’t enjoy it. Lucy is singing her own song about “beer fear”. They bring her her guitar and her banner says she’s a portrait seller. God. I like her though. She’s like a less annoying Kate Nash and her song is funny. I’m not sure if she’s right for this but I could listen to her. She even makes Gary smile. She gets a standing ovation from the crowd. The annoying hashtag for this segment is #beerfear. The judges are on their feet too and Lucy begins to cry. Tulisa is sold and she wants the song on her iPod because it’s funny and intelligent. Louis thinks it’s a number one. Gary agrees. Louis reminds her how few people get a good reaction. Gary remarks that she looks surprised and reminds her that she should be overwhelmed. He thinks she’s a fantastic songwriter and described Tulisa’s night out really well. [Also if she makes it to live shows, she'll absolutely kill it in Chumbawamba week. - Steve] Mardy Mel loved it too and she finds it endearing that Lucy doesn’t know how good she is. The crowd want more but they don’t get it. The judges all say yes at once and Florence and her bloody machine start up. Dermot hugs her and wants to know what’s going through her head. She doesn’t know but she just heard everyone go crazy. Louis is amazed that someone with a guitar can control an audience. There are so many things wrong with that statement I can’t even BEGIN. Lucy cries with shock again. She is overwhelmed because even though she gets a good reaction from people that she knows it’s different getting one from a crowd. She’s pleased that she doesn’t have to chase babies any more. [I really liked her, but surely she's more BGT? - Rad]
Competition, adverts, blah.
Next stop seem stop seems to be Newcastle. Someone who looks exactly like Divine irons her hair with an actual IRON and says she wants to be a star in New York. A Wand Erection escapee thinks a yes would be the best news of his life. An old man says he never thought he would be doing this at his age and another young man looks forlorn with his guitar on a train platform saying there’s nowhere else he should be than on a stage. They all say it would be a dream come true. The judges arrive. Tulisa is happy to be there and it’s Shitsinger today . She asks what a Geordie accent is like. Tulisa attempts one and Nicole says that she’s having trouble understanding everyone. [I loved that. A little reminder of Nicole's history with Cheryl on X Factor USA. - Steve]
To illustrate this, we meet Billy who is 41 and a local in every sense of the word. Billy has brought his own microphone. Dermot reminds him that they have their own. Billy says that his takes batteries but they’ve run out. Dermot reminds him that he will get a proper one. We see Billy eat his sandwiches out of an orange carrier bag as he tells us he’s been singing since he was five years old. His earliest memory was singing along to Boney M. He’s auditioning today because someone in South Sheilds told him he had a really powerful voice in 1995. He shows Dermot his sandwiches that his sister made him that he had with a bottle of water. Billy tells the runner backstage that he hopes he has something to celebrate with his family tonight. Billy is still wearing his coat. He asks Newcastle if it’s alreet. Gary is pleased to meet him and makes a sarky remark about his coat. Billy replies he’s sweating buckets. Tulisa makes her Great Ormond Street face at him. Shamalangadingdong doesn’t understand a word he says. Gary wants to know where he rehearses, because everyone auditioning today will have their own rehearsal space. Gary rehearses by a stream to the fishermen who give him mixed feedback.
He’s singing Journey. He messes up. Surprise. Gary asks if he’s ever sang with the backing track before. He has but he can’t remember when. Billy admits he’s killing it, and not in the street sense. Gary can barely contain his glee. He just shouts out random words. Give him his due, they are from the song. The crowd sing it for him which is kinder than usual. Billy admits it was a mistake coming and Gary agrees. Gary compares him to a slowed down tape, which is nice. Billy is confused because it sounded good in the car park. It’s a no from everyone. Nicole tells him not to stop believing and is upset because she came all the way from Los Angeles. Gary promises that they do have some talent in the country.
Backstage montage! We see a couple of sub-Palomas chatting, a sub Gary Numan getting ready Alex Saccone who is a 33 year old cleaner who obviously has illusions of being the next Johnny Robinson but he put some “non existent “ notes in there so he’s out. Someone is dressed up as a tiger because “animals don’t judge”. The tiger is called Haus of Danni and is 20 and unemployed. Nicole describes their act as freestyle chanting whilst Louis silently laughs. Nicole and Louis discuss Haus of Danni backstage. Louis loves that Nicole can always find the positive. Nicole says that she’ll always remember the tiger because he’s GRRRRRRRRREAT.
There now follows a party political broadcast on behalf of the “Nicole Salamander isn’t a completely demanding diva bitch” party. She tells someone singing Gabrielle’s dreams that they might want to try a new dream. That’s it. Have you got that, she’s nice everyone. Two overly made up girls wonder if the judges are being harsh today to a montage of No’s.
Backstage, Louis is sadfacing because Gary promised him that there’s talent in the North West. Gary reminds Louis that Newcastle is in the North East. DOH. Nicole wasn’t expecting what she got from Newcastle. This is illustrated by Davy Chappell, a 22 year old student screaming the words of Living on A Prayer to a totally different tune. Nicole makes a noise like a kettle and says that she didn’t even recognise the song. It’s a no, by the way.
Next up is an overly made up girl in Fluorescent clothing and face. Dermot reminds her that there haven’t been many yeses today. Way to psyche her out, Dermo. Her name is Sophie and she’s from Hartlepool. It’s her first ever audition in front of a live audience. She’s brought her mum, dad and auntie. One of these three interviews about how good she is . It’s her mum. Sophie says all she ever wanted was to be a singer. Her mum thinks they should give her a break. We’ll see.
OH DEAR. She’s a lot better in her head. Her parents must be deaf. Her mum sings along like she’s backstage at Top of the Pops and tells Dermot that she can do even better. The audience are stunned into silence. I’m trying very hard to find the words to tell you how bad it is. I don’t know if you can remember a few years back that girl who bellowed the song from Hairspray? That level of bellowing but with no understanding of what note is supposed to be coming out of her mouth. Sophie’s mum reckons the judges like her. Dermot thinks it’s hard to call, because Dermot is a wuss. Dermot asks her family what they think. They think she’s done it.
Louis asks Nicole what she thinks. Because Nicole is a diplomat and not a horrible bitch at all, no sir, she tells Sophie that she’s beautiful and although she has power in her voice, the pitch was missing. Her family look shocked. Gary wants to be encouraging but it was really bad. That’s really encouraging, Barlow. It’s four nos. Tulisa would like to know what her parents are up to not telling her that she was rubbish. I’d quite like to know that too. Her mum thinks they’ve made the wrong call and Sophie stomps off.
Back at the judges table, Gary wants something to change and Nicole declares Newcastle a Talent Free Zone, or a TFC if you will. Don’t worry! I’m sure there’ll be someone good on after the break!
We’re still in Newcastle. Dermot tells us that everyone is excited. Someone in the crowd says they’re excited and the music is “I’m So Excited”. Just in case we weren’t clear about the theme of this segment. Ted Robbins begs for a chance but the judges are still unimpressed. Rob, a 25 year old bus cleaner does a comedy act that they don’t like. Mainly because it’s rubbish and they have no sense of humour. Gary even does the hand of Cowell. People talk backstage about how scared they are because the judges are being harsh.
It’s finally the turn of the gent we saw forlornly standing on the train platform earlier. His name is James Arthur and he’s 24 from Saltburn. He lives in a bedsit which is now my shittest sob story ever. [Also, already been done by Johnny Robinson last year. - Steve] He’s brought his mum with him and she’s a proud mum. He’s also sad because his parents are divorced and didn’t have a relationship for his whole life. It’s just one rubbish sob story after another here, isn’t it? This caused him to go off the rails and he even slept rough. He volunteered himself into foster care and used music to cope. You should’ve led with that one, James. James makes his mum cry with his deep lyrics because they make her feel like she hadn’t done enough. Nice. He decided to tell himself to grow up one day. He’s nervous today though, let’s hope he’s good. He looks like Thomas Turgoose and Plan B’s lovechild. I’m assuming he’s going in a Plan B/Sheerhan direction. His mum interviews that regardless of what happens today they’re all going to move on. Damn. That’s some extreme family therapy there. James brings all of his family members backstage as the judges all say no to someone as they all assemble. James interviews that today could change everything so he’s setting himself free from worry and doing his best.
He arrives on stage and introduces himself. He tells the judges that his mum and dad are in the same room for his benefit. He’s going to sing his own version of a Tulisa song with his guitar. Gary asks ‘T’ if she’s ever heard anyone do an acoustic version of her songs. She says she hasn’t heard ‘anyone else’ do one . Eek. James does doe eyed innocent very well and it is very Sheerhan. I won a bet with myself there. Tulisa does her Great Ormond Street face again as he breaks out into a rap. I can’t describe Nicole’s face. The best I can do is “enforced hiding of distaste”. James’ family are all crying. The judges love it though. HERE COMES THE COLDPLAY!
He gets a standing ovation. Tulisa could see he was lost in the music and it was the best audition of the day. Gary says he’s seen lots of auditions and wants to change things normally but nobody should dare touch what he does. He should be proud. Louis promises him his life is going to change because he’s an original. Nicole can see why his parents put their differences aside and she’s been inspired because he bared his soul. It’s three yeses and a massive yes. Cue lots of backstage hugging and crying. James is overwhelmed. Tulisa can’t believe her IBEEFA dance track can be turned into that. Nicole wants to write a song to see what he does with it. *snort*. [I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest "slow it down to a funereal pace and grunt a lot". - Steve] Aww, bless.
NEXT WEEK! ONE WORD WILL CHANGE EVERYTHING. The word is YES. Join Rad to hear all about it.