Sunday, September 15, 2013

A copy of a copy of a copy

Arena Auditions Week 3 - 15th September 2013

Hello! Yes, Rad does owe me a humungous favour swapping lastnight’s recapping duties because YET AGAIN I find myself having to recap the arena auditions. They’re so bloody boring that they’re having to introduce some CRASH!DRAMA at every available opportunity. There are several opportunities because this is so BLOODY BORING that I’ve resorted to RANDOM caps LOCK to at least try and make this recap interesting.

The pre credits sequence begins with the judges arriving and the acts looking nervous. We’re told that THE ARENA AWAITS and the judges will be saying yes or no. AND THIS TIME, THE AUDIENCE FIGHT BACK. Not in a (spoiler) proper way or anything. Nobody goes feral. At least not that we see. Great shame. GIANT X.

Because they really don’t have a programme here, there’s a bit about the shortest heatwave ever. Funsponge hopes the talent is as hot as the weather, mainly because he hasn’t had an original thought in his entire life and that’s what passes for a joke when you’re a fun phobic, stuffy BORELOW with questionable political affiliations. People are hot and sweaty alongside being the usual nervous and wanting to do stuff for their dead nans.

Durrbot warns us that someone wants to set the arena on metaphorical fire.  It’s Souli Roots who has come with gigantic hair and ripped leggings.  Also bongos. My brain didn’t want to take those in at first but they’re definitely there. [I miss Wagner. - SteveShe is 34 and from South London via Jamaica. She’s gone all out on makeup and hair because Wembley. She reminds us that all the way ago yesterday she sang a song about the recession and everyone liked it but she wants to win over Funsponge who rightly said her vocals weren’t up to scratch. She’s putting her hands up to that, but she’s going to bang her drum.  She promises it’s “On” and tells Funsponge to brace himself”

He needs to, because she arrives on stage playing the bongo and twerking. You can’t get much more topical than that. Funsponge laughs because he’s told that’s what people do when they’re enjoying themselves. Souli greets everyone whilst Durrbot does a double facepalm. She wants to know if the audience want to have a good time. Of course they do, they’re not a judge. Sharon interrupts and asks her to tell the audience a little bit about herself. She introduces herself and tries to get the crowd to say they’re irie. She’s offering peace and harmony but Sharon don’t got time for that and urges her to start singing. She’s doing Two Little Birds by Bob Marley. She’s actually not terrible and manages to engage the audience. Sharon makes Funsponge dance. The audition is probably one of the most engaging I’ve seen so far.

Funsponge says that the music sounded “Damn fine”, clearly in some kind of effort to sound Street. However, the singing was just alright. Souli takes this as a compliment and actually says hallelujah. Nicole says that she went off on a tangent but it was a good job. Louis thinks she’s a great performer and they need some (more) reggae on X factor. Sharon admires her positivity but it is a singing contest. I’m not getting into that. If it was a singing contest it would be the Voice and not the X Factor. [Also if it was an actual singing contest then you would certainly not get the general public to decide who wins. - SteveLouis loves her and he’s saying yes. It’s also a yes from Sharon. Funsponge has had a great time but the vocals weren’t good enough. It’s down to Nicole who decides that getting her up on her feet was enough so it’s a yes from her too. Funsponge thinks that the heat is affecting the judge’s ears. They disagree. She’s going to boot camp.

Competition adverts, blah.

We’re back at Wembley where everyone is remembering what the judges said to them yesterday. Louis and Sharon have a little chat about people learning from their feedback, and shouty Lydia from last night says that she’s used her feedback to help her improve. Lydia Lucy reintroduces herself and says she’s FROM ESSEX but doesn’t use fake tan, she’s just naturally orange. She’s WELL NERVOUS because the judges think she should be in a girl band but she’s hoping she’s got what it takes to go solo.

She arrives on stage and gets a bit nervous about all the people. They want to know what she’s been doing since the last audition. She says she’s been thinking about what the judges said and practicing, which is of course what they want to hear. She does a performance of “The Way You Make Me Feel” which has so many superfluous notes it’s like the Post-it Factory Shop. The audience lap it up though and the judges seem to too. SAKE.

Nicole wonders where she comes from. She replies “Essex”. Oh girls! Be stupid on television. It’s ADORABLE. She thinks she owned it. Louis thinks that she walked out and owned the stage. Sharon thought it was better than her first audition as she was more confident. Funsponge liked the audition and the song choice. Four yeses. YAWN.  Sharon doesn’t think that she needs to be in a girl group any more. She’s very happy and goes off with her parents.

She’s not the only one looking for a chance to shine apparently. This is illustrated by someone I don’t remember chasing some people away from the mirror with hairspray.  Her name is Jeanette Akua and she’s from South Africa. Apparently she sang Bad Romance and got four yeses. I don’t remember her at all but I’m happy to be corrected if wrong. [I have no recollection of her either. - Steve] She talks a little bit about her tribe in South Africa and how her native language is the clicking one. She speaks a bit and gets a cheer. A cheer, for having a native language. She sings a song I don’t know. Louis thinks she has star quality and Sharon thinks she’s a vision. Four yeses.

Backstage, we have Rough Copy who are a three part group. Twitter was alight with how they were a Rough Copy of JLS but they seem a bit edgier than that to me. Like the boys who took JLS’ dinner money. One of them has even got a crazy mother who’s in love with Dermot. She terrifies him in a spectacularly hilarious fashion, even touching his face. They’re excited to do the audition in the arena because they’ve got something special. They might be a gamble but apparently, like Cheryl, they’re worth it.  They arrive from the back of the room like they’re Finn (RIP) and Rachel or something and do some awful crowd baiting to the Eye of the Tiger. When they arrive on stage, Sharon pretends to remember them and does that thing that you do when you forget someone’s name and ask them to introduce themselves. They are Rough Copy and they’re sweet but street. Dermot laughs out loud at this. I don’t even care enough to hate them for it.

They’re singing that god-awful Wand Erection song that was written by Ed Sheerhan about how it doesn’t matter that you’re bosseyed or a bit chubby because they don’t care. It’s got a few “one time” bits in it and they come down off the stage and stand on the judges desk. It’s all a bit contrived for my liking. Funsponge says well done and clearly the audience love them. They have great synergy and good socks. That, friends, is a masterclass in complimenting someone without actually complimenting them on anything. Is there a word for that? Sharon says they’re very smooth which is a bit the same but she doesn’t want them to get cocky. Louis thinks that they know how to work the room. Nicole thinks that’s how it’s done. They get four predictable yeses and they’re off to boot camp.

MOAR ADVERTS. Fifth judge nonsense. BLAH

When we return, we seem to be back at Wembley. Three guys tell a cute child that they hope the cheers get louder for them. I don’t recognise them.  Funsponge asks the crowd not to boo the acts but they can boo the other judges. THANKS.

But to business proper, we have James McDonald who is a 25 year old bus driver from Nottingham. His nickname is the Singing Bus Driver, which in imagination terms is up there with Big Fat Goalie. He’s been a bus driver for 5 years which is handy, because he loves to sing. I don’t get how the two are related. Last night he sang Lately by Stevie Wonder. He does a bit about how he was driving a bus yesterday and now he’s singing to an arena. All he needs is a yes. UH OH FORESHADOWING. He’s brought his F and f’s with him and some passengers from his bus.

He sings a perfectly serviceable version of Red by Daniel Meriwether, which he manages not to make sound like the passive aggressive whinefest that the original is. He’s powerful and subtle in the right places. It’s good to my ears. But uh oh, Funsponge is looking down his nose and he cuts it short. Nicole thinks he has a good voice if not the best of the day. Funsponge says that if he was being honest, he was a bit disappointed and he had more to bring and his voice was a bit generic. Like his isn’t. Sharon says that as judges they’re looking for someone to win the contest for them and he’s not up to that level. It’s a no from Funsponge, a yes from Nicole. It goes to Sharon. James begs her for a chance and she tells him not to do that. How else is he going to prove he wants it? It’s also a no from her. It’s a no from Louis too. If only he’d been a bit thinner or had a dead Nan. Nicole says that she wishes he’d got through as he’s lovely but Funsponge thinks that he’s not as good as the others.

Montage time! Today’s montage is about the crowd disagreeing with the judges. A generic boyband get a no but the crowd disagree. Lucy McGuire misses lots of notes and the crowd love her and want her to get another song.  She stomps off crying. Sharon keeps telling the crowd to behave. Emily Felix sings locked out of heaven and the crowd like her too but the judges disagree to more groans.

That bit’s over now thank goodness, and Stephanie is back. Stephanie is the one that made judges houses when she was 14 and now she’s back. She explains that it was emotional seeing Sharon and she wants to show her what she can do now compared to then. She’s working in a hotel as entertainment crew but she’d much rather be on X Factor. She’s going to sing I Drove All Night by Celine Dion. It’s not by Celine petal, it’s by Roy Orbison. I’d let you away with a Cyndi Lauper, but not bloody Celine. It’s a shocking song choice though, and the judges agree.  Even Funsponge thinks it’s old fashioned. Stephanie just loves singing it.  The crowd bray for one more song but because she’s got a sob story she’s allowed another go. What does Stephanie do with this opportunity to show the judges that she can be modern and hip and with the kids? She sings Fleetwood Mac. Seriously. Fleetwood bloody Mac. This pleases Funsponge who has no capacity for irony. Dermot and her family hope she’s turned it around. Nicole thinks it was sincere. Louis says yes because she has a great voice. She gets a biased yes from Sharon. Funsponge thinks that she needs to modernise her act herself before they start telling her what to sing every week. She’s got four yeses. See what I said about manufactured drama? Oh god, that was so obvious. Much is made of her nearly not making it. YAWN.


There’s a montage of people getting ready and talking about how much they’ve sacrificed. This includes one girl talking about how she’s had to take out all her facial piercings and hoping they don’t mind her nose ring. WTF? What has that got to do with anything? I thought this programme was pretending to be about artistry and individuality? Someone was just knocked back for being generic and now they’re showing people being worried about not being generic enough? This bloody programme, I tell you.

But never mind! Kingsland are back! Presumably named after Dalston Kingsland station because they’re just so bloody hipster it hurts. Seriously, one of them needs a moustache and they’d be a pop up shop. They’ve remembered the feedback that they got and they’re trying not to do too much pelvis.  Today, their manifesto is to get everyone on their feet. That’s a crap manifesto because you can also achieve that by getting them to leave.

When they arrive on stage, Funsponge asks them what they’ve been doing since last night. Apparently they’ve been rehearsing and three of them have lost their jobs due to the hectic schedule. Two of them are paying the rent. They sing a song I don’t know and their dancing is severely affected by the tightness of their trousers. They’ve got a little dance routine and everything. They’ve definitely improved but I can see them annoying the SHIT out of me.

Nicole thinks they need to work on the vocals but she liked it because she can see the hard work. Sharon loved it and Louis thinks they remind him of a little Take That. Funsponge can see the improvement since the last audition and wonders what they’ll be like given more time. Four yeses. YAWN.

Sharon thinks they look like a group. Louis has had a good day and Nicole erases all of my previous goodwill towards her by saying “hashtag boss”. NEXT.

Next up are Next Of Kin, who look like three photocopies of Howard Donald. They believe it’s their time and it seems it is, because they sing “Amazed” and the judges lap it up. Louis thinks it’s great to hear brothers with perfect harmonies, unlike his twin band who have no natural synchronicity despite having shared a womb and a life. Funsponge thinks the vocals were seamless and they get four yeses. Louis thinks there’s a market for them. Sharon thinks that the groups category is looking good but CLANG FORESHADOWING the boys are looking weak.

BUT WHAT’S THIS!? It’s wee Nicholas McDonald from last night. They remember that he’s precious and they’re all rooting for him.  His CRASH!DRAMA is that Funsponge didn’t think he was ready. We’ll see how he gets on tonight. His favourite bit from his first audition was getting a kiss from Nicole and he goes on to say how much his mum and dad have supported him. He’s a bit worried because he thinks he doesn’t look like a popstar, just a wee Scottish guy. He’s going to try to be a popstar though.

He arrives on stage and says how nervous he is and how he’s been practicing since the room auditions. Nicholas is singing “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri. It’s faultless. The judges all get major chubbies for it, as well they should. He gets a standing ovation and looks genuinely shocked by it. Even Sharon manages to contort her face into something resembling a smile. Nicole thinks he has a gorgeous voice. Sharon thinks he owned the audition. Louis thinks he nailed it and gives him ten out of ten. Funsponge thinks he knocked it out the park. 

OF COURSE, we’re ending on four yeses and Joe McElderry playing in the background. They all love how unassuming he is. I’m taking that as a euphemism for short. We all are in Scotland. Apart from me, but I was driven out. Nicole thinks he was effortless. His family think it’s just the beginning. Aww.

There’s a preview of next week where we’re told that it’s the LAST CHANCE for auditions as it’s the final week of them. Thank GOODNESS for that. Join Steve for Saturday and if my calculations are correct, I’ll have ANOTHER week of bloody arena auditions. If I get the final 12 show again I’m going to go postal. See you next week!


Patrick said...

Nicholas is so good I can already hear Rage Against The Machine beating him to Christmas number one.

(seriously though, he is brilliant)

Lia said...

Thank you all for making the mediocrity festival more enjoyable. You're on top form Helen!

Helen said...

Thanks Lia!

I agree Patrick, he's got winner written all over him, unless they ruin him.

Lucy McGuire said...

Id just like to defend myself here. I did not stomp of crying:) i cried after receiving 4 no's off the judges out of disappointed. Nothing more:)No attitude at all! - Lucy McGuire! haha