Sunday, September 08, 2013

Re-re-return of the McCabe

Week 2 Auditions: 7 September 2013

 Last week! Sharon was back! So was the audition room! Tim Wheeler put a wig on and turned up as an impersonation of Tom Cruise as Stacee Jax in Rock of Ages called Fil! Mugs were thrown! Someone was SIXTEEN! Someone else had a dad WHO WAS DEAD! I think a total of two groups were featured in the whole weekend and then one of them was split up! So, plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose, heh?

SIXTEEN (or maybe seventeen now) year old Tamera watches herself being SIXTEEN on TV, whilst prison officer Sam has her friends and family assembled in the pub to watch her on the big screen. [In the space of three episodes, we've seen them do their first audition, then do their second audition, then watched them watch their auditions. This show seems awfully repetitive this year. This show seems awfully repetitive this year. Repetitive this year, the show seems. - Steve]  Were it not for Sam’s presence, there could be all sorts of fun X FACTOR FIX conspiracies about this given the scene looks so much like a scene from the final that Jeff Brazier is probably at the bar somewhere ordering a face-shaped pizza to be delivered, pronto. Hannah is also watching herself. Men are conspicuous by their absence in this segment. I love how the show is SO SUSPENSEFUL at keeping us wondering which acts are going to make judges’ houses (and probably the live shows save one or two ZOMG SHOCK BOOTS).

Tonight! People who have crashed and burned on this show a bunch of times before come back, but that’s enough about Sharon already badumtish. By the way if laughing at Ceri Rees or Emma Chawner are among the things this show is doing again in its bizarre ‘retro is good’ fit, I’m throwing my remote through the screen and suing Syco for the damage. First, we are in Manchester and Durrbot reminds us we’re in the audition room this time, Funsponge tries to cheer for Manchester but gets as far as ‘give us an M, give us an A’ before declaring it as ‘too long’. HOMETOWN PRIDE EVERYONE.

‘I’m So Excited’ plays as we meet our first auditionee, Chloe O’Gorman who is SIXTEEN and looks like a liddle Cheryl Cole/that one in Clea who looked a bit like Cheryl and they couldn’t have two of them make the girl band. She does a rather fast and breathy ‘The Climb’ which is a bit rubbish but she is cute as a button and gets four yeses.

Some random man typing on his laptop (tweeting spoilers?) pulls a quizzical face.

17-year old Barclay Beales (GREAT NAME) is next and decides to do ‘She Taught Me to Yodel’ with a guitar which gets Nicole very excited and him four yeses. [I love how this one basically proved that the only factor determining whether you're a joke audition or whether you're an inspiring one is how conventionally attractive you are, because I'm sure that in the hands of most other people that yodelling routine would've been nothing more than a "comedy also-rans" montage. - Steve]

Laptop man is 54-year old Thomas from Leeds. But the show is treating him as 54 going on 94 and playing Hovis music behind him as he talks about his journey there in a rather dull manner which was clearly on editors’ prompting. Have these people learned nothing about fifty somethings from the Friendship and Flowers debacle? He’s a part-time DJ and his laptop has his backing track (/hidden camera to get those YouTube hits). He hands out feedback forms for his DJing with ‘Testimonial’s’ on. You are dead to me with that kind of punctuation, Thomas.

He wants to do ‘Isn’t She Lovely’ but takes a bit of time getting the backing track ready. Where is the person whose finger we’re always seeing on the fade button when you need them, huh? Anyway, this is not going to be someone’s SuBo moment so let’s move this along now, show, please? Gary makes a point of slagging him off using the feedback forms and it’s four noes. As he leaves, Nicole pleads ‘Beautiful, please don’t trip over your cord.’ Gary laughs about him bringing his charger, but if I was sat in that waiting room for however many hours it is, I’d bring a charger too.

Ads! Do people really want to use their mobile phones as cash? Surely that’s a Daily Mail story about children running up exceptionally large phone bills by ‘accidentally’ spending their parents’ money on frippery (and friggery depending on the age) waiting to happen.


Next is Relley C (23) who works as a housekeeper and has mesmerisingly weird but striking hair – it’s half back, half bleached, except not quite half, because the split comes about 55% in. She’s loud and bubbly though, which could work in her favour. She’s doing a slowed down and decent enough version of ‘Don’t You Worry Child’ and I like her right now but she’s one of those contestants that could be brilliant and end up either going full-on Burke or doing an Adedeji or else she could end up being a bit annoying/crap and get dumped at boot camp/judges’ houses. Louis very prematurely says there’s no more housekeeping for her and she gets a bunch of yeses. 

White van woman Shelley Smith (who has a cute child) does a full on mum-karaoke version of ‘Natural Woman’ and goes through with four yeses, but there’s only room for one Meaty Minge wannabe in live shows, and Sam’s got that sewn up so probably best if you don’t get too attached to Shelley. Bin-truck mechanic Ryan (18) is from (H)ull, ‘The H is silent where I’m from’, which, as a fellow Umbersidian, I can confirm is indeed the correct pronunciation. He talks about working surrounded by bin juice. Nice.

Continuing the trend of young men with guitars that sing noises rather than words established by Barclay earlier on, he does something that goes ‘Jolene, shadadadada’ which I’ve never heard before and makes a girl in the waiting room cry. I assume she’s his girlfriend and not some random. He gets four yeses and gives the crying girl a hug. Nicole then makes Sharon boke by talking about bin juice some more. So glad I wasn’t eating my tea when I watched this.

Tree surgeon Stuart is next. I must say, the list of jobs this series is much more interesting than ‘I work in a shop, which is the worst thing known to humankind, kill me now’ or ‘I’m a teacher but sod the kids’ education, I want to piss my life away trying to sing’ which we usually get on this show. He does a very strange version of ‘Beneath Your Beautiful’ which is probably not helped by him doing it a capella. His vocal shudders a bit and his voice goes strange when he does the high-pitched bit on the chorus but I don’t think he’s bad enough to deserve the hysterics coming from the panel.

Anyhoo, that was four auditions before the ads, which might be the most ever! The Oxo ‘Shake and Flavour’ ad makes no sense. In what way is shaking some seasoning on meat like barbecueing a cotton reel? Unless this is one of the mysteries of meat eating that eludes we vegetarians?

Abi, 18, is up next with her ‘roadie’ aka her dad. She works in Morrisons and has been gigging since 14. She has also brought a guitar with her to do her version of ‘Travelin’ Soldier’. Her voice is quite sweet in a slightly more countrified Janet Devlin with tamer hair kind of way. She strains a bit in a couple of places but overall it’s rather nice. Gary loves her, Louis is worried that she won’t be able to project on a Saturday night but Sharon thinks she has a great sense of herself. Nicole agrees with everyone and thinks the big arena auditions will be the test of whether or not she can do it. Still, four yeses, and dad gets a big Derm-hug. The waiting auditionees cheer and I kind of wish they didn’t show the auditions to those waiting, it reduces the level of paranoia we used to see in the early series about who would be good and how many people would get through.

What’s that you say? You could do with a comedy audition right now? I’m not really with you but apparently the producers are, with Colin (45) who has brought a photo of his cat with him, which is what passes for hilarity these days, but then I guess that’s what you get when you try spinning out enough comedy mental people to fill ten series. He mentions that Olly Murs, Joe ‘Mc-Aldy’ and Matt ‘Car-dell’ have all been in this position before, except Matt at least didn’t have the audition rooms and he makes it sound like ‘dispositioned’ which is eminently funnier. Gary, having been briefed on the comedy, asks who he lives with and we get a lot of filler about him singing to his cat. As cat jokes go, it’s a rule of thumb that if it’s not on the internet, it’s not funny (and then only a fraction og the time). His ‘Someone Like You’ is out of time and tune and everything you might expect from this kind of audition, and it just goes on and on. You know what I haven’t seen tonight? Any groups. Again. Then Gary and Nicole try and sing him back to the right part of the song because he drifts so far from the backing track, but it ends up being patronising rather than helpful. Gary says they can tell how good people are ‘in about eight seconds’ which really explains why this section has been so long. Anyway, four noes and lots of close-ups of the cat photo and he says Patch the ‘household pet’ would think he’s done himself proud in the white glow of audition afterlife (the new iteration of the booth of bitterness). We’re never getting those minutes of our life back, everyone.

Ads now, but before that, competition time! Go and see One Direction in concert in Australia! Pah, on Channel 5 they’re offering you to go to Oz and meet the Neighbours cast, so up your game, ITV.

Some members of the public do an unconvincing ‘coming back is OK, Alexandra BURKE came back and she won’ forgetting that, as far as we know, Alexandra got to judges’ houses first time and was booted out by Louis because he only wanted one girl to compete in his category with the stellar likes of that Philip bloke and… OK, the one who won, and then second time out, she won. It’s not the same as a judges’ houses reject who came back last year and didn’t even make the main show (and got as far as boot camp, I think) or someone who is back for the FOURTH time. Basically, Alexandra was an exception, not a rule (remember 4Sure? Returning didn’t work out that well for them. OR John wotsit who got rejected twice at judges’ houses) and if you haven’t learned to give it up and try your hand at something else (or go on The Voice) by now, then you’re going to come across as needy to say the least.

Anyway, Jade Richards is back. She was that Scottish lass who WUZZROBBED in favour of whoever was in Kelly’s category that year. Conveniently, we’re shown this, but not her failing last year. She used to work in a supermarket, and now she’s unemployed. She’s also 23 but I thought she was about 18 back in 2011. See, X Factor, that’s what you get for telling people that working in a shop is a waste of life – unemployment and premature ageing. BROKEN BRITAIN, everyone. Her ‘When I Was Your Man’ is breathy and uncontrolled and whilst she has a decent tone in there somewhere, it doesn’t sound like she’s been taking care of her voice. It’s probably good enough to progress to live auditions but not to get much further, so they ought to just put her out of her misery here and now. Gary reminds her this is the third time and he wonders if the same thing would happen again. He and Louis lie that they don’t think it will and it’s four yeses. Gary says ‘when you’re that good, you never give up’.

Another comeback kid is Amy Mottram who Tulisa sent home from judges’ houses last year. She is shown comforting Jade, and it’s not clear if the producers set them up to meet or if there is some bitter corner of the internet somewhere (let’s be honest, probably Digital Spy) where rejected X Factor contestants get together and talk about how they WUZ ROBBED and spam comments on all X Factor articles reminding people of that fact forever. Anyway, her ‘Clown’ is better than Jade’s performance, but there’s nothing new or spectacular about it. It’s all very serviceable, but ‘so what?’ and we have to remember that this is the girl who lost to Christopher Maloney in the public vote to put through to lives, so No1Curr about her.  Four yeses.

Next up? A GROUP! But it’s a returning group. The Dolly Rockers were cute but useless back in 2006 and now they’ve replaced one of them, stopped looking cute - I mean they’re pretty and all, but they’re in black and red and seven years older, and maybe they should have changed the group’s name? They’ve got a new member so perhaps they’re already hoping to be the new Sugababes. The audition is a bit all over the place, some bits are in tune, some bits are just a screeching mess, but they’re through, largely by dint of there being only one other group so far.

Our next in the ‘Oh for the love of God, just give it up love’ parade is Melanie McCabe, who is back for the FOURTH time, despite only being 19. She auditioned in 2008 when they did the experiment of letting 14 year olds sing that ended so well. Then in 2011 she got to judges’ houses, like Jade, which was a ‘huge big milestone’ in her life and her dreams were crushed by that evil crusher of dreams Kelly Rowland and she had to go back to school and everything OMG IT'S SO UNFAIR I HATE YOU. (I note that our post for the 2008 episode was called ‘If at First You Don’t Succeed, Fail and Fail Again’ and our boot camp 2011 one was ‘Like Everything You’ve Ever Seen Before’. Oh, X Factor, you’ll never change, will you? And, apparently, neither will we.) But now Kelly’s gone and she’s back! Oh, except that time when Kelly was gone last year and she came back again and left at boot camp.

Incidentally, Melanie looks a lot like Cindy Cunningham from Hollyoaks here, so maybe she should look into playing Holly rather than that thirty year old supermodel they’ve got pretending to be Cindy’s teenage daughter right now. She says she’s driven by all the people in the music industry now (ALL THE PEOPLE) getting noes in the past. Gary asks what was wrong before, and she says she wasn’t confident enough. Her version of ‘Diamonds’ is, like Jade and Amy, competent enough to make getting to the next round, and probably Boot Camp, a shoo-in, but not spectacular enough to go further.

If anything, all these returning clips do is show why these people never got to ‘lives’. I’m not saying all the people that do go through have the elusive ‘x’ because: Sophie Habibis, The Unconventionals, Scott BRUTON and a million others, but these returning lot really, really don’t. [I can't help feeling that Alexandra BURKE losing out at judges' houses in series two and then coming back and winning series five opened a floodgate that will never, ever close. - Steve]

Never mind me, though, Sharon loves her, Gary thinks she was the best audition of the day and Louis cries because she is IRISH and he knows she NEEDS IT. Four yeses and the most airtime of any of our returnees. Dermot says it feels different this time. Maybe they’re just going to put her through this year and let her go home in week three or whatever in order to stop her ever coming back again. She's just like *SPOILER ALERT* Captain Jack Harkness or that creepy kid from the Returned.  ZombiMelanie cnanot die!  (Come to think of it, she must have been on the same series as ZombiEmily...)

TOMORROW! Some of these people again (or in Melanie's case again again again again again again again)! But in the arena! And also some of last week’s people they forgot to show! Join Helen then!

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