Judges’ Houses part two. Sunday 6 Oct 2013
Last night! Female dominance 2013 was given its best possible chance when Sharon dumped the last man out of the overs (and it couldn’t have happened to a nicer fellow)! Louis put through some tiny teenage brunette white boys and one ginger one for a bit of a change! Tonight! Which three girls will be elevated to the live shows and another possible Scherzinger win? Oh, and some groups turn up too to help Gary on his quest to take Sharon’s mantle of worst mentor ever! It’s! Time! To! Face! Very little content stretched out to two-hours!
Cue giant X!
Dermot welcomes us from Times Square and introduces to the groups: Kingsland who are now called Kingsland Road, which I hope is in homage to Eton Road Neva4get [I'm still just going to call them Dalston - Steve], Xyra who we don’t know that much about other than their looking like an older, cooler, BixMix, Rough Copy (who dumped their third member because of his visa issues and because loyalty to your friends is the cardinal sin according to this year’s show. Oh X Factor. The Spice Girls am disappoint), Miss Dynamix (this year’s Frankenband whose name appears to not only be a mixture of Miss Frank and BixMIX in homage to great Frankenbands of yore – were Miss Frank the first ever Frankenband? And what an apt name if so! [sorry to disappoint, but the first Frankenbands were Futurepoof and Phoebe And The Woo Woo Girls - Steve] – but also a total slight on CeeCee’s old band mates. Friendship what now?) and Code4 who echo the retro vibe of this year’s show by recalling other such bands as 4Sure and 4Real. Oh yeah, and Brick City are here, too. The groups are excited to be going to New York via British Airways. Gary tells them they can have one day of sightseeing and then they have to get on with it.
The girls (Tamera, Jade, Hannah, Relley, Melanie, Abi) arrive at the airport. Relley says yesterday she was cleaning hotel rooms and today she’s here. They’re all excited to be flying via British Airways to Antigua. A British Airways steward welcomes them all on to a British Airways plane.
The groups are excited to be in Times Square, as well they might be, as it’s pretty much the maddest place I’ve ever been to. Gary tells us his guest judge has sold millions of records ‘around the world’. Who could it be? Madonna? Alicia Keys? Rihanna? LOL NO it’s Olly Murs. I raise my eyebrows at the ‘millions of record around the world’ claim. Such an anti-climax.
First up are Kingsland Road. They’re the group of hipsters who dress badly and sing badly and look like they’ve grafted on bits of every boy band ever in a tribute to The Risk. They’re doing ‘Dance With Me Tonight’ like the try-hard suck-ups they are. One of them sings ‘my name is Olly’. Is it now, or is that a lie? One of them is wearing tight shorts with braces and a shirt. One of the others is still wearing your auntie’s shirt from the nineties. They’re still a hot fried mess. Gary says they take him back 23 years (to when those shirts were in fashion). Gary loves them and Olly thinks they’re too good in comparison to himself, but it’s hardly a strong yardstick to hold up to them, is it?
Brick City are next – they’re the vocal group with one woman and three men who look a bit like an R’n’B No Doubt and are yet to be allowed to demonstrate personality. They call Gary a ‘dad’ and would like to go through. So informative! Gary tells Olly that they’re his favourite group. Olly finds this hard to believe. Heh. They’re doing ‘All Around the World’ and it’s a bit nothingy but it’s perfect if they’re looking for week one first boot fodder. Gary says it wasn’t as good as their past performances. Olly says they feel like a Frankenband and don’t have much chemistry. The band themselves think they delivered. LOLOOPS etc.
Ads! I thought JLS had split up? Still, it’s always nice to see Yellow JLS. Mewwy Christmas! I’m surprised they let Marvin on this show after he defected to The Voice, though. (Oh Kylie, please be good, I love you too much and I’m scared)
I love how they’ve gone back to #xfactor as the hashtag and aren’t trying to do #judgeshouses. I can’t believe this show is still learning how to use hashtags after several years of fail.
Rough Copy are next and Dermot reminds us how to get further in this show you need to dump your friends, even if they were the founding member of your group. After all, that worked so well for the Sugababes.
Retro styling is all over the bands this year as they look like a beige Kid’n’Play. They do ‘If I Was Your Boyfriend’ and it’s patchy – some bits are good, other bits are a hot fried mess, and they do seem to be missing a third person. Then they do a ridiculous long warble at the end. Gary loves them and Olly says they didn’t seem defeated. Gary says he likes them better as a three.
Xyra are next wearing their best BixMix tribute outfits. They talk over their own song so we all know how this is going to pan out – about as well as it did for those two overs whose names it wasn’t even worth learning last night. And to add insult to injury they’ve been made to sing Phil Collins (‘In the Air Tonight’). Olly doesn’t think they will win. Gary lies that they sound good. Rough Copy aren’t the only group to have shed members, Code4 are now a three piece which kind of gives a lie to their name. They do some very cheesy dancing (which presumably will appeal to Olly) through their ‘Superstition’ and also give an interview over it so I won’t get too invested in caring about them. One of them appears to do all the singing. Gary and Olly said they were group but Gary says they’re a four-piece. I wonder if some Code4/Rough Copy splicing could happen.
Next up are MissFrankEnBixDynaMix with the usual Frankenband story of ‘we now work together so well’. One of them thinks it’s such a shock that people from Africa, Manchester and London could work together. Truly a global harmony story for our times. Their styling is terrible but they have some decent vocals between them. Their ‘Pure Shores’ is a bit patchy and they’ll never win but they’re probably the best group so far – which is only as much of a comment as being the best man in this year’s Strictly, so it’s week two at best. Gary as first mentor to lose all his acts? I would think so.
We see more footage of Times Square, including lots of ads for X Factor USA because somehow, they are still trying to make that thing happen. Olly lies that one group has potential. Another group has a rubbish name (they all have rubbish names). Olly says he’ll go with ‘that one’ from a choice of Code 4 and Brick City and hits the Brick City photo. Gary will sleep on it.
Ads! The new IKEA ad is slightly less creepy than that dolls’ house one.
Nicole welcomes the girls to Antigua with some dancers. Melanie’s hair has gone all Monica from Friends in Barbados. Our guest judge has sold 50 million records around the world, please welcome Leona Lewis! Just kidding. Because Nicole is a proper pop star with some clout and because this category is the anointed one, it’s actually Mary J Blige.
Tamera is first and her hair is less bleached than previously. She’s SIXTEEN and didn’t like school much because she wanted to be a singer. Her eyelashes are full on Rebecca Ferguson. Nicole tells Mary that Tamera messes up but when she’s on, she’s on. Tamera does ‘Fallin’ because that’s not a song we’ve ever heard on this show before. What next? ‘Feelin’ Good’? ‘The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face’? ‘Stop Crying Your Heart Out’? She does have a nice tone in there but it’s very untamed and all over the shop. She says that ALL HER LIFE she’s been put down and she wants to show she can do something. Nicole says it was the best she’s seen her. Mary says she’s good. Nicole says she hits the notes but didn’t believe the drama or pain.
Next up is Jade Richards, who has been here, lest we forget. Poor Jade, you talk over your own audition, so I’m not sure that will go to well for you. Her version of ‘Hurt’ (Aguilera version) is pretty sketchy. Nicole says it was like she backed off halfway through and lost them. Mary agrees. Next up is Abi, who is KOOKY. She plays piano as she does ‘Only You’ which is a song this show hasn’t made enough of in the past. But wait! What is this? Abi is talking over herself. Could we be up for a SHOCK! BOOT? She cries that music is her ‘absolute life’ and doesn’t know what she will do if she can’t do it. I’m pretty sure not getting through on this show doesn’t stop you doing music. Nicole worries that she’s a one-trick pony. Mary says it’s the first time she saw the trick, so it moved her.
Relley C is up next. Her hair is a lot longer/has more extensions and is no longer half black, half-blonde. I am guessing a fair bit of time elapses in between boot camp and judges’ houses. Her ‘Many Rivers to Cross’ has some soul although it’s quite uncontrolled – but never mind that – if we’re going to do the reveals in order of performance then that must mean Tamera and Relley go through with a fight to the death between Hannah and Melanie, both of whom I assumed were likely to go top three. Nicole and Mary loved her and Relley is pleased with her performance. Nicole says her nerves are still holding her back a bit.
Ads! That boy on the Sharwood’s ad must be with his dad’s family this week if he’s having poppadoms. It’s all Macdonald’s with his stepdad when he’s at his mum’s house.
For some reason, this show is not even half-way over but there are only two acts left to sing, which means the results will be super-super dragged out or there’ll be some SHOCK! TWIST!
Melanie lies that it was brave to come back for a fourth time and lies that she doesn’t want to put her family through it again and emotionally blackmails us that she’s had a TOUGH TIME and she doesn’t want to go back to her OLD LIFE. I’m much more interested in how VOLUMINOUS her hair is getting. Her ‘Run’ is typical Melanie – competent, with big pleading eyes but with no real soul or spark or interest. Melanie says it felt good. Nicole basically says she is emotionally blackmailing them to put her through. I mean, she doesn’t say that explicitly, but I feel that was the undertone.
Finally, it’s Hannah, who is SEVENTEEN and comes from Croydon. Hannah, rocking some bleached braids at the front in this episode of changing hair, says she’s really transformed but talking so much and rehearsing so much has taken its toll on her voice. She walks around wearing a sign saying she can’t talk.
Nicole’s hair also appears to be getting bigger and bigger throughout the episode. Hannah cries and Nicole tells her to put everything into her performance. She’s doing ‘A Change is Gonna Come’ which has a bit more heart in it because of her TRAGIC BACKSTORY than that bloke who did it the other week but I’m still not sure it’s the kind of thing anyone on this show should be singing, especially not when they’re only SEVENTEEN. Still, her voice is one of the best of this year’s bunch and she’s one of the more consistent performers. Nicole asks what the song means. She says ‘the song says it. A change is gonna come’. Well, er, yes, but… anyway, she cries and Mary gives her a big hug. I’m not sure why I find her tears endearing and Melanie’s annoying, because they’re both young girls, so I can only conclude that this show’s SHAMELESS MANIPULATION is working on me. I will scrub very hard in the bath tonight to wash the ick away. She tells Dermot she sang from her heart. Nicole says she has a condition that means she loses her voice easily which is a risk. Dermot and Hannah talk about how awesome it is to get a hug off Mary J Blige. I would expect it’s a bit more exciting than one from Olly MURS, that’s for sure.
The girls talk about how scared they are and Abi says the obvious: ‘everything in the competition has led up to this point’. Melanie reminds us that she had a no before and she would be broken-hearted if she had one again. Yeah, that level of desperation didn’t endear Joseph to me either – but then maybe the judges want us to feel like this about her so we can be surprised when she doesn’t go through – I’m becoming more convinced of this since I read that Shelley is on her third audition and this hasn’t been mentioned once. Melanie seems like a nice enough girl, she just needs to give this up now and do something else with her life, and I don’t feel the show is helping her by continually putting her through to Boot Camp/Judges’ Houses – it seems unfair.
Ads! I do quite love that the Pride of Britain awards is sponsored by Lidl. It’s as if it’s been designed purely to confuse Nigel Farrage.
We’re back with the groups. Kingsland Road want to work with Gary Barlow. They need polishing off but they feel sure he can do it. (NOT LIKE THAT YOU PERVERTS) Gary does the standard ‘I hate this bit now give me my huge pay check bit’. He says they remind him of the other blokes in Take That. Well, there’s at least one Howard in this group, that’s for sure. He says other groups sang better than them yesterday but that matters nothing in this show and they’re through. They are wearing some of the worst shorts and tops known to mankind. I mean, even Saint Jesy would look at those patterns and decide against them.
Next up are Code4, Rough Copy and Xyra. Rough Copy miss their third member but not enough to stick with him rather than do this show. Xyra get to speak for possibly the first time ever. It’s horrendous knowing what’s coming up. They have apparently packed their jobs in to do this. WHY DO PEOPLE DO THAT? Have they never seen this show before? Even the winner is likely to need a fall-back career and everyone else certainly is. Code4 have worked hard to be a three piece.
Gary calls Code4’s performance “interesting” and says there was no connection at all but they’re reliable and would be a safe bet. He can’t find a lead singer in Xyra but they’ve always given good performances. He loved Rough Copy’s vocals and performance but he keeps thinking about them as a three-piece. Code4 and Xyra are going home and Rough Copy are going through and Gary is going to try and get their third member back for live shows. Who would have seen that coming? I mean all those THEY WORK BETTER AS A THREE hints were so subtle.
Next up it’s the obvious first-boot fodder act vs the Frankenband. MissFrankEnDynaBixMix want to go through and CeeCee cries a lot thinking about her daughter. Brick City would also like a yes and apparently have lost friendships along the way, but we weren’t shown these tragic friendship splits so I would imagine they’re going home. Anyway, the plinky plonky piano plays as Gary tells Brick City he loved them from the beginning and they’ve got something good there. He says ‘wow’ that MissFrankEnDynaBixMix were only put together “two weeks” ago. (I saw the girls’ hair Gary, I don’t think so). Gary says Olly thought Brick City were the Frankenband and that was a problem so they’re going home. MissFrankEnDynaBixMix are through and cry all over the place.
Ads! Oh Miley, Miley Miley…
Back with the girls, and the humidity has gotten to everyone’s hair. They’re also all crying. Abi says she hates playing gigs when no-one listens. I kind of feel sorry for her, but at the same time, if no-one listens at your own gigs, then how likely is it that they will buy your records? She’s been put in a VT three way with Relley and Jade and given Relley is the only one who didn’t talk all over her audition, I’m expecting her to go through even though Jade and Abi seemed to be pimped more in early rounds. Nicole tells Jade she’s worked hard and her voice makes an impact but she’s not going through. Jade looks unhappy and interviews that she has to go home and say she wasn’t good enough again. I’m really not sure there was much point in making her or us sit through that whole experience. Nicole (working some side plaits and with the rest of her hair looking tamer than yesterday) tells Abi/Relley that one of them stood out, one of them wasn’t good enough and one of them is going home. We pan out to see Relley being sent home and told to take this opportunity and to stop cleaning rooms for a living. Abi is through and tells Nicole she won’t let her down. That’s the result I would have expected before this episode but those wily editors foxed me with the way they shot the auditions, the cheeky so-and-sos. Nicole says Abi is the right one and cries.
Tamera wants to get through to show that she’s changing for the better. Nicole says she has the range and the look and she’s getting better, but she hasn’t yet made her decision because for whatever reason they haven’t connected. However, the Leona Lewis version of ‘Run’ is playing and a big ‘Light up’ is coming any second, so whatevs, Scherz. Tamera babbles about how she was told when she was younger that she would never amount to anything and she doesn’t want to go back to that place. I presume this is the show’s attempt to allude to certain tabloid stories. Wonder what kind of damage control they’ll do on Lorna. Nicole sends her away for a bit to think and then brings her back and tells her she’s going through. The music seems to have changed to ‘Because of You’. Sneaky editors. Tamera says she has to prove to Nicole that she made the right choice.
Hannah and Melanie cry a lot about how much they want it. Nicole tells Melanie she should be proud of herself and has the biggest range. She tells Hannah she has the voice, soul and attitude. She tells Melanie that sometimes there’s a disconnect because she tries to be perfect. She tells Hannah she’s worried about her voice giving up. She lies that the competition is fiercer than it’s ever been. She then tells Melanie she can’t go through. Oh show, this really wasn’t worth it, was it? Why not just send the girl home at an early stage and spare her the repeated humiliation? By putting her through so many times you just give her false hope. Nicole tells Hannah she believed in her from her first audition and she’s a star when she sings so she’s through. Hannah cries into Nicole’s lap like Rylan did and Nicole gives her a big hug and cries as well and tells Hannah she’s giving Rylan a run for his money.
And even though we know who the final twelve are, that’s still not enough. MORE BLOATING NEEDED! But first – ads! Oh, the newly expensive National Lottery and oh, The Sun+. Two things destined for failure married at last!
Hooray, it’s time for the parade of winners and losers going home! I remember how they went through a phase of not showing us the losers going home. I liked it better when they did that.
A BRITISH AIRWAYS plane drops them home. Jade’s mum says it’d be great if it was a yes, but then Jade says she didn’t get through and her mum says ‘I know’. Obviously the families are told beforehand so they don’t make too much of a meal of things for the losers, but LOL at how clunky that was. Relley’s mum also hugs her as she comes back.
Abi’s house is full of loads of people to welcome her back. Tamera says how strong her family are as a support system. Her mum is terrified and her nan says she will burst with pride. Everyone hugs her. Hannah laughs ‘I guess no more Greggs for me’ and she gets big hugs from everyone.
The loser groups’ families are at the airport hoping they get through and various family members say they don’t believe it, but they’re all dispatched very swiftly to allow time for the successful groups and MELANIE MCCABE GRIEF PORN / SHOCK TWIST / WHATEVER.
Kingsland’s family are happy and call them Kingsland not Kingsland Road. (Oh Kingsland Road what even is that?). [I love that they'd had t-shirts made with the old name, which they'll presumably have to bin now. - Steve] Rough Copy’s families are very proud of them and they tell their third member Gary’s going to try and put him back in. MissFrankEnDynaBixMix’s families are all squashed into a flat and CeeCee’s adorable daughter can’t wait to see her.
A week later and Gary Barlow turns up at Rough Copy #3’s (Kazim) house to put him back in the band. Kazim cries and calls Funsponge ‘Gazza’ because I’m sure he’s going to love that. They turn up at a “surprise” location to see the other two who have “no idea” what will happen. We don’t seem to get any Melanie grief porn which I’m quite glad about, unless I blinked and missed it.
Makeover time! Luke’s hair is similar but less plaity and he is smiley. Sam has been given the cheesy crooner mic. Nicholas looks about ten. Sam and Lorna have been given the glam treatment, Shelley has the cheesy fun diva image going on. Tamera looks young and smiley, Abi looks like Abi but sans flowers in the hair. Hannah looks like a young diva with a big smile. The groups look pretty much the same except one of MissFrankEnDynaBixMix has lost the red in her hair and Kingsland Road (they’re keeping that name?) have slightly better clothes on. Slightly. Those makeovers were rubbish, show. Up your game. [At least they sorted out Dalton's hair, so there's something. - Steve]
And apparently there is no SHOCK! TWIST! Which would be a nice change if that proves true. Next week! They all sing!
As if Helen hasn’t suffered enough, she’ll
have to recap that bloated mess for you!
Join her then! Because of miscommunications here at TBF towers, I'm down to do that as well. I CAN'T WAIT. Except for the bit where I totally can...