Monday, September 01, 2014

The Ex (Bitch) Factor?

Auditions week 1 – 30-31st August

I’ll level with you, dear reader; we were a bit concerned about whether we would want to watch the X Factor again this series. To be honest, the thought of the return of Simon and Cheryl as some kind of Saviours of realty television, NAY, MUSIC! was frankly insulting and made us feel a little bit sick. Not fully nauseous, just a bit like when you read for too long on the back of a bumpy bus and start to feel a little green.

Well, it turns out we were right. It was awful and we definitely won’t be watching this series*. Here’s why:

The opening pre-credits sequence. Sweet Nicole Scherzinger, the pre-credits sequence. From the suggestion that Simon has a red carpet in front of his house, to the hint that Cheryl lives in Somerset House, to the fact that Louis Walsh seems to live in an Aftershave advert and Mel B shouts FISHPASTE in the back of a helicopter. (We think that’s what she’s saying). For people that seem to spend half their lives on television they are so incredibly wooden that they seem to be carved from the furniture in my house. I actually have to check if my bed is still there. I also resent the accusation that Cheryl and Simon have had to come back to save music. Music really didn’t need them, thanks.


Mel B. I mean, REALLY? I really don’t want to do her down, but I will. She seems to have actually become her Bo Selecta character. Either that or I just want so badly it’s happened.

Cheryl’s back. They talk about her decade of hits and show only her solo parade of awful.

Oh lovely, they’ve kept both the room and studio auditions so even if we were recapping, half of the audition recaps would be tedious.

Cheryl makes sex eyes at Simon within the first 2 seconds of them being in the same room. YAWN.

Blonde Electric. Blonde Electric are equal parts of Katie Waissel and the bad parts of Kitty Brucknell wrapped up in a bundle of Fauxmerican bad blondeness. They make it worse by singing Jessie J. Just... No. Simon pretends to hate them because it says so in the script. They sing Jessie J and manage to make it more vocally affected. Just... No.

They’ve got adverts after the first audition. I’m sensing this will be a theme.

They’ve got a screen up in the holding room which makes for even more holding room reaction shots. Cos that’s what everyone wants.

The camera work, which consists of using just three (bad) angles in the audition room only and is super-distracting, especially when you can see the crew in most of the shots.  And the 'fader' man stock footage they're using on 50% of the auditions.  Clearly all the budget has gone straight to Simon and Cheryl's bank accounts.

Ok. Let’s pause here. Remember a couple of years ago when Simon was all of the damps over the Lazy Decorator because he could play guitar? Well this time, it’s different. Simon hates guitars now.  Apparently, now we’re actually actively discouraging young people from playing their own instruments. I mean, Sam Callaghan’s guitar playing would be enough to put anyone off musicianship but perspective, please. Simon symbolically smashes a guitar.  He even checks with Reece Bibby whom they love if he’ll be playing his guitar all the time.

Reece Bibby’s dad looks my age and probably is. Fuck that shit.

Simon’s face looks like its melting. Like it’s actually sliding off his face. It’s freaking me out, so No.

Charlie Jones ballids a Wand Erection song. Balliding is still a thing. Depressing.

Chloe O’Gorman’s eyebrows. Nuff said.

They’re doing that thing of loving songs from musicals in the auditions but they’ll no doubt chuck someone of at the live shows for being too musical theatre like the bunch of absolute hypocrites they are.

Too. Much. Cheryl. They even drag out a boy called Finn Quinlan who loves her. Finn Quinlan doesn’t seem entirely well and he can’t sing but what’s more important is that he’s slightly obsessed with Cheryl and is willing to sing That’s My Goal in her face for our entertainment.

An entire minute of prime time television dedicated to selfies.

An entire minute of Mel B shouting FOOK OFF at people saying that Cheryl is beautiful over her.

A not entirely mentally well woman in a Cheryl costume.

OH THE RETURNING HERO IS A RETURNING THING. Amy Connolly had a dead dad then messed up at judges houses. She’s back and she doesn’t manage to get through the song but they still put her through because EVERYONE LOVES A TRIER. So bloody bored of this.

Shaden Willis is made to sing several songs despite clearly not being very good. It goes on for far longer than it needs to. I think what this show needs to do is establish the difference between what is bad and funny and what is actually sad.  Shaden falls into the latter category and it’s just not entertaining. It’s actually painful. And unnecessary. Same goes for the lady with the Chinese food and anyone wearing a Tina Turner wig.

Everything about Chloe Jasmine. To her insistence that “England” is an answer to “Where are you from” in England. She doesn’t listen to herself sing and she clearly doesn’t listen to herself at all because she is without a single ounce of self awareness. I had to check really hard  that I wasn’t just having a half northern half Scottish working class chip on my shoulder about her then she says “perhaps you could define a baby’s cry as an aria” then I realise that she’s just a godawful human that needs to be stopped at all costs. She can’t even sing that well, but she’ll clearly be good telly so she’s through.

The Cheryl and Simon pretend arguments. No need, no fun, no joy.

Saturday’s show ends with a fit man with a cute baby singing well. The structure of the show has told us that we know he’s going to be good which makes the last 10 minutes pointless. He’s ONE OF THE BRAVE LADS SERVING OUR MAJESTY too, if everything else wasn’t enough. At least he’s fit though.

That’s enough of Saturday. I watched Sunday just to make sure that we definitely don’t need to watch it any more. I also found several reasons why we won’t be watching the X Factor any more.

Firstly, they’re allowing Chris Brown songs. They’re Chris Brown songs sung by the criminally and hilariously bad GCB but they’re still Chris Brown songs. Chris Brown hits women, anyone that found this blog by searching Chris Brown.

Next reason not to watch is Stevie Richie who is an Essex boy that’s allergic to looking at the camera. He’s the kind of guy that looks like he uses the word “banter” without irony. Again, no. He looks like Russell Kane’s Ghost Of Christmas Future. He’s singing an Olly Murs song, just to ice the cake.

As an aside, Timehop (that thing where you get your Facebook posts from a few years ago) reminded me that I saw Olly Murs filming a video in Deptford once and I didn’t take him out. I can only apologise.

ANYWAY. Stevie “Shane” Richie forgets the words and does a lot of dancing and brazening it out. They like him for his personality and kind eyes, which is code for “you’ll make a humongous tit of yourself in the arena” and they put him through. THEY PUT HIM THROUGH. WHAT EVEN IS THIS SHIT?

OH GOOD A GROUPS SECTION. I suppose one reason you might like to watch is the look of utter shade Mel B throws Cheryl when she compares Girls Aloud and Spice Girls. Mel B also says that Cheryl is most like Posh which is some of the more sophisticated shit slinging that I’ve ever seen. There’s a montage of shit groups but they stop for the good one, who are genuinely best friends. Allegedly. One of them has an acoustic guitar but apparently today that’s ok. They look like an Urban Outfitters trolley dash and everything I want to punch. They are called Only the Young. I’m assuming they’re referring to their demographic.

Simon says he’d like to make a new Steps but with good people. 1. Lol. 2. Don’t make me like you.

Genuine friendship seems to be a theme, because FRIENDSHIP NEVER ENDS. DULL.

Kitten and Hip are the creepiest duo that ever happened. Kitten is 28 and Hip is 53 (which is 'nearly 60' according to the panel.  MEOW.  Also, if he looks familiar, it's because he's the singer from Freak Power.  Thanks, the internet!). They’re lovers and it’s weird. Louis thinks they’re father and daughter to a frosty reception. OF COURSE they are all kinds of hot mess. In every sense of the word. Kitten even says the words “It’s not awkward” when it clearly is. The judges succeed in splitting them up. Breaking homes, friendship and marriages for 11 series!

There’s a VT with a French girl and a boy that seems absolutely fascinated with the concept of France.

The least said about the actual French girl the better.

The fact that the bit with the French girl is extended into a  “lol, forrins” section.

(The Italian in the pug jumper though).

We’re still pretending Cheryl and Simon hate each other. YAWN.

The Sam Bailey Memorial Section For Women in Their 30s Having Their Last Shot As Long As Their Makeover Doesn’t Reignite The Sexual Spark In Their Relationship and They Get Pregnant and Ruin Everything.

I don’t like being reminded of Girl Thing.
I also have no desire to see the dreams of their former members crushed.

So that’s it.  Probably.  We’ll let you know if we change our mind and come back next week/next year. For now though, it’s a comma, but not a full stop. Thanks for reading and commenting - we wouldn't have even made it this far without you!

(And as this show is now merely a rehash of a rehash of itself, feel free to reread our old recaps - they will probably tell you everything that's going to happen in this series anyway!)

We'll still be recapping the new series of The Apprentice and Strictly Come Dancing when they start but our souls can't take much more of The X Factor - it's become way more cynical than we are - and who knew such a thing was possible?!

*Where 'definitely' equals we're unlikely to be doing long recaps here but may actually still watch and then feel skeevy about ourselves, and if we do, you can find us on Twitter: Helen Rad Steve Tellybitching.  And possibly we may comment about this series on our own blogs from time to time, which can be found here: Steve Rad