The show is well and truly started now we're three weeks in, but how is it doing so far this series?
Sam Burnett — aka, The One Who Thinks He's Simon Cowell
This stage of the show always goes on about three months too long - all it is basically doing is introducing the leading characters whilst simultaneously showing walk-on disaster fodder like in the films. 'Here's 16-year-old Danny from Whitstable, and he's about to be hit by a bus stop in a hurricane,' etc. There's a painfully cynical narrative running through each audition show that you can practically pick the final 12 from whoever they've filmed walking down the street and a few more controversial departures who came with their limbless mothers.
And that's what's wrong with the first part of The X Factor - it's not live, there's no chance for it all to go wrong or really be that interesting ("That's just your opinion" - well, yes) and it's all been scripted by some feral Cowell-coached producer in a dark editing suite somewhere near Slough. In many ways I'd rather rip out my own spleen with a spoon and chew on it raw than watch another hour-and-a-bit of this cut-price tripe. But on the other hand I can't not. Boo.
Amy Jones — aka, The Reluctant Obsessive
This was the week that the judges and I appeared to be watching different auditions. We started with a wannabe rock star who sang a perfectly passable version of Life on Mars but, because he pranced into the audience and waved his arms around a bit, made Tulisa’s jaw drop and was awarded four yeses. We finished with a teenager who sang a very lovely version of Someone Like You by Adele, but not one that merited the resulting floods of tears from the judges.
Kelly was especially bizarre, launching into a speech about how she’d dreamt of this song and just knew it was going to be an amazing audition. Kelly has replaced Louis as the strangest member of the judging panel — every week she finds new and interesting ways to baffle me. I can’t wait until she’s unleashed in the live shows.
Carole Jones — aka, The Mum
Very much a mixed bag of auditions tonight. Kicking off tonight’s show, David Wilder’s audition could only at best be described as passable. Personally I thought his singing might have been better if he’d stood still instead of running around so much.
The pick of the bunch was Luke Lucas who was told by his idol Tulisa that he was adorable. He’ll definitely be the grandma’s favourite if he gets through boot camp and judges' choice.
Michael Lewis was back for a second audition and instead of impersonating Michael Jackson like last year, said he was going to be himself. Why-oh-why were we subjected to his rubbish vocals and tantrums for a second time?
Following Michael was a succession of rejects who obviously weren’t prepared to listen to the judges' comments without biting back. Was it a case of lets see how many rude people can we fit into one show? I doubt that many people found this entertaining, I know I didn’t.
I think tonight show was as boring as the first. They must do better if they want to keep the ratings up.
Garry Pinches — aka, The Professional Musician
Thanks to these weekly X Factor reviews I’m actually beginning to loathe Saturday nights. It’s only week three and deja vu has already begun to set in. Seriously, what is wrong with all of these people? This whole thing is as voyeuristic as watching two german shepherds rutting in a park. I think watching it is driving me ever so slightly insane — not that that matters as I’ll have dropped so many IQ points by the time I crack that I’ll probably have drowned in my own saliva or caught herpes from a bus window.
Last week we learned to be surprised that ugly people or fatties have a talent of any sort. This week we learned that coming from a shit town is such a sob story that you deserve a break... Bugger me, I was born in Coventry and my girlfriend in Cwmbran, we must qualify for at least a BMW. Ok, this girl could sing but why the hell was everyone in sodding tears? I just don’t get it — the sob story is the girls from Fife and it’s a shit hole? Huh?
Oh yeah, I’m hear to talk about the show from a musicians perspective, well..... erm....errr.... Some of, no most of the backing tracks are really well produced. Kudos to the real talented musicians working for beans in comparison to what some of these fruitloops will get in the end.
And finally Nick Bryan — aka, Mister Sensible
I found myself at odds with The X Factor judges when listening to cherubic Tulisa-toucher Luke Lucas in the newest episode. I just didn’t gain any pleasure from listening to his singing. I know it’s different strokes for different folks and all that, but I wasn’t expecting the judges to start stroking in his direction quite so vigorously. And that, folks, was about when I realised that they’d got me.
After two weeks of withdrawn analysis, I found myself engaging with the damn programme and having opinions about it. Don’t get me wrong, I stand by my past substantive complaints: the current audition shows are still shapeless repetition and it really would make for better entertainment if the judging panel didn’t agree about every single thing.
But I do seem to have let my withdrawn disinterest slip. Damn. However, me and X Factor still finished on a bum note this week when I realised that the double bill next weekend is two whole episodes of audition dribble. That sounds like a nightmare.