My supply of witty/wry comments has been exhausted, so let's just jump straight into the reviews, shall we?
Carole Jones — aka, The Mum
Hip Hip Hooray at last we saw someone who really did belong on the stage. John Wilding returned to the programme after being rejected by Danni Minogue last year. His rendition of “Love you I do” made the rest of the show worthwhile.
We’d been subjected to the first three contestants who couldn’t carry a note in a bucket. Definitely not a good representation of Wales’s vocal talent. In contrast, John Adams was definitely eye candy and with a decent vocal he sailed into the next round.
We were then shown a number of over 25 contestants who should never have made it on stage before Michelle Barrett, an Irish mum of four, came before the judges. With her rendition of “All the man I need” she had most of her family and Tulisa in tears.
Representing the youngsters, Lucy and Charlie who as a group call themselves 2 shoes come from Essex and were unfortunately portrayed as being very typically Essex girls but were surprisingly good.
The youngsters continued with Melanie from Dublin, Sarah Watson 17, Sophie Habibis and then Perrie Edwards who managed to divide the judges opinions so drastically that they were arguing like kids in the playground. All in all a better show this week with hopefully more talent for us to see tomorrow.
Garry Pinches — aka, The Professional Musician
Saturday: As the show opened in Cardiff tonight we were treated to a choir as the judges arrived —some musical ability at long bloody last!
What can I say about the first part of the show, other than they seem to have had to start searching for contestants from a special part of the asylum. In fact, if any of you watched tonights Doctor Who you could be forgiven for thinking they were showing an extended version on ITV tonight. Tonights show was the same old crap it always is really, so I shall treat you all to a general rant.
What I’ve noticed when they interview the auditionees and ask them why they’re there nearly everyone says “I want everyone to know who I am”. I’m so sick of these fame hunting morons. As a musician if you’re making enough money to get by, pay the bills and maybe even feed yourself occasionally then you’re doing a bloody good job. It’s a tough industry for sure but why do so many people think because they can sing a bit they have some kind of God-given right to fame and fortune without working as hard as everyone else? Simon Cowell is, of course, totally to blame.
Im taking this opportunity to pitch my new show in which we take delusional dimwits who think they have what it takes to do various jobs. Week one will see Stella from Hull working alongside the SBS on underwater incursions, Week two will see Kevin from Crewe put in charge of a maternity unit..... What, you don’t like it? Maybe it’s just my line of work that is open to ridicule.
Sunday: It’s the last night of the auditions, and what better to open with than a mentally ill married couple. The only way to deal with these delusional fruit loops is to point out how shit they are while several thousand people laugh at them and crush the small bit of humanity these walking jokes had.
Same old same old tonight then really and I’m glad I don’t have to sit through any more nights like this because I’m really starting to despair.
I’ve been informed that some of my reviews up to this point have been somewhat negative so tonight I will try and be a little more positive. The Halifax choir aren’t half bad are they? I kinda miss Howard though, and I do hope he’s doing okay in whatever he’s doing now…..
Erm…. Yeah, during the second half of tonights show I took my dinner out of the oven. I had a massive jacket spud with salad and steak. I did think about having beans but I was like, ‘hmmmmmm, no I might have spaghetti hoops, yeah I think I will’ And I did, I had it with spaghetti hoops and it was delicious.
Off to boot camp next week, and I might make a lasagne.
Sam Burnett — aka, The One Who Thinks He's Simon Cowell
Sunday: We have learned as much about the judges in these opening shows as we have the annoying contestants. Louis sticks out as an old-school operator with his shallow soundbites that seem as if someone pulls a chord out of his back and you get one of eight exciting phrases. Kelly Rowland has been by far the most impressive, striking exactly the right balance between starry glamour and incisive empathy. She's sharp that one.
What has annoyed me between the judges though is the stupid affirmative arms race: "Bruce, it's a massive massive, one hundred bajillion percent as big as THE WORLD times ten with a massive bow on it INFINITY PLUS ONE capacious...YES from me, Bruce." Stick a cork in it, judges. Yes or no, that's your choice. Sheesh.
Rebecca Brodeur — aka, The One Who Is Usually Asleep
All these auditions have proved to me is that the audition stage is way too drawn-out to really be interesting TV. The only segment that really caught my attention was listening to the judges disagree – not because of the soap-opera element, but it’s been one of the only glimpses we’ve had into these people having any kind of differing opinion. Which could be hopeful for the next stages, at least.
So there were some good, some bad and many average singers – same as usual, less ridiculously comedic ones this year. Definite hyping up of the ‘girls’ category, as well – but we know we’re only seeing a small percentage of those getting through to Boot Camp. Mm, how I wish it were a REAL Boot Camp. Enough dreaming from me. I watched it, but I think I paid more attention to the adverts sadly.
Nick Bryan — aka, Mister Sensible
I’m not saying the producers of The X Factor read my reviews avidly, in fact I’m certain the opposite is true, but they did include a montage this week of the new judges arguing with one another, perhaps in answer to my complaining that they never, ever disagree. Well, that’s me put in my place. I now know that, whilst conducting hundreds of auditions, they quarrelled in three or four of them.
Aside from that, we saw that a man who could sing last year can still manage it now, a girl duo from Essex made me thoroughly ashamed to be from its orange and pleasant lands, and X Factor used its massive audience to take a dump the size of a large suitcase on the Welsh Tourist Board. (A shame after all the hard work done by Torchwood to make Cardiff seem cool and sexy.)
Finally, a bog-standard contestant reminded Tulisa of her mum, and immediately the crying and swelling music started. You’d think the producers had a good grasp by now of how to make a story sob, but this was a bewildering example of histrionic overkill. Even the poor contestant seemed confused, although she’s now gotten through to the next round on the back of Tulisa’s misdirected Oedipus complex, so can’t complain.
In short, another lengthy and sometimes enraging instalment. Thankfully, there is only one auditions episode left. Less thankfully, it is tomorrow.
And finally, Amy Jones — aka, The Reluctant Obsessive
I keep clasping at the hope that this might actually still even pretend to be a show about music. Between Tulisa sobbing because someone with a karaoke voice reminded her of her mother and a guy who was on last year getting 8000% more screen time because he lost a lot of weight and got his hair done, I think tonight finally — finally — tore that out of me.
So I think I need to stop trying to review this as a music show and start reviewing it as what it is — a show that exists to make people sob a little at pretty people who can sing nicely with sob stories, laugh at ugly people who think they can sing when they can’t and go “Oooo, I can’t believe Louis said that to Tulisa!”.
And tonight’s show? It was excellent. Well done, The X Factor.