Peter Dickson was back on form in Week 2 of the auditions, blasting us from the start but not nearly as loud as his 'competition' announcement, declaring that there was no question to answer this year to win a trip, money and various nick-nacks. Actually, I reckon that for many viewers, dialling the number required could be as difficult as answering correctly the stupid questions they had last year.
Anyway, back to the show. Who on earth is Rita? The mystery new judge this week has a new, or to most people, a first album to sell but quite how she managed to share the seats with Gary, Louie and Tulisa does remain to be explained.
We start with Rylan Clarke who spends a great deal of time on his appearance, an Essex guy with ash blonde hair and black roots. He wants to tsya in the music industry and puts down office jobs with a glorious comment to the effect that the highlighlight of office conversation would be 'Awright Maud?' which, for me, was one of the most memorable parts of the evening. He was a pretty useless singer but interesting and entertaining so we'll see him again.
Kye (what is it with the strange names this year?) was next. Nice tone and definitely some talent but whether the standing ovation was deserved for this quite good but not spectacularly good chap I am not so sure. Maybe it was more out of relief at that stage of the actual proceedings rather than as we view things.
Off to Manchester and Scary Spice is back and still looking quite odd. After a weak performance from someone called Chanelle we get Lucy from Sheffield. Now she is good. a great song that she's written herself, original and it worked very well for her even if some of the rhymes were strange. I love Lucy you can expect to see emblazoned on T shirts when we move on as she is more than safely through. It was also nice to hear a Florence & The Machine track played in the background to her success.
A load opf nutters follow which I hardly noticed and we end with James, a strange-looking guy with very red cheeks, lots of green and brown clothes and looking a bit out of proportion He gave a good performance of one of the Tulisa's songs which was well received and you can see Gary wanting to take him through to the live shows with Lucy and Kye.
And that was it. That seemed to fly by and all credit to the new producers for concentrating on the two or three that are worth watching and have some hope rather than the dreadful failures. The Xtra Factor also showed a nice couple of girls with guitars - Shackles - a possible contender for the groups category.