Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Boot Camp Pt 3

Kisella is the shock eviction as the idiot dance stays when Jay James gets his place.

Fleur East is last but one up and is very modern. Wobbly voice and not pleasant to listen to but she would be a better bet than that idiot dancing bloke who shouldn't really be there. She gets a seat and Raign goes out. No love lost between her and Cheryl.

Helen Fulthorpe is the last one. I remember she was good before. She is way better than the other girls and, of course the idiot who must be wondering how he is still there. That was excellent and, yes, she has to have a seat. It looks as though she'll take the blonde one's place. Yup, Lizzy goes. idiot is till there. No, Lizzy stays and Janet goes as he changes his mind and 'listens to the audience'.

I do find that chap's survival very strange. Surely he can't make the Live Shows and so this is, in a way, academic if Simon has, as we must assume, decided who he'll take through, subject to reasonable performance at Judges' Houses. You'll remember that acts have still made Live Shows after poor Judges' Houses efforts so there is a certain amount of predetermination going on here.

The Brooks kick off Louis' Groups round. They're good. As they're under 16, if they get a seat then they keep it. They're home and dry. That's pressure for the others.

Next is a group made up from some of those rejected before. In fact, all of them are in an 8-boy band that Simon has put together for Louis to play with. So that'll be different. No name yet! 24 hours only together and they do Leona Lewis' Run. Really well. Each individual vocal sounded great which made me wonder how on earth they hadn't been selected before. Obviously they get a seat! Not sure how they'll get on in various stages but it is an experiment that could be interesting.

The Groups seem so much better than the other categories. And I've only seen two of them so far.

Blonde Electric are next up. I Love Rock n Roll was fun but I wouldn't take them through. They can have a seat for now, though, as they can be kicked out later.

The Pow Pow girls are not that good and not as together as they have been before. They might not make it. He could have kept them for a while at least. 'You kept Blonde Electric in!?' said Simon. 'Bring them back!' shout the audience. This is mad. So the Pow Pow Girls get a seat. I am sure it will all change soon enough anyway.

Overload have been good too. Another boy band? How can he take three through? And there could be more to come. Nine To Five was a bit boring. The audience love them but it wasn't brilliant. Again he could give them the seat and change later. He does that.

Five girls in a new band. Each one was sent home as a single audition. I don't feel they worked that well as a band although they did only have three hours apparently. They get the sixth seat. That's fair enough as now he can replace a few easily enough. I reckon Overload, the new girl band and Blonde Electric could all disappear fairly quickly.

Concept are very well matched. I reckon they sounded better than Overload and on a par with the 8 boy band. They're through and Blond Electric go. No they don't. Louis kicks out the new girl band instead.

Only The Young do Nine To Five and seem much more professional. I think they were persuaded to enter by Simon and weren't that enthusiastic at first. They're chosen to go through. Louis tries to send Overload off but there's almost a riot! One of the lads from Overload says he'd like to fight to stay and so Louis says that it would be between them and the Pow Pow Girls. Cheryl then says he should bring the other new girl band back. So the three get a go at that last seat. Overload sounded best to me. The new girl group get it! Wow.

I do feel that was all a bit manufactured for our sakes.

So Simon has Ben Haynow, Lizzi Pattison, Jay James, Fleur East, Helen Fulthorpe and idiot Stevi Ritchie.
Mel B has Jake Quickenden, Jack Walton, Andrea Faustini, Paul Akister, Jordan Morris, Danny Dearden.
Cheryl has Lola Sauders, Chloe Jasmine, Stephanie Nala, Emily Middlemas, Lauren Platt, Kerrianne.
Louis' Groups are: The Brooks, Blonde Electric, New Boy Band, New Girl Band, Concept and Only The Young.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Boot Camp Pt 2

Jo Slater starts with a reasonable-sounding Desperado but mel kicks him out pretty smartly.

Bre Musiq has a strange name but one we'd remember. That was average too. So he doesn't get a look in either.

Ben Quinlan is a cheery Irishman but he's way off-key. Awful. Interesting start to the programme. 'Brutal' says Dermot and even Simon seems a bit surprised. I guess they've set things up this way for better TV.

Jake Quickenden has been here before and I can almost guarantee he'll get through. He does a great job of this audition with A Thousand Years or whatever it was called. He'd rehearsed that well and made sure he would do a good job. I'm pretty sure he has some experience and that showed. Mel dragged out giving him that first seat a bit.

Jordan Morris I didn't remember from before. He was a bit all over the place and I should imagine he'll get the next seat. Yes, he does. Not sure how long he'll stay there.

Danny Dearden did a good job and is number three in the seats.

Geoff Mull is the bald one who looks a lot more than 25 but I didn't rate him. he gets in but I'm not sure how long for.

Charlie Martinez is from the States and is the good-looking one. He did a good job and gets a seat. They may keep him for his appearance - although his singing was pretty reasonable and on par with most we've seen. To be honest they're all much of a muchness and I do not see a potential winner here at all.

Charlie Brown was one of the early favourites. He's another that looks well past 25 but there you go. Must be the new fashion and styles. But there's a problem with tuning - he's way off-key and that was not very good. In fact he was so poor in comparison with what had gone before that you have to wonder whether that wasn't arranged in advance for him to do not so well in exchange for a deal that he'd get a seat. I should't think that. Anyway, he gets a seat.

Jack Walton now is looking at a full set of seats so he has to kick someone out. He will. that was far better than most that went before. Good audition. He gets his place and the American's out. I think I could have predicted that although I don't feel it was deserved. Mel has always struggled with that guy. I would have got rid of Geoff.

Hayden Leeman is the first to do a rock track. I Love Rock 'n Roll is an odd track. He's different but, as Simon said, that wasn't a great performance. I'd put him through in place of Geoff or Jordan as he is more identifiable but whether he gets to the Live Shows is in doubt. He may still get swapped out again, of course.

Amazingly, he takes Charlie Brown's seat. I wasn't expecting that either. That throws my idea of a fix out of the window!

Andrea Faustini sings I Didn't Know My Own Strength. He is a bit odd. Lovely chap. Great voice. He is talented and I guess Mel B has no choice but to put him through. He'll be entertaining and, unlike most of the previous 'entertainers' in the Live Shows, he can sing. There were places where I felt he was in another time and I'm not sure he'll fit the way the programme goes but we'll see. He'll be in and a 'normal' guy will be out. I hope he gets a seat if only to remove one of the average ones. She kicks Hayden out. I can see him being popular with the voters too and, although I'm not sure how he'll handle some of the more modern rounds nor can I actually see him selling albums to the young generation other than 32 year old grannies, it'll be an interesting few weeks while he's around. Justa s long as he doesn't

There's one left and I think Paul Akister will get a seat. He's one of the best singers we've heard. He's been close before and I see him getting close again. I do hope she gets rid of someone average. He's in. The crowd keep telling her to get rid of Geoff. She seems to have ignored them all this time but this time she goes along with them. At last.

I still feel there are some in her group who don't really deserve to be there but as long as the right three hit the Live Shows - or four as one can be brought in by the others then that's OK.

Kiesla performs well if briefly. Simon gives her a seat. I'm not sure about her. She just appears for a few seconds and that's it. Weird.

Scarlett is worried about the words. The audience are so rude. I'm sure someone is goading them. She forgets the words and is left looking very sad. Simon really hasn't any choice. If she messes up like that and doesn't have a back-up plan then so be it.

Ben Haynow is the singing Croydon van driver. Nice chap. He should be fine and my guess is that he is doing a track he's done before. He rocks a great track. Hotel California sounded better the way he did it than the Eagles' version. Really liked that. One of the best I've seen in any of this year's selections.

Raign sings Wicked Game. It's pretty good actually but she isn't the best looking girl in the show and Cheryl really doesn't like her at all. Mel B found it strange. Didn't do anything for Cheryl. Louis loves her. I can see Simon giving her a seat. For a while, I would hope. Who knows? She could become something of a cult if she stays in tune and picks the right numbers.

Stevi Ritchie is surprised that he's still there. He stumbles through I Had The Time Of My Life and has a lot of fun pulling some bird out of the audience. He is a classic Louis Walsh act but really can't sing and Simon surely has to get rid of him. For now he gives him a seat but there's no way he'll be a contender. he can't really sing and will just get known for daddy dancing. God, he'd be worse than Baloney.

Janet Grogan sings Crazy. That wasn't so good but the judges liked her. Everyone gets a seat.

Lizzy Pattison. Nice Wicked Game again but she does the Chris Isaak track straight. Good voice, she's in.

Jay James is someone I don't remember. He has silly trousers and sings a very clever version of the Coldplay number. At least I think it was a Coldplay number. Very passionate and he certainly deserves a seat. Clearly, Stevi has to go. But it's a 'watch this space' moment. Or day, as that's not revealed until Part 3!

Friday, 26 September 2014

Boot Camp Pt 1

We hear that the numbers were halved to 57. That means 114 got through to Boot Camp. It seemed a lot more. That's a much more manageable number.

Simon gets the Over 25s, Cheryl gets the Girls, Mel B the Boys and Louis the Groups. That sounds about right to me and ought to work. Next those 57 get whittled down to 24 and each judge has to select 6 acts to take to Judges' Houses.

We've heard quite a bit about how difficult Cheryl found this part and the audience reaction as they seemed to disagree with whoever she chose or didn't choose.

First up is Lola Saunders, the fish and chip shop worker who is a mature-looking girl. She sounds so nervous and Finally never really gets going at the start. Then she is almost trying too hard and her voice is cracked and dry. Passion, for sure. She could be good but may have blown it. Being first on, Cheryl could simply give her a chair for the time being. I'm not at all sure but can't recall who else is coming up. She gets a seat but... how long for is the obvious question.

Chloe Jasmine is one of my favourites. I Want It That Way wasn't great but she's a natural performer and I am sure she has a super future. I can't yet decide if it's here on X Factor. I actually wondered if she was an Over 25. Sorry Chloe.

Nice. Sinead just gets a seat without any trouble

Stephanie Nala is pretty and unusual. She has to be kept too! She makes the show cool, says Simon.

Orla Keogh could be the first to fail. But Cheryl gives her a seat too. So there's only one left which means some will have to be kicked out.

Monica is a big girl for an Under 25. Her performance, though, from the start was the most confident and in tune of all of them. So there's no reason for not including her either.

So now Lola and Orla would be the vulnerable ones in my book. Then I would query Monica's TV screen appearance for Live Shows. Very surprisingly, Cheryl doesn't give her a chair. That drives the audience mad. She gets the boos that I guess the papers have told us about. Or, it seems, as the ad break comes, there are more to come.

Putting some really good ones up front will always lead to this and that may be what the producers had in mind. It makes good TV and you can't help but feel sorry for Cheryl who is always prone to emotion more than the others anyway, or, at least, shows it more. The crowd are pretty bad mannered but I suppose they have their favourites but it seems to me a bit early to get as annoyed. I do hope that there isn't someone orchestrating all this in the background.

Kaleigh is the kooky one that I know Cheryl liked before so I'm surprised that she doesn't take her.

Ten Senah doesn't have a good audition at all and so is a reasonable fail at this stage.

Emily Middlemas was a delight in her first audition. Very modern. We overhear that anyone under 16 that does get a seat can't be swapped out afterwards. I guess that stops too many tears. She does a great performance of Anything Can Happen which must guarantee her a place at Judges' Houses. One of the best so far. Very nice. Cheryl doesn't have much choice but she has to give her the seat.

Now it's all about who goes.

Another Chloe looks great but the pressure's on her. This is Chloe O'Gorman. I didn't like the song she did but she was probably better than the two I have suggested are vulnerable. Simon says she just can't leave the competition. So here's the difficult bit. The crowd go crazy as she says she has to swap for her but who? It's the other Chloe that goes. I wasn't expecting that. Simon says she's made a mistake and says she should change her mind. That's not what we'd have heard from last year's panel. Although I have always really been impressed by the fun Chloe, I do feel that she has every chance of making it on her own. She is well-connected and, furthermore, possibly more West End and Broadway than UK charts. So, yes, I'd like to see her back and I would give her a chance to excel at Judges' Houses and maybe get on the Live Shows as a reliable and entertaining asset. I also think, though, that Cheryl tends to choose girls she can cope with and sort of live with and Chloe is more glamour and camera competition than someone who will just be part of a singing competition. Not, of course, that X Factor is just a singing competition. Someone with the best voice in the world will not necessarily sell lots of records. Personality is a big thing.

Lauren Platt is another impressive act in what we've seen so far. She looks a bit ordinary tonight. Man In The Mirror is a difficult song but one that gives her a chance to fight for a seat. She does well, very nervous in places but that's the immensity of this evening. Mel B stands up and Louis is very complimentary. So Cheryl is going to take her on and who goes this time? She's in. Orla does not look happy and I feel she's the one the crowd don't like. But, remarkably, it's Chloe 2 who loses. I wasn't expecting that either.

Kerrianne has been good so far. I would expect her to get though. She sounds good, one of the best in my view. Gravity is not easy and she hits all the notes well and comes across as a clear potential star. I can't imagine her not being in, comparing that to most of the others there. Major support from Louis. Cheryl looks like she's going to keep her. It's good TV. Yes, she makes it. Now will she remove Orla? No it's Sinead that's out.

Simon takes the mic and tells the audience that Cheryl needs a bit of time and she will be making a change. She wants to bring Chloe Jasmine back and it is, indeed, Orla who loses out. That was odd.

I'm not sure she has chosen that well. We'll see.

Something I have picked up from elsewhere is that there will be a bit of a twist. Once the judges have chosen their three they will get one more allocated to them - but this will be chosen by one of the other judges. I can't remember who does what but think Simon chooses another girl for Cheryl and she chooses another Over 25 for him. Louis and Mel B do the same for the Groups and Boys. That sounds better than the public choosing an extra. Quite how the judges can effectively choose when they haven't been party to what's gone down at their colleagues' houses I am uncertain. I suppose there'll be plenty of recorded footage to watch and other artists' comments to go on. Theoretically, a judge could select a poor act in order to assist his own in getting further but it wouldn't make a big difference as, presumably, such an act would go soon enough anyway. It wouldn't be right to turn this into a competition between judges like that either. Some healthy competition in a light-hearted way is fine but not if it actually impacts upon someone's chances of winning.

I have advocated for some time a much bigger Live Show 'start' as that is the best way for acts to get used to performing and prevents too early departure of someone good just because they didn't do brilliantly in their first week. Giving them all a few weeks before kicking anyone out, other perhaps than by their own mentor who may be in a position to see that someone has not been a good choice or who is simply not going to get anywhere, would be a good move but it's not about to happen. Instead, though, there'll be 16 starting so that, if it is just one at a time going, will have a similar effect I suppose. Fingers crossed on that and there not being a massive cull in Week 1.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Wembley Auditions 4

The Xtra Factor occasionally shows us an act or two that will go on to greater things. I am not so sure Michael Maroney or whatever his name is will be one of them but he has a great time entertaining people. He is lucky as Simon is off somewhere and so he can get through with Mel and Louis's votes alone. He's not one to watch though.

Ridiculous shoes but nice girl. Good voice and there's a touch of Amy Winehouse in there. Some of the notes weren't so good but the judges all put her through. Quite how much further she goes I don't know.

Fifth Street
I haven't seen them before. They're OK. Through to Boot Camp

The last Wembley auditions shown on Sunday night TV include these:

Charlie Martinez
American stationed here. Nice tone to his voice and a pretty confident guy. All the girls will like him, although Mel didn't think much to it and even votes 'No.'

Ten comes back. She was drunk last time but this time could have been too! Mel's angry again and doesn't like her but the other three can see what they could do with her. I doubt that she'll get much further however.

Michael Morouli is all spangly and gay, with really heavy make-up. She doesn't like him either but he's already through.

Janet Grogan is quite good. Her voice is a bit croaky in places and her style is so cruise ship but the crowd like her. A bit wobbly but Mel likes her this time. People are a bit OTT about her but we'll see what happens at Boot Camp.

Charlie Jones
14 from London
Sings Wannabe in his own way and that wasn't easy. Very confident for someone so young. Good job. he could do well but we do need to see a much broader set of abilities than those few lines.

Helen from Cardiff was entered by her children. She sings Try A Little Tenderness really well. Nice audition that'll get plenty of plays on YouTube. Not the prettiest of contestants but definitely one of the most talented. I would love to see the makeover team get to work on her. I reckon they may well get a chance too. On a day of nothing very much she stood out.

Tom Mann
20, Southampton
Sings a song he wrote the day after Louis sent him home. I can see why he got sent home. That was rubbish.
He gets a second chance with I Want It That Way and that was much better. The audience like him and he's though again.

Jake Sims
19 from Bristol
When The Sun Goes Down is an unusual audition song, an Artic Monkeys number. He's OK and gets through pretty easily. 'Lead man charisma' says Simon. 'One to watch' says Cheryl.

Jordan Marks
Art Garfunkel sound. Could be good. Through easily.

Jake Quickenden
He's been around before. He was on a previous UK edition but I think it was Louis who didn't keep him at Judges' Houses round. Who You Are by Jessie J is his song. Very nicely done. I expect him to make it all the way through to Live Shows. On of the best boys - although I guess he'll be in the Overs category.

Leah Kennedy 22
Nervous performance. She wasn't good enough and gets two 'Nos' so that's it.

Lola Saunders
From Wales.
Looks nice and sings well. Several a bit like her in this competition. She freezes this time, though. Gets going eventually and it's a great audition - one of the best and if she can keep up that standard and emotion then she'll go far. One of a few noteworthy ones to watch again. Simon: 'That's the sort of person you want to win the show.'

Jade McQueen looked like Rihanna on a 'Why not?' sort of reason for being put through. So no-one is expecting much. Just as well. She gets through but surely that's as far as she goes.

Ben Quinlan has the chat of an Irishman. He loves Cheryl. He sings her a song he's written. It's awful but he is a lovely guy and is amusing, harmless TV. 'He can actually sing,' says Simon off camera to the others, 'like a mad Josh Grobin.'

The acts are really average, no, below average, that we're getting to see. I just hope that there are some more being held back or yet to come that will make the Live Shows worthwhile. So far I can't see there being enough to make Judges' Houses in all categories except, possibly the girls. Even amongst the girls there are few I can remember.

Abby is in a Girls Aloud tribute band. She sings well, moves well and looks good too. She has the necessary experience and seems a nice person. She strikes me as one that deserves to go further, one of a few so far.

Carlito is very Spanish and I have no idea how he got through from the Room Auditions. Simon said 'No' but I guess the others took a fancy to him. He didn't do a bad job and only had to get two supporters this time. He had some strange hand movements but Louis and Cheryl were prepared to give him another chance.

That's it now until Boot Camp and the Six Chairs, judges having all kinds of trouble making their minds up and, almost guaranteed, some good acts won't make it and some poor ones will.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Wembley Auditions 3

This week's show is straight in to performances.

Chloe Jasmin
She had a super 'Room' audition and survived the comments about her accent and I love her wacky, confident attitude. She does a track from Roger Rabbit and is almost a cartoon character herself. Very good and she manages to win over the crowd. Very impressive performance of something quite different. I am not sure I would had advised her to take the X Factor route but, as Cheryl says, there's something fascinating about her.
Easily through to live another day. How she would fit into the Live Shows I don't know but I do wish her well. Super girl.

Fleur East
She was a member of Addictive Ladies who reached the Live Shows in the year that Chico was around! I can't remember when but they went out in Week 2. She looks good and moves well but, whilst this was a lot better than her first effort and she did show some pzazz this time. Easily through.

Says she's a singer songwriter and just got through by the thinnest of margins. She is a bit annoying when she's talking but I don't know how much was for the cameras. Her intro is terrible. Sings her own song called Rain. It needs to be extremely good or the audience alone will vote her off. It's a bit heavy. She is interesting, Florence-like, and the song grows very well indeed, carrying the audience with her. She asks for a mic stand but never uses it. I think she did well. I see a 2-2 vote again. Louis and Mel say Yes. Cheryl doesn't like her at all and says No. Once ago Simon saves the day and puts her through.

Emily Middlemas
Nice youngster. Does Yellow in her own style that I am sure we shall see a lot more of. I can imagine that she will not only be great to work with but should also make good TV, Another very easy 4 Yesses and I would expect her to make the Live Shows too.

BGT band from Hertfordshire, now going on her own. Appealing and popular, if not the best singer we've seen. Easily through to Boot Camp.

Older style singing but she's quite young. Looks a bit chunky in her denim boiler suit. She does a Carrie Underwood track that not many will know and which is also quite a difficult song to sing. Once she gets into it she wins the audience over nicely and starts to perform well. She is talented. Not sure how far she'll go through but easily through here. Listening to the judges, though, she could be one they'll choose to have on their Live Show team.

Louis seems to love these two mad girls. Luckily Simon doesn't. how they they even get to this stage?

Michelle Lawson
37, Singer.
Jennifer Hudson's And I'm telling You was a good effort but still the sort of stuff you'd here in a club and not something I see as a performer in the big time. Exactly what Louis said. She's not going anywhere. She was quite a hard character and a bit rude after the rejection.

Scarlett Quinn
This is the young girl who auditioned with her old husband (who has quite a lot of experience in the industry having worked with some well know bands). She's ditched him (in her act) and goes it alone, She can dance and move well but I am not so sure about the singing. She's modern and quite interesting and gets through to Boot Camp.

Van driver, 29
Wild Horses is an interesting choice. Rasping individual voice and nice personality on top of a great rendition of the song are more than enough to see him through to Boot Camp. One of the first guys that I've noticed so either there's a pile we haven't been shown or he hasn't too much competition and he may well make it further than Boot Camp.

So good that the producers have featured very few poor acts indeed with a clear concentration on those we may be likely to see more of in future - something we've been asking for for ages.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Wembley Auditions 2

There seem to be far more attractive and talented people in the queues and waiting outside than we get to see on stage.

Andrea Faustini
Roman chap
I been dreaming this moment ever since little child. Beats this is all I want to do, I guess.
Plenty of soul in his voice and he hits all the right notes really well. It's just his accent and no-one wearing that shirt should really get far. He's good but he'd be better singing in his own language and, probably, should go for X Factor Italia. Of course, he gets lots of claps and cheers from the audience an the judges will have no choice. So we'll see him at Boot Camp but after that it will be purely as Theatre TV not an attempt to find a new British pop star. I do see him on the Live Shows and doing well with a bundle of Baloney-style support. At least he seems more likeable and talented than either Maloney or Wagner or whoever was the cute Spanish or Portugese kid we had a year or two back on American Idol - Lazaro - with whom he'll get compared.

Rouge Kiss. Six girls who don't really go well together. Seventh Symphony Minus One. They sounded pretty poor but get through despite Simon not liking them.

5 cute guys. No no no is their own song. You hope that that isn't a bad omen. Wow. That's no omen that is one definite hit single. Watch the YouTube views for that hit a million or two tomorrow. Great audition. These guys will go a long way. If they don't make the Live Shows then goodness knows how good the others will have to be. They knew what they were doing, had practised and seemed almost too good.

Lottie Lou looks trashy and gets a bad audience reaction and four quick noes. The next girl looks nice but is out of tune and, again, the crowd do the honours,

Some bloke called Stevie Richie comes on. I think the producers had asked the crowd to stay silent as a sort of TV thing as it was just too quiet when he comes on and says Hello everyone or something like that. He's older than average and a bit like a double glazing salesman. A bit of an entertainer but really not someone I want to see on my screen. His tuning is out and even though he gets the crowd going and the judges laughing he is sad sad sad with daddy dancing thrown in. Put him on a cruise ship or a Butlins' stage. Please. Anywhere but on X Factor Live shows. I can even see the judges putting him through but hopefully he'll lose out at Boot Camp.

Kayleigh Manners
Quirky girl in shorts, short hair and nose rings. Cheryl stops her and asks her to do a second choice. It's still a bit weak but there's something appealing about her. She could develop but seems too nervous to me. Cheryl gets the Girls category and I know that there's some controversy at Boot Camp about who goes through. I wonder if it involves her?

Lauren Clarke
Tuneless. Pretty but tuneless.

Several more follow in similar vein

Jay James is an older chap but could be made to look appealing without too much effort. He loves his music and impresses with the Coldplay number Fix You. I can see him being around in this competition for a while as there aren't that many in the Oldies category and he gets a great reaction to this audition, despite its wobbly bits. Interesting guy. Could do very well. Put your bets on now for a Top 4 spot.

If you carried on and watched Xtra Factor then it's 29 minutes in before anything worth watching appears. Abbey or Abi (I don't know which) nearly fails so it may be nearer 32 minutes in but eventually you get to hear her doing something reasonably good. I'm not sure how far she'll get. Cheryl and Simon seem to see something I can't detect by way of talent although she does have a bubbly and confident character. Not bad for a 16 year old.

Joe or Yo Preston
Story of My Life
Nice job and he can work the crowd well and moves around. Vocal ability a bit off but he could do well. He'll be through but I am not sure how he can compete with so many young lads.
We get to see more of Paula but not her singing just as Yo's date.

This is an extraordinarily padded Xtra Factor this week. There is even the new presenter woman and poor old Dermot in some ridiculous competition to wear as many clothes as possible. Weird.

Chloe from Sweden is 20. Not a good audition. Lots of bad notes but, remarkably, she gets through. Gosh.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

A few more get through to Boot Camp in Wembley Auditions Pt 11⁄2

The Joys
mad and cheerful
kids' entertainers
pretty amateur but fun and immensely likeable couple. Queen's Somebody To Love ?? They make Boot Camp. That was a surprise as it's Mel B who didn't like them first time round now saves them!

Hypnotherapy helps
Only three judges as Mel B is away in America. Odd how they jump across days. I wonder how long these went on for?
Bit of 'show panic'. Then some strange track with no backing track to it. Never heard of that before. Bit of a mess but he gets a pass through to Boot Camp. If he could sort out his nerves he could be interesting.

The Pow Pow girls
7! They look great and have bundles of enthusiasm. Firework was dreadful, though. Such a shame as they had lots of potential. They sort of got better as they went on but was it enough of an improvement? Yes, all but Mel B but seriously they were not very good and I can't see them going much further despite the obvious appeal they'd have on TV. Maybe they'll get some help and get it together? Simon sees a UK Fifth Harmony, perhaps. Expect a name change to Seventh Symphony!

The Xtra Factor seems as interesting as its parent programme although I am not impressed with the presenter. I miss Rylan and Caroline Flack and that other amusing guy whose name escapes me but I have seen him on a Big Brother panel so he's still around. Quite a cool character but producers obviously decided to go for some Mel B type.

Florentine Harris
Florentine? Trained and remarkable voice, but this is a girl for the stage. She's a West End sounding girl but if she can pull off a 'modern' track then that would be great to hear. Like A Prayer starts a bit heavily. Then it's downhill when it should have been uphill. Pity. She can sing really well but neither sounds nor dresses right. Actually the last notes were pretty bad. I was glad it ended. Louis actually says 'Yes'! So does Mel for some weird reason. Cheryl, absolutely amazingly, in complete contrast to earlier broadcast decisions. says 'Yes' too!! Unbelievable. I suppose they fit the 'entertainment' section like those awful 51 year olds.

Jack Jenkins
Popular lad who's good-looking. Ignition isn't a track I know but sounds a bit like Bruno Mars. Simon and Mel B say No which really surprised me. Simon takes notice of the crowd who love him and changes his mind. That was close! I've seen a lot worse get through.

Wembley Auditions 2014 Pt 1

187 survived through to the Wembley Arena auditions. In what seems to be a vastly improved show the range of talent should be as good (or as bad) as any other year but I am hoping that the annoying acts can be kept off our screens. Whether there'll be anyone phenomenal discovered remains to be seen and, so far, I haven't been able to find any reliable spoilers at all, despite these auditions being held ages ago! Having Simon Cowell back adds a bit of quality to the show and a combination of humour and authority that Gary Barlow just couldn't manage. I am surprised Louis made another year and also that Cheryl agreed to return. She is good but then so was Nicole. Mel B was not very watchable on the few occasions she appeared last year but so far seems to have become a lot more pleasant and is making reasonable decisions. So it's a decent panel that may not be particularly 'current' but it's a huge improvement on last year's!

So without any background information, I'm seeing these auditions for the first time.

James Graham
Essex 17
Cliff Richard c1958
Simon's thinking that he could put him in a group. Decent singer and performer but probably wouldn't last long on his own, like several previous single male winners. Good Top 12 material though and a good start to the evening.

Next we get an annoying one. This is just old-style X Factor  'entertainment' except it isn't entertaining at all, just a bit embarrassing. Some woman that someone thinks is like Cheryl. Awful. Louis even joins in with the ridiculous nonsense. I know it's all meant in good fun but I actually felt sorry for Cheryl being compared to that attempt at a singer.

Oh dear. A couple of 51 year olds. They look scary. Louis would have them in his Live Show trio. It is slightly worrying that Louis is around as he might get the Oldies although I am really hoping he doesn't. It'll probably be Mel B.  They're terrible. But for some reason I completely fail to comprehend, despite watching this show since it began, the crowd loved them and they actually get through to Boot Camp. That'll be it though.

Rebecca Jones
Wales 18
New Look ad.
She does gigs already around Cardiff so she'll have a bit of experience and won't just be doing this for the first time.  Really nice girl. Nervous Moon River. That didn't work at all. She just didn't cope with the pressure, Wasn't expecting that.

Charlie Brown
First audition sounded like I've been shaved by a woman but never mind. He has one of those Bryan Adams voices. We only get a short burst. He wasn't great by the seems of it but gets 'saved' by Simon. Cheryl is doing well by saying No.

Young red head
He wasn't Feeling Good. All over the place. Simon saves him as well. Extraordinary. That's three in a row that Cheryl ahs said No to. Quite right too.

He got to Louis' 'Judge's House' last year. So we know he'll get through to Boot Camp and maybe a Judge's House again. he sings well. Nothing particularly different for our charts today, though. Good but not someone I see as a star. Could be a reliable Live Show contestant.

Cheryl and Mel B did some dancing of a sort as Paul sang Get It On. I get a bit tired of Simon going on about Louis not putting him through last year. Louis chose Sam Callaghan, a very popular guy who did well but actually the worst of the three. Luke Friend was a well-deserved 3rd and Nicholas MacDonald the boring Runner-up. This Paul chap wouldn't have done any better.

Lauren Platt
16 Essex
Now here's someone worth watching! She is original and actually really good. Looking very plain, despite all the clothes that she said her mother had bought her. That's no bad thing but I'm looking forward to seeing what the Makeover team do with her in the Live Shows. Yes, she'll be in them. Super audition. With so many compliments I am amzed at how she remained composed on stage. That says a lot. I guess he knows she's good already.

Indiana Ifill
Fluffy Blonde
That didn't work. She'd made herself look

Lou Bou "would make a great stripper" says Simon. OK.

Kieron Winter sings through his nose.

Amy Connelly
Returning after many years.
Amy has transformed herself well since a few weeks ago. She made Cheryl's Judge's House in 2008 I think. But she was really off key on stage this time. That was quite painful to listen to. The judges' expressions were priceless. But what will they tell her? Cheryl almost has to put her through. Mel B wasn't impressed. Nor Louis. Simon wasn't either. I reckon Amy had really expected to get through - at least to Boot Camp. Maybe when she watches herself back she'll hear why no-one really wanted to support her. It would have been fairly easy to give her a Boot Camp place, though. There were, as Cheryl said, several much worse singers already in! But it wasn't to be. But sad but probably right.