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.

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