Saturday, 19 September 2015

X Factor really is almost getting cool but can't compete with Dr Who.

The last of the auditions this weekend. Up against Dr Who for the first half hour I suspect most people will be watching this time-shifted. If they didn't record it then they're missed some very good acts - people who may or may not have been encouraged to audition but, whatever the case, have some experience and several could well already have a decent on-line following I suspect.

A nice start with Megan Dallas who gigs when she's not being an accountant. She is another of a kind that we haven't seen so many of in previous years, a sort of semi-professional talent who just hasn't been 'recognised' yet. Megan is great, very cool and with a totally original style that is unlike anything I've heard before. The crowd love her and she sails through to Boot Camp. I reckon she must already have a pile of You Tube videos.

Kerrie-Anne has been teaching and singing in Dubai. Another well practised talent. You can tell these sort of entrants are on a completely different level, acts who would have avoided X Factor in previous years. It is almost as if X Factor has become cool.

Lucy comes from Essex. She works at Boots and played in a duo in Hull (why Hull if she's from Essex?) and Nick remembered here from a gig he'd broadcast from. She's on her own now. She has a big voice and, although her audition was better than a lot I've seen them put through, I wasn't that impressed at first but her performance a capella at Simon's request (but pre-ordained by the producers I'm sure) was brilliant. That transformed her in my opinion and, yes, of course she's through to Boot Camp.

So that's three really competent acts who probably have a good occasional gig life and plenty of support on-line but need that extra push that this programme and, especially, Syco, can give them. It is an interesting development from the last ten years or so and probably too late to have much impact on viewing figures which is a shame as the show deserves good reviews if this standard is maintained and the idiot contestants are left out of the Live Show stages. Before it has been largely an entertainment show with a few candidates for a record contract and, most years, someone has made the big time in a deserving way, often not by winning but just by being recognised and getting backed somehow.

Next we have an Ahh moment with a married couple doing the Olly / Demi Up. They're a good-looking couple for sure. The girl's lovely. It was a little naff but they were good (and Olly sang along in the background). It could have been embarrassing but they deserve to move forward and reminded me (and Simon, I think) of the pair who won American Idol a couple of years ago. This pair are called Kay and Nigel I think. I can't remember the Idol pair's name now. That's terrible. Ah, I remember: Alex & Sierra. I wonder what happened to them?

Next we have another pair, Lou and Elle. i didn't like them as much but they were, none the less, in tune and could do well with some guidance.

Another married couple: two guys this time. The Shores weren't that good, I'm afraid.

Andy Taylor is an ice cream man and, ridiculously, brings on 99s for the judges. They amuse the crowd immensely by messing around with them which is a nice change from the moody years that we'll remember. He is an old bald chap with a big black beard but can perform on stage well. I don't see him getting too much further though.

Anton is 21 and comes from Tipperary. He also sings in pubs ('only been singing for three years'!) and is a likeable sort. He has a cheerful attitude, doing George Ezra's Budapest. Not an easy song but he is good. I like this fellow. He could easily fit in the Live Shows and they need young guys badly. Nice audition. One to watch.

D Tour are six lads who have a fair bit of audience support. They don't sound right, all over the place really. The panel are not very impressed. Some woman comes on and asks that they get a chance and they get another shot. I was expecting it to be one of those times when suddenly they sound superb but they didn't.

Chase Mystery tries to do a dance thing but he's not much good.

Olly said he nearly had a deal but it fell through. He tried a Wham number. Not much good but they do give him a second chance. I didn't think he would get that but there you go.

An old bloke. No, he's only 27. Ooops. Joe is from Ireland and is ginger. He says he has auditioned a few times and seems to have made it to Boot Camp at least once. This year he does a nice version of the soul song but whilst he sings well he moves pretty badly and the white trousers don't help him. Unusually, Simon says he'd like to give him a try and asked him to go off and come back with a new number. He tries the Whitney number I Want To Dance With Somebody. It was OK. I reckon he could be worth a second go at Boot Camp and the panel give him the chance.

Tori is no good and the judges say they're bored. Must have been a poor run and a miserable girl group don't help. Men On Point are a duo from Ghana and say they had some success there. Interesting. Turn It Up is an original number and I bet that was one of their hit singles from before. A good number, up to date and Rita adores them. She is only 24, after all, and that was ideal for her. They all like them and fly through. they could be entertaining in future shows.

So far, most programmes end with a star. Sherllynn is in the Overs category and says she sang around pubs and clubs from 13 to 30. She stopped when she had to care for her husband for 10 years so there's plenty of gooey back story and you just know that with all that past expertise in her armament she will be really good. She just has to be, doesn't she? All good emotional stuff. I'm not sure she'll get that far but she will definitely get a chance at Boot Camp.

Looks like it's Boot Camp starting tomorrow. Not my favourite part from past years but maybe they'll find some way to improve it.

It's worth looking back and seeing just who the show has found that have done pretty well (other than just after the show that Christmas) from each year.

2004 G4
2005 Shayne Ward and Chico
2006 Leona Lewis
2007 was a bad year although Rhyddian Roberts may have found a career in theatre.
2008 Alexandra Burke, JLS and Ruth Lorenzo, Diana Vickers
2009 Olly Murs, Stacey Solomon and Jedward
2010 One Direction, Rebecca Ferguson, Matt Cardle, Cher Lloyd
2011 Little Mix, Amelia Lily
2012 Ella Henderson, Union J, Rylan Clark
2013 another bad year
2014 Only The Young may make it. Ignore a couple of Big Brother people (Stevi / Chloe)

So you can see why the pressure has been on for 2015!

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