Monday, 26 September 2016

28 Acts Make Judges' Houses.

Boot Camp is mercifully over and now it is a matter of sorting out the (mostly) reasonable acts left, with the four judges selecting the six in each of their categories that they will take to 'Judges' Houses' round. This is a pretty important stage as half of those selected will be in the Live Shows and get a real opportunity to impress people in the industry. With a bit of luck, some will also entertain us and play their part in keeping the show on the road for another year.

In the past this stage has been a bit tedious, with little singing - just lots of people looking anxious with some excited at getting a chair only to be promptly removed later on. I am not sure this is the best way to do things at all but I can see that it makes a fairly good TV show so let's run with it and get on and see who made it through.

Simon starts with the Girls.

Sahaila Clifford is Miss My Parents Remortgaged Twice and we get this repeated again tonight. She is an attractive girl and confident. Despite working hard she can't fix what seems to be an 'unlikeability factor' and the audience are pretty quiet. Her version of Love Me Like You Do could have been a super choice but it was unconvincing. You tended to think of the film and there was no way that this girl's performance was anything other than competent. The notes were right but I couldn't see much understanding of the lyrics. She starts with a chair, though, which is fair enough. She could still be more inspiring perhaps.

Kayleigh Marie is OK but no pop star and I don't see any X Factor there. Yes, she can sing very well but no, I don't see her being someone we rush to download in years to come. Again, she gets a chair at start with at least.

Luena Martinez I don't remember. Seems a new girl to me. She is very good with some pretty amazing high notes, a nice attitude and quite professional too. Another chair.

Faye Horne is a bit desperate. I am not sure she'll last long. Not a good audition. She gets the fourth chair but probably not for long.

Samantha Lavery is just 16. A strong singer, quite rowdy like Faye but she does seem off-key. There's a jazzy side to her and she does make an impression and I'd like to see more of what she can do. There's talent there and I'd take a chance that the bad notes were just a one-off. She gets the fifth chair.

Caitlyn gets the best reception so far by a long way. Nice personality and her version of Rise Up is really good. The best so far by a mile. She gets the last chair.

Jordina Miller sings Amazing Grace. She is trying very hard and actually quite impressive. She gets Faye's chair.

Ellie Rose is not bad but would be unlikely to survive long and doesn't get to take any chair.

Gifty Louise does, of course. One of the stars so far. Crazy gets her a definite place, taking Jordina's place.

Emily Middlemas is another youngster at just 17. I like her. She has an attractive style and does a brilliant version of Girls Just Want To Have Fun. In many ways she strikes me as a Sahaila with an X Factor. She gets a chair, of course, taking Samantha's place, which I was a bit surprised at.

Olivia Garcia is the last that we see. She is another popular youngster and only 16 but she has been really impressive so far. She sings Changing by Paloma Faith which is not a track I know. A really very good performance and far better than most of the others on chairs already. Remarkably, Kayleigh stays and it is Luena who goes.

Olivia Garcia Twitter – Youtube

Emily Middlemas  – Twitter – Youtube
Gifty Louise  – Twitter – Youtube
Caitlyn Vanbeck  – Twitter – Youtube
Kayleigh Marie – Twitter – Youtube
Sahaila Clifford - Twitter – Youtube

There are four very good girls there so a very good chance of this category being worth watching when they finally get to the Live Shows.

Nicole has the Boys.

Mike Hough has a very nervous start. His soft voice gets stronger but he's off-key. Not fr me. May get a chair but not for long. Nicole actually asks him to do something a capella. He did a bit better with that and gets a seat for a short time.

Will Rush sings something he wrote himself. Not good at all. He doesn't even get a seat.

James Hughes does. He's a nice girl-like guy. Great performance, well done. Finally someone seems to be able to bring the place alive. Louis is delighted, which is quite funny to watch. An easy choice.

Niall Sexton sings Nicole's song Run which I have not heard before. Classy. Dermot says he'll definitely get through. Very very good and, of course, yes, he does. One of the best who should make Live Shows.

Conor McGinty has a big voice. Sings a U2 number. Again, quite classy and he's better than some but I doubt he'll keep his chair for long.

Matt Terry is very popular with the audience. Coming on to lots of cheers and applause. A good looking chap and he can sing Bruno Mars well. A nice job but, strangely, Nicole wants him to sing in a lower key. That requires a lot of technical ability and some nerves for the poor fellow. I like this guy and can only conclude this was staged to make choosing him seem harder and more entertaining for us.

Luca Valenti has one of those voices that portrays emotions even when they're not necessary. Lots of character and passion but mostly growled really. An interesting chap but I doubt we'l see him go much further.

Freddie is another very popular guy. Despite the top know. How Deep Is Your Love doesn't really suit him. he meanders a lot, trying way too hard. We only get about 10 seconds, though and then he gets to play the piano and re-does his first audition. Nicole decides that she likes that better and gives him Conor's chair. All a bit staged again, I feel.

Nate SImpson will get a seat. They need him. Run (the Snow Patrol one) is really good. He is professional and has a good attitude and just performs well. Maybe not a winner but he deserves a place and ought to make teh Live Shows. Mike hoes.

Christian has been very good so far and is one of those guys you can find yourself rooting for. He is one of the best so he'll be there for sure. Feeling Good is always a good umber to perform but he gives it everything and really does make it his own. Remarkable really, even including a sort of rap element that you don't just throw in without some talent being required. Excellent, powerful and a possible winner.

Then we get an odd development, again probably fr the telly audience more than anything else. Nicole doesn't give Christian a seat. She wants Matt terry to come back and sing again. This is weird as both deserve to be there. She needs to drop Freddie or Luca not Matt.

After some silly nonsense Matt and Christian do both get their chairs after all and Luca goes.

That was quite a good show with some decent talent coming through and only one or two annoying ones to reappear.

Matt Terry - Twitter – Youtube
Christian Burrows - Twitter
Niall Sexton - Twitter – Youtube
Nate Simpson - Twitter – Youtube
James Hughes - Twitter
Freddie Parker - Twitter

Sharon has the Over 25s. 

That really is not very old. It was Over 28s at one point. It does mean that a 26 year old could get a great chance.

Samantha Atkinson starts off. Not very inspiring. A good singer but the tattoos are ugly. She gets the first seat and actually hangs on all the way through.

Meliisa Pedro is interesting but her raspy voice is not exceptional. She gets a chair for a while but doesn't survive.

Irina Dedyuk is not popular with the audience. She puts on a sort of show, including showing quite a lot of flesh which hardly helps her popularity other than with the older blokes. She can sing accurately but without any real emotion other than anger. She looks fierce and loses her seat after a while anyway.

James Wilson is the one we tend to want to do well and feel a bit sorry for when he forgets hs words. He solves that particular problem by singing Trouble which doesn't require much memory in that respect. He's good and could well make the Live Shows. Certainly makes Judges' Houses.

Honey G is annoying. I don't like this woman but the audience seem to want her. Remarkably, Sharon doesn't give her a seat. I was thinking that she would but it's not to be which I am more that happy with. I don't see how on earth the ageing rapper woman with stupid hats could make an entertaining show possible with the other acts.

Sada Vidoo you'll remember as the remarkable doll girl. We get a closer glimpse this time and overhear her talking with others quite normally. She looks quite attractive this time and much less like a 1970s toilet roll cover, A really good, clever, inspired version of a Linkin Park number. This is a star in the making. I just don't think Sharon gets her at all. Great pity and a loss to the programme.

Relley C is confident when she comes on but her singing is poor. Actually rubbish in places, off-key. No, please take her away. They may need someone like her for balance in the Live Shows but that was really not goo enough. Why is everyone clapping? Crazy she gets a seat. I must have missed something.

James Cruise sings Alive, the Sia number. He's average and quite forgettable.

Janet Grogan is returning from some years ago. She's one of only a few who deserve a place. She is a bit screechy and that was not the best of auditions but she is certainly one of the six best.

Rebekah Ryan is one of my own favourites. I just like the young woman and feel she could do well if she gets over her nerves and stops panicking so much. She does an Annie Lennox number that quite suits her but her nerves are very obvious and it's sad to see her not make it, especially with some poor acts still surviving.

Saara Aalto from Finland is someone I would put as competition for the doll. They both have a sort of odd, out there talent that is great but I can't see both on the Live Shows. There is always something difficult about singers whose English isn't brilliant and this is another example of  a very, very good singer but not someone for the X Factor. Talented but not very entertaining for me. Sharon is not impressed with her first song and asks for another. The girl does some awful French number which is way off key and weird. No-one likes it and there's no way she should get a seat after that. Odd. Very odd.

Christopher Peyton is called Peyton. That explains why I wondered what Simon called him that last week He's getting on a bit but has a confident attitude and a very strong voice. He's quite an exciting performer but i would probably get tired of him after a while. He gets a place, Sharon seems to like him.

Marianna Zappi is very wobbly with a poor version of Somewhere Over The Rainbow. We only get a couple of lines but that's all I would want to hear anyway.

Ivy Grace Paredes is one of the good ones. A certainty for the Top 6 and a likely Judges' Houses entrant too. An excellent singer and performer that we could see a lot more of.

Anna Lisa is last in this category. She is returning after 9 years. We are all expecting something good as she was qyte impressive in the auditions before and these returning people usually do well. Her version of Amazing Grace is awful. I don't quite know what went wrong but she was not good at all. Off-key and she divided sentences with gaps which were annoying. The dress was also a bit off-putting and she was not someone I could watch happily for very long. She doesn't get a place.

The six who survive are:
Ivy Grace
'Peyton' - Twitter – Youtube
Janet Grogan - Twitter – Youtube
Relley C. - Twitter – Youtube
James Wilson
Samantha Atkinson - Twitter – Youtube

That is not a strong line-up at all. I wouldn't be particularly bothered about who gets through as nobody will go very far. It is odd to think that three will actually make the Live Shows. The Doll and Rebekah would have made more interesting TV in my view. Oh well.

Louis has the Groups. 

He makes a complete mess of his selections, confusing and upsetting everyone. Rather than take you tediously through who gets a seat (basically everybody gets a seat at first!) and then who loses (they all seem to lose their seat at some point and then get brought back) in this chaotic and pretty meaningless farce I'll tell you who makes it and who doesn't.

Everyday Solution we have not seen before and they're boring. Nice enough chaps but just a boring audition that is in tune, quite professional and well-rehearsed but they have no X Factor. Sorry guys.

The Brooks have done well so far. I am not sure they'll do that well in the charts but they've got a good following already and look pretty certain to make the Live Shows this year.

Kayliegh & Stefan are simply dreadful. Not worth any comment.

Bradley & Ottavio. Oh dear. Why are these guys still on this show? We have yet to hear them sing anything. Pathetic. Not a patch on JEdward either who did, at least, have some personality. This is Louis at his worst. remember Wagner? Even worse in my view. Pointless. But they're in the six chosen. You do have to feel sorry for all of the groups not chosen.

5AM are one of the good groups. They deserve their place and ought to make the Live Shows. Good, modern style and they put on a performance as well worthy of BGT!

4 Of Diamonds are another good group, girls this time. Some struggle a bit with some notes but I can see them getting mentored and doing well.

Tom & Laura are like The Fat Shires. Not very nice to watch but they do have great harmonies and each can sing very well. They make it through. Not the best looking couple in the business and I'm not sure they'll make the Live Shows.

Girl Next Door are young and a bit more modern than 4 Of Diamonds but not as good singers. This performance was all over the place and not very good. I don't think they'd get very far and may be better advised to come back again next year. They don't make it.

Yes Lad have been one of the popular groups. The audience love them and they've also had lots of Xtra Factor publicity. Great singers, good harmonies and they know what they're doing. They could be seen as a bit old-fashioned, though. We've had boy bands like this before. Many of them. Remarkably. In a farcical end selection, they don't get a place. Most odd. Louis gives Bradley & Ottavio their seat!! Crazy.

No Get Away are another pretty boring and  uninteresting boy band, They eventually don't make it.

Sc3rl3t are three sassy girls who seem to know exactly what this is all about. To be honest they put everyone else in the shade with a marvellous and well-rehearsed performance of Bang Bang. Great group. They are clearly though.

After the farce that is Louis's selection process that goes on and on the final six are:

Sc3rl3t -  Twitter – Youtube 
The Brooks - Twitter – Youtube
5AM - – Twitter 
4 Of Diamonds – Twitter
Tom & Laura
Bradley & Ottavio

God help us.


Luckily I watched The Xtra Factor afterwards and there are some changes to who gets to Judges Houses!

Firstly, Ivy Grace has a 'visa problem' and so this potential Live Show contestant is dropped. I was hoping the doll or Rebekah would have taken her place but Sharon chooses the very annoying Honey G. Oh dear.

Then we get the news that there will be a Wild Card entry in each of the four categories which I am pretty sure had been 'engineered' in order to get one or two other people back in despite being dropped by their Judge.

The Wild Cards are:
Samantha Lavery joins the Girls.
Someone called Ryan joins the Boys. This is an odd one. Apparently he was put in a manufactured boy band that didn't work out (and which we didn't see anything of at all!) and Simon decided to put him through on his own after all.
Saara gets a place with Sharon's Over 25s. That's a shame, as I don't see her making the Live Shows and neither new addition does anything to improve this category.
Yes Lad get back in the Groups after all. I still think they're old-fashioned but they'll be one hell of a lot more entertaining than some of the others Louis has put through.

So now we know the 28 acts making Judges' Houses. My spoilers were mostly right. Now I need to find out who makes the Live Shows.

Monday, 19 September 2016

121 acts get cut down to about 60 in Boot Camp and Judges get their Categories

This weekend saw the end of room auditions and the start of Boot Camp. Before the farce that is Boot Camp began we get to see eight or nine more acts, thankfully mostly decent ones too.

Soheila Clifford tells us almost straight away that her parents have remortgaged their house twice now to support her through stage school. I'm not so sure that will endear her to anyone watching. Her singing is average and, whilst she can perform and has some confidence, I don't think she'll be very likeable and disappointment will be ahead for her, despite deserving to get through.

4 Of Diamonds is a girl group with nice harmonies. They look good, modern and likeable. Nicole says they're her 'favourite girl group' which can't be a bad sign for them! Nice tone and they'll move on easily.

Nate Simpson sings A Change Is Going To Come. A nice copy version. Good voice. Is he current, though? He deserves to move on as he is far better than many others who have. There are not many like him so far in this year's pack and this is the last day of the auditions so he is a definite for Boot Camp.

Christopher Peyton is from Virginia and his dad's a preacher. He works in dance music and at 46 is one of the older competitors. However, he has an original sound, good whispering sort of voice that makes him interesting. Again, I'm not sure whether he's current or how well he'd sell in the charts but it was a super audition and he is through to Boot Camp.

Some woman in an electric buggy appears. She's dreadful but does give Simon the chance to say that 'Louis likes a cockatoo' which raises a good laugh.

Will Rush is a good looking actor fellow. An average singer but he writes his own material and has some talent for sure. I suspect he has been 'selected' and asked to join the contestants from YouTube videos or similar. I'm not sure how far he'll go but easily makes Boot Camp.

Samantha Atkinson is a sort of Adele look-a-like and she sings like her too. She made Judges Houses last year. A very good, confident singer and she'll go a long way.

We get a glimpse of someone called Premonition, I think, but then we skip to Kirsty Murphy for some reason. An odd entry, strong singer but a bit desperate. She gets a break but I don't think we'll see much more of her. No idea what happened to the group.

Some really bad acts follow and then we get Gary Greig. He seems like another that may have been pulled in by producers. He does Stevie Wonders' Signed Sealed And Delivered really well. Great range and confidence but I don't know whether he's a current pop star. Obviously gets through but after that I don't know. Well, I do but your not supposed to know yet!

The last one is Mike Hough who apparently was runner up to Adele for a MOBO award. That sounds a bit strange to me so I may have misheard that bit. Another that could have been pulled in to make up the numbers of good auditions. An excellent audition. One to watch. Perhaps.

That's it. That's all the auditions. We now move on to Boot Camp and there's a new idea. At least someone is trying to improve this crazy time. Three copies of each song available are placed in various places along a 'wall'. Contestants rush to choose and take their favourite from those available and then are expected to perform with the two other acts with the same card. There is some trading of songs but, apart from one or two who seem to have failed to get anything they like, it works a lot better than the previous system that had people wandering around looking for a 'group' which was so tough on those who were not naturally outgoing or easy to fit in. This is a lot better and, as far as I can tell, worked generally a lot better. We used to get mothers trying to influence groups too which has, mercifully, not happened this time and there was only one case shown of someone not wanting to perform. Before most of the programme was taken up watching some bad tempered and rude girl refusing to do this or that with her colleagues.

There's not much point listing all the performances as we on;y get a glimpse of most of them and it seems that all we see get through anyway. So all the reasonably good contestants survive this round.

A few were notably good. Caitlyn, Chris Peyton (who Simon calls Peyton), Sada the doll girl, Gifty, Christian, a group called Sk3rl3t or something like that, Ivy and a great version of I Only Want To Be With You by Rebbekah, James and Samantha. These stood out for me. Simon says that the group Sk3rl3t would be 'a nightmare to manage' but they do seem pretty good from the briefest glimpse we get.

There were some notable acts missing from those shown but I expect we'll catch up with them in due course. Like The Brooks. I may just missed them but we know they get through anyway!

At the end, the judges are assigned to their categories. Simon gets the Girls, Nicole the Boys, Sharon the Overs and Louis the Groups. Everyone seems happy with the choices. I do fear for who gets through with the Groups, though, knowing how Louis tends to choose acts which are entertaining rather than necessarily competent. Otherwise I am expecting a decent competition to develop with some excellent acts in the Live Shows in at least three categories.

Monday, 12 September 2016

I am beginning to think that we may as well skip the auditions and just wait for Judges Houses editions

Things are really not looking good for this show at the moment. After redeeming itself somewhat last week it descends again to some pretty boring acts as we start with three failures.

I don't know whether the producers are trying to amuse the 8pm audience but it doesn't work. Half-way into this edition we finally get a few good auditions. First is Gifty who reached the last round of Boot Camp last year but lost her voice. She looks good and you hope she'll sound good too after what has gone before. And she is. Excellent. I cam see her going a long way. As long as she doesn't lose her voice again! One to watch.

Now we switch time zones again as Nicole appears where Mel B had been for a while earlier. I suspect it is a group audition day too as the room behind the scenes where they wait is now full of them.

Girl Next Door are four young girls who look the part. They're modern, cheerful and you can imagine them having fun on the stage. They sound a bit amateur and the dancing is a bit like they'd do in their bedrooms in front of a mirror with a hairbrush but I like them. It's a good audition. Nicole's not at all sure, though, but they get through anyway. The girls are hoping that Nicole doesn't get the groups! (She doesn't).

5AM is another modern group with a fairly individual look and sound that is very modern. They improved as they got going and turned in a good audition. They seem pretty familiar with the stage so I am guessing they have some experience. Simon says they're the 'best group they've seen this year'. (But we don't know how many they've seen!) Ones to watch anyway. Louis likes them a lot.

Now it's back to individual auditions and this is dire. They're in Manchester where you'd expect some good acts but this lot are useless. Some actually get through but I have no idea how. I am not going to waste time writing about them as it was just some sort of comedy show with jokes that didn't work for me. Later Rylan does make a huge effort to make one of the acts a bit more interesting and the Friday Night guy is recycled but even that gets tiresome after a while.

With so little to report I didn't publish that lot, hoping that Sunday might bring some improvement in Part Two. It was a marginally better hour and we get to see a few that are potential Live Show contestants.

After a quite amusing time with Faye Horne who is actually quite good but makes Simon laugh and has that look that guys of a certain age can't resist. I can't see her getting far but she should get signed up by some advertising agency as she just has 'the look' and could sell the over 40s anything.

I'll skip the next couple of disasters. Suffice it to say an old bloke with pork pie hat and a woman fork lift truck driver won't be in the Live Shows this year. The Brooks probably will, however. They're 17 year-old twins who auditioned and reached Louis' Judges House two years ago. They were pretty good then and certainly deserve a place there again on what I've seen so far this year. Although this was not the best of auditions in my view, they're good looking and have bags of appeal and they can sing. Very marketable for a year or two too.

Two more chunks of nonsense and then we meet Ivy Grace Paredes from the Philippines. It seems that every year there will be someone from The Philippines getting quite far. It may be a while before anyone beats 4th Impact's success but this lady has a chance. She is a little older than the four youngsters but is  attractive still and a good singer. Her audition had good bits and some not so good bits but I have a feeling she'll have quite a wide appeal, if someone gives her the right tracks to sing.

Again a couple of nonsense acts go by and we get Olivia Garcia. She has a great name for a start and looks lovely. Only 16 but she comes across as more mature and certainly sings with professionalism but without losing appeal as a pop star. I like this girl and she'll do well. Very talented and she even takes on the awfully difficult New York which Paloma Faith did and few can match. Nice.

Last up is Anna Lousie. I found her quite tedious and, yes, she sand OK but it was all the sort of act we've seem s often before. She gets rave reviews but i think that may largely have been at the end of a bad day.

That was not the best of weekend shows. I do hope these auditions don't last much longer . It seems to me that talent is thin on the ground and the sooner we get through to the later stages the better. There will, I am sure, be a dozen acts worth making the Live Shows well worth watching but the process of getting there may not be that great television unless the producers can start concentrating on the best and saving us from the worst and simply unamusing stuff.

Monday, 5 September 2016

Several really good auditions help the show redeem itself

The show went some way towards redeeming itself on the second instalment, Sunday evening.

Ryan Wilkins was first on but I doubt we'll hear much more of him. He is the amateur that the show is good at finding and encouraging, with a good voice but I reckon he could get annoying.

The show briefly descends to low levels again with some crazy woman and then we get Tom & Laura. This is, in many respects the direct opposite of Bradley & Octavia. Quite substantial, black-clad chap and girlfriend or wife. They have pleasant personalities but I wouldn't call them photogenic. Sex On Fire seemed an unusual choice for their audition song but I have to say they did it really well, putting their own style to good effect in the performance. I'm not sure how marketable they'd be but there's good chemistry and nice harmonies. Simon says the guy needs to take the lead as he is significantly the better singer. I don't agree. They balanced each other well. They might just surprise us.

Next we return to London and have a string of really quite good auditions.

Freddy Parker sings Love Is A losing Game and plays piano. He is extremely good and very camera-friendly too. He comes across as professional, knows what he's doing and he'll go far. One of the best I've seen.

Chanal follows with a Lauren Hill number I don't know. Another excellent audition from a pretty professional contestant who knows what she's doing and has come prepared.

Max follows now and looks like a boy band member. Good looks and we get quite a back story for him and a girl dumping him. I have no idea why that is of any relevance but presume he gets quite a bit further to make any of that worthwhile. He also has a nice nan so he must go far! His version of Stand By Me is solid and effective. He has some bad habits, not as professional the two who preceded him but I could see him making the Love Shows too. That would be four acts just from today so far.

Back to the weird department with Irina who is Russian but lives in Los Angeles. So why is she in London? No idea. Maybe the producers flew her in as there were not at the time enough odd acts for the programme. Her lipstick is terrible. But she can sing. Her accent does spoil her audition but not that adversely. She has a lot going for her with the voice and personality but I am not sure how far she'll go. Definitely deserves to go to the next stage, makes for fun TV rather than dire TV.

Talking of weird, perhaps the strangest audition is the doll. I had been waiting for this as the image of Sada Vidoo is everywhere and in one sense she's already won as whoever does her marketing has done a superb job.

Sada Vidoo thinks she is a living doll. She is quite entitled to do so although I do wonder what she really says to herself when she's sitting on the loo or trying to get the oven to work. She can sing. She can sing well and immediately you think of Lady Gag and Sia who also can look pretty weird at times and seem to do pretty nicely for themselves. Her performance of Pat Benatar's Love Is A Battlefield was stunning. Yes, she acts a lot but she is good at it. I like her but I do hope she gets rid of the dress that, as Sharon notes, makes her look more like a toilet roll cover from the 1970s!

Last of the night is Marianna from Italy. She has a long back story that gets our sympathy so you hope she'll be good. She is quite good. She sings The Redemption Song well and brings out tons of passion along the way. There's lots of applause in the hall, watching a big screen, for her that I hadn't seen shown for anyone else. Sharon says she has the best voice in the auditions so far. OK, so we don't know how many days they'd been doing auditions for at that time but that's quite a compliment whatever the case. I'm not so sure but expect she'll get a fair way and just how far depends on just how many more good acts appear in the Overs which are already looking pretty busy.

Let s hope that next weekend maintains Sunday's quality and does not revert to Saturday's levels.

Sunday, 4 September 2016

X Factor completely fail to take advantage of the BBC ratings truce

You would think that the X Factor producers would have celebrated the truce with BBC TV's Strictly Come Dancing producers, with the former starting after the latter finishes rather than attempting to fight for sofas, by putting on a super show. Starting in Dublin, I was hopeful. A lot of tremendous acts have come from Ireland where you might even think that children are born singing in tune and you would expect to be watching some decent auditions. Even the sight of a massive Louis Walsh face on the side of a bus (not the back, notably,) didn't dampen my enthusiasm.

However, Saturday's show had to be one of the poorest in the whole series' history. It may have been a good joke to spoil Louis' fun a bit by having a bum act to kick off with but they really should have followed that with some good ones. Instead we got disaster after pathetic disaster.

It was a long time in before we get Niall Sexton who has a slightly strange voice but puts in a nice audition. A good contender if he can actually perform on a stage.

He is followed by another good one. Conor McGinty has an excellent range and delivers Say Something pretty impressively, although almost anything vaguely in tune would seem impressive in this edition. He does wander around a lot but gets applause from the panel, probably as much down to relief at finding someone as for the quality of his performance.

Then we see Janet Grogan. She reached the Six Chair Challenge two years ago and just lost out when Simon dropped her in the final choice of contestant to go off to Judges' Houses. Simon has since stated on several occasions that he believes he made a mistake then. I have looked back to my commentary at the time and there was a pretty massive audience shout for someone else to have Janet's place at the time. Someone called Lizzie who didn't get very far was who he chose after 'listening to the audience'. I had both down as performing well and Janet as a pretty natural choice. In the 'Over 25s' Group, though, there was quite a bit of competition with Ben and Fleur leading the way. The annoying thing I noted at the time was that 'idiot' (as I referred to Stevi Ritchie) should not have had a place!

Janet sings fairly well. I wouldn't say she was brilliant but she deserves the second chance.

Next we go to London and in a tortuous and long segment get introduced to the desperate Octavia and Bradley. They dress very stylishly and no money was spared on make-up but this just looks so fake to me. They arrive as a duo, have an argument and enter as individuals. Even that bit I find curious but never mind. Octavia's is a weak audition although you can see he might have some TV appeal. Then Bradley is brought in and he does a pretty reasonable rap thing. He is definitely better. Then they are told to kiss and make up. If the show was not already bizarre it certainly is now. They return as a pair and perform something fairly forgettable. The show goes on and on about these two. They even get a slot on Xtra Factor with Rylan afterwards! Someone in the production team has clearly decided that they will help audience figures and the story will entertain. I would sack him or her. That was a terrible programme.

A saving grace was Kayleigh-Marie Morgan who sang With You, a very good audition although she seems to me more of a West End Theatre star than a pop idol. She performs very well a difficult number but there were still some dodgy notes in there. After the farce that had preceded her, though, she came as welcome relief and certainly deserves a place at Boot Camp. Hopefully that's where Bradley & Co will be dumped.

I really do hope this show improves on Sunday. I felt that this has been largely a waste of viewing time. And I am a fan.