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15 September, 2013 5:58 PM
Published by Kevin Mc Stravock
The talent on the show so far has been fairly decent although arena auditions has already seen the departure of a few of the favourites such as Luke Britnell. I'm looking forward to seeing who else will emerge this year with the groups category severely underrepresented so far.
Recap and videos after the JUMP....
Kicking things off tonight and hoping to become the first group to progress to bootcamp (both Euphora Girls and Dolly Rockers were rejected at last week's arena auditions) are Kingsland, a five-piece boyband who formed when two college friends decided to put a band together and found the other three via social media. Luckily, they're not your standard average teen boyband, they actually have fairly decent voices all of them and their rendition of 'Don't You Worry Child' is good. Their harmonies are tight, the arrangement is slick and they're likeable guys, only criticism would be that they feel slightly awkward on stage so definitely need to work on choreography and also, I don't think their rendition of the song was a patch on Relley's fantastic cover last week. Anyway, unsurprisingly Kingsland sail through to the arenas.
A montage of groups now, up first are Brick City, a four piece made up of three guys and one girl. Two of them (Nicholas and Duane) have previously auditioned for the show with Duane making it to the Judge's Houses stage in Series 7 where he was stupidly sent home by Cheryl Cole. From the brief clip, they have potential, their acapella cover of 'Locked Out Of Heaven' is quite good if a bit pitchy but I think there's room for a mixed group in the UK and if they improve upon their vocals, they have some potential. The four-piece are through to the arena auditions!
Another returning act now, from last year's series it's trio Rough Copy! These guys actually made Judge's Houses but had to pull out of the competition when one of them had visa issues. With those issues presumably solved incase they strike gold again this year, they're back and their cover of 'Do It Like A Dude' is filled with personality. They're vocally pretty good and I do like their confidence but they haven't came on any at all from last year, it was just much the same. All the same, they get through to the next round.
It's time for a game of spot the joke act! Duo Ryan and Liddia are friends and former work colleagues (Liddia was fired from Ryan's workplace for being rubbish at telesales apparently) but they hope to be a genuine pop act and to impress the judges with their rendition of Ashanti's 'Shooting Star'. Well in case the use of Whigfield's 'Saturday Night' wasn't enough, unsurprisingly these two are rubbish. The judges think they're rubbish, the auditionees watching on think they're rubbish. In fact everyone seems to be of the same opinion except for them. Ryan says that he's not leaving without a 'No' before telling Gary his hair is ugly (I'm sure Gary is devastated). Nicole says it was shamaze-less. Ryan and Liddia go home without a single 'Yes'. They say they're going to audition for another talent show as there are hundreds on TV, maybe The Voice. Yes, maybe.
16-year-old Giles Potter is up next, he's a schoolboy but he wants to swap the books for a stage. He sings 'Price Tag' by Jessie J. He's likeable and cheeky but a little bit forgettable vocally, his voice is relatively thin and lacks strength and I wasn't overly impressed to be perfectly honest. What helps him slightly is that he has good stage presence and he interacts with the judges but I think his voice needs work and he could do with a year or two before he'd be ready for the live shows. That said, I'm pleased to see him go through as he's definitely good enough to get a 'Yes' at this stage.
Lydia Lucy is the next contestant to face the judges, her vocal performance of 'Mamma Knows Best' by Jessie J reminds me of a cross between Jessie J and Cher Lloyd and she is another act to stick in the 'likeable, not vocally perfect but has potential' group. She's a good singer but I agree with the judges who say that she would suit a girlband. Thankfully for Lyda, she makes it through solo for now.
Scottish teenager Nicholas McDonald on the other hand doesn't impress me so much. He's only 16 I know but he just does nothing for me, he sings 'You Raise Me Up' and I just feel like he's a very forgettable singer. There's nothing distinctive about his voice and I don't think that he's past the 'teeny talent show' stage, it's all a little bit lacking in spark for me. Gary seems to agree as he says he could make lives...in a year but isn't quite ready. Nevertheless, the teenager gets through with three yeses.
Another blast from the past now in Stephanie Woods who you may remember from her first appearance on the show back in 2007 when she was just 14-years-old. She made it to Judge's Houses where she was rejected by none other than Sharon Osborne! So hoping to make it second time lucky she has re-auditioned as a 20-year-old knowing that her old friend is back on the panel. Sharon recognizes her immediately and says that she found it very hard to send her home as she really loved her voice even then. Stephanie says that she decided that if she doesn't make it this year, that's it for her but feels like giving it another shot now that Sharon is back. She's really really good, her voice is incredible, she has a massive range, very nice tone and her pitch is pretty spot on, at times her voice is almost operatic in quality. She's basically Melanie McCabe with stage presence, star quality and emotional connection to the song she's singing, her rendition of 'Run' is full of passion. Stephanie reduces Sharon to tears, that or her Botox has leaked. Stephanie is through to arena auditions!
A montage of joke acts now, none of them are going to go anywhere and none of them are outstandingly bad to be perfect honest so I won't dwell on them but J-Koda dancing around to dubstep takes the biscuit pretty much.
With judges' morale at an all time low, can Souli Roots impress them with her own original song 'Recession'? The song is, as you might expect about the credit crunch and although her voice is not particularly strong, I love the reggae feel to the song and it's actually a pretty catchy, neat little song. I won't go all Louis and tell her it could be a number one record but it's very catchy. She's a likeable lady and really impresses me with her unique lyrical style. Will she win? Probably not but she could do a 'One Pound Fish' and make a random appearance in the charts. Gary says No but the other judges give her a chance.
A few more acts getting another chance now, up first is James McDonald who gets quite emotional after his rendition of 'Lately' by Stevie Wonder. It's alright and he's a good singer but he has no star quality and I'm not sure that he's a particularly relevant artist for the music industry to be honest. He was a bit old fashioned vocally. He gets through with four Yeses.
Up next is Louise Harper who is 34 years old and wants to have a shot at making it in the music industry despite being in the often overlooked 'Overs' category. I'm disappointed she was montaged as she has a nice country-folky tone and her rendition of 'Jolene' really impresses me. This is a very strong performance and I hope to see her in the bootcamp stage as all four judges put her through to arenas.
Next Of Kin sound familiar? The name may ring a bell with anyone who grew up in the 90's as they were signed by Universal and were touted as the British Hanson, they had a moderate selling single, toured with Westlife and 911 on the Smash Hits tour and were quietly dropped shortly after failing to make as big an impression as anticipated. However, they're a lot older now and they want to show that they're capable of doing it. The brothers sing a song called 'Can't Find Me' which they wrote along with their mother. It's a quite sophisticated ballad, sort of country-esque in nature and their harmonies are impressive. I don't think the song is amazing, I find it a little tiresome eventually but as with most original songs, Louis says it could be a number one record and Nicole cries. Gary and Sharon think that they're amazing also, I won't be dishonest, they are really talented but are they stars? I'm not so sure. The boys get through without a problem.