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16 September, 2013 4:10 PM
Published by Kevin Mc Stravock
So after probably the weakest room auditions show so far, we have a number of new contenders for the crown with boyband Kingsland, returnees Rough Copy and Steph Woods and youngster Giles Potter all potential live show contestants. However, of course they still have to impress the audience so will they and many more manage to win over the audience in the arena?
Recap and videos after the JUMP...
Kicking things off in the arena is Souli Roots who impressed three of the judges in the room auditions with her original song about the recession but had Gary doubting that she has a strong enough voice to progress in the competition today. She immediately makes a positive impression on the crowd with her sunny personality as she takes on a reggae classic, 'Three Little Birds' by Bob Marley, could she be the female Bob Marley? Well I wouldn't go that far but she is fairly good at interacting with the crowd and has everyone up dancing. She doesn't have the best voice and if she were to make lives, no doubt she would be the standard joke act but she does a good job. Gary still thinks her voice isn't good enough (either was Frankie Cocozza's but you still put him through to the live shows Gary). However, thankfully the other three judges enjoyed it and Souli is through to bootcamp.
Up next is Lydia Lucy who got through in yesterday's room auditions but not without a bit of constructive criticism courtesy of the judges who told her to find her identity. She hopes that her arrangement of 'The Way You Make Me Feel; by Michael Jackson will wow them enough to get through to bootcamp. It's a fairly strong performance, she arranges the song in a stripped-back, acoustic way but it allows her to deliver a very sultry, unique performance, the growl to her voice is particularly impressive. The judges are blown away and give her a lot of praise for taking a risk with the song choice, to the surprise of nobody, Lydia flies into the next round.
Also capturing the attention of the audience is Jeanette Akua who randomly appears despite not having been shown in the room auditions. She is singing 'Skinny Love' by Birdy and she does a really good job of it, she has an impressive range and has good stage presence. There's something very captivating about her. I'm wondering if there is some significance to her being shown despite us not seeing her room audition, she reminds me of someone who could be the lead singer in a girlband in a Beyoncé sort of way.
Rough Copy are up next, they're the three piece who impressed the judges last year but had to pull out due to visa issues. This audition isn't admittedly as good as their first audition, which was shown yesterday but perhaps I am biased as I despise 'Little Things', the song they're singing. Their harmonies are tight and they have stage presence, the only thing still holding me back about them is that I believe they could come across as overconfident in the live shows.
Up next is bus driver James McDonald, he performed a nervy but fairly strong rendition of 'Lately' by Stevie Wonder yesterday. He is still feeling nervous but he wants to give it all he's got with his take on Daniel Merriweather's 'Red'. He reveals to the judges that some of his regular passengers in his bus are backstage supporting him. This song isn't easy to sing and I'm afraid I believe that nerves may have got the better of James. It's not an awful rendition of the song, but he does go off key a number of times and I'm concerned that he isn't going to be able to deliver in the live shows if he is letting his nerves to get to him at this early stage. Gary tells him that he's not ready for the competition, Sharon and Louis agree but Nicole is willing to give him a chance and says 'Yes'. Unfortunately for James, none of the other judges are as forgiving and he goes home.
Up next is another returnee this year, Stephanie Woods. The 20-year-old previously auditioned in Series 4 and Sharon got emotional on last night's show when Steph performed Leona Lewis' version of the Snow Patrol song 'Run', remembering back to the moment she sent Steph home at Judge's Houses all those years ago. She begins her audition by singing Celine Dion's 'I Drove All Night' but the judges interrupt her and tell her that the song choice was way too old-fashioned and dated and did nothing for her voice. Just as it seems like she has blew it, the audience chant 'One More Song'. Feeling that she has too much potential to just throw away, the judges ask her to sing another song, she picks Eva Cassidy/Fleetwood Mac's 'Songbird', another fairly dated song but nonetheless a beautiful song. She really captures the emotion of the song and she sounds almost angelic singing the lyrics of the track. It's a strong performance, though the judges tell her that she needs to pick more current and modern song choices as they still weren't overly impressed by her performance. Thankfully, she gets four yeses, hopefully Steph will be able to make up for her song choice error at bootcamp.
Up next are five-piece boyband Kingsland who impressed the judges in the first audition with their take on 'Don't You Worry Child'. That said, they were still given something to work on as they were told to work on their vocals and also to try and tighten up the production of their performance as it looked quite messy with them all doing dance moves out of sync. This take on Bruno Mars' 'Treasure' is pretty slick but nothing special vocally, they're still missing something I believe and they need to work on tightening up those harmonies. Their individual vocals are good, the harmonies aren't bad but need a little work but overall, a good performance. The boyband get through with four yeses once again.
Next Of Kin are up next, they reduced Nicole to tears and got a standing ovation from the judges when they performed an original song yesterday, moving the judges as they recalled their past hint of fame when they were signed to Universal in the late 90's. Their rendition of 'Amazed' by Lonestar is vocally very strong once again but dang was it a dull song choice. After their self-written ballad, I hoped for something that would show off their performance skills but I can't really fault their vocal abilities. If they want to stand a chance of going far, I think they should work on, like Stephanie modernizing what they do as both performances so far have sounded quite 90's and they really ought to be moving away from that.
The last audition of the day comes from young Scottish teenager Nicholas McDonald. Nicholas was shown briefly yesterday when Gary told him that he would be ready for live shows in a year's time and gave him a 'No'. However, thankfully the other judges enjoyed it so Nicholas has been given a chance to prove Gary wrong. He's taking on 'A Thousand Years' by Christina Perri. It's vocally a lot better than his first audition but I'm still not jumping out of my seat. For me, it was just an alright cover of a decent song, nothing more and I'm struggling to see where Nicholas would fit into the charts. Previous contestants who have went down the squeaky clean teen route such as Eoghan Quigg and Leon Jackson had very little success post-X Factor when their albums were released. I'm not sure I could see Nicholas having a long career but let's see, he might not even make Judge's Houses. He's through to bootcamp.