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23 September, 2013 11:32 PM
Published by Kevin Mc Stravock
So as we reach the end of auditions, the live shows are looking ever more within our reach. Because of the new double audition format, we only have to wait 3 weeks before live shows begin meaning that in a fortnight's time we will find out the Top 12. Tonight, the remaining contestants audition in front of an arena having already impressed the judges in the room auditions. Some will thrive, some will fall apart but who will stand out?
Recap and videos after the JUMP...
Up first tonight is Ryan Mathie who we first saw in the second room auditions show a fortnight ago. He impressed with a decent cover of Ray La Montagne's 'Jolene' which earned him praise from the judges, as well as being remembered for getting Nicole to say 'binjuice'. However, Louis was concerned about how he would connect with an audience and urged him to work on his performance skills. He has been working hard on improving this aspect of his performance and is keen to win over the judges and the audience with a cover of Daft Punk's 'Get Lucky'. The judges enjoy the performance and put Ryan through to bootcamp.
Up next are a group that we haven't seen so much of, Tenors Of Rock are a six-piece rock vocal group who divided the judges in their first audition, or rather, left Sharon Osbourne unimpressed with her proclaiming 'I don't get it'. They're taking on an acapella cover of 'Living On A Prayer' by Bon Jovi today, they sound pretty good and their harmonies are definitely very strong. My only slight drawback is that I found the song choice a little safe and predictable and I'm not sure that I see them as a particularly marketable group. They can sing, certainly but there's nothing about them that makes me think people would buy into them as an act. Regardless, the group are through to bootcamp with Sharon declaring that they were brilliant and Gary telling them 'That's how you do an audition!'
Up next and sadly not able to rely on other people for support is Hannah Sheares. The 17-year-old was featured last night when she auditioned along with her two best friends as 'The Daisy Chains', a group that were unfortunately split up by the judges when they told them that Hannah should audition as a soloist. After a lot of deliberation, Hannah agreed to go solo but not without a lot of tears and Hannah tells the judges that she hasn't really spoken to her friends since the audition. Having lost two friends for the sake of the show, there's a lot of pressure on her shoulders to deliver today but thankfully she does with a cover of Demi Lovato's 'Skyscraper'. Well it's not perfect, there are bits that she needs to work on and she is never going to be able to do it as well as Demi herself but this is a really good audition. She has a lovely voice and her tone is really pure. I can see why the judges wanted her to audition solo. Thankfully, the judges are impressed and tell Hannah that she's through to bootcamp. Will her solo venture work out?
And Hannah's good fortune in the arena auditions appears to be rubbing off on a host of groups who all make it through. Boyband Code 4 get through after performing Justin Timberlake's 'Like I Love You'. Their harmonies aren't great, they sound quite off but they have a lot of stage presence and can work the stage and they have more likeability than Rough Copy.
Girlband Xyra are another act that impress the judges singing 'Earthquake' by Labrinth. We haven't really had any stand out girlbands so far so it's good to see that there are some strong girlbands auditioning this year. Their harmonies are really good, we don't really see enough of the song to really judge how good it was but it did seem like a pretty impressive audition, nothing too spectacular but not bad!
Meanwhile, mixed group Brick City who we briefly saw impressing in the room auditions last week are back again for their arena audition and they take on Mary J Blige's 'No More Drama'. This is a really strong audition for them, their harmonies are the tightest I think we have ever seen on X Factor and I think they could be a really good soul act. My only concern is that we haven't seen them enough at this stage and if they do make live shows, they will suffer from lack of exposure. Regardless, they sail through to bootcamp.
Another mixed group are hoping to impress the judges now, Dynamix is made up of two males and one female lead, CeCe and they take on Black Eyed Peas track 'Let's Get It Started'. The female lead singer is very strong, she has an amazing voice and really stands out amongst the group but the other two members are just there. They can sing but there's no star quality about the group aside from CeCe. My concerns would be that there isn't enough chemistry between the trio to make them a serious threat as a group going on. These are concerns shared by the judges who tell them that CeCe was by far the best thing about the performance and ask her if she would leave the group and audition as a soloist. Not this again! Thankfully CeCe turns their offer down and says she wouldn't like to leave her friends in the lurch like that. What a thoroughly nice girl she is! She was offered the opportunity and turned it down. The judges decide that the group are worth another chance and put them through.
Also impressing is Sam Callahan who has plenty of teenage girls screaming from the audience as he takes on Ed Sheeran's 'You Need Me I Don't Need You'. He has an alright voice, nothing spectacular and I don't expect that he's going to win the competition, not as it stands anyway but enough for now. Gary seems to like this performance more than he liked his first audition and all four judges put him through.
Another newbie now, Zoe Devlin hasn't been shown before but she's shown tonight, singing 'God Bless The Child'. She has an old-style blues/jazz voice which is nice to hear as we only get those style of singers every once in a wonder with Rebecca Ferguson being the last true jazz act to take part in the show. She has a nice voice and she seems young enough not to alienate viewers despite being in the Overs category. Zoe gets through to bootcamp.
Joseph Whelan who we saw making his return last night is another act who impresses the judges, with his cover of 'Sweet Child O' Mine'. It's a good cover but he needs to watch his song choices as he's beginning to look like a karaoke rocker, he needs to shake things up a bit as I'm concerned that he'll end up singing the same old rock songs that we've heard 500 times before and won't be able to break the mould of the stereotypical X Factor rocker like Storm Lee and Jamie Archer before him.
Up next is another contestant who hasn't been featured before, wedding singer Chrissie Rhodes is nervous that she won't be able to impress the judges when she has the pressure of performing in front of such a packed audience on her shoulders. She may be used to performing in front of crowds at weddings but will she able to handle the pressure when she's on an arena stage in front of 5000 people? She is taking on Candi Staton's 'Young Hearts Run Free' but has arranged it in the form of a country ballad and wow is it good. This is an amazing cover, quite possibly the best arena audition of the series, she has a fantastic voice and doesn't perform it like an audition at all, more like she has been in the recording industry for years. Chrissie has the audience and judges in the palm of her hand and wins rave reviews for her audition. There's no way she won't be in the Judge's Houses stage at least surely?
However, things aren't quite so rosy for Giles Potter whose cheeky personality won over the judges at his first audition when he sang 'Price Tag'. His personality can't save him when he does a disastrous cover of Jackie Wilson's 'Reet Petite' in which he forgets his lyrics. He very nearly doesn't get through but is given a second chance as Gary Barlow takes him aside and offers him some stern advice. And it seems that he is paving the way for a lot of boys to crumble as we a montage of teen lads being rejected after less than impressive performances.
The last audition of the day and of the series goes to Paul Akister. Paul is a pub and club singer who despite being used to performing, is finding it difficult to get over his nerves today because he is usually quite a shy person. He says that he finds it hard to stand out because he is usually quite withdrawn and seeing other similar acts being rejected after crumbling under the pressure sure isn't helping him. He's taking on 'A Song For You', a massive song for anybody to attempt. Thankfully, he nails it, he has a really good old-time soul voice, it's refreshing to hear someone of his arc just singing the song and letting his tone do the talking rather than trying to attempt all manner of vocal tricks and runs, like Jahmene Douglas last year. This is an incredibly strong audition which earns hm a place in bootcamp.