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23 September, 2013 11:23 PM
Published by Kevin Mc Stravock
It may seem like no time since the series began but already we have reached the end of the auditions stage. That means that in just one week's time, bootcamp will begin so it's the last time that we will meet some of the contender's for this series with a returning Over on the cards during tonight's show.
Recap and videos after the JUMP...
Up first tonight are an energetic duo known as Duplex. Best friends Cassie and Katrina decided to form the band due to their close connection to one another. They do everything together, even speaking together which leads to a few headaches for the judges when trying to talk to the band. Their rendition of Cheryl Cole's 'Call My Name' is actually a lot better than I thought it would be. I was expecting them to be awful, they're not exactly good but they're not outstandingly bad either. It's just a fairly average cover of the song and I do think the judges are a little bit harsh on them, they were nowhere near as bad as Gary in particular made out. However, their friendship isn't enough to get them through to the next round.
A montage of joke acts now, from butler Shozod whose rendition of 'Down' by Jay Sean is used by Gary as an example of what way the standard is going in the audition rooms. Krysztof and Peter Duboff are also quickly sent on their way with four no's from the judges.
With so many acts being rejected, it isn't looking good for university student Justin Peng who hopes to win over the judges, particularly Nicole Scherzinger. He's currently based in Leicester and is studying Mathematics, his favourite Maths being numbers and equations (is that not what Maths generally is?) but he is from China originally. You can tell that the judges have already written him off until he opens his mouth and sings Whitney Houston's 'I Look To You'. Considering how much the judges raved about Jahmene Douglas' cover of the song last year, I think Justin proves just how average his performance of it was as he actually does an amazing job. Justin's pronunciation of the words actually really adds to the performance and I end up loving his rendition of the song, he is the second Asian contestant in recent months to really impress on a version of X Factor, the first being Dami Im who is currently head and shoulders above even her closest competitors on the Australian version of the series. Justin gets great feedback from the judges and sails through to the arenas.
After Justin's success, a few more male soloists find their feet in the audition rooms, firstly Sam Callahan who delivers an alright, but wholly unremarkable rendition of James Blunt's 'You're Beautiful' which impresses all of the judges bar Gary who says he's rather generic and offers nothing different.
Also impressing is club singer Paul Akister whose smoky vocals sound fantastic on Sam Cooke's 'A Change Is Gonna Come'. I really like Paul, he has a very soulful voice and reminds me a little of the likes of Marques Toliver mixed with James Morrison.
Up next is a familiar face, 27-year-old Joseph Whelan was heavily featured last year along with his son Cian but was a shock exit at bootcamp, failing to make Judge's Houses. He has tried to learn from where it went wrong last year and hopes that this year he ca make it beyond bootcamp. Before he starts singing the judges ask for his son to come in and 5-year-old Cian sits on Nicole's lap at the desk to see his dad's performance. Cute kid box ticked. Alright, onto the performance and Joe takes on Bon Jovi hit 'Always'. He sings it really well, he has a nice rock tone and he's a likeable guy. I'm not jumping out of my seat to be honest, it's a good audition but it's not really anything that we haven't already seen before. He's guaranteed to get to Judge's Houses with the returnee edit though surely? Josephs gets four yeses and is through to the arena.
Up next it's time for true love to have a shot at making the arena, 20-year-old Patricia and 18-year-old Dean are in a relationship but they're hoping that as Green Boots they can make the live shows. Well they'll be lucky to make it past this audition, their cover of 'A Whole New World' is like Katie Price and Peter Andre's in that neither of them can sing. Patricia is slightly better than her boyfriend but they're frankly rather dreadful and the fact that even their friend can't hide his true feelings says it all. Green Boots head home.
Another montage now, this time groups who have a strong connection, first of all it's sisters Joanna & Alexandra and their rendition of 'Girl On Fire' by Alicia Keys. Sadly it's barely a glimmer, never mind a fire. Another group made up of male twins whose name I don't even catch fail to impress also whilst Exaggerate, made up of Patience and her mother Rose don't exactly blow the judges away with their rendition of 'Written In The Stars' by Tinie Tempah.
Hoping to turn the fortunes of the group around are best friends and bandmates Kari, Laura and Hannah who together make up Daisy Chains. Surely with a name which includes the word chains in it, they can never split up, right? Well after an impressive but not amazing rendition of 'Stop (In The Name Of Love)' by The Supremes, the judges tell main singer Hannah that she has a big decision to make. She holds the group together and they reckon that she has more of a chance auditioning alone than in a group. So with another 'ditch your mates or go home' situation, Hannah goes outside to discuss it with her rather unsympathetic friends. They don't tell her not to go solo but they don't exactly reassure her that they will remain best friends. So a tearful Hannah decides to go it alone and is through to arenas.
Night shift call-centre worker Jayson Newland is taking on the Luther Vandross hit 'Never Too Much', to be honest he comes across like he is going to be another joke act as he talks about returning from a night shift. However, as soon as he begins to sing, it's clear that he can sing like the best of them, he has a very strong soul tone and he has a lot of charisma. I think that Jayson has just added to the already strong Overs category and expect to see him at the final stage of bootcamp. Jayson gets great feedback from the judges and goes through to the arenas with no problems.
Another strong Over is 28-year-old Andrea Magee who hails from Northern Ireland but lives in England. I'm so disappointed that she is montage'd as she has amazing talent but her voice captures my attention during the short clip of her singing an original song. She has a very quirky voice, it reminds me a bit of Diana Vickers mixed with Dido and Lucie Silvas. I can't wait to see what else she does in the future stages as she is easily the most interesting over since Ruth Lorenzo and probably my favourite act this year.
Diva Lorna Simpson is also very impressive with her rendition of 'I Have Nothing' by Whitney Houston, the song choice is a bit predictable but she sounds a little bit like Brenda Edwards in my opinion and could do well if she is shown again in the competition. The Overs category is shaping up to be a strong one.
Final act of the night comes from a group of slightly older contestants, The Nostalgics are a group of friends who meet every week at the local bowling club in Coventry and range in age from 68 to 94. They're singing 'Bring Me Sunshine' for their audition. They're totally hip and fresh and have the potential to be the hottest new act in the music scene. No, in all honesty they're nice singers and the kind of sweet old people you would want to be your granny or grandfather, they're unlikely to go much further than bootcamp partially because their age would definitely hold them back but they do a good performance and they're good fun. Gary jokes that Louis should join the group and gets him to stand in with them before announcing that he's too grey. The Nostalgics are through to arenas.