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01 September, 2013 6:51 AM
Published by Kevin Mc Stravock
You will probably have already noticed the adverts but for those living under a rock, the tenth series of 'The X Factor' begins this weekend with a number of changes. First of all, goodbye to Tulisa, welcome back to Sharon Osborne who is returning to the panel for the first time since 2007 when she departed the show and was replaced by Cheryl Cole. Meanwhile, with that in mind, the room auditions have returned in a 'back to basics' syle makeover for the show. However, in a twist the auditionees have to face both the traditional room auditions and the arena auditions with auditions being screened on both Saturday and Sunday nights from the beginning. The Saturday night will see auditionees face the judges in the room whilst those who make it through those auditions will singing in front of the audience in the arena on the Sunday night to get through to bootcamp.
Recap and videos after the JUMP...
Recap and videos after the JUMP...
Our first auditionee of the night is Luke Friend who hasn't washed his hair in eight months apparently. Hygenic. Luke is used to busking around his local area so he hopes that The X Factor will offer him the chance to make it big. He looks a little bit like Frankie Cocozza but thankfully he isn't quite as full-on personality wise. Vocally, he has a similar style to the aforementioned but he's 100% better. His rendition of 'Stand By Me' by Ben E. King is a very impressive performance and I could see him making it as far as live shows as long as he performs to this standard in the future rounds. I'm not sure that he has the commercial sound of a typical X Factor contestant but then again Miles Kane is an example of someone who has a quirky style but still manages to do well in the music industry.
A montage of middle of the road young lads who made the arena auditions also are shown. Alejandro Fernandez is vocally quite strong but far too theatrical for my liking and also for Gary Barlow's liking. Football coach Tom Mann follows with a cover of Passenger's 'Let It Go' which is again quite good but doesn't really blow me away, I think both of these guys strike me as bootcamp fodder though they could possibly be put in a manufactured boyband.
Up next is J. Star Valentine who hopes that he will be able to get through to the next stage of auditions with his cover of Alexandra Burke's 'Hallelujah', let's just say that whilst he has a unique voice, that's not so much a compliment. He adds loads of random ad-libs into the middle of the performance which makes it sound like he's suffering some sort of epileptic fit. It reminds me of when Darius murdered Britney Spears' 'Hit Me Baby One More Time' on Pop Idol years ago. Surprisingly or not so much, J. Star doesn't get through.
Hoping to impress the judges next is rocker Fil Henley who promises to deliver personality and stage presence with his rendition of Robbie Williams' 'Let Me Entertain You', yes that well known rocker Robbie Williams. Fil has a decent voice but it's nothing special and to be honest, nothing about the performance screams rockstar to me, it was just a decent performance. The judges aren't so sure, they like me were expecting him to deliver a little more in terms of performance skills and are disappointed by the performance with only Nicole giving him a 'Yes'. As Fil is sent out, the judges discuss how he should be a rockstar, demonstrating by Gary pushing over a chair. As they laugh about rockstar moves, they request Fil to come back into see him and offer to put him through if he unleashes his inner rocker. Gary demonstrates by smashing a mug and they tell him to rip his outer shirt off and throw it across the room. So basically, they only put him through if he pretends to be a douche? Makes sense, Fil goes through to arenas but has zero chance of winning as it stands.
Now for a montage of Sharon Osborne being her usual self, that is mentally unstable and over the top. Included in the montage is her swearing A LOT, laughing at random things and going absolutely crazy when someone sings 'Air Hostess' by Busted calling him 'A bit fabulous'. It wasn't that funny Sharon, it really wasn't.
The first group of the night now are the recently formed Silver Rock which consists of Tamera and Jerrie. Despite auditioning together, they only formed a week before the audition when Tamera sent across a video of herself singing to Jerrie when the latter put out a request for people to join her in a group. They sing 'End Of Time' by Beyoncé and are vocally very strong but for me, there's nothing there between them as a group. They can sing well but the dynamic between them as a group is barely existent and nothing about the duo suggests that they're perfect together in a group. The judges think the same and contemplate whether they ought to audition seperately or try and find a third member to form a trio. They're asked to sing solo with Jerrie delivering a solid performance. Tamera impresses me more with her rendition of 'Fallin' by Alicia Keys and the judges decide that they're both strong enough individually to split them up. The girls are delighted to be through even if it means that they must go their seperate ways. We'll see how they cope in front of an audience tomorrow night.
A montage of successful girls now with Siana Schofield delivering an impressive and quirky rendition of Emeli Sandé's 'Breaking The Law'. Also up and impressing the judges is Rielle Carrington who is excitable and performs 'Rockstar' by Nickleback. Both girls get through and both impress me to the extent that I think they have potential to go far even though they were montaged.
Up next is 17-year-old Hannah Barrett, a sixth form student currently studying for her A Levels who also works part time in Gregg's. Hannah is asked by the judges if her parents are supportive of her singing to which she reveals that her father passed away a few years ago. She says that he was her inspiration when it came to music as he introduced her to artists like Aretha Franklin from a young age. She says that her mother supports her music but they have a difficult relationship and breaks down as she reveals that she was kicked out of her house and lives in accommodation for teenagers. Well she's got the sob story to make everyone support her so let's hope her voice is equally impressive. She sings 'Read All About It Part III' by Emeli Sandé, what a refreshing song choice, I have never heard this song before in my life nor have I heard of the artist, especially not during the Olympics last year. In all seriousness, she can sing, she's perhaps not brilliant but she has potential to be and I like how she doesn't overdo it. The emotion she portrays in the song is impressive. The judges all give her rave reviews with Sharon urging her to work on her performance skills and revealing that her singing 'broke her heart'.
Time for a group now, Euphoria Girls are an excitable five-piece who are hoping to bring their own positivity into the performance today. They perform 'I'm In The Mood For Dancing' by The Nolan Sisters and appear to change it around a bit. Honestly, the whole performance is just too much and ends up leaving me with a bit of a headache, I'm firmly of the belief that less is more so throwing everything into the performance, totally overdoing the vocals, a full-on dance routine, it's all far too over the top. The judges are divided by Euphoria Girls with Sharon and Louis loving their enthusiasm and Gary and Nicole being slightly less enthusiastic. Gary tells them it's a 'No' whilst Sharon and Louis both say 'Yes' but luckily for the girls, Nicole agrees to give them a shot in front of the arena and says 'Yes'. Gary is gobsmacked, if it helps I would have said 'No' too.
With the positivity in the room continuing to affect the judges, we have a young lad hoping to capture their attention now in Luke Britnell. The hopeful is a Justin Bieber tribute act in normal life (does that mean he arrives three hours late to every gig?) but he wants to show that he can be an artist in his own right and he's performing his own song 'Think Positive' today. Well I am thinking positive and his voice is alright but the song is very basic, the chord progression is almost identical to Feist's '1234' and Jack Johnson's 'Better Together'. In addition, it's hard to really get behind a song that is 40% Woohoo and 40% Doo Boo Doo Be Do with the other 20% being actual lyrics. Of course the judges love it, they seem to just automatically think an original song is phenomenal even if it's nothing special, I'm surprised nobody told him 'that could be a number one record'. Luke gets four Yesses, he's good and his voice is nice but the song was nothing special.
Last audition of the day now and it's 35-year-old Sam Bailey's time to shine. She's a mother-of-two and a prison warden and reveals that her fellow wardens often lightly tease her about her singing as she's always singing at work. She seems quite nervous but unlike previous nervous contestants *cough* Christopher Maloney *cough* the nerves seem genuine. She's singing 'Listen' by Beyoncé, not an easy song to sing for anyone. Okay this is pretty good to be honest, I don't think it's amazing, she has a few bad habits and there are a few moments during the song where she goes slightly out of key but it's an impressive performance overall and certainly feels like it's enough for her to go through to the arena auditions. The judges are blown away by Sam's emotional performance and Sam herself cries a little after it, overcome with emotion. I have a feeling that she's guaranteed to get to Judge's Houses at least, the Overs category tends to be neglected in the edits so the fact that she got the pimp spot suggests that she's at least through to that stage surely?