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18 September, 2014 2:25 PM
Published by Kevin Mc Stravock
Tonight is the second of the arena auditions. Last night saw some strong talent but also the uncomfortable dismissal of Amy Connolly after she failed to impress Louis, Simon and Mel B. Will we have any big shocks tonight?
Up first tonight is 20-year-old Italian student Andrea Faustini who surprised the judges in the room auditions after delivering an amazing soulful performance of 'Who's Loving You' by Michael Jackson. His love of pugs and his quirky personality makes him seem like a novelty act but he silences the audience with a surprisingly captivating performance of 'Try A Little Tenderness' by Otis Redding. Although I like it, to be honest I feel that the timing sounds slightly out and as a result, I'm not blown away by the performance however it's undoubtedly a strong performance and he has a good voice. After getting an incredible reaction from the audience, he sails through to bootcamp.
Girlband Rouge Kiss were next, Simon wasn't keen on them in the room auditions but they're hoping to turn him around with their rendition of 'Fancy' by Iggy Azalea. It's all a little messy, I don't think they really gel that well as a group and the song does them no favours, the harmonies aren't particularly tight and I don't like the way they move around the stage. Simon stops the audition just as one of them launches into a bizarre vibrato 'noise' that doesn't really work with the song. Nobody else is as critical of the girls as Simon who still isn't convinced but they manage to get through anyway.
Boyband Overload who we saw briefly in the room auditions are up next with their own song 'No, No, No', hopefully not a premonition of today's audition. The song is your standard throwaway pop, it could literally have been sung by any boyband. These guys are alright but they don't offer anything we haven't seen literally half the other boybands on X Factor do and I'm kind of bored of the same old same old from the boybands, the market is already saturated at the moment and I'm not quite sure we need another generic boy group. Unsurprisingly, the audience go crazy for them and the judges spout the usual 'the girls are gonna love you guys', vocally they're better than some boybands I've seen but there's nothing unique that draws me to them. Overload are through to bootcamp.
A few random joke acts now as Lottie Lou fails to impress with 'Sheezus' by Lily Allen and it's not so much 'Don't Speak' but don't sing for Carly Cunningham.
Speaking of joke acts, it's Stevi Ritchie who is up next. He danced more than he sang in the first audition after basically forgetting most of the words to the song he was singing. He's hoping to get the crowd onside today as he sings 'Don't Stop Me Now' by Queen. His vocals are worse than they were in the room auditions and although he gets the audience on side and up dancing, it doesn't distract from the fact that better singers have been sent home *cough* Amy Connolly *cough*. I know it's about more than just the voice now but I just don't see him going very far, he's likeable but he's not a strong enough singer to merit making the lives.
Up next is Kayleigh Manners who impressed the judges in the room auditions with her sweet, quirky take on Sam Smith's 'Stay With Me'. She was very nervous in the rooms and is even more so tonight in the arenas. She starts off with 'Here Comes The Sun' by The Beatles, again she's extremely nervous and the judges stop her and tell her to calm herself down and try another song. She sings 'Your Song' by Elton John, it's so much better than the nervy first song and again, I'm loving her voice. You can still hear the nerves in her voice but I think that she's a really captivating performer and she really connects with the emotion of the song. She's so likeable and I hope to see her going further in bootcamp as I think she has a good voice, she just needs more belief and confidence.
It's not just Kayleigh's nerves that get the better of her, Lauren Clarke and Ed Goacher fail to impress with their arena auditions, whether it's nerves or what, they just don't come across well on stage and are sent home.
Last on tonight is Jay James who wowed the judges, and me in the first audition with his passionate performance of 'Say Something'. What he lacks in technical perfection, he makes up for in the passion he delivers. He's singing 'Fix You' by Coldplay, doesn't start off brilliantly but as soon as he hits his stride, he has the audience in the palm of his hand, the only thing I'd say is he's a little awkward on stage at times but the raw emotion he sings with is incredible. I'm still getting the Paolo Nutini vibes from him, I reckon he's a shoe-in for lives.