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13 September, 2014 7:17 PM
Published by Kevin Mc Stravock
The first weekend of auditions is over us and already we have some strong contenders such as Only The Young, Jay James and Chloe Jasmine. Will this week produce any more talent for us to peruse?
We kick off with party animal Ten Senah who tells Dermot that she was out partying until half four in the morning and hasn't actually been to sleep yet! When asked why she didn't go bed at all by Simon, the hopeful says she just thought 'Ah, f*ck it'. However as she launches into her original song '15 Minutes' about kicking a man to the curb, the judges are surprised by how good she actually is. The song is extremely catchy and she has quite a soulful voice. The judges tell her that if she is going to go far in the competition, she needs to start taking it a bit more seriously and stop partying so much with Mel B adding that she believes Ten is actually more nervous than she is letting on. However the songwriter manages to get through to the arenas with four yeses.
And Ten's success leads to more than a few surprises for the judges first with Irish waiter Mervyn Scott who sings Whitney Houston's 'I Have Nothing' with more than a few hitches. His timing is completely off prompting Cheryl and Mel to try and help him get in time with the song. However, they can't improve his terrible vocals and he unsurprisingly fails to get a single yes.
Similarly, John Evans doesn't have much luck with the judges, I can't even make out what he sings because he just screams rather loudly and out of tune but rest assured, he doesn't manage to convince the judges to put him through.
Up next is' Christina Brodie who claims to be Essex's answer to Lady Gaga and comes dressed up like a queen bizarrely and launches into a bizarre operatic performance that makes her sound more like a monkey than a human. Simon describes her as 'fantastically nuts'.
Maria Ellinas is up next singing 'Street Life' or is it Shrteet Life? To the amusement of the judges, the 26-year-old hopeful fails to pronounce the words of the Randy Crawford song correctly adding an extra h into the word 'street' prompting Simon to ask if she knows 'Shtop'. Despite the hiccups, she manages to impress the judges and gets four yeses, enough to take her through to the arena auditions.
American Air Force worker Charlie Martinez had to seek special permission from The Pentagon to audition but it seems as if it's been worth it as Mel and Cheryl gush over him as he sings 'Hero' by Enrique Iglesias. He has a decent voice but it's nothing we haven't heard many times before but is enough to get him four yeses with Simon telling him 'The girls are going to love you' *yawn*. Charlie is through to arenas.
Charlie Brown performs 'Trouble' by Ray LaMontagne, he has a pretty decent husky voice although the performance sounds quite similar to the original. Also, if one more judge uses the word 'throwback' once more I'll throw something at the screen. Charlie is pretty good and is put through to the next round.
29-year-old van driver Ben Haenow from Croydon is next to face the judges as he sings 'Ain't No Sunshine' by Bill Withers. He's quite charismatic and seems to be able to work the stage, his voice is nice, if a little basic when you compare him to the less technically impressive but more unique Jay James who is also in the Overs category. I think perhaps the drawback for me is that it felt quite similar to the original and I thought he was sort of mimicking Bill Withers a little bit. We'll see the make or break of the singer at arena auditions I suppose as all four judges enthusiastically send him through to bootcamp.
Whilst Ben only had to impress four judges, Jake Sims is the only auditionee to face a panel of five, after the judges recruit his younger sister to help them judge him. His rendition of 'Superstition' is fairly run of the mill, he has a decent voice but I'm not getting out of my seat, he strikes me as either bootcamp fodder or material for a manufactured boyband.
Identical twins The Brooks look the same but will their voices blend together as one? They're okay, they're extremely forgettable and their song choice, 'Us Against The World' by Westlife is very very dull but they've enough talent to merit getting through the audition. I don't think they have any real marketability or standout quality though.
Monica Michael is next to audition for the judges. She works with young people, using music to try and keep them on the straight and narrow, admitting that music was the thing that prevented her from making the wrong choices in life when she was in her teens. The 24-year-old's emotional tribute to her sister 'Pretty Young Sister' is a nice song, although it doesn't really have a catchy hook. However, her voice is quite nice and Cheryl is in tears as she sings about her 16-year-old sister who is watching on. The judges are blown away with Simon announcing that they do this show for people like Monica. She sails through to the arena auditions.
The teenagers seem to be out in force this evening, Jack Walton is first up, trying to impress the judges with his rendition of summer hit 'Waves' by Mr. Probz. The acoustic cover of the song is pretty much your standard WGWG rendition of any popular song although there's no denying that Jack Walton has talent. The fact that he's in a montage with other similar acts probably hints that he isn't a massive contender but he still manages to get unanimous yeses from the judges. He reveals that his parents didn't know that he was auditioning.
James Graham is also a hit with the judges as he sings 'You Give Me Something' by James Morrison. He's pretty good, again not that memorable though. He gets through to the next round.
And Casey Johnson is also hoping to impress the judges with his rendition of 'Please Don't Let Me Go' by Olly Murs. Another string of yeses, another fairly decent if unremarkable audition.
Finally, hoping to impress the judges is Bre Musiq, he's a good singer, he has good stage presence and his performance of 'No Diggity' by Blackstreet is pretty good prompting Louis to tell him 'I like the way you work it'. He's through to arena auditions.
Back for another try is a familiar face, Paul Akister who got through to Louis' judges houses last year before disgracefully being rejected in favour of Sam Callahan and Nicholas McDonald (who somehow went on to come second). He says that he has learnt to be a little more confident and reveals that his rendition of 'Jealous Guy' by John Lennon is going to be quite a personal performance as he recently went through a break up and he wants his ex-girlfriend back. His voice is every bit as strong as I remembered it last year and he really throws emotion into the performance. The judges love him, in fact Simon says that Louis owes him an apology for not putting him through last year. Cheryl goes over some guff about how he shouldn't put everything into the performance, I'm not exactly sure what she's talking about and she probably isn't either. Paul is unsurprisingly through to the arena auditions.
The auditions move from Manchester to Newcastle for the final two performances as Chloe Hedley is first up to face the judges. She has always been really into singing and writing her own songs but as she performs 'Hero' by Mariah Carey, her voice isn't as strong as the judges were hoping for, I don't think she's necessarily bad, definitely not any worse than some of the middle of the road teenage boys that have got through with four yeses although perhaps the standard in the Boys category isn't as strong as the Girls. The judges don't think she's ready and send Chloe home.
This isn't helping the final auditionee of the day, Lola Saunders' nerves. She's not used to glamour as she is a fishmonger by day, she says that the job is the opposite of glamorous, she comes home stinking of fish every day but hopes to be able to ditch the apron and gloves and take up singing full time. Her biggest fans are her grandmother and grandfather who are standing by to watch Lola audition. She performs Bob Dylan's 'Make You Feel My Love', famously covered by Adele. Lola has a really nice bluesy, soulful tone and although that song has been performed numerous times over the years, I really like her rendition of it. She has believability as an artist. She sails through to the next round with four very enthusiastic yeses from the judges.