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03 September, 2014 11:26 PM
Published by Kevin Mc Stravock
After a solid start with some decent talent, we're onto audition show two. Unlike last year's auditions, they're not airing the room auditions and arena auditions back to back, instead getting through all room auditions before they start showing arenas. So who will impress the judges tonight as they scour the country for talent?
Recap and videos after the JUMP...
Up first tonight are duo GCB who are singing 'Don't Judge Me' by Chris Brown acapella. Their vocals are pretty average and they don't seem to have much stage presence, in fact Simon says that it was the most boring audition he has ever sat through.
Next is Colchester's Stevi Ritchie who works in a call centre. He says that he wants to put a smile on the judges' faces before launching into 'Dance With You Tonight' by Olly Murs. He's a fairly average singer, he doesn't have a great voice and his style is very karaoke. He is fairly likable, if verging on irritating though and dances along to the song, to the point that he forgets a good bit of the second half. This is a pretty poor audition really, his voice is nothing special but for some reason, the judges seem to really like him, mainly because of his personality probably as opposed to his singing. Stevi is through to the arenas with four yeses. I have a feeling he could become the novelty act of the Overs.
Hoping to follow in Stevi's footsteps are mixed group Only The Young made up of four young friends - Mikey, Betsy, Parisa and Charlie. They all live together in one of the girls' houses and get on like a house on fire, so much so that they're horrified when the judges ask if there are any relationships going on within the group. They're singing their own arrangement of 'Something About The Way You Look Tonight' by Elton John, it's a very fresh interesting performance. Stylistically, they remind me a little bit of The Luminites from Britain's Got Talent. They're all strong singers individually and there aren't really many mixed groups out there at the moment so they can certainly be successful. They get a huge reaction from the judges and four yeses.
Following in their success are a string of groups including boyband Concept, made up of Karim, Scott, Matt, Nathan and Ben. They do have an acoustic set up and launch into a very organic, harmony focused version of Labrinth's 'Earthquake'. I like these guys a lot actually, they're really strong singers and I could easily see them having success in the lives if they make it that far. I'm really impressed by these guys. They get four yeses.
Time for a girlband now and three-piece Arize made up of Naomi, Amelle and Ella. They say that they've been practicing everywhere from their houses to chicken shops. Their take on Little Mix's 'Little Me' is fantastic, the song sounds really fresh and cool with their tight harmonies and I love their vibe as a girlband. They really work well together and look like a viable girl group and I could see them filling the void for a proper R & B girlband in the style of Eternal, TLC and Destiny's Child. A very strong audition and a unanimous decision from the judges, four yeses.
Another group hoping to get through are Overload who were only formed a few months before their first audition. Their rendition of 'Pompeii' by Bastille is good but they're quite middle of the road, I felt more of a freshness from the previous three groups whereas I feel that these guys are really quite similar to other boybands currently on the market. Nevertheless, they get four yeses.
It seems like tonight is the night of the groups but the next hopefuls have a closer relationship than most of the other groups auditioning, they're husband and wife and they make up Kitten And The Hip. Despite a rather large age difference, Ashley who is 53 and 28-year-old Scarlett are married and have a child together, to the surprise of Louis who remarks 'I thought you were father and daughter'. Their rendition of 'Shut Up And Dance' which is their own song is pretty much just Kitten with her husband doing some strange scat singing in the background. The judges love Scarlett but aren't keen on her husband prompting Cheryl to suggest that she should go solo. After thinking about it for approximately three seconds, she says yes and manages to get four yeses...without her husband.
A lot of auditionees have come from afar to audition for The X Factor such as Parisian Oceane Guyot who was inspired to audition for the show after she saw a British singer, Matthew Raymond-Barker triumph on the French version of The X Factor (he bombed post-show and was quickly dropped but that's for another day). Anyway, Oceane's rendition of 'Emotions' by Mariah Carey certainly had volume but it didn't have an awful lot more as her screaming was likened to 'having a load of people inside of you all screaming' by Simon. Sadly, Oceane will have to return to France without any yeses from the judges.
Hoping to beat Oceane in both the air miles AND success stakes is our next auditionee, Jimmy Cheung who came all the way from Hong Kong to audition for The X Factor. I hope he booked a return flight because he's not going to be sticking around in the competition for long, after a bizarre cover of Pavarotti's 'O Sole Mio'. I'm not sure what to make of his vocals, nor are the judges and Jimmy sadly isn't through to the arenas.
So France and China have failed to produce much talent, will Polish hopeful Jan Cichorz fare any better? Nope, he's just as bad as the other two, his rendition of 'Tough Lover' by Christina Aguilera is frankly abysmal prompting Mel B to advise him to continue singing...at home where nobody can hear him. He gets four nos.
So it seems that foreign acts aren't doing so well and the chances for the next hopeful, Andrea Faustini are looking grim. He comes from Italy and is obsessed with pugs, weirdly. His bonkers personality makes him seem like 'one of those' and it's clear that the judges have written him off before he begins singing...until they hear just what he sounds like. Andrea is very impressive, he has a large soulful range and powers through The Jackson Five's 'Who's Loving You' likes it's Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. All four of the judges are blown away by his talent and Andrea, unsurprisingly gets four yeses.
A bevy of female overs also have success as Helen Fulthorpe, Michelle Lawson and Chloe Thwala all in their 30's impress the judges with their vocals. They're all very strong singers and deservedly each get four yeses.
The final auditionee of the night, Linzi Martin is perhaps a familiar face to some people, she was part of a girlband who were created by Simon Cowell in the 90's, Girl Thing and had limited success before their fame was up and they were dropped. Since the band fell apart, Linzi has found it tough to pay the bills, especially now that she has two daughters and sees The X Factor as her last shot at musical success. Sadly, it's clear that nerves aren't on her side when she launches into 'I'll Be There' by The Jackson Five. It's very shaky because she's clearly really nervous and doesn't get any better. Louis and Mel B both want to give her a chance because they understand how much pressure she is under but Cheryl can't give her false hope and says No. The final decision rests in the hands of Simon, her former manager. He really struggles with it but says that he doesn't want to be unfair to her and it would be unfair if he was to give her false hope when he doesn't think she's cut out for this. Linzi doesn't get through.