So here we are, it’s Saturday night and it’s the last of the ‘room’ auditions. YEAH! Finally, no more laughing at people. No more!
Well, no more after tonight’s show, because of course this night was all about making sure the public got a full fix of laughs at the expense of other people. It’s like they were cramming all the bad ones into the last ‘room’ auditions. As usual I won’t dwell on that here, it’s not cool and it doesn’t need the attention, other than to say that with Green Boots we discovered that love is deaf, not blind.
We saw some mild racism in the response to Justin Peng, as with Sam Bailey in episode one, the judges were ‘surprised’ at Peng’s talent. Asides from doing that nervous talking-too-much thing before singing, there was no reason to think that he wouldn’t be able to deliver in the audition. And of course, Peng didn’t just sing, he sang. You’d wonder if he’d have progressed if he’d had the totally average vocals of Sam Callahan who went sailing through later on in the episode. But no, we see a lot of Chinese people not being taken seriously in popular culture and The X Factor just contributed to the discourse. It’s such a shame because contestants of East Asian heritage are so massively underrepresented on our screens, this could have been a moment for The X Factor to say something more. I don’t want to talk about this in too much depth here, Elizabeth Chan has written about it much more eloquently than I could, but it was just so disappointing to see.
Anyway, who else did we have? Well, there were a lot of families auditioning today, none of which matched the success of Next of Kin last week. Soloists included Paul Akister who had a lovely rich voice, but who I had totally forgotten about by the end of the programme. As for the other men, we saw Joseph Whelan who sang Bon Jovi exactly as JBJ does. Verdict? Fine/whatever. And finally, my favourite man-type of the night, Jayson Newland. He sang fantastically for someone who made me tired just by looking at him. I’m excited to see what he has to bring in the next few rounds.
As for the women? It was a poor show by The X Factor this week all told. There was Lorna Simpson who sang a big song with a big voice. Andrea Magee who sang her own song and was very good, and then The Daisy Chains. It was all so promising, we were finally being offered our girl group with chemistry, that had been together for the past five years. They sang, and I thought it was totally fine, they could all sing and given the severe lack of female representation in the groups category (based on the televised shows anyway), you’d think they’d be gagging for a group like them. But of course not, that would be fair and kind. Instead they were told to disband because Hannah Sheares was carrying the group. Of course Gary wasn’t carrying the rest of Take That at all… Nevertheless, that was that and a long standing girl group, a group that could say much about solidarity and sisterhood, are no more. Harsh.
And finally, The Nostalgics. I’m going to put this out there right now, elderly people make me cry. I just love them so much and my heart breaks. Remember that documentary ‘Young At Heart’? I cried the whole way through. I think that The Nostalgics might be Young At Heart part deux for me.
It’s Sunday and I’m delighted to announce that we are now in the final stage of the auditions! Hooray! Does the last of auditions mean last of the Sunday shows? Does this mean next Sunday I can just pass out after my roast? We’ll see.
In looking back on the last hour I feel that we were given a lot, not a lot of memorable stuff, but a lot nonetheless.
We had the groups, Code Four performing the heck out of Timberlake. Brick City being vocally on it and Xyra being potentially exciting as far as the girl groups are concerned. There were Tenors of Rock who, no, I don’t remember seeing in the ‘room’ either. And finally, of the groups, we had Dynamix. Poor old Dynamix, everything about the run up to their audition screamed ‘Don’t Speak’. They’re gonna break this band up I thought and try they did. Being honourable SeeSee says, heck no to Gary’s destructo plans. Nevertheless I bet you’ll she’ll be back on her own next year. “She’s a good woman for staying” Sharon said, which made me scratch my chinny chin. SeeSee’s a good woman but Hannah would have been an idiot for staying with The Daisy Chains. I’m not sure that I get all this.
And what of Hannah Shears? Sailing through. Yawn. Do you think they asked her to sing Demi Lovato’s Skyscraper? A song all about coming back stronger. All a little too scripted for my liking. As for the other female contestants we were treated to more people we’d not actually met in the ‘rooms’. There was Zoe Devlin who gave us something Paloma-esque, different as far as the show is concerned but not at all that different compared to what’s out there right now. And then there was Crissie Rhodes. I’m surprised she hasn’t been signed up by John Lewis for their Christmas campaign already. To be fair though, I did get the goosebumps.
Male contestants? Big bunch of yawns in the most part. That said, it’s actually quite unusual to see boys being ‘vulnerable’ and there were a few of them tonight. Sam Callahan was better tonight than he was last time. Joseph Whelan, the one with the son from last night? Last week? I can’t remember, they’re all blurring, well anyway he came on and sang another classic rock song. Giles Potter the cheeky chappy sang a song from the era of Goodnight Sweetheart, which I think only serves to prove that he is indeed the child of Lyndhurst and Kirwan. Gary seems to like him a lot. All I can do is hope and hope that he’s not the next Frankie Cocozza (vom). Paul Akister aka ‘the shy guy’ sang the heck out of a song and got a response that matched it. A standing ovation no less. Good for him. But of my favourite of the dudes tonight I give you Ryan Mathie, the bin juice guy from week one, or two, or sometime, whatever. Remember? Don’t worry, I’d forgotten too. Nevertheless, as someone who used to live in Hull, I’m rooting for him and boy did he deliver, he did a great job.
And that is that. We move on. I can relax now, right? Of course not. Of course. That would be too easy. Apparently we now have the ‘new bootcamp’, where six eggs await the lucky hopefuls. Bring it.