Saturday, 27 August 2011

X Factor Roundup: Auditions (Part 2).

Well, after last week's X Factor bombarded us with a string of bell-ends each more horrific than the last, I must admit I had low expectations for this week's show. After we got to see the "feisty" side to Tulisa last week, and saw Gary establish himself as the new "judge to impress", it seems that this week producers were more intent on shoving Kelly Rowland down our throats. Poor old Louis, eh? It's not all about the judges, though, so let's re-visit this week's new "talent"...

Johnny Robinson

Immediately, as soon as he starts introducing himself, it's obvious that Johnny is going to be a much needed antidote to the self-obsessed, cocky and arrogant pricks who dominated the show last week. As he tells us mournfully that he isn't in a relationship and lives alone in a small bedsit (before correcting himself and calling it a "small flat", audibly praying it doesn't sound "too scummy") before telling us how exciting it is to perform on the same stage as Kylie Minogue's "Aprhodisiac" tour, it's clear that Johnny has no names tattooed on his arse, nor will he later give his autograph to a gang of children, telling them it will be worth loads on eBay once he is dead famous.

This may be a touch hypocritical of me to say, but Johnny Robinson is literally what would happen if camp came to life and became human, despite his unassuming choice of clothing. He's the sort of sweet-natured person you desperately hope won't open their mouth only for the sound of a walrus grunting to come out as the Lady GaGa backing track behind him continues on relentlessly, and when he reveals that he'll be tackling the Etta James song At Last it seems all may be lost.

Once again, though, Susan Boyle has taught us nothing and instead he delivers a tuneful although somewhat effeminate (but then it was hardly going to be Barry White's voice that thundered out from his petit vocal chords, was it?) and the judges are clearly shocked by it.

However, between his high-pitched tones and his preened eyebrows, the conversation in our house inevitably turned onto how many times Johnny is likely to have performed this song in full drag. For those wondering, here is a video of Johnny's female alter-ego, Sarah Lee, tackling I'm Not Scared by Pet Shop Boys:

Alrighty, then.

Have we seen the last of Johnny?: As the only X Factor contestant of 2011 so far who I don't want to smack in the face, I sincerely hope we have not. However, he said in his opening sequence he "wants to be taken seriously as a singer", while producers will likely have other ideas for him. I predict if he gets through to the live finals he'll be more than unhappy with his song choices which will likely include a Mika number and an ill-advised cover of Scissor Sisters' I Don't Feel Like Dancing. We shall see.

Derry Mensah

First things first, Derry is very handsome. What a handsome young man he is. Peculiarly, it seems he is a bit obsessed with new judge Kelly Rowland, and when we first meet Derry he's part of a montage of male contestants who are all in the mood for a bit of Kelly loving. This confuses me on a number of levels because:

1. Why would anyone want to have sex with a woman?
2. The notion of anyone having any feeling other than indifference towards Kelly Rowland is completely alien to me.

"Kelly Rowland is my ultimate woman", says Derry. Really though? Every woman on the planet and Kelly Rowland is his ULTIMATE woman??

"Kelly Rowland...I don't need to say much. Just...Kelly Rowland", he explains, trying to enlighten viewers as to exactly why he likes Kelly so much. Probably just as well he doesn't feel the need to say much, really, there's not really a lot to say about her in the first place is there? If we're being totally honest everything worth knowing about Kelly Rowland can probably be squeezed onto a Post-It note. In fact, just to prove a point:

Excellent stuff.

Derry goes on to sing Usher's Can You Help Me? which he directs towards Kelly, who he professes his love to after the song. It's a very good rendition, and at one point he ends up singing on his knees. It's excellent viewing, and after the song Kelly shocks everyone by inviting him to come down and give her a kiss.

Some might wonder why Kelly would let a contestant do that, but what people seem to forget is that this is the first time in 15 years someone has directed a comment to Kelly other than "So tell me, what's Beyoncé really like?", I wouldn't be surprised if the two end up engaged.

Poor old Tulisa, Kelly gets confessions of love from the performers while she just gets called a scumbag. Ouch.

Have we seen the last of Derry?: Handsome and talented, as long as he keeps kissing Kelly's arse the way he has been, I'd imagine Derry should be safe for quite some time.

Craig Colton

Out next is Scouse lovely Craig Colton, who lives at home with his parents who are in the audience at the auditions. However, he hadn't told them he was going to be performing as he wanted to surprise them. As you can see, his father is just BURSTING with pride when he sees his son step onto the stage:

Craig, like Johnny before him, has the confidence and the banter to get the crowd going without crossing over into arrogance or smugness, which again makes a change from the self-obsessed twats who indundated last week's shows, which is odd because Craig sings better than all of them when he starts performing Adele's Hiding My Heart Away.

Only real criticism of Craig is that his performance is a bit of an Adele impression, he's even copied several of her mannerisms including singing out of the corner of his mouth and doing slight head-flips. It was still decent enough, but I wouldn't be surprised if a video of Craig performing the same song while dressed as Adele emerged in the near future.

I must admit, though, I do have high hopes for Craig who seems like a normal lad from Liverpool who works in (where else?) a biscuit factory! Of course he's following in a long line of biscuit-loving X Factor contestants from years gone by...

Diana Viscount
Rachel Adedejaffa-cake
Wagner Wheel
Joe Malted MilkElderry

Well. That wasn't very funny at all was it?

No it was not.

Have we seen the last of Craig?: Friendly, approachable, young and with a big voice, it'd be nice to think we'll see Craig again but whether or not he hold his own against the other under-25s boys like Derry and Frankie will be another matter.

Misha Bryan

Thankfully the sob stories were kept to a minimum on tonight's show, although one did still manage to slip through the net when we met Misha Bryan and she decided to delve deep into her family history and tell us all about her negligent mother and how she's performing there today just to make her aunt, who raised her when her mother proved unable to.

Really it's a shame she felt the need to lay her family history in front of the nation because she's got a unique look, good charisma and a great voice she doesn't need to resort to sob stories. Plus when we get to meet her family they look like a real fun bunch which, frankly, they should have played up to more. If you'd like to know my favourite member of Misha's family then I can tell you it's undoubtedly this glittery beret-wearing old woman...

...although having said that I must say I have a lot of respect for her cousin Nicki Minaj who decided to stay in the background and let Misha have her moment...

Once her sob story is done and dusted, Misha hits the stage with all guns blaring, with a performance of Aretha Franklin's Respect, which is a brilliant performance and manages to take the song to an all new height when Misha says "ree-ree-remix" and then continues TO RAP IN THE MIDDLE OF IT. I almost fell off my chair at this point, she'd managed to make a top notch song even better. Unfortunately she then beckons the ladies in the audience to get on their feet, which embarrassingly Kelly Rowland takes as her cue to try and get in on that, though unfortunately she ends up looking like a right tit:

SIT CHO ASS DOWN KELLY ROWLAND. We know you've been in Beyoncé's shadow since you were 11 years old but that doesn't mean you can steal the limelight from this girl. That's not how it works, woman!

I do have one criticism of Misha, besides her sob story that is. I always maintain that if you're going to try and do an Aretha Franklin number it always helps if you're wearing her outfit from Barack Obama's inauguration, don't you think?:


Have we seen the last of Misha?: As long as she's going to keep doing songs to get Kelly Rowland up on her feet, then I think Misha could be in this competition for the long haul. I just hope if she is that we don't have to hear any more about her bloody sob story.


Hilarious X Factor Visual Of The Night

Amazing facial expression from Kelly Rowland.

This is what The X Factor is all about.

Watch the auditions yourself:
Johnny Robinson - At Last
Derry Mensah - Can You Help Me
Craig Colton - Hiding My Heart Away
Misha Bryan - Respect

WAIT!! I just thought of another X Factor biscuit lover!

Aiden Grimshortbread


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