Sunday, 11 September 2011

X Factor Roundup: Auditions (Part 4).

It might surprise you to hear that, despite my tough mannerisms and rebellious nature, I have never been in prison. But what I have heard is that when men get out of prison, having been deprived of sexual relations with ladies for a long time, they tend to want to shag any female who crosses their path. Raunchy.

It works in other situations as well, obviously. Ex-anorexics are known to eat McDonalds morning, noon and night while into the early stages of recovery. Women who've spent nine months carrying a baby around inside of their wombs before pushing it out of their vaginas are usually keen to get a glass of wine down themselves after 40 weeks of abstaining. The top and bottom of it is, when you've been deprived of something for an extended period of time, it feels good to indulge in it and take in as much of it as you can.

This seems to be the only way to explain the behaviour of a certain Miss Kelly Rowland who, after a lifetime of playing second fiddle to Beyoncé, seemed to have made every moment of last night's X Factor revolve around herself. Before the auditions had even started Gary Barlow had invited Tulisa, Louis and Kelly to watch him perform as part of Take That in Manchester. Rather than just saying "yeah good job, mate" like a normal person when she saw him the next day, Kelly decided to get down on her knees and bow like a dickhead before Gary's feet, which seemed to make him nothing short of uncomfortable. Poor old Louis Walsh barely got to speak two words on last night's show. Bless.

Despite Kelly's best efforts, though, the show wasn't entirely about her, so let's get our heads around some of the contestants we met during last night's hoot-and-a-half edition of The X Factor...


I don't know about you, but compared with last year's contestants (Tesco Mary, Wagner and Chloe Maffia to name just a few), this year the auditions seem to be lacking a little thing known as "glamour". As if in answer to my prayers, last night's show opened with Kendro declaring they were going to win the X Factor. We were then treated to a short blast of Duck Sauce's Barbara Streisand as the two boys danced together, ITV's more subtle way of saying:


There's then a delightful scene of Alejandro and Kendel (oh my goodness...) in the X Factor makeup room applying powder, preening their magenta hair and exclaiming "let's go, sister" to one another. I can't be sure but by this stage in the programme I was almost 80% certain that these two might well be homosexuals.

They took to the stage together to perform their version of Lady GaGa's Born This Way (what else?) in a rendition which took a song intended to be an anthem for empowerment and instead turned it into an excuse for behaving like a prick on the telly. Before they started singing (which ironically was the only monotonous thing about them), they decided to apply some lip-gloss. Naturally.

Gary Barlow, of course, being the most BLOODY MISERABLE MAN IN THE WORLD said he didn't like it and refused to put them through but naturally Louis and Tulisa (both of whom, by this stage in the competition, have clearly stopped caring) said yes. Their fate was therefore left in the hands of Kelly Rowland. For the first of several times during the show, Kelly had taken command of someone else's auditions. From here on out she was (literally) the commander.

"I...I just don't know", she starts. Bloody hell, Kelly, this is not one of Hamlet's soliloquies, you're only deciding whether two perma-tanned bummers get through to boot camp. It really doesn't require that much deliberation. Any normal person would go "Oh go on then", and move on.

In the end, it's decided that Kendro are through to the next stage of the competition. As undoubtedly the most "out" act that's ever been involved in X Factor, I think it'll be interesting to see how the gay community react should Kendro get through to the live finals. Personally, I'm not sure how I feel about them. I can hardly sit on my high-horse and accuse other people of playing up to their homosexuality when that's all I did for the first 18 years of my life, and I must admit they did seem like a lot of fun. Having said that, if I saw them in a club they'd probably get the stink-eye. I SUPPOSE BOOT CAMP WILL BE THE DETERMINER, WON'T IT?

Have we seen the last of Kendro..? Honestly I don't think we have. I know their vocals are at best a 5/10, but this is the first group who've had any real spotlight on the show since OH MY GOODNESS AREN'T WE SERIOUS act The Keys a few weeks ago, and it's more than likely Simon has some ideas he never got to use on Diva Fever last year that he could pass onto this year's "groups" mentor.

Sami Brookes

"I just wanna sing," Sami tells us in her introductory interview, "And to be honest I'm too thick to do anything else". If you're anything like me then you instinctively hate Sami simply because of that ridiculous contraption she's decided to wear on her head. It turned out that despite an unfortunate choice in headwear, Sami was quite a charismatic woman. although she does warn us before she takes to the stage that she talks too much when she's nervous and will probably talk more than she singing. Unfortunately it turns out that (unsurprisingly) Gary Barlow is less than impressed with her chatty nature BECAUSE HE HATES JOY AND LAUGHTER.

"Shall we move this along since Christmas is coming," he says to Sami, clearly having had enough of her bubbly nature. It's a good job Christmas isn't literally coming, because I envisage Gary being visited by three ghosts during the night if it were, the miserable old git. A LUMP OF COAL NO DOUBT CONSTITUTES A PRESENT IN THE BARLOW HOUSEHOLD. No wonder Robbie got kicked out of Take That, what with him not being in a perpetual state of frown.

Aye so anyway, Sami decides to sing her version of Whitney Houston's One Moment In Time and wisely, unlike Whitney, she decides to refrain from smoking any crack for the duration of the performance. It turns out this was a wise decision because the audience love it and, I must admit, so do I. The hat is very much forgiven because Sami Brookes is clearly going to do very well in this competition, and she deserves to. She has stage presence, she has charisma and she has the voice. It's a bit shouty but it's tuneful. Kelly clearly agrees because she decides, near the end, to LEAP OUT OF HER BLOODY SEAT.

Oh God, it's happened. Kelly Rowland has once again stolen a contestant's thunder. "SIT DOWN!" I screamed at the TV when this happened. Kelly ignored me and instead started WAVING HER ARMS AROUND INSTEAD. It does seem like Kelly has an excuse though, telling the crowd: "I can't sit down right now because I am still so excited". A bit too much information for my liking, my head is filled with images of an over-lubricated Kelly Rowland sliding off her chair at the sound of Sami's voice.

Sami does seem genuinely overwhelmed by it all, comparing herself unfavourably to Beyoncé (wahey!) and Rihanna, saying she doesn't feel like she has "the look" to which Kelly gives the unforgettable quote "You know what you size is? You Size Sexy". I don't believe Sami actually mentioned her size, Kelly, she was probably referring to the fact she's willing to go on the telly in a ridiculous leoapard-print hat but well done for patronising a fat lass in front of the entire nation.

In the end Sami excitedly leaves the stage having received a "yes" from all four judges, telling Dermot she's "all sweaty" and that her "pants are falling down and everything". Lass after my own heart, don't change a thing. Except, obviously, that godawful hat.

Have we seen the last of Sami..? Sami to bloody win I say!!!!!

Twisted/Chrissie Pitt

At this point in the episode we're shown a montage of the girlgroups who've had less than successful auditions (including one where one girl says Kelly Rowland must know what she's talking about because "she's best friends with Beyoncé"--- amazing) but it all seems to pick up when these four lasses from Newcastle pile out of a pink Mini Cooper and introduce themselves as Twisted.

The group seems to be led by one girl named Chrissie, who we're told got through to the latter stages of Boot Camp last year but this year decided to come back with her "three best friends". According to Chrissie there's no one she'd rather be doing this with than the rest of the group, but even the most naïve person would be able to smell a bit of a rat with this set-up.

When they assemble themselves on the stage we see Chrissie is stood further forward than the other three girls, who so far are the only people in the episode to have spoken less than Louis Walsh who has apparently been rendered speechless. The group then start an (ill-advised, I'd say) acapella doo-wop version of Adele's Someone Like You where only Chrissie sings anything other than "doo doo doo" in the background. The judges seem uncomfortable with the whole thing and it's obvious to anyone with eyes in their head what's going to happen here.

"When you started singing," says YOU GUESSED IT Kelly Rowland, "I started wondering 'why did you bring them [the other girls] along?'"


After explaining her story from last year she looks at the other girls and says half-heartedly "this feels right" in a manner that screams "I WISH I'D LEFT YOU THREE IN THE CAR WITH THE WINDOW OPEN A CRACK".

Meanwhile Gary Barlow says the group appears to be "a solo singer with three very mediocre backing singers" which seems a bit rich coming from him when you consider this video:

Inevitably, of course, it's four nos, the girls are devastated and one of them says it's the most humiliating experience of her life. She wants to think herself lucky, I once tripped on a step running to be sick in The Bank Bar and threw up on myself. A stranger had to give me his shirt so I could go home.

Of course, the story doesn't end there and IT'S KELLY BLOODY ROWLAND TO THE RESCUE.

Running backstage, Kelly decides to channel Tyra Banks and give Chrissie a pep-talk about how she shouldn't let those less talented girls hold her back from achieving her dreams (I presume it's a similar speech to the one she overheard Daddy Knowles give to Beyoncé shortly before the release of Dangerously In Love).

Surprise surprise, Chrissie decides to abandon her "three best friends" who she couldn't imagine being in the competition without and comes back to audition as a solo act singing Cee-Lo Green's hit from last year Forget You. If ever there was an inappropriate time to sing that song, this was it. It's moments like this that I really do think just when it seems The X Factor can't get any more surreally shameless than it already is, it somehow manages to.

Chrissie gets four yeses and, I presume, three blocks on Facebook. Dear me.

Have we seen the last of Chrissie..? I think she'll get to judges' houses. She's alright.

Lascel Woods

Cher Lloyd has a lot to answer for, since her audition last year it seems that everyone with weird eyebrows in the whole of the UK have come out in full-force to audition for The X Factor, including Lascel Woods who tells us he is a 2o-year-old from Brighton.

It takes Lascel 15 seconds to tear into his sob story. His childhood "wasn't easy", he explains because he was put in foster care thanks to his mother who suffers from what he describes as " something called bi-polar". We're 23 seconds into his audition and already I know far more about his family history than I'd ever like to. I'm all for delving a bit into the contestants' back stories so we can learn a bit more about what made them the people they are today, but I personally can't think of anything more horrifying than being so uninteresting that 20 seconds into telling people about my life I've already explained that my mother was unfit to take care of me because she was mentally ill.

I said, talking about Chrissie, that the X Factor never shocks to delight me with its shamelessness but to be honest I think this was too much even for me. By the time he'd taken to the stage I had no desire to hear Lascel sing-- how could anyone exploit their own mother like that? If further down the line Lascel had used his experience to prove to young people with mentally ill parents that it doesn't have to define who you are, then I'd applaud him- that would be proper role model behaviour. Instead he's used his mother's illness to ensure that he gets a spot on the telly with the sad music and the emotional backstory. I'm sorry to be so blunt about it, but Lascel Woods makes me sick.

"The relationship you have with your mother is so beautiful", sobs GUESS WHO...

Have we seen the last of Lascel..? No we haven't, which is a shame. Sami Brookes might have all kinds in her family history, but she chose not to reveal it at her audition because she knows there's more to her than that. As for Lascel- if he wants to exploit his mentally ill mother to get on the telly then that's his prerogative, but it's my prerogative to say that he is an opportunist, shameless creep. With stupid eyebrows.

And finally...

Hilarious X Factor Visual Of The Night

Sami Brookes tells the judges she can't dance because she has "a funny arm". AMAZING.

Watch the auditions yourself:
Kendro - Born This Way
Sami Brookes - One Moment In Time
Lascel Woods - Use Somebody


  1. I loved the auditions last night and I like Kelly Rowland, I haven't been annoyed by her yet!

    Maria xxx

  2. If she'd calm down I'd probably like her a lot more but she just makes EVERYTHING about herself it's ridic. x

  3. you have outdone yourself, daniel. excellent work.

    favourite bit:
    "I once tripped on a step running to be sick in The Bank Bar and threw up on myself. A stranger had to give me his shirt so I could go home."


  4. I wish that story wasn't true but it is. In fact this lad came into the toilets where I was crying and wiping myself down with toilet roll. He proceeded to give me his shirt saying "I'm a carer so I deal with worse than this all the time". MORTIFYING. x

  5. That was hilarious! I will definitely visit this blog more often :) I agree with you about Lascel Woods. What an ass. "The relationship you have with your mother is so beautiful." How on earth did you come up with that conclusion Kelly? Mother Woods was well sweet to Lascel but he just looked uncomfortable with her :/ (I only brought her along for the sob story).

  6. Super roundup, you've enabled me to catch up and now I can watch again without fearing I've missed the best.