Sunday, 4 September 2011

X Factor Roundup: Auditions (Part 3).

My goodness, can you believe we're already three weeks into the competition? By now we've really got to know the judges a lot better, haven't we? Louis is his usual insane self, Tulisa is somewhat more vulnerable than actually expected but can still hold her own, Kelly is the unexpected star of the show while Gary Barlow seems to have only one facial expression and tone of voice. If you didn't speak English and had to base your interpretation of Gary's verdicts on tone alone you wouldn't know whether he was saying "that performance was so good I actually started knocking one out mid-way through" or "get off my stage before I start throwing shit at you, you vermin". Meanwhile Dermot seems to have decided that if he can't have the American X Factor job then he is going to be as dull as possible in the UK series. Brilliant stuff.

So that's the judges, but what of the contestants we met in the most recent episode..?

David Wilder

"David Wilder's the name", David says by way of introduction. He's not finished though, as he makes the unfortunate decision of adding "Music's the game" to the end of his sentence. Ouch. Poor old David has already made the pivotal mistake of telling us what his "game" is and consequently making himself look like a massive bell-end in front of the entire nation. Now he's said that it doesn't matter how good David's performance is, he is still so hopelessly uncool he will make this look like this by comparison.

He goes on to tell us that he's 42 years old and wants to win The X Factor and be a musical superstar as a way of getting "gorgeous girls" and "fast cars". This would be a lot more convincing if David didn't literally look like he had been pieced together from discarded parts of stars of the glam-rock era. It's then that we see David is carrying a guitar around with him, which everyone knows is a complete waste of time because musical instruments are forbidden at the auditions. The guitar is merely a prop. He might as well just be wearing a sandwich board with "very serious musician" written on it. He might as well literally get the camera crew to film him deep-in-thought while sipping a bottle of Budweiser outside a bar called "The Last Chance Saloon", such is the lack of subtlety in his insistence on carrying that bloody guitar around with him.

Predictably David then sings Life On Mars? (proper Bowie fan, me, adding the question mark and everything) in David Bowie's exact voice, and it's at this moment it becomes obvious that David is probably a Bowie impersonator by trade, and that his Christian name is most likely not even David. My money is on Boris being his real name.

As many of the acts have this year, David decides not to limit his performance by staying on the stage (truly that X they have to stand on has been truly neglected this series, hasn't it) and decides to go for a wander while he performs for the judges. First he strides over to them, singing all the way, and gets right up "in their grill". Doesn't Tulisa look comfortable..?

I think she looked more comfortable when that cretin was calling her a scumbag, to be honest. It's then that David cranks it up a notch, running all the way to the top of the audience and back again, remarkably singing all the way. Quite impressive actually, especially given that he manages to stay sounding exactly like David Bowie the whole time, even when he's running back to the stage.

What's even more remarkable is that Louis, Tulisa and Kelly all tell David they're very impressed with his performance and that he's through to the next round. Gary Barlow slates the whole thing then puts him through anyway. Madness.

Have we seen the last of David..? It leaked this week that Louis is mentoring the over-25s. We all know he's partial to an "alternative" act (this is the man who has so far mentored The MacDonald Brothers, Jedward, Wagner and The Unconventionals), so it's quite likely we could see David Wilder take it all the way to the live finals, particularly as the calibre amongst the over-25s hasn't exactly been very high, has it? This year's Storm Lee. Possibly less cringey, although depending on how Louis mentors him it could be he ends up being even more cringey than Storm Lee. Watch this space, I suppose.

Luke Lucas

We arrive at a part of the show where we're given a montage of the 16-year olds who've triumphed in the auditions so far this series (obviously they knew I was watching), which features Luke as its finale. When Gary Barlow first hears Luke Lucas's name he says "well done" to his parents for giving him a good "stage name". Had I been on that panel I'd have demanded that Luke's parents be immediately brought onstage before forcibly bending them over so that each member of the audience at The O2 that day could smack their ridiculous arses with a paddle as punishment for giving their kid such a ludicrous name, but each to their own, Gary.

Unlike previous teenage contestants, Luke wisely decides not to strut around like he's already shagged half the audience but he also manages to have an air of confidence so as not to give the impression this is the first time he's ever been outdoors before. He does seem slightly nervous and maybe even a bit shy, but he goes on to explain that he is "in love" with Tulisa, which probably explains that. Tulisa, of course, is relieved to hear that, it must be a welcome change from hearing she's a scumbag who can't sing like every other contestant this year seems intent on telling her.

It's when Luke starts to sing that things really get interesting (what an odd thing to say, you'd think that would be the point of a singing competition) as he has a gigantic voice that comes from nowhere. It isn't 100% in tune and I imagine more than two songs' worth of it would be seriously grating, but when you compare Luke's unassuming appearance to some of the conceited dickheads who've strutted onto the stage in their peacock outfits only to open their mouths and have a seal's mating call cry out it's a welcome change and, in my opinion, the biggest shock of the series so far.

Luke's audition is definitely one of my favourites so far, he's got a great voice, a likeable and- best of all- he doesn't come with an attitude that stinks like a bag of pigs' heads in the sun. I look forward to seeing him progress as the competition goes on.

Have we seen the last of Luke..? He is a great talent and hearing his enormous singing voice was my biggest surprise of the series so far but considering he'll be competing with the likes of Frankie Cocozza, Craig Colton and that lad with the afro from earlier tonight in the "boys" category he could unfortunately slip through the net. A shame, really. Then again he's only 16, Joe McElderry and Alexandra Burke both won their respective series having been on the show before so there's still hope really, isn't there?

Michael Lewis

Avid viewers of The X Factor will immediately recognise Michael Lewis as the dickhead from last year who was obsessed with Michael Jackson, sang a horrendous version of Rock With You before delivering the immortal line to the audience "there's so much negativity in this room it's unreal". It's a shame that he will probably be remembered for this line more than anything else, as his finest hour clearly came in this Sky special with Derek Acorah where together they tried to contact Michael Jackson from beyond the grave:


This year Michael is back with a new look, a new attitude and a new mantra about how it's important to be yourself rather than trying to imitate others. The other thing that's "all new", of course, is the panel who he hopes will be more impressed with his efforts than Cheryl Cole and Simon Cowell were.

He's clearly taking it much more seriously this year. Or so it seems. This theory is slightly disproved when all is said and done and the music starts, revealing Michael's song choice. Bravely he's decided to keep away from the Michael Jackson songs this year, which would have been a good idea had he not chosen to perform Geri Haliwell's oft-overlooked classic Look At Me instead, complete with grunts and pelvic thrusts to boot.

Rather embarrassingly, Michael mistakes the audience's mocking for applause and declares "There's so much positivity in this room it's unreal", almost as if to assert to himself that he has done a total 180 and this will be the moment he can put his past humiliation behind him and finally get on the road to instant stardom as he's clearly always dreamed of.

It doesn't quite work out like he'd hoped though. He gets a unanimous "no" from the judges and then, bizarrely, refuses to leave the stage and has a lie down. "I belong on the stage, what part of that don't you understand?" he asks matter-of-factly.

Oh. Dear. Me.

Will we see Michael again..? I imagine he'll be back next year and the year after that and the year after that. It's only a matter of time he becomes a novelty act on The Xtra Factor, and then he ends up being interviewed for a brief part of This Morning about reality TV flops and then ends up being one of those stars like Lauren Harries who get bookings purely to be laughed at. That fat lass with no teeth from series 4 ended up with her own weight loss programme, Christ knows what Michael Lewis could end up doing with the right PR behind him, he'll probably be running the country this time in five years.

Jade Richards

Make no mistake about it, Jade Richards was just OK. Her audition was the one we'd been waiting for, as we've been teased with the clip of Louis Walsh choking up as he says "I'm so glad we came here". I felt a bit robbed by the time it was over, I was hoping for a performance to end all performances, that would make the first time we saw Susan Boyle open her trap to sing I Dreamed A Dream sound like a pig farting, but unfortunately this was not what we got.

Instead we had a lass with a hundred holes in her face singing YOU GUESSED IT Someone Like You by Adele. By the end of her performance, though, Kelly Rowland was in bits telling her she'd had a dream someone would sing an amazing version of that song and that she was it. I personally had little emotion towards Jade, to me she's someone who did an OK job of a song that's been done to death, exploited her relationship with her grandmother and then slagged her home town of Fife off, calling it a "dive" and somewhere she'd rather not be living which seems a bit unnecessary to me.

The singing itself wasn't bad but I just don't understand why there's been such a build-up around Jade. I like that thing in her hair, though. Good choice.

Have we seen the last of Jade..? Definitely not. Since the video of her audition was uploaded onto YouTube 24 hours ago it's already clocked up 300,000 hits and Jade has already been named favourite to win the show by bookmakers. It's going to take stronger stuff than that audition to win me over, though, I can tell you.


This week's show was not as funny as the past two weeks have been, unfortunately, meaning Hilarious X Factor Visual Of The Night will instead, for one week only, have to be replaced by...

Mildly Funny X Factor Visual Of The Night

Jade Richards' gran almost breaking Dermot O'Leary's hand by the looks of things.


Watch the auditions yourself:
David Wilder - Life On Mars?
Luke Lucas - Who's Loving You?
Michael Lewis - Look At Me
Jade Richards - Someone Like You


  1. Kelly Rowland is knobber. Pretty sure there was always going to be a million and two versions of 'Someone Like You' to be sang this year. At least one of them was going to be good. I like her though so I'll let her off.

    This version however, unremarkable.

    ALSO, that Frankie bellend can't even sing so heres hoping Luke won't be overshadowed by the syphilitic little dickhead.

  2. I literally can't bare the thought of Frankie going through to the live finals, he actually makes my blood boil. ARGH.

    I wonder how many times those judges had to hear Someone Like You even just in one day? Ridic.

  3. I like Jade and I like her nan but I never want to hear another Adele song for as long as I live. Someone needs to sing some Ke$ha in the auditions and throw some glitter on Louis.

  4. The sight of glitter would probably turn Louis into an excited puppy. I can imagine him weeing himself in all the chaos and eventually tiring himself out and falling asleep x