Here we go! The return of the reality TV juggernaut. X Factor 2010. Are you ready?
Tonight we’re liveblogging the launch night episode of X Factor. Yep – the updates as they happen, and what we think of it. Get involved – sign in and leave your comments as the show goes on.
A quick reminder – our judges this year are Simon Cowell, Dannii Minogue, Cheryl Cole and Louis Walsh. Dannii isn’t present for the auditions due to having just had a baby, and Cheryl will disappear for a little while due to a bout of malaria. Guest judges will step in to fill the absentees.
The auditions process starts off in Glasgow, where tons of bonkers Scottish folk arrive for their shot at being insulted by Simon. Geri Halliwell is the guest judge and she sensationally reveals that she was the one who chose Cheryl Cole for Girls Aloud. Amazing!
Stephen Hunter – This camp-voiced 41-year-old house husband gives the crowd a rendition of Disco Inferno. He minces about until Simon asks him when he’s going to sing. Oops, Simon doesn’t know the song very well! It’s a hilarious performance, all camp and we’re still not sure whether to believe that he’s a house husband. Geri gives him a rave review, Cheryl gives him two thumbs up. Simon – being serious for a moment – tells him he’s actually got a good voice. 4 big sparkly disco yeses for Stephen!
Diva Features – Amateur karaoke act sing like an…amateur karaoke act. Give it up.
George Bicknell – Old guy who sings his way through a song that’s probably older than the combined ages of the judges.
Emedy Ecilo – Squeaks and yips his way through Billie Jean. Jacko is contacting his lawyers from beyond the grave.
Gamu Nhengu – AKA The Girl With The Flower In Her Hair. She might look innocent, but she’s got buckets of determination behind that sweet exterior. Her version of Walking On Sunshine is a kind-of reinterpretation. She’s deeper voiced than your average female singer, a little wobbly in places, but the crowd eats it up. So do the judges. Simon tells her she’s got “one of those old school 20’s 30’s jazz voices”. Four yeses from the judges.
G&S – I’ve heard it stands for Gay & Straight. Total frickin’ star quality in these two. And they’re giving us Don’t Stop Believin’. Original. Gay one misses his cue and most of the melody. The girl has an awesome voice. I bet Geri loves her tone. Crucifixion is too good for people like that dude. ‘Straight’ gets a chance to sing on her own without the clampett dragging her down. Strangely, the judges pour positive things on ‘Gay’ for being such a good friend.
Lynn Frances O’Neil – Pretty young singer gets positive vibes from Simon and four yeses from the judges.
Noir – These guys give a great rendition of Paparazzi and get through to the next round. Could’ve easily been a Don’t Stop Believin’ act though.
Mark McGregor – A good singer, Louis thinks he’s “got it”. And he’s through to boot camp.
Jahm – The oddly spelled trio have chosen to give us their version of Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance. Cheryl visibly flinches when they begin. The girls are cute, but none of them can sing for shite. Cut to dogs outside the venue howling in harmony with them. Audience members popping headache tablets. Cheryl chewing her lip.
After getting no response, they ask if they can do another song. The audience unanimously yell NO at them. After getting dismissed, the three go backstage and argue about who let the group down the most.
Dice – Girl four-piece get called “cheesy but fun” by Cheryl. Louise claims the world needs a new girl band. They get through.
Electralytes – Funky, colourful trio get told to audition for kids TV instead.
Ladybird – Another girl group – 5 this time. They sing Cheryl’s Parachute and get roasted by her. Simon makes good on his promise to get her a saucer of milk.
Katy Waissell – Dressed like 80’s-era Madonna, an excitable Katy wants to be huge. Actually, her energy is infectious. I like her. She messes up the words the first time round, but smooth talks Simon into letting her start again. She’s just hitting the chorus when Simon stops her again. After more shameless begging, she gets to sing At Last and makes a much better job of it. Louis still thinks she’s “lacking something”, but Cheryl’s been won over. Simon, however, calls her a singing scarecrow. Simon and Cheryl send her on to the next stage.
Shirlena Johnson – Her daughter is called Mariah. She seems ballsy, but she’s leaving Dermot holding the pram while she auditions. What, no friends? She tells us that her vocal coach worked with George Michael and Shirley Bassey. She sings Duffy’s Mercy in an amateur dramatic style. Out of tune. And a little bit like an orgasmic exercise class instructor. No, this is too bizarre. Audience are in stitches.
Simon describes it as a “musical exorcism” and the lady herself, “completely crazy, but I like you”. She admits that she forgot the words. Simon and Louis, showing their usual contempt for the British public, send her through to boot camp. Simply because they want to hear her do it again. Hell, they have the tapes. Why put us through it?
And that’s it. Your first auditions episode is over. What did you think – any potential popstars in among that lot? Over to you…