We kick off tonight’s [[The X Factor (UK TV Series)|X Factor]] liveblog in Cardiff, as the trio of judges are joined by one of Shout’s favourite new popstars – Pixie Lott. And Cheryl still hasn’t collapsed with this malaria thing yet. It seemed to last a lot longer at the time, didn’t it?
Tonight’s show alternates between London and Cardiff with the usual array of good and terrible singers. You’ll meet the most overconfident contestant ever to stand in front of Simon Cowell (slight exaggeration, but he’s cocky) and Louis Walsh champions one auditionee who isn’t terrible and isn’t a pair of moronic Irish twins. What gives? Let’s get started…
Cocky bugger this Kash, he blethers on about his white Mercedes and his modelling work. He swaggers onstage and the dancing is convincing enough…until he opens his mouth. He gives the most feeble version of Ne-Yo’s Closer that I’ve ever heard, including the original. Yes, this is the product of overconfidence.
Simon Cowell tells him he’s got a “slightly whiny” voice and he sounds like he has a cold. Four rejections from the judges.
- Diana Zavina – Singing that old disco classic I’m Coming Out, Diana fails to impress. I’m afraid it’s a no, says Simon.
- Danomic – These dullards mangle a JLS song and get kicked off tout de suite.
- Rob Burn – Older gent gives a rousing version of James Brown’s I Feel Good. It’s dad dancing at best, but the other three judges let him through. Simon’s not fussed.
Looking for his ticket out of normal life, Tom opts to sing The Script’s The Man Who Can’t Be Moved. Good song choice. There are a few bum notes in there, but the waistcoat-wearing teen does a pretty good job – he’s confident on stage, and he’s got a pretty good voice. The crowd, naturally, love him.
Cheryl calls his act a bit contrived, but notes that he’s the best in his category today. Simon tells him “the market has moved on drastically” for his type of act and Louise jumps in to give him another chance. When Tom tells him he’s going to sing something a little bit musical theatre, Simon stops him dead. The kid looks on the verge of tears, but he goes against Simon’s advice and sing This Is The Moment.
It doesn’t go down well with Cowell – he says “You couldn’t have chosen a worse song.” Pixie tells him that he could do well in the West End, but she wouldn’t know where to place him as a pop star. Louis, for once, backs a decent singer. Judging from the Mika track building up in the background, this has a positive ending. Louis and Cheryl say yes, and after major pressure from the audience, Pixie reverses her original rejection and sends him through to boot camp. Phew…that was tense for a minute or two, wasn’t it?
- Katie Smith – Gives a few bars of Use Somebody and gets universal praise from the judges.
- Lauren Francis – A Plymouth barmaid with quite a sexy singing voice. Again, gets sent through to boot camp by the judges.
- Lee Vaughan – Lee’s definitely not a red indian, but he’s a pretty good performer. Really likeable, good singer and gets sent on through.
It’s just the original trio of judges now, and a funny little scene where grump Simon tells Louis to stop making small talk with him. They’re doing a nice little odd couple act this year.
Bun Nd Cheese
Three girls who’ve named their act after food. Brill. They sing Listen by Beyonce, but we hear them bickering beforehand about how they’re going to sing the song. Oh dear. It actually goes downhill from there as the girls completely forget the words and stand looking at each other. By the time they recover, they’re still…lacklustre.
Simon says “You didn’t even try. No attempt to sing. You hadn’t even bothered to learn the words.” Louis says it’s like they just walked in off the street. And they get offended when Cheryl Cole accuses them of being a pisstake act. They get sent home.
Italian-born Nicolo is next to take the stage. He seems quite bashful when he speaks to the judges and it’s clear he doesn’t have much chemistry with Louis! When he sings, he’s got a powerful voice, but the song is deadly boring. The crowd seem happy enough, but what will the judges think?
Cheryl says “There’s something really charming about you. I enjoyed your vocal, very diva-ish.” Simon says “I like you because you’re weird. And I mean that as a compliment.” They play a bit of Mika in the background, as if to draw comparisons between the awkward, gangly foreign guy with a funny haircut and the awkward, gangly foreign pop star with a funny haircut. Simon tells Cheryl that “If he was from Stoke you wouldn’t have shown any interest whatsoever.” The three judges send Nicolo through to boot camp.
- FYD – A somewhat tuneless boyband who get rolled eyes from Cowell. Louis and Cheryl put them through though.
- Raquel Thomas – A little lady with a big voice, Louis tells her that “I didn’t expect your voice to be that powerful.” And she’s through.
- Jo Beetlestone – A horse tooth dentist, she sings a Whitney song and ends with shaking hands. Cheryl tells her “I was blown away by that” and Simon says “That was bloody fantastic”.
19 year old Londoner Paije sings Fly Me To The Moon by Sinatra. It’s a slightly uptempo jazz rendition, and it’s not a bad vocal. Not sure about the scat section in the middle though. Louis gives him loads of flattering comments: “You’re one of the best singers today by far.” Cheryl’s “on the fence”, and Simon agrees. “I was thinking at times I could be at a wedding right now.”
Louis holds on to his “rough diamond” assessment. He says yes, while Cheryl rejects him. Simon sides with Cheryl. But Louis sticks to his guns. He goes backstage to see Paije while the audience boos the judges. He tells Paije to come back at the end of the day and sing something more contemporary.
He comes back for a second audition, and is quickly warned by Simon to do better this time round. He chooses It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World. Hardly contemporary, is it? But damn…that’s a good voice. Paije totally raises his game, although I wasn’t sure about his acting out the ‘heavy load’ lyric.
Simon says “It was gutsy coming back out, you’ve got great taste in music and it was definitely better than what we saw earlier on.” Louis tells him “I think you’re special, I just think you need a lot of work.” He gets three yeses from the judges on his second try.