Whenever X Factor gets past their ‘open’ auditions, they bring their shortlist of singers to a big event called Boot Camp. The idea behind this is that the viewers get to watch as the finalists are whittled down to a crack team of the best talent Britain has to offer.
In reality, what we got was a badly-cut whizz through all of the 200+ candidates that was far from satisfying. The reason? Because even the good singers only got a couple of seconds here and there, and everybody sounded like a desperate wailer. Really, it was an episode of the show that didn’t really warm up until about 45 minutes in. It’s like “we’ve got all this footage – might as well do something with it”.
So, rather than get hung up on the fact that X Factor almost literally sent me to sleep tonight, I decided to focus on the positive/entertaining bits. And here we go…
Change of policy at X Factor HQ? Louis Walsh is heard saying: “We’re looking for a star, so we’re only gonna pick the best people.” That may be a subtle guarantee that there will be no Jedward-style acts in the 2010 show! Rejoice!
Dance move of the evening: Irish supermarket checkout beauty Mary Byrne braving arthritis and shaking her boobs at the camera. I shall be thinking of her when I go to bed with the wifey tonight. Hope it doesn’t impact my performance.
Backseat narcissist: Brian “Creative Director” Friedman, a man whose job description is to turn every performance into one big camp production, wearing a hooded top with nothing on underneath. Simon Cowell gives him the 50-year old record exec equivalent of “WTF, dude?”
Isn’t it ironic? Hot favourite Liam Payne comes on stage and announces his very vague hard luck story, “I had a knock back at an early age…” and then proceeds to sing Stop Crying Your Heart Out.
Battle of the Big Hair: Quirky teen singer Cher Lloyd versus rumoured prostitute Chloe Victoria “Mafia”. It may well be that Cher’s skinny frame makes her hair seem even bigger, but Chloe’s pornstar tresses and laughable false lashes mean that she’s probably edged it.
Twat In The Hat: Step up, Mr Storm Lee. When he made his overconfident appearance, Twitter was afire with “Shut up, Storm” posts. I’m all for self-belief, but something about this guy raises people’s hackles. He’s intensely dislikeable. And a very patchy singer – good in places, but alarmingly bad sometimes too.
La Vida Loca – Cher Lloyd tries to live on the edge by reinterpreting Coldplay’s Viva La Vida, and adding a rap intro. Somewhere along the line, she acquires an urban gangsta accent. I half expected her to end with a ‘brrrap’. And she’s still pulling faces when she sings. Ring-a-dingin’
Gay or Not Gay? Scotland’s Stephen Hunter, who sweats up a storm during Brian Friedman’s dance masterclass. Still classing himself as a house husband, our gaydar is on high alert! He’s got a touch of Tom Jones about his singing, and a fine line of reality TV cliches: “Failure’s not an option for me…this is my chance and this is my moment.”
Best group of the night? The Reason’s rendition of Lady GaGa’s Bad Romance made them one of the only groups worth watching. Great vocals and an inventive arrangement.
And on that note…did anybody in particular stand out for you tonight? Share your thoughts in our comments section!