This week The X Factor auditions hit London and Cardiff, with Pixie Lott joining the Judging panel for the Welsh leg of the tour.
Speaking about her stint as a judge, Pixie says: “I’m really excited!”
As the 4,000 strong audience take their seats, backstage the judges get acquainted.
Cheryl: I’m feeling optimistic about today.
Pixie: Are you excited?
Louis: Yeah, we always get somebody in Cardiff, we got two people last year.
Pixie: It feels weird to be part of the team today.
Simon: You’re the new girl.
Pixie: New girl on the block!
And so the Cardiff auditions begin…
Dressed to impress
One man who’s certain he can impress the judges is Kash.
‘Hi there, my names Kash, I’m 21 and I’m a sales executive for T-Mobile. Other people would probably perceive me as a flash guy by the car that I drive which is obviously a BMW, a white BMW convertible. I’ve got diamond earrings in, they’re not real but obviously they’re white gold. I’ve got some sunglasses – River Island never went wrong anywhere. Image is part of it but you’ve got to deliver with the voice too. There are those people out there who make things happen or there are those people who wait for things to happen. I’m the type of person that wants to make things happen and that’s why I’m here at X Factor today.
He takes to the stage to sing Neyo’s Closer, saying ‘Yeah let’s make some music.’
Pixie: I don’t know what to say to that to be honest. You didn’t really stay in time with the track, erm I’m a little bit speechless so I’m going to pass it on to Cheryl.
Cheryl: I wasn’t really feeling it to be honest with you.
Kash: Maybe another track, maybe acapella or something?
Will the judges let Kash sing acapella? Will this be enough to see him through to the next round?
A ticket out of Pontypridd?
My names Tom, I’m 16 and I’m from Pontypridd in South Wales. Where I live there isn’t fantastic opportunity to make a career. It had a really good industry at one point but it’s fallen on its head a bit. If music does take off I can’t really see myself living there for the rest of my life. My dad’s a plasterer and my mum’s an assistant chef. My mum and dad have sacrificed a lot of things for me to do singing.
Tom’s Dad: I always take him to singing lessons. Definitely it paid off because he’d rather go out singing that being on the street corners with all the boys.
Tom’s Mum: Tom’s always had the idea that one day his career will take off and he’ll leave Pont Pontypridd.
Tom’s Dad: We just hope he does so well with it.
Tom sings The Scripts Man Who Can’t Be Moved.
Cheryl: When you sing a song like that it’s about the emotion and the lyrics should make you move a bit when you feel it but that was a little bit contrived at times. Apart from putting on the little act, vocally I thought you were the best in this category we’ve had today.
Louis: I liked the voice but I don’t know what all the silly stage antics were – running here and running there. But, I loved your voice.
Simon: The market has moved on drastically for a singer like you and your age. That was what I would call a boyband performance from five or six years ago. I think it’s crucial that you know the gap in the market and what you’re trying to do.
Louis: I’d like to hear a little bit of another song with you just standing there no moving.
Tom: I just want to say before I do actually sing, no-one here’s ever made it with musical theatre so I’m going to sing something just a bit different.
Simon: Hang on a minute. Did you listen to what I just said to you? What did I just say to you?
Tom doesn’t answer.
Simon: I’m now relying on you to tell me what people of your age want to buy from you.
Louis: It’s your audition and we’re auditioning you and your voice. Just stand there and sing something great.
Tom: I’ll stick to my guns and on my own head be it.
With help from shouts from his family back stage, Tom decides to sing This Is The Moment.
Simon: I don’t think you could have chosen a worse song.
Louis: Do you not think he’s got potential Simon?
Simon: Yeah but not what I’d be looking for as a popstar.
Cheryl: You’re trying to show us what you can do vocally and stuff but what we’re looking for is someone who comes in and says, look this is who I want to be this is where I want to go and you sang two completely different songs.
Pixie: I think you could do really well in the West End, in musicals.
Tom: I understand that but at the end of the day I want to make it as a popstar.
Pixie: I think you’ve got star quality but I don’t know where I’d put you, it’s really hard.
Louis: I think you’re fantastic. I think you’ve got brilliant potential. You’re only 16. This kid could go a long way. I think he’s a rough diamond. I’m putting my neck on the block here.
Simon: Tom I’m going to kick this off, I’m going to say no.
Louis: Well I’m saying yes.
Cheryl: I’m going to say yes.
Pixie: I find this really hard as I don’t know where I’d put you in the music industry today. It feels like you were…not dated, but not right for this time.
Louis: Pixie, I want him through. You have to put him through.
Simon: Louis, she’s got her own opinion.
Pixie: I’m going to go with my gut instinct and say no.
The audience disagree with Pixie’s choice. Tom goes to leave the stage.
Louis: Hang on, Pixie give him a chance.
Pixie: I don’t think this is the right thing.
Louis: Give him a chance.
The audience chant ‘Please say yes’ to Pixie.
So will Pixie buckle under the pressure from Louis’ and the audience or will she stick to her guns?
As the auditions roll into London, it’s Simon, Louis and Cheryl that the thousands of hopefuls will have to impress….
Bun Nd Cheese
First up in the Capital and hoping they’ve got what it takes to go all the way is a girl group with an original name.
“I’m Pinky, I’m Patty and I’m Peas and together we are Bun Nd Cheese.”
Dermot: Bun and Cheese?
Pinky: We love it so much we eat it every day. It’s a spiced bun with processed cheese. Why not be named after something that we love. We’ve been singing together for about two years. Up till now we’ve done about 10 to 12 gigs, mostly at karaoke. Everyone’s loved us, everyone’s cheered us people want us back. The kind of artists we like are Beyonce, Mary J Blige, Sugababes. We’ve come cos we want to win, we’ve got the X factor.
They take to the stage and sing Beyonce’s Listen for the Simon, Cheryl and Louis.
Simon: You actually didn’t even try. No attempt to sing, you hadn’t learnt the words. But you’re attitude is so bad I actually quite like you.
Louis: Girls, you were totally unprepared for the audition, it’s like you just walked in off the street.
Patty: No we’re a really good group, we’re really unique.
Louis: Well there’s something wrong with my hearing cos I wasn’t hearing anything good.
Patty: No trust me.
Louis: You are very likeable, everything except the singing is good.
Cheryl: I can’t work out if they’re doing it for a laugh, like you’ve been dared by your friends or something.
Patty: A laugh?
Pinky: No we are serious, we are.
Simon: Seriously girls, I’m with Cheryl, I think this is a bit of a joke.
So are Bun Nd Cheese serious, and could their audition and attitude possibly find them a place at Boot Camp?
An X Factor Legend?
Up next is Nicolo.
My name is Nicolo, I’m 21 years old. I live in London but I’m originally from Italy. I started singing when I was born. I sing every day, all the time, anywhere. I want to be known as a legend, an icon, someone that gives people goosebumps at the mere mention. Music nowadays is about talentless people. The music that everyone listens to sounds just a like. I cannot tell the difference between Madonna or Lady Gaga or Miley Cyrus. Nobody has everything – the look, the style, the attitude and the voice. I think I could be that guy. It’s time to shake things up a little bit. What I think truly is that I’m amazing. Today I’m going to show the judges how big my X factor is.
Nicolo walks out to meet the judges. He sings A Song For You.
Cheryl: There’s something really charming about you and I don’t know why. I don’t know if it’s the Italian accent or the fact that you’re called Nicolo. I enjoyed your vocal, very diva-ish.
Simon: I like you because you’re weird and I mean that as a compliment. Cheryl’s right, you are a diva. It’s not the best version of the song I’ve ever heard.
Louis: A real diva in the making but that’s what makes you interesting. You’re different, everything about you is different.
Nicolo: As long as it sells record.
He may be a diva but has Nicolo proved he has what he takes to win The X Factor and sell records?
Next up to face the judges in London are newly formed group FYD – Kelvin, Alex, Ryan, Matt and Jordan.
The boys take their places on the stage and start their song and dance routine to Plan B’s She Said.
The boys’ routine impresses Louis and Cheryl, but can it land them a place at Boot Camp?
My name is Raquel. I work in McDonalds. I don’t like eating the burgers but I like eating the chicken sandwiches.
Raquel sings Superwoman by Alicia Keys for the judges.
Louis: I think you’ve got a great, great voice. I didn’t expect it to be that strong and powerful.
She’s got Louis’ vote but will Cheryl and Simon agree?
Soulful Singer or Wedding Entertainer?
Next in line hoping he is going to hear a yes from the judges is 19 year old Paije.
My name’s Paije, I’m 19 and I’m an usher in the cinema. While I’m at work all I can dream of is singing on a big stage, I stand at the back of the screen and sing to all the empty seats. It makes me want to be somewhere else. This is really what I want to do in life, I want to be doing the job and career that I love to do in life. Singing is the only thing I love and the thing I want to do most in my life. If I do that for the rest of my life I’ll be very happy.
Paije sings Fly Me ToThe Moon by Frank Sinatra.
Louis: I did not expect that at all Paije. You’ve got a really jazzy, soulful voice. You’re one of the best singers today by far.
Cheryl: I don’t know. Part of us was like wow and the other half of us wouldn’t let myself go, I don’t know…I’m kind of a bit on the fence.
Simon: I’m sorry Paije but I agree with Cheryl on this. I was thinking at times, I could be at a wedding right now.
Louis: No way, this guy’s not a wedding singer, he’s a brilliant jazz singer. I’m convinced you’ve got a great voice, I think you need work. Simon, I really like him and I’m saying yes.
Cheryl: I have to be totally honest with myself and my opinion, and something didn’t connect for me. I’m sorry I’m going to say no.
Simon: I’m going to say no Paije, I didn’t get it.
As Paije leaves the stage, Louis suggests to Simon and Cheryl that maybe Paije could come back and try again at the end of the day. He goes back stage to talk to Paije.
Louis: You’ve got a great voice, you’re only 19. Go and rehearse, come back at the end of the day. Don’t let me down, I think you’re good.
Will Paije be able to turn this around and win Simon and Cheryl over?
And so the auditions come to an end in London.
Simon: Do you know what, overall, London has been unpredictable but worth it.
Louis: London was good, it absolutely delivered some really good singers and some very different acts.
Cheryl: And here we go onto the next city, bring it on…