If there’s one thing that The X-Factor has been synonymous with over the past nine years then it’s the sob story a piece of information about a singer’s past that makes it impossible for the judges to root against them. X-Factor fans will probably be used to them by now as they’ve been recycled over and over again however I believe tonight’s show had the most sob stories crammed into it.
I didn’t think it would be a sob-story filled night straight away though as we were introduced to our first contestant 70 year old Nick Buss a grumpy old man who resents waiting in a queue and just wants to go home but instead has decided to come to The X-Factor after that incident years ago when Stars in their Eyes lost his tape. As the One Foot in the Grave theme tune played in the background you already knew that Nick wouldn’t be any good but you had to suffer through the segment where Nick said he was a fan of Gary and Louis but didn’t recognise Rita Ora, I wouldn’t either to be fair, but he did now who Tulisia was. It seems that mispronouncing Tulisa’s name is the new theme of the series, as her admirer Jason did last week also, I think this is the reason that a lot of people just seem to call her T. Nick wore glasses in tribute to his favourite artist of all time, Buddy Holly, and later performed one of his tunes which didn’t go down all that well. The male judges let Nick down gently while he didn’t really care about Rita but when it came to the judgment of ‘Tulisia’ he started to get the hump and stormed backstage before turning the air blue with his foul mouth. I’m not sure why this segment went on first but it was certainly entertaining as at the end of the day who doesn’t like to hear old people swear?
The sob-stories commenced with Jade Ellis who bought her six year old daughter with her. Jade gave birth aged 19 and since then she’d gave up singing. Of course her little girl was incredibly cute, even though the glasses she had been given to wear didn’t really fit her, so Jade was bound to be brilliant just because they wouldn’t let the kid cry. She had a completely brilliant voice which was full of soul and wowed the judges getting a unanimous yes while her daughter sat backstage unimpressed. Fellow mother Leanne went one step further bringing her cute little daughter out on stage with her after wowing the panel with her powerful vocals meanwhile Madeline, a former school acquaintance of Tulisa’s, warranted the line of the night as Louis turned to Tulisa and asked ‘you went to school?’
If I were devising the next sob story it would be something like I had an alcoholic step-father, a mother who embarrassed me in the jungle and I once had to spend a few weeks in a coach travelling around Europe with Raef from The Apprentice and The Chuckle Brothers. Instead the somewhat recognisable Bianca Gascoigne told of us her life on the Z-List including how she was drafted to go on Love Island aged only 19 and after that joined the party scene but always wanted to be a singer. Gascoigne warbled her way through a Mary J Blige number and while she wasn’t terrible she didn’t set the world on fire either causing a response that was neither here nor there. The general consensus seemed to be that Bianca didn’t have a good enough for voice for a 25 year old and reading behind the lines I think they believed she’d spent too much time getting her boobs out and not enough time mastering the art of music. Instead Bianca will have to resign herself to the life of a minor celeb and an appearance next year on either Dancing on Ice or Celebrity Big Brother.
Faring better was 17 year old Lauren Smith, yet another contestant this year with an acoustic guitar, who performed a stripped-back version of American Boy. Lauren briefly split the judges with Mel B telling her that she didn’t like that Lauren closed her eyes during the entire performance while Louis wondered whether she was right for this competition. This caused a brief argument between Louis and Tulisa as they argued about who’d sold the most records which then seemed awfully pointless when Lauren was given a unanimous yes and put through to boot camp.
Next week met Tammy Cartwright from Derby who was having a conversation with her nan Mae and laughing an awful lot about how she’d like to have her wicked with Dermot. In one of the most stage-managed segments of the show so far the judges asked to see Mae almost as soon as Tammy got on stage with the eccentric pensioner charming everyone in the arena before tottering off again. We then heard Tammy belt out One Night Only from Dreamgirls but despite her being talented she came of across as a bit of a cruise singer and in that respect reminded me of Sami Brookes from last year. Tammy had a few sob stories of her own though as she told of how her brother got on the wrong side of the law before she herself tragically found out she had breast cancer but eventually she recovered and decided to something for herself. She got through to the next round but not before Mel B bought up the cruise singer comment that garnered her a V-sign from Mae who became the second rowdy pensioner of the evening.
To round up an evening of sob stories we had pretty Jade Collins from Belfast who was dressed in a collection of high-street accessories suggesting to me that she’d fit in perfectly with last year’s winners Little Mix. Jade had arrived with her Mammy and the rest of her family apart that is from her daddy who hasn’t been there for her since she was a kid. As we saw a VT of her staring gloomily over various bodies of water we learnt that her mum raised her almost single-handedly and her dad was currently serving an undisclosed amount of time in prison. Of course once again she was brilliant, even though Gary did criticise her about lack of preparation, and was given a pass to the next round however I found that her voice was strong enough without all this emotional blackmail which meant we were in no doubt how good she would be before she opened her mouth.
Apart from the hilarious Nick Buss incident most of this episode of X-Factor was entirely generic which generally featured above average singers who all had their own tragic backstory which in turn meant that they had to go through to the next round. With the ratings continuing to slide you’d think they’d try a sentiment-free evening but instead the sob stories were hammered home so hard I started to get a headache and as a whole the show did very little to entertain me.
Did you enjoy tonight’s X-Factor? Who were your favourite acts? Leave Your Comments Below.