The one thing that is winding me up about this year’s X-Factor the most, after those twitter hashtags which thankfully seem to have disappeared, is the constructed reality segments at the opening of the show which continue throughout the programme in the backstage area. These skits are so obviously rehearsed and poorly acted plus personally they do nothing for me though they are obviously there to get over that these people are characters as well though I’d just like to hear them sing if I’m honest. The opening of this episode, the first to be aired on a Sunday this year, saw people pretending to take taxi rides or just chill at home as they talked about how good last night’s show was and how you were a fool to miss it though not a lot of people got this message as the ratings went down once again.
Another common theme in this year’s series are the female guest judges who appeared before Nicole Scherzinger, who also appeared tonight got the job, with tonight’s guest being none other than former X-Factor winner Leona Lewis. As we were told time and time again Leona was a good choice for a judge as she’d been through all of this before, which was illustrated by the overplayed clip of her walking into the audition room for the first time, but while she came across as very lovely she was a tiny bit dull. Leona though is a singer first and there seemed to be many of young girls waiting in the wings who respected her as an artist and were pleased that she was guest judging as she knew what they were going through, another phrase that was repeated constantly, though she did comment on how The X-Factor has changed since she appeared on it.
This judgment was made after young Eddie String, real name Ed Wilkinson, had performed his ‘interpretation’ of The Strokes’ Last Night a song I quite liked before his performance. In his intro Eddie said that he liked to show off and that was clear as he strutted onto stage looking like Harry Styles doing a Russell Brand impression claiming that nobody had ever gone onto The X-Factor stage wearing women’s jeans and singing The Strokes before but there is a reason for that. As soon as Eddie started singing I thought he’d get booed off but we started to hear cheers and claps something that I didn’t get as all I heard was screeching and narcissism but all of the judges praised his character and energy. Gary Barlow is normally the voice of reason but he said that Eddie was only on the edge of being annoying at first I thought that that was stretching it but then I realised that this was a man who spend long periods of time with Robbie Williams so he must have to have a high tolerance for annoying people. All four judges put him through and to me he’s already coming across as the Frankie Cocozza of this year, in that he’ll cause controversy despite having little talent, and as Cowell wants publicity I believe this was inevitable. The one good thing Eddie picked up on was that too many people go on stage singing Rihanna and Adele and maybe they should pick something new to sing a sentiment that I begrudgingly agreed with.
So what did the producers follow this with? A young girl singing an Adele song, albeit a lot more in tune than Eddie, as 16 year old Romford born Amy Mottram wowed the judges with her powerful voice. Her opening VT played up that she was from Essex, down to her vajazzled trainers, and obviously she won’t be the first Essex girl called Amy to receive a small amount of fame on TV. My favourite moment was when Louis said he didn’t know what a vajazzle was, an obvious lie, and then asked Leona if she had one however I didn’t believe for a moment that Louis could work for ITV without at least a basic knowledge of The Only Way is Essex. Amy did have a great voice but I’m not sure if it’s enough to stand out from the crowd plus last year’s Essex contingent 2 Shoes were eliminated in the first week. Other young girls who were trying to impress Leona including the very tuneful Georgia and the ultra-nervous Sharon Rose who I thought was incredibly talented even though she sung ‘At Last’ a song which should be banned by The X-Factor producers along with ‘Make You Feel My Love’.
It seems that after three weeks The X-Factor producers are waking up to the fact that groups are also part of the competition and after Times Red got through last night we had another few successful groups. First of there were GMD3 a boyband who looked like three fifths of One Direction and delivered a fairly placid rendition of ‘I’ll Make Love to You’ which everybody went potty for straight away while I personally thought they got better as they went along and given some coaching they could become one of the best groups in the contest especially if they can be marketed to the teenage girl market. We also heard the hippie-looking Misotu and the female double act District Line one of whom had yet another acoustic guitar an instrument that is another recurring theme of this year’s series. Then there was Duke a group who again had a guitar but also a beatboxing and had a completely different sound for the competition so therefore probably won’t make it past judge’s houses.
The final group were MK1 featuring a talented rapper, a cracking little female singer called Charlie and Will who looked like he worked in an IT department despite being credited as the group’s producer and writer. Before they started you already knew they looked like an awkward fit and geeky looking Will wasn’t the right fit for a hip hop group as they made their way through ‘Written in the Stars’. As soon as I heard Will sing I knew where this was going and when Tulisa offered them the option of coming back as a two piece their producer told them to do it as long as he got 33% of the profits but I don’t see that happening for a moment. As much as I enjoyed MK1 I can’t help but thinking this whole thing was just a story for us to remember them and Will is actually a production assistant who works on the show.
So far this evening we’d had a whole heap of acceptances so I felt that we had to have an unsuccessful novelty act to end the day so step forward Lorna Bliss. 33 year old Lorna caused a stir when she appeared at The X-Factor auditions in a body stocking however I remember when she originally caused a stir on last year’s Britain’s Got Talent wearing a revealing outfit during an impression of Britney Spears. Lorna was painted as a fame-hungry attention seeker who wasn’t a very good singer and spent most of her performance chasing Gary Barlow around the arena or wrapping her legs around Louis Walsh’s face. As the judges gave her a unanimous no with Nicole not being able to take it seriously, I don’t think that was the point, Lorna told Dermot that it could’ve been worse with the host simply looking befuddled by this statement. Once again though I felt this whole section was incredibly stage-managed as Lorna must have been contacted by the production team to turn up and cause a stir albeit one that we’ve sort of already seen before.
Allegedly the audition shows have started airing on Sundays because there was so much footage to get through that five Saturday shows weren’t nearly enough but I didn’t think that there was anything on this show that couldn’t have featured on The Xtra Factor. While I enjoyed hearing Amy Mottram and Duke the main elements I’ll take away from this episode will be the irritating Eddie String, poor old Will from MK1 and that ridiculous Lorna Bliss stunt and I personally can’t see any of those three acts getting further than Judge’s Houses. Thankfully we’ve only got week of auditions yet before The X-Factor will most likely pick up at Boot Camp where I’m wishing they ditch all these stupid opening skits as I almost find them more annoying than Eddie String and Lorna Bliss put together.
What did you think to tonight’s X-Factor? Who were you favourite acts? Leave Your Comments Below.