Week five and the new and in no way improved X-Factor panel are in Wales still wowing me with their lack of personality. I’ve found if you squint a bit and imagine either Cheryl or Dannii has over done it on the Hawaiian Tropic, you can almost pretend nothing has changed. Except this year’s panel just lacks the drama of last year. No-one’s been rushed to hospital with malaria (yet), Louis’ hair plugs seem to have settled in nicely and no-one appears to be cat fighting any time a camera isn’t aimed at their smug, impossibly smooth faces. Worst of all Gary’s tepid approach to an impression of Simon Cowell’s alpha male posturing is ticking all the boxes marked dull, slightly embarrassing and unnecessary. The panel is missing Simon and Gary’s impersonation attempt just won’t do. At what point did it become acceptable that Saturday night’s viewing pleasure came to rest on whether or not a slightly camp, very botoxed, over 50’s man in cuban heels showed up? It’s a sad state of affairs and worse still it’s on until Christmas.
Still, at least we’ve got the producers to thank for finding another batch of Lidl rabble hopeful auditionees to get us through the dark times ahead.
First up this week was Natasha from Swansea who gave us a glimpse into a world where Catherine Zeta-Jones never managed to escape the valleys. Unfortunately she also gave Gary and the panel a glimpse of her (presumably vajazzled) valley in a Basic Instinct style scenario that lacked the temporary grace of a leg cross. Unfazed she went on to croak out a tune, do some ‘sexy dancing’ and get her baps out at the same time. Talented? Possibly, but singing isn’t the way forward. Give Natasha some ping pong balls and she could make next year's Britain's Got Talent finals.
Following Natasha’s unique approach to auditions was always going to be tough so we were treated to more care in the community patients gurning and screeching their way through the auditions. Far from being entertaining this ensures when someone comes along that can just about hold a tune we think they are God’s gift to popular music.
The only ‘talent’ discovered in Wales was John Adams, a 23 year year old maths teacher. Looking like a cross between Jamie Cullum and Justin Bieber, John even managed to wedge in a cringe inducing descend of the stairs towards the judges. Rather than a moving moment it made me wonder whether if Kelly returns next year she might insist on a barrier being installed. John secured four yeses from the judges, but sadly I’ve got a maths equation of my own to share with John: A Shit Haircut (4 Yeses) + X Factor - A Decent Sob Story = A Stint At Butlins
Give Natasha some ping pong balls and she could make next year's Britain's Got Talent finals.
John shuffled off to teach more maths until bootcamp but we could have done with him sticking around to teach mother of four Michelle that 2011 minus 1970 equals 41 not 31. Either someone needs to check her birth certificate or Michelle has had a tough 31 years on this planet. She’s through to the next round though and hopefully someone will sort her out with some Oil of Olay. Harsh stage lighting and HD cameras are no friend to crows feet.
As Michelle went to Tipp-Ex the dates on all of her identifying documents, 2 Shoes loomed on the X Factor horizon. A disturbing blend of Stacey Solomon and Jedward, the pair looked destined to provide us with some Essex based girly lolz before getting rejected by the judges and scurrying off to apply more fake tan. Despite their dodgy patter of jokes and made up words the duo could actually sing. The surprise was akin to stepping in a dog turd only to find it smelt of roses. Still unpleasant but tolerable.
Speaking of tolerable, last to audition was John Wilding. Apparently he was on last year. Had we not been subjected to the lengthy montage of clips involving ‘oh look it’s John, you know John? He got through to judges houses. John! From last year? Yeah him.’, not one of us would have had a clue who John was. To be honest I’m still not convinced he was on last year. Apparently he’s come back after working on the good and bad parts of his act. This seems to have involved spraying on some jeggings, losing some freckles and wearing a bowler hat at a jaunty angle.
Gary declared him a sensation, the judges voted yes in unison and John just about managed to waddle off stage in his impossibly tight trousers. I’m not sure even those trousers will be enough to get him past judges houses this year.
So that was part one of this weekend’s double bill of auditions. Underwhelming. Billed as the search for a global super star, this year they might be lucky to find a turn who can actually name one.
Next time on X Factor: Will Louis Walsh regret stating he ‘wants the girls’ on national television? Will Kelly Rowland’s face be able to express anything other than ‘slightly grateful sex doll’? And will Tulisa and Gary be able to grow a personality in a petri dish in time for the live shows?
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