The longer I marinade with this new panel of judges, the more I appreciate the flavour and integrity they bring to the X Factor. Even if it was obvious from the start that I’d be living for Kelendria and Gary‘s responses.
This week’s audition pool spilleth over with the slightly scary and painfully deluded – all loaded with very entertaining judges comments and back chat. Y’know sometimes I really feel for these four, having to sit there hours upon hours critiquing wannabes and waiting for someone who can vaguely carry a tune. It’s no wonder that even the average can sometimes earn the most glowing of praises.
However, what’s really impressive is seeing how well Gary Barlow, Kelly Rowland, Tulisa Contostavlos and Louis Walsh work as not just show judges but television personalities. Especially the former three, who only made their transition from pop star to TV star here this year. As an individual characters, they bring their own unique brand of opinions and likability factor. Nobody feels compelled to “play the bitchy judge” or act like the class clown – everyone is just as authentic as they are. And I think this week’s audition reel felt like it was tweaked to showcase a little more of that. You really get a feel for the show’s two new leading ladies – Kelly and Tulisa – and their respective tender and feisty moments.
I think in a lot of ways show producers are still working overtime to establish these two as the nation’s sweetheart after losing their incredibly popular and bankable stars: Dannii Minogue and Cheryl Cole. It doesn’t help that there’s still murmurs of Tulisa‘s credibility as a talent show judge and them constant comparisons to old Chezza. However, if this week’s reel is anything to go by – approval ratings for Kelly Rowland should more than compensate for everyone else on the panel, especially after seeing how the Destiny’s Child glamazon handled a couple of rude chavs.
Check out the damage:
1) Kelendria will put a bitch back in her place.
I have no fear and no doubt that Commander Kelly will always step in with the right thing to say in these epic “bitch, please” situations. It’s not about fighting fire with fire or off-loading some grown woman sass on a few trifling asses. It’s about schooling these kids right when they come at you with the wrong attitude.
This week we saw the woeful girlband trio of Angel get a rightful telling off from Kelendria after one of them had the nerve to serve Tulisa a little fever for critiquing their singing ability.
Here’s a dose of realness from the Southern belle:
“Coming from a female group that always talk about how women should come together and they shouldn’t be bitchy towards one another… I understand that you have an opinion. But at the same time, you came here for us to judge you. There was no reason for you to come back like that.
And I can tell that these two [points to other group members] don’t appreciate the fact that you did that, ’cause what if you just messed up their chances for an opportunity?”
Watch Angel‘s fallen audition here:
You can tell that poor Tulisa was obviously tired of all the flak she has copped from these insolent scrubs. I mean, once or twice – she would’ve had a fired up a response in her defense but after so many rounds? A girl can only shake her head and back away from the situation. But not on Kelly’s watch. She’s having none of that disrespect – not in her presence, not on her clock.
2) Oi Limmy, remember the time you broke down watching an X Factor audition?
Y’all knew this was coming. Adele‘s ‘Someone Like You’ is arguably one of the biggest songs of the year and such prominence forms dangerous grounds for ruthless interpretation on talent shows. Having said that, what do you do when someone actually nails it with a performance that effortlessly breathes the song’s emotionality?
Meet 21-year old Jade Richards, she of smoky-voiced and soulful tones that is now an immediate threat to anyone in the competition. There’s a certain “diamond in the rough” quality to the girl that’s really appealing to watch and in a lot of ways, she’s kinda reminiscent of our past Australian Idol Casey Donovan. Jade is the type of talent you wanna see blossom through the competition. Y’know, get the girl a makeover and help out of them unflattering chola eyebrows. But appearances aside, this one is already proving to be a very effective communicator of emotions – much like Adele.
Watch her brilliant audition here:
It’s now a widely acknowledged fact that when Kelly Rowland bawls, I bawl. Side bar: don’t you just hate how beautiful she looks when she cries? Bitch, here I am sitting on my bed looking like it’s monsooning all over my face and she has one pretty delicate teardrop down her cheek at a time. I can’t even.
3) The two people you really wanted to hug this week.
First up, there’s Luke Lucas [Editor’s note: sounds like a Dr Seuss character – yes, no?] who is this cherub of a child with a crush on Tulisa. The coy compliments he pays her and their reciprocated affection were charming and very sweet to watch. And then there was Jade’s grandma. Oh god, this moment with Dermott says it all, really.
4) Look At Me.
It has been a lifelong dream of mine to see some queen parade a Geri Halliwell classic on X Factor and this is just proof that wishes do come true.
Michael Lewis, the strange man who auditioned last year as a Michael Jackson impersonator, is back to show off his earnest new leaf. No gimmicks, no wacko Jacko tribute this time – just him. This audition may seem like one festering hot mess but really, underneath the surface there’s a method to his madness. Just you see.
I mean look at it this way. Michael chose ‘Look At Me’ to soundtrack his X Factor rebirth in the same way that Geri had used the song to desperately shed her Ginger Spice tag. Sadly all this genius was lost on an outstandingly deluded performer who, after copping four ‘no’s, took looniness to a whole new level by lying on stage in protest saying, “this is my stage and I belong in it!” *Looks over to exit* Um, security?
The nutcase also went on a tirade calling the audience “two-faced”, “shallow” and “judgemental” when they supposedly turned on him by boo-ing. But y’all know it’s well and truly over when Gary Barlow personally gets up out of his seat, walks to the stage to hand you your jacket and show you the way out. We done.