X Factor UK: Auditions Episode Four

They’re getting y’all conditioned for the X Factor weekend already by lining up shows on Saturday and Sunday, as the quality of auditions continue to compete with what’s obviously become The Kelly and Gary Show.

The onscreen chemistry and individual appeal of the former Destiny’s Child siren and Take That sexy daddy is quickly becoming the main driving force of this talent competition. It’s the kinda stuff that’s sorely missing from our Australian franchise, really – more likable, credible and entertaining judges.

This week, Kelendria took centre stage when she demonstrated her commitment to unearthing talent by splitting a group and asking the lead singer to audition on her own. She also mixed in some good old fashioned grown woman sass when she told a curvy auditionee: “You don’t have to change anything ’cause you know what your size is, honey? Size SE-XY.” It came with accompanying sassy hand gestures. It was everything, y’all. Everything.

While there were about 2.5 good auditions in this Saturday night episode, I felt like the show’s no longer necessarily about displaying the best talent any more but rather which contestants can get the wildest reaction from the judges. It’s starting to get to that point in the audition reels where you grow weary of the cheap comedy and delusional acts – and start to wonder if there are any substance worth taking to the live shows.

Here are some episode four highlights, brought to you by Kelly Rowland and Gary Barlow. There might’ve been some auditions this week. I don’t know. It’s so hard to concentrate when you’re constantly looking to screen cap the next Rowlow moment.

1) Sami Brookes: the “size sexy” new Michelle McManus.

You have to admire Kelendria‘s commitment to not only talent scouting but also female empowerment. Last week, we heard her school a chav on bitchy backchat – today we see the prime disciple of Beysus preach from the Gospel of Bootylicious when plus-sized warbler Samantha Brookes shared what held her back from auditioning for X Factor before.

The 31-year old bar maid from Manchester always thought she didn’t have the look or the right size for the competition but after charming us with her adorable personality and knock out vocal performance, there’s no denying this bitch. She needs to proceed and do it for all the Michelle McManuses that have tumbled along the way.

Watch Sami’s performance here of ‘One Moment in Time’:

 

She is somewhat impressive but you really have to wonder if Sami has what it takes to turn it out every week and shine in different genres and styles of singing. To be continued.

2) Lascel Woods: the mummy’s boy earmarked for excellence.

You know how you just know a popstar package when you see one? Like, they don’t have to be ostentatious, overly bubbly or sentimental to win you over? They just come on stage looking right, singing right and packing a real connection with their performance. That’s what we experienced with 20-year old Lascel Woods.

Watch his flawless piano-based cover of ‘Use Somebody’ by Kings of Leon:

 

Damn, why have I never heard this song sound so amazing before? When he hit those stratospheric high notes, it seriously felt like Whitney circa 1992 had got out of the time machine and shut the place down. We’ve seen flawless male vocalists with mega ranges come and go in this competition, year after year. They hardly ever come through with a unique sound and identity, and become quickly forgettable once they’re voted off.

I guess what’s a little disheartening and frustrating with seeing someone like Lascel walk in is not really knowing how far he can go. If he makes it into the live shows, it’s gonna take a lot of thinking outside the box to make this familiar sensation feel brand new.

3) Grumpy Gary bear.

The Grumpy Gary Look of The Week needs to happen. I don’t think we’ve seen this face before, y’guys. This looks like the comical remix of his “unimpressed” face, best served to novelty acts with ample of energy but very little star quality. Exhibit A: Kendro – the 2011 version of Diva Fever. Those queens were comedy, y’all. Comedy.

4) The day Kelendria smoothed out Twisted.

It’s not everyday that you have a Grammy-winning global superstar get up out her seat and walk backstage to personally throw you a lifeline. Bitch, I’d dry them tears and listen closely to the voice of experience if I were you – however intimidating it might be to hear Kelendria command, “look at me.”

Flop girl band Twisted may have stepped out looking style appropriate for a pop girl band but the dynamics on stage quickly proved to be a half-arsed one woman show. Like, we’re not even talking about anything of Nicole Scherzinger and The Pussycat Dolls’ calibre here. Twisted was just not working as a girl group. Period.

The story goes that the lead singer Chrissie had made it to boot camp last year but after a soul-crushing turn away, she is now staging her X Factor comeback as part of a girl band. The major problem is that as a group they weren’t good enough and it showed in their lacklustre acapella doo-wop take of ‘Someone Like You’. I mean, seriously of all things? Couldn’t you have picked a VV Brown or Sugababes song from the Catfights & Spotlights era instead?

Watch Twisted‘s messed up audition and how Kelly convinced Chrissie to go solo again later:

 

No one knows the mark of a true girl band like Kelendria and while it was awful to split this female troupe, this smart move proved to the audience that Kelly is committed to nurturing talent and that her instincts are never wrong.

5) Kelly and Gary shipping: we all want it to happen.

Kelly, I hope you packed some extra wig glue because one wrong move and I swear Mrs Barlow’s gonna come out and start reaching for them lace fronts.

The chemistry between these two is beautiful and show producers are working overtime to spin it as much as they can. I swear this week we saw and unprecedented amount of screen time dedicated to their banter – there’s Kelly bowing to Gary backstage after attending a Take That concert for the first time the night before, there’s the two of them in a golf buggy, and of course – the above tentative touch of his arm.

But true to the virtuous woman that she is, Kelendria has admitted that even though she’s got a “slight crush” on Gary, she’ll never make a move because she respects his wife too much.

The girl was talking my language when she told The Sun of her fondness for British men: “I love them – the way they wear their pants tight on their booty! I love Olly (Murs), he’s cute, and I’ve got a slight crush on Gary (Barlow). But for the record, I respect his wife!”

Onto the next one, onto the next one…

Roll on Sunday night’s audition eps. The closer we get to wrapping this phase the better. I am ready to be properly entertained, y’guys. I need to be reminded of all the well talented acts they’ve accrued so far and who’s gonna deliver excellence in the coming weeks.

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