Judges Gary Barlow, Louis Walsh, Tulisa Contostavlos and Kelly Rowland were so nervous before the first of the televised auditions that they felt nauseous. But some of the acts were enough to make anyone sick.
But among the best on the day was Roxanna Arnold, who had Tulisa Contostavlos and Kelly Rowland fighting to mentor her.
First up, Frankie Cocozza said his primary motivation for being on “X Factor UK” was “to get girls.” He already has seven girls’ names tattooed on his bottom and he vowed to get tattoos of Kelly and Tulisa’s names too if he got through. He did get through, with Kelly declaring, “I freaking love the UK.” Hopefully she won’t expect many Brits to be like Frankie. He was certainly unique.
Kitty was up next. Her interview made her sound like a diva. After all, not may ordinary people use a make-up artist, even for amateur singing. She does. But Kitty was definitely not all talk. Her version of “Edge of Glory” drew a unanimous verdict of “wow” from the judges – and from me. Definitely one to watch out for in future rounds.
Things then took a sharp downturn in the O2 arena with Ellen (47) who was bad. Really Bad.
“Oh my God” as the judges said! Gary proved himself a worthy successor to Simon Cowell as head judge of “The X Factor UK” with his comment: “I think you’d need far too much work to be ready for this year… or next…”
Next, Goldie, originally from Hong Kong, came on like an exotic dancer and gave… well, an exotic dance, as she sang “Copper Bell,” whatever that is. The judges had no idea but were entertained anyway. Perhaps Gary Barlow was just stunned by having Goldie’s leg wrapped around his neck, because he was the only judge to give her a “no.” So Goldie is through to the next round and the splits are worth seeing again.
“It’s a long time since I’ve had a stranger’s legs wrapped around my neck,” said Gary Barlow of “Take That” fame.
“I think you’ve all lost the plot,” he declared as the other judges let Goldie through to the next round.
The serious singing talent award for tonight has to go to Janet, a shy and unassuming 16-year-old from Northern Ireland. She made Elton John’s “Your Song” very much her own song with clear vocals and a haunting quality to her voice which made me think of former “X Factor UK” contestant Diane Vickers before she went a bit crazy on us. Good luck, Janet. Stay natural!
Roxy was a worthy act to follow on from Janet. She too sailed through to the next round with a beautiful rendition of “Georgia.” Tulisa and Kelly were fighting for the right to mentor her already, before boot camp, and before the judges are told what category they get to represent.
Ishmael was an amazing dancer. I mean truly amazing. I’m not sure his voice was on that level but the judges thought it was. Gary said his audition was “off the chart.” Sure, he needs work, or “a nip and a tuck” as Gary said. But all the judges agreed Ishmael would be amazing with some good mentoring.
The next act saw the return of George, who we first saw on “X Factor UK” back in 2004 as part of a group and with a lousy attitude. Tonight he was back, with a smile – right up to the point that judges again told him he was no good. He turned abusive, cursing at the judges and telling Tulisa she was “a scumbag from the block.” He wanted Cheryl Cole back on the judging panel but he was truly awful so even Cheryl Cole probably couldn’t have saved him.
So, the first televised auditions of this year’s “X Factor UK” got off to a very interesting start with a couple of acts who really might have the “X Factor.” If the rumors are true, the “X Factor” judges, all new to the show except Louis Walsh, have been given scripts to help out with giving comments. I like to think Gary Barlow’s neat little one-liners were all his own work, though!
“The X Factor UK” returns to ITV next Saturday at 8pm BST. Yes, allegedly it’s still summer.