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2016 Auditions Round

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Hi everyone,

Welcome to the official start of our third year talking about The X Factor UK on previously. I guess I'm "hosting" again. As usual, the preliminary audition round discussion will go here until we get to Boot Camp, Judges Houses, etc. which will get their own threads. No one weighed in on the naming so I'm just going to title all these posts starting with 2016 until further notice.

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Simon is such a troll. I love it.

Samantha Lavery: I know they want me to be impressed with her but I just think she's OK right now. I'm not sure how to feel about that yodel/break in her voice. It could be like a Jewel/Shakira intentional thing but I can't tell. She has a big voice but I think she's also pushing down too much. She has a good voice but she needs some training. Right now I don't feel like I could confidently say that I would enjoy listening to her voice on an album.

Christian Burrows: Not my kind of music or my preferred kind of voice. For what he's doing, he sounds fine but I'm not sure how he would do on songs that are more difficult to sing. It was a reasonably well-written song though. It's pretty good as for as sob story original songs go. I'm curious about the first audition song that they didn't show.

Saara Aalto: This was more solid than impressive. I think she has a fine voice. But she hasn't proven that she has a special voice or remarkable stage presence.

Rebekah Ryan: Slightly smoky/tired vocals. She has a very throwback voice but it's obviously not bad. She'd be a good Over as a serious act, not a joke act. This is a bit of a boring choice for an audition though. It doesn't say, I can sing songs that people still want to listen to now.

James Wilson: He's relatively handsome but dyslexia ranks low on the sob story scale. Smoky/raspy isn't my favorite thing for guys but then I don't like most male singers these days anyway. It would have been nice if he was a little more Ray LaMontagne and less low key. But yeah, he's got a good voice and I can see how they can sell him. He definitely fits an X Factor type but he seems less annoying... less guyliner. He'll make for a good Over if he can learn the lyrics. I mean, Cher learns lyrics and she's dyslexic.

Caitlyn Vanbeck: GREAT. Finally someone who gave me chills. This is an audition. It's not about a flawless vocal. But this is how you perform a song.

I'd like to keep track of the auditionees not on the youtube page. If anyone's in the UK or in America with AXS TV please keep us updated on the other contestants. I know Emily Middlemas from 2014 returned but I can't find a youtube clip yet.

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Lol, I love Nicole's "Christina Aguilera I will take any opportunity to sing" attitude. Also, it's nice having Dermot back. I wish we got more of him and the Xtra factor here in the US. But also, eff CATS. Oh, Simon. God, I missed this show. Remember this when I'm complaining in a few weeks.

Yes Lad: First boy band of the new season! Terrible name. Are most of them really 19? They look like babies. They're OK. They don't have great voices. That is, they hit all the notes but I don't like their actual voices. They sound squeaky and way younger than 19 year olds. I'm already against male pop tenors but like, these guys are more annoying than Bieber. I appreciate the harmonies though even if some of them sound slightly off.

Eddie Lee: I like him. He's charming and he has a great voice. I think he'll make a good Over. I mean, he's not current at all but who cares? I didn't know I wanted this in my life but I could not stop smiling. Again, now THIS is an audition.

Melissa Pedro: A little too affected for me. The vocals were also just a little too off. She wasn't horrible but it didn't really sell me.

Richard Chen: His accent makes me so happy. This audition was ridiculous. I think he thought he was doing this. There's no way this works for a mass audience. At best it could be a CD for children.

Ryan Lawrie: Again, not the kind of music I would choose to listen to but he was good. He's prime boy band material though. Relatively cute but without necessarily the voice or stage presence to make it on his own. And he's 100% got a voice that would fit right in with One Direction music.

Luis Elkes: I don't think it was great but I get the feeling he's one of those acts they're trying to make look bad. I don't think he was actually that terrible.

I haven't been able to find good clips of James Hughes or Rebekah Ryan yet.

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A few specific observations.

Something's up in the State of New Sherzy.  She's had a good face/genes allowing her to resist cosmetic procedures before now I think, but it really does look now like Sherzy finally got some. Lips and maybe something to the forehead. She may have had those boobs lifted at some point too (although IMO there's certainly nothing wrong with a lift, if it doesn't include implants). 

"Yes Lad" should be called "No, Sorry Lads".  SO flat. And no harmony until the end of the song (why'd they only add that little bit?) Not surprised the judges liked them though, since they want the "Cute Boy band" aspect more than the actual singing. And why is Nicole, newly fake lips or not, the only one smart enough to make the "Yes Lads" pun when giving them their answer?  Come on!  Low hanging fruit.

The rambling wanker with the CD wasn't cute. He was annoying. I mean even BEFORE he started "singing".  Then he was doubly annoying.

Thank goodness for Samantha, the 16 year old. She was genuinely great.

Not-Ed-Sheeran was okay once he stopped trying to be Not-John-Denver. His own song was only so-so, but at least his singing tone changed to something appropriate for his voice.

Dyslexia Bloke had a great voice, but how's he going to hold up on a show where has to eventually is going to have to learn several new songs per week? He won't even get through boot camp groups stage with that.

Pudding Chen was just a waste of our time.  I will say that when he spoke it was all Scots, but when he sang it turned into this weird hybrid of Scots and Chinese (the stereotype version of both) and was... well... still a waste of our time.

Scared of Social Media Girl is likely getting it much worse now than she did just in High School. She was good (Kelly Clarkson isn't easy to do well and she did), but no doubt all her physical attributes are being assaulted as I type this. 

That Vamps song doesn't take any great ability to sing (I said that to myself even before Simon said much the same thing), but the kid who did it at least had some swag and presence. 

Melissa the Teacher had such lovely eyes, it was a shame she could only sing with them closed (and again, that went straight through my mind even before a judge, Nicole this time, said it).  Sing very well admittedly, but she's got to get over doing that. 

The "doesn't sound even remotely like Nicole" segment was annoying.  Even Louie, with his immensely bad taste, must have known how shit that was.  So it was just an exercise in razzing Simon. 

Honey Badger, er... I mean Honey G was certainly putting on a comedy act. She HAS to know what she sounds and looks like. A fool.  The two ladies thought they were being funny, but of course the real comedy there was Simon.  And again, they just used it to troll Simon.

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Update! A full Rebekah Ryan video has been posted. My opinion of her voice went down hearing the Hozier cover. It's not just raspy. It's in the back of her throat and kind of congested sounding. Her belt is almost country. It just doesn't totally work for me. She's not bad but the goal is Sam Bailey, and she's not doing that. I'm starting to find it quite affected.

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Emily Middlemas: She looks very different with the dark hair. Her voice is pleasant. This song didn't show off if it's very strong though. And I hope she hasn't abandoned the outright pop music. She was high energy and had great stage presence. Her voice cracked a bit last time so I was hoping to hear some improvement but she didn't push herself to a point where he voice would break.

James Hughes: I mean, look he's not a black female soul singer. Let's just be honest here. But that said, he's got a good voice. I could see him also fitting in a show-made boy band. A little squeaky but good control. A few breaks but nothing that couldn't be ironed out.

Saara Aalto: I like it better today. I think this version is longer. A little too affected though. If you can do it, a nice strong belt is better than all the nonsense.

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Finally caught up (I think) via AXSTV reruns and youtube clips. Here's what stood out so far.

For someone reason the girl from Finland resonated. I think she's got a strong shot at getting to at least the Over's house visits. If they are still doing that format.

Was happy to see Emily Middlemas back. I remembered her audition and from the Story of My Life performance, and at the time I thought okay X Factor, you've gambled on not quite ready 15/16 year olds plenty of times before....why don't you gamble on her? Alas, Cheryl did not.

If they'll give it a go at creating One Direction: The Next Generation....I think Ryan the kid who sang Cecilia will be in w/ a shout.

The girl who sang Kelly Clarkson and had been bullied on social media, and the guy fighting with dyslexia were both quite good. I wonder what you do w/ him in bootcamp? I feel like he's going to go up in flames because the pace and pressure is ratcheted up that much. I liked his style and voice about as well as anyone I heard on either episode though. Hearing him talk about getting dropped by various bands because of his inability to read and remember lyrics was slightly heartbreaking.

I thought the boyband was pretty terrible, and the kid who switched to the original song was beyond awful. It was one of those moments where there was total disconnect between his style of singing and my wanting to derive some pleasure from listening to him sing. I feel like he's going to be around for a while unfortunately...

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3 hours ago, PhD-Purgatory15 said:

If they'll give it a go at creating One Direction: The Next Generation....I think Ryan the kid who sang Cecilia will be in w/ a shout.

It's funny you say that in an offhand manner, because I've really been thinking that we're going to soon see (and spin some conspiracy theories I'm sure) signs that Simon is going to use this series to do just that.  OD itself aging/phasing out, with his record company not having an alternative, it's got be be a plan from the business side to generate another similar group.

What signs would we see?

Obviously another run of disparate rejected solo singers being assembled. So I bet the judging on the actual boy band groups will be a little harsh to leave room for a few cobbled together from soloists groups.

Simon taking the Groups category himself (since we all know he chooses the categories whatever else the show pretends). Or barring that, Nicole taking them (the only real plan B, since Louis while he's managed groups has no judgement and Sharon is there just for her sharp tongue). 

Sub-par female groups (or not many of them). Simon has a Little Mix, even if they're starting to age. He's also got a Fifth Harmony (from the US X-F). He's set for Girl Groups for the time being.  So the fishing trip won't be for them.

So maybe we'd get one really shit girl group, like one auditioned boy band (unless two super-great pre-built ones show up), one but possibly two "built" boy-bands, and one bizarre duo to make the numbers.

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The girl who sang Kelly Clarkson and had been bullied on social media, and the guy fighting with dyslexia were both quite good. I wonder what you do w/ him in bootcamp? I feel like he's going to go up in flames because the pace and pressure is ratcheted up that much. I liked his style and voice about as well as anyone I heard on either episode though. Hearing him talk about getting dropped by various bands because of his inability to read and remember lyrics was slightly heartbreaking.

I am a cynical monster who has been watching reality singing competitions for years so I see multiple scenarios.

Scenario 1: He really is a sweet guy who struggled in his bands because of his dyslexia and will crash and burn in bootcamp, etc. because of his inability to remember the lyrics.

Scenario 2: He really is a sweet guy but he's playing up the dyslexia and he'll manage to get through to the live rounds fine and it will be played up as this story of triumph.

Scenario 3: He's not a sweet guy and there was some other reason he was dropped from his bands (attitude, substance abuse, etc.) which will become tabloid fodder in the UK and which I won't hear about until someone mentions it on a UK comment thread. But until then, scenario 2 will play out.

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Xtra Factor unseen audition

Michael Peters: A little shouty, a little rough but I didn't hate it. He seems like a nice guy with style. He doesn't have the best voice but with a bit of polish he could be an entertaining act. He's not terrible but he always wasn't getting through purely on his voice in this audition. But I agree with Aston that it might have been nerves. As with everyone, it's how they do in the next few rounds that really counts.

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Kayleigh Marie Morgan: Simon's son is SO cute. A little breathy and I might have chosen a different song but she's got a lovely voice. Great control. I find it a little shady that the music almost drowned out her voice when she got louder. It was hard to hear if the vocal was on point. She's pretty good at performing a song but not 100% there. I'd say I like her, but I'm not completely taken with her yet. She's definitely my favorite of the episode though.

Janet Grogan: I have no memory of her. She has a good voice but not a remarkable one. Based on this, I can see why she got cut the first time. She's the kind of contestant who needs to be made into something.

Conor McGinty: It's a little affected. But I don't hate it. I would like to hear his real voice though.


Niall Sexton: He looks a bit like James Arthur. He sounds really young for how old he is. I didn't enjoy it even though it was mostly in tune. He would sing the kind of songs that would annoy the crap out of me on the radio. I also don't like that whiny Britney moan.

John Brennan: I hate these. What I mean is, the auditions where I think they mess with the audio to make them seem worse. Sure, he's not a great singer. But I think he was more or less in tune. It's the backing track they added in that makes him sound really off-key.

Jordan Devine: This one I'm fine with. Not much rhythm or stage presence but you let him show his voice. He just doesn't have a very pleasant voice to listen to but he sings in tune.

Paul McGuiness: OK, the editors faked me out with this one. I mean, I'm not sure he was serious but they really got me with the lead in. I didn't anticipate a "joke" act.

Rejected Groups: I didn't think they were that bad. Though none of them were One Direction/Little Mix young and commercial. It makes me wonder if we'll be getting any of the usual older boy bands this year.

Weak episode overall. The only one who seems very competitive is Kayleigh. Maybe Conor if they pitch him to the right crowd but X Factor is trying to seem young and hip.

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Ottavio Columbro: I was surprised how well he could sing. I mean, he's not Adele or anything but he's got a solid, pleasant voice which is all you need for dance pop. He's not a good performer though. He was real awkward. Real or fake though, this chicken drama is hilarious.

Bradley Hunt: He is beautiful. I kind of like his voice too. He's got a bit of a froggy/Kermit-y thing going on but again, a solid, pleasant voice. He's got more stage presence than Ottavio but I'm not sure if he could make it on his own to the live rounds. But if he'd come without this drama, I think I would have liked him anyway.

Bradley and Ottavio I didn't think it was a great audition. If I hadn't heard them individually, I don't think I would think much of their voices. Also Bradley seems better than Ottavio. I wanted more of Bradley's pop energy and I felt like Ottavio's energy brought it down. If you're going to do this kind of thing, you need to be a fun upbeat pop act.

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Muchaneta Mpofu: This feels like another John Brennan where she doesn't have great stage presence but I'm pretty sure she doesn't sound as bad as they want you to think she does. Again, not great. But not this awful.

Tom and Laura:  I like them and I think they have nice voices. Solid. But if they were a skinny, conventionally attractive couple I would still think that their voices were kind of mediocre. They don't have the stage presence to make up for it and if you've got this simple, pleasant voice you usually write your own songs. I did like them a little more towards the end. I think they have pretty good control and they've got some power. Maybe I liked it better as it went on because Simon was right and Tom has the stronger voice.

Freddy Parker: Young. Cute but not that cute. Fine but unremarkable voice. Boy band material. No way he makes it solo.

Chanal Benjilali: Very good but not 100% for me. The performance wasn't totally there and the vocals need some training. She's talented though.

Ryan Wilkins: More karaoke than professional.

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Matt Terry: Does anyone else see the resemblance to Louis Tomlinson? He's good. I don't like male pop tenors but I like him. Good control. Not just that wishy-washy breathy/whiny stuff. Confident. Boy band material though unless he's got a strong genre identification. He could be the leader. Get a lot of the solos. I think he could make it on his own but unless he writes songs or something why risk it? Instead you could have a heavy hitter in your new boy band.

Irina Dedyuk: I mean, it's hard to be on her side. Do the acts who aren't really from the UK ever really work out? I appreciate that she's at least trying to have that rounded depth to her voice even if it's not completely there. She's very... Eurovision. I think she has a good voice but it isn't as powerful as she thinks. She's got decent control but she's not holding the notes properly. I know pop music is a lot of straight tone but she kind of flings the notes out there. I will say that even though she's over the top, at least she knows how to perform. She's not current at all but she could work as a "fun" act if they could get the public on her side... not quite a joke act but not a serious contender. It depends how strong the Overs are this year.

Marianna Zappi: Lovely voice. I have no idea what happens with her going forward. Also, she has a lovely tone where her voice naturally sits but her high notes are kind of screechy. I wonder if she writes her own songs. I think she's good but she's not right for this show.

Sada Vidoo: Completely random but I love the lip color that girl is applying right before they cut to Sada. The real voice in there (minus the weird doll nonsense) is pretty good. It definitely fits into the Sia-esque pop landscape. It's also a little Cher/Shakira. It's just that... nobody needs this. Melanie Martinez is younger and better. Also, to be mean for a second, she's not very good at looking or acting like a doll. It's not just that she's too old, though that's part of it. But if you're going to have an act you've got to really sell it. I agree with Simon in the beginning. She's not a doll.

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Oh lord. The Undercooked Chicken Lads?  X-Factor, you should be embarrassed for airing that. 

And don't tell me that wasn't a scheme for TV time. "I miss him".  You just SAW him an hour ago. Good grief.

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Xtra Factor Bonus Auditions

Liara: I wonder what I would think if she'd had the confidence to do one song instead of a medley. I do think she's decent but I can't tell if she's remarkable because she's just doing so much. She definitely has to take the tongue stud out or whatever she has. It makes her sound like she's got a speech impediment.

Meddy: Too karaoke.

Ariel: Is this the year of old ladies in unconvincing costumes? Good Lord. Not a horrible voice but in no way a remarkable one.

Samuel: Oh, lord. The truly delusional.

Mark Irwin: Look, he hasn't got real soul or depth to his voice but he's a solid cute, older pop act. But looking into the camera was... a little too sure of himself. Not a huge fan of the screaming either.

Edited by aradia22
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If X Factor continues after this series, I hope they don't have any intention of bringing Mel B on as a regular judge.

Gifty Louise: I like her voice but I didn't love it. If she doesn't get some theatre/classical training soon I think she might blow out her voice again. If you're singing like that, you can't straight tone it all.

Girl Next Door: They were OK individually. The harmonies were rough in spite of the editors turning up that ringing sound on the track to drown them out. The judges were way too easy on them. I also think they'd dump them in a second if they came up with enough of their own judge-assembled groups.

5 AM: Older boy band! I mean, not that old, but still. Capable singers but not that strong and too much whiny male pop tenor for me. Nicole was right.

Kayleigh and Stefan: Nonsense. At best Stefan is decent. Kayleigh is not good.

He Knows She Knows: She has really nice teeth and a decent voice. I don't think there's anything remarkable here.

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Faye Horne: She's quite pretty in that very made-up way. She sang in quite an old style though. She sounded like an Over. A lack of breath control causing some shakiness and flatness but decent voice. She makes weird faces. But I like her.

Ritchie Stevens: It made me laugh and I think he kept his dignity.

The Brooks: I do remember them. Vaguely. This audition they were... pleasant. Fine. They kind of had that whiny, pouty, not-trying-hard Bieber thing. Has a boy band ever had twins in it?

Antonia Mirat: Not bad but I've heard better versions. Also, completely wrong for the show. If you want to be a pop/opera crossover you need more Josh Groban and not just straight opera with a beat.

Ivy Grace Paredes: There's a good voice in there but it's clear that she's trying hard to mimic the recording (albeit with slightly weird phrasing) instead of singing in her own voice. I like her better than 4th Impact. It's a different kind of fake. She feels genuine in the way that counts.

Jamuna Gibbs: Oof. Not completely hopeless but not credible either.

Aeron Smith: Pushing down too much and a touch too whiny but very close to being good. Is he too old for a boy band? He's cute but his voice is not there yet and I don't think he has the stage presence/flirtyness to make it on his own now.

Olivia Garcia: Oh, she's cute. Not perfect (partly because I think she's trying to sound older and her voice hasn't naturally developed to that place yet) but pretty good. Her sound reminds me of Louisa and I think she'll give Emily Middlemas a run for her money. Stage presence is not there yet. She could get put in a group. Went off the rails a bit around the end.

Anelisa Lamola: When she started I was like, oh, this is good... but 9 years wait, good? Then it really kicked in and I saw the star quality. She has Aretha's natural rasp and imperfection.

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Soheila Clifford: She certainly doesn't have a bad voice. But it's not a "wow." And she didn't pick a good song. This showcased her weaknesses, not her strengths. It felt like she was hitting most of the notes, most of the time, but just barely. Even though watching the whole audition and VT is tiresome, it's interesting to see who gets a good edit and who gets a bad edit. This was a bad edit even though she got through. Really she could be another Cher Lloyd (though I think Cher has proved to actually be rather good post X Factor) but for some reason it's not working with her.

4 of Diamonds: Good voices. Wasn't sold on the vibe. I think a capella worked for the audition but it didn't help me figure out what they're going for with modern 60's urban at all. Also, one of the only good things about that song is the earworm-y hook and they messed with it too much.

Nate Simpson: I love this song. It's rare that I hear someone who can compete with Sam Cooke. This was not that. It wasn't bad but it wasn't weighty enough. I don't expect everyone to have musical theatre vibrato but use some breath control. Don't just fling the notes out there.

Christopher Peyton: Not my thing. But fine. It was only interesting around the 2 minute mark when he started shouting when he really started to pretend to be black. (Let's be honest.) Something feels shady about him though. I'm expecting something splashed over the tabloids if he makes it further.

Will Rush: Not my thing. Fine though. You know, hit all the notes. For what he's doing, decent control. Too "unique" of a voice for a boy band?

Kirsty Murphy: Staged. You're telling me with all the hundreds of employees, she just barged in? Bullshit. Though, I do have sympathy for the people who sit there for HOURS waiting. That said, eh. It wasn't horrible but it was all tricks and little substance, like a parody of what haters think Christina Aguilera sounds like. A big voice is in there but she doesn't have much control over it.

Samantha Atkinson: Not perfect but there was a nice confidence to the way she sings. Humans are imperfect when they sing (with a few exceptions). But there's a difference in how Soheila missed the mark and when Samantha isn't album perfect. Her voice is also really pleasant. I'm into her. By the way, I found the group audition from bootcamp. Oof. It was rough. Poor thing.

Double Trouble: I think there's some talent there but ready for a record deal talent? Nope.

Garry Greig: Why do all the white people think they're black? Seriously, now. Not horrible but if this voice was coming out of a less attractive person it would be pretty average. Not bad but again, a lot of tricks in place of solid technique.

Mike Hough: Not my thing. But good. Better than the other "not my thing" guys. It's unpleasant to me but I like that he hasn't completely suppressed his accent and he has a bit of technique behind it instead of just tricks.

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Xtra Factor Auditions

Valentine: Bad singer. Good dancer.

Rhapsody: They feel a lot more like a BGT act. I didn't hate it and the girl was better than the other opera singer. But where's the versatility? The closest thing I could think of was Evanescence but they almost always sound the same. What would those two guys do on ABBA week? There are a lot of acts getting through that make no sense in the live shows. Why get their hopes up now?

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On 9/18/2016 at 2:35 AM, aradia22 said:

Christopher Peyton: Not my thing. But fine. It was only interesting around the 2 minute mark when he started shouting when he really started to pretend to be black. (Let's be honest.) Something feels shady about him though. I'm expecting something splashed over the tabloids if he makes it further.

Pretending? He looked like there's a pretty good chance that he's multiracial to me. If so, does that make him a pretender?

It's hard to tell from what we know of his background. He said his father was a pentecostal preacher, but the pentecostals have had both black and white churches for most of their history. 

Edited by Kromm
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