Its that time of year again, the days are getting shorter, the layers are getting thicker, the weather is getting colder and our Saturday nights are being taken over. Oh yes, the X Factor is back in all it’s musical extravaganza glory.
Pulling in 9.2 million viewers on Saturday night and peaking at 10.4 million on Sunday, the X Factor is back with a vengeance. With last years flailing ratings causing maybe one or two grey hairs for Mr Cowell, the show reinstated its original formula of intimate room auditions with just the judges. And it seems to be working, adopting the original format that discovered the likes of Leona Lewis and Alexandra Burke, seems to have already found some spectacular British talent, surprisingly. Sam Bailey, who wowed the nation with her version of Beyonces, Listen at the end of Saturdays nights programme, brought a tear to the eye and a hope that this year may actually be half decent viewing.
But of course, it wouldn’t be X Factor without the absolutely drivel that crosses our screen and this year it seems there will be plenty of tone deaf imbeciles. There was a half naked man in speedos, the tamest of “rock stars” and a rendition of Busted’s Air Hostess, in which returnee judge Sharon Osborne ended up in a fit of laughter on the floor after she couldn’t control her reaction to the auditionees line, “I’ve messed my pants.” The state-the-obvious judge most certainly didn’t disappoint over the weekend and confirmed the reason why she has always been a panel favourite.
The media seem to have credited Sharon as the reason for this years ratings success, with fag ash breath, Tuslisa out, Queen of the face lifts, Mrs O. is proving to be worth her £1.8 million contract. But of course the judging panel wouldn’t be complete without X Factor veteran Louis Walsh, one fifth of Take That Gary Barlow and overly positive Nicole Scherzinger, and when I say overly positive, I mean overly positive. Claiming to seem the positive in everything, Miss Scherzinger span off lines such as, “It’s a yes to being cute and Irish, but a no for the X factor.” Talk about being a tease, you think you’re in there and bam, she hits you with the answer you don’t want.
But for me, it was cringe worthy pop wannabes, Euphoria, a group of five teenage girls dressed in pastel colours who sang and danced to the Nolan sisters, ‘I’m in the mood for dancing,’ that really made me scream at the telly. The self described ‘PG version of the pussycat dolls’ were just too cutesie for me and were well defined by Gary Barlow once they left the room like, “someone put 10 spoonfuls of sugar in my tea.” The overly sweet girl group, who I predict now wont go very far, seemed as if they would fit much better on a bad British version of High School Musical rather than a talent contest.
But talent actually is fresh, young talent this year, on Sunday nights show, all the acts featured on Saturdays episode then took to the stage in front of 4,000 people at Wembley arena and the real stand out night of the act came in the form of 16 year old Tamera Foster, who initially got off to a shaky start as she forgot the lyrics to Whitney Houston’s, I Have Nothing, once she composed herself however, WOW, she blew me away. Her voice could rival that of Leona Lewis, and for 16 she is most certainly going to go very far, already dubbed a British version of Rihanna, Louis Walsh gave her the wise words, “this could be the first day of an amazing career, don’t mess it up.”
But before the show even aired, it hit headlines that the sixteen year old has had a stern talking to from ITV bosses after boasting of her drug use on Twitter. Referring to marijuana, Tamera tweeted, “Wo!!!! I just woke up :O that zoom put me to sleeeeep gard.” Never without controversy of some kind, these kinds of headlines don’t surprise me when it comes to the X Factor. A couple of years ago Misha B was accused by Tulisa herself of bullying, Diana Vickers was scrutinized for being put through the live shows whilst being ill, Frankie Cocozza hit headlines for his cocaine fueled partying and every year it seems there are rumors of vote fixing and auto tuning.
So whatever happens this year on the UK’s biggest talent TV competition, there is no question that it will make headlines in some way shape or form. But until then, I can safely say that my Saturday night outs are a thing of the past as I will be crawling in front of the TV, cup of tea in hand and Twitter on standby as watch eagerly to see who will be ‘The Next Big Thing.’