X Factor UK 2010 - Show One - Shirlena Johnson WTF?

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The first audition show X Factor UK aired tonight on ITV,  and there’s chatter on the internets following the debut are from peeps wondering if the contestants were autotuned or not.

If they were, it was a waste of time, because pretty much all the contestants sucked.  Even young student Gamu Nhengu–originally from Zimbabwe and now living with her parents in Scotland–was like a mediocre American Idol reject.

Everybody else was a joke.  However, somewhat amusing was the last audition of the night, Shirlena Johnson,  who did her own very special take on Duffy’s “Mercy”.  Check it out after the jump.

Oh, and was it pity that moved Simon to advance fame whore Katie Waisal? Even her backstory wasn’t very interesting.

Videos after the JUMP…

Stephen Hunter – Disco Inferno

Gamu Nhengu – Walking On Sunshine

Jahm – Bad Romance

Katie Waisal – We Are the Champions/At Last

G & S – Don’t Stop Believing

Shirlena Johnson – Mercy

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  • tierbee

    However, somewhat amusing was the last audition of the night, Shirlena Johnson, who did her own very special take on Duffy’s “Mercy”.

    Ohmigod. Now Idol *definitely* needs some of *that*. Bwah!

  • davedpg

    There was a really good girl called Holly who was only on the ITV2 show

  • jammasta

    Oh. My. God.

    I did not know whether to cry, laugh, rage, or take a nap and hope everything just passes after watching Shirlena.

    Just……. WOW. O_O. Dot dot dot.

  • Jx223

    I have never seen clips from this show before today, but Lol at that performance by Shirlena. That looks like a pretty big audience for an audition, but I guess that is normally how it is for this show? Also how long is each episode for this show?

    And Simon seems a lot more good natured, on this show then he was on American Idol. That was pretty long for an audition, and if it were Idol, Shirlena would have been cut quickly. She would not have advanced through to the next round of the competition.

  • JohnP

    that performance by Shirlena. That looks like a pretty big audience for an audition, but I guess that is normally how it is for this show? Also how long is each episode for this show?

    And Simon seems a lot more good natured, on this show then he was on American Idol. That was pretty long for an audition, and if it were Idol, Shirlena would have been cut quickly. She would not have advanced through to the next round of the competition.

    It is aired for 90 minutes. I think Simon prefers the big audience auditions – gives him more to occupy his rather short attention span and thus appears better humored.

    The Idol auditions are long as well, its just that the producers cut most of them to the bare essentials as they did for most on the X Factor too if the whole program is watched.

    People really need to see the whole program to get any comparative picture.
    ——

    You could hear some vocal vibration on the Gamu and Shirlena tapes, which may be a, shall we say, post production effect.

    If it is, they better cease and desist as they say. I can tolerate shedloads of cheese, the make-you-hack back stories, backing dancers, etc provided I can see and hear a truthful performance from the contestant. If that goes then so do I.

  • Jx223

    It is aired for 90 minutes. I think Simon prefers the big audience auditions – gives him more to occupy his rather short attention span and thus appears better humored.

    The Idol auditions are long as well, its just that the producers cut most of them to the bare essentials as they did for most on the X Factor too if the whole program is watched.

    People really need to see the whole program to get any comparative picture.
    ——

    .

    Thanks for the information. It sound to me like that one blond woman during “Don’t Stop Believing” sounded like she had been autotuned.

    Also, Katie Waisal’s looks a bit like Gwen Stefani to me.

    I would have to watch more auditions to get a better sense of how this show is set up and how the American version might end up being. But right now based off the few videos I have seen, I’m getting an “America’s Got Talent” type of feel from it.

    And I don’t like America’s Got Talent, because it reminds me a of a circus. Because of a lot of the type of acts that are featured including some weird ones. Based on what I have seen this show is reminding me of “America’s Got Talent” except for all the acts are singers.

    Does X-factor normally or at least sometimes let people like Shirlena move through after their audition? If only for the entertainment factor?

  • lizland

    Shirlena must work for a comedy troop. That couldn’t be for real.

    But hey, she does sing AND dance, which is what Idol appears to want now. LOL

  • http://www.twilightslo.com Mateja

    I would have to watch more auditions to get a better sense of how this show is set up and how the American version might end up being. But right now based off the few videos I have seen, I’m getting an “America’s Got Talent” type of feel from it.

    And I don’t like America’s Got Talent, because it reminds me a of a circus. Because of a lot of the type of acts that are featured including some weird ones. Based on what I have seen this show is reminding me of “America’s Got Talent” except for all the acts are singers.

    Does X-factor normally or at least sometimes let people like Shirlena move through after their audition? If only for the entertainment factor?

    “Got Talent?” is Simon Cowell’s other talent show.

    X Factor is developing all the time. They had 3 judges in the first three seasons (3 categories of 4 acts). The original panel was: Simon Cowell, Sharon Osbourne, Louis Walsh. Season 4 started with four judges – Simon added Dannii Minogue, Kylie’s younger sister. They also added another category to the show, so now they have 4 categories with 3 acts. After season 4 Sharon left (I think she didn’t like Dannii.). Cheryl Cole became the 4th judge in season 5 and her acts won in seasons 5 and 6.
    X Factor auditions used to be a lot like Idol auditions – until last year. Now they are more like Got Talent? auditions. But that’s X Factor UK, who knows what the auditions for X Factor USA will look like.

    After auditions follow Boot Camp (Hollywood) and Judge’s Houses (Judges pick their teams from the remaining contestants). Chosen 12 acts compete during live shows.
    I think the TOP 12 acts are more or less all “serious”. Last year Louis Walsh picked Jedward for his team and naturally, they were the only group act that made it to the tour (TOP 8 go on tour). But Jedward were really entertaining (Ooops I Did It Again, anyone?). But I don’t think we will see Shirlena perform during live shows.

  • JohnP

    I would have to watch more auditions to get a better sense of how this show is set up and how the American version might end up being. But right now based off the few videos I have seen, I’m getting an “America’s Got Talent” type of feel from it.

    And I don’t like America’s Got Talent, because it reminds me a of a circus. Because of a lot of the type of acts that are featured including some weird ones. Based on what I have seen this show is reminding me of “America’s Got Talent” except for all the acts are singers.

    The auditions do look like the “… Got Talent” franchise, and I’m not really convinced that it works for a “singing” competition. It can overblow someone’s potential if they have worked out a good routine to a good backing tape, however they are generally found out in the end at “Bootcamp” (Hollywood stage on Idol) and/or the live shows. Personally I would have both an acapella and a performance at the audition to get the best of both worlds.

    Does X-Factor normally or at least sometimes let people like Shirlena move through after their audition? If only for the entertainment factor?

    Yes sometimes, as they do on Idol and Got Talent as well.
    I wonder about Shirlena, if she has “hidden” talents – hidden, at least to people outside the show – as she has had training.

  • Jx223

    After auditions follow Boot Camp (Hollywood) and Judge’s Houses (Judges pick their teams from the remaining contestants). Chosen 12 acts compete during live shows.
    I think the TOP 12 acts are more or less all “serious”. Last year Louis Walsh picked Jedward for his team and naturally, they were the only group act that made it to the tour (TOP 8 go on tour).

    The auditions do look like the “… Got Talent” franchise, and I’m not really convinced that it works for a “singing” competition. It can overblow someone’s potential if they have worked out a good routine to a good backing tape, however they are generally found out in the end at “Bootcamp” (Hollywood stage on Idol) and/or the live shows

    Are they allowed to have duos, trios and groups as acts? Would a group count as one act and is there a limit to how many people can be in a group? Is there also a lot of dancing from the acts? And there is no age limit right?

  • JohnP

    They are allowed to have duos, trios and groups as acts? Would a group count as one act and is there a limit to how many people can be in a group? Is there also a lot of dancing from the acts? And there is no age limit right?

    When the show first started, huge choirs used to arrive and got a fair amount of exposure, but none succeeded and they just don’t seem to enter now, or are not encouraged. Simon and Louis have history with vocal harmony boy-bands and find it difficult to market anything else. Groups are generally nowadays 2 to 5 members and are exclusively vocal “harmony” groups which is a shame. I’m hoping the USA version can come up with better harmony groups than the UK – too many of which are severely under-rehearsed, imo. But I’d like to see more variety in the groups’ category.

    There is no upper age limit and support dancing can be included if the mentoring judge wishes to hide their contestant’s singing ability enhance their contestant’s performance ability.

  • http://www.twilightslo.com Mateja

    They are allowed to have duos, trios and groups as acts? Would a group count as one act and is there a limit to how many people can be in a group? Is there also a lot of dancing from the acts? And there is no age limit right?

    Yep, the 4 categories are: girls, boys, over 25s (now over 28s) and vocal groups (duos, trios and so on). A group counts as one act, yes. And there are 3 acts in one category. I don’t know how many people can be in a group. Probably 5 or 6.
    As you can see, this year they will have “over 28s” category. I don’t know. So far, only the first X Factor winner came from “over 25s” group. And that guy was obviously too old to be a popstar, he got in a fight with Simon and was quickly dropped. There is no upped age limit for X Factor.

    There is quite a lot of dancing from the acts and dancers. It depends on the song. They have a choreographer that works with the contestants. Most acts don’t dance a lot. They get dancers behind them, most acts only perform a few easy moves or move a little on the stage so they are not completely static.

  • JohnP

    I think for X-Factor USA, they should drop the existing 4 categories and create Pop, Country, R&B and Rock/Alt categories each mentored by a judge who is an expert in that genre. Groups and all ages above say 16 can still be there in any of the above like a Lady Antebellum or a Daughtry. In many ways the current grouping by age doesn’t help discrimination due to age.

    Each week the 3 acts from each category stick to their own type and sell themselves to the voters as what they want to be – no pointless theme nights. If Simon has to be a judge, then he could mentor the Pop category.

    That way, real experts can be mentoring properly every week and let the best one come through that way – notwithstanding the usual problems of tweens etc text voting, which will always be a problem.

  • Duke

    WOW!

    I came here to say how Gamu, Shirlena (even tho she was horrible) and the girl from G&S sound noticeably autotuned, then i read your thread and apparently im not the only one who thinks that…

    I was thinkin to myself: Am i crazy, or am i hearing T-Pain in all these contestants?

    If this is true then Simon Cowell is in for a whirlwind of bad press…and from what im hearing, these contestants sound autotuned.

    ps. i have back2back front row center concert tickets to adam lambert for 2 of his florida shows *shits pants*…just sayin…

  • JoCeeisme

    I would be shitting my pants too if I had front row center concert tickets to Adam Lamberts show, but probably not for the same reason as you Duke, just sayin…..

  • offside

    OK- I had to to release myself from that last video! Honestly, she had to be some kind of a plant for ratings. Why would they let her go through the entire song instead of cutting her off after one verse ( or does everyone from X-F get the opportunity to do their entire gig?)

  • sallysimmons

    And Simon seems a lot more good natured, on this show then he was on American Idol.

    Simon always seems happier when he’s in England.

    I know why he put the little blond girl through. She reminded me of The Pickle. Let’s face it, when you’re trying to create a pop star, you’re not looking for the world’s best singer. They’ll be here and gone anyway so you’re just looking for someone with a little charm and “pizazz” and the right look – she has it. Simon could sell records with her.

  • butte009

    They have a choreographer that works with the contestants. Most acts don’t dance a lot. They get dancers behind them, most acts only perform a few easy moves or move a little on the stage so they are not completely static.

    The Choreographer/Creative Director last season was Brian Friedman from SYTYCD.

  • JohnP

    There was a really good girl called Holly who was only on the ITV2 show

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXo3qVVFapc

    Hmmm… not bad. Better than most of the suckage shown on the main program certainly, but people shown on the satellite program tend not to make it to be a winner from past experience – maybe the finals, though.

  • butte009

    I finally got a chance to watch the entire show. I loved Stephan Hunter in a Jedward sort of way. Gamu wasn’t terrible. She has potential if she gets a good vocal coach and in the right judge’s house. I wanted to see more of Mark McGregor’s audition. Again, with a bit of vocal training and some styling he could get the backing of the young girl vote. I agree that Katie was channeling Pickler. Something that I’ll grow tired of if it continues into the live shows.

  • JohnP

    ITV now admit to post-production effects being used on the first audition program of X-Factor. It was even on the main broadcast news program in the UK and many chat programs.

    However they reported that an X Factor spokesman said post-production work was necessary on the show due to the number of microphones used during filming.

    Does anyone believe that? I certainly don’t – we would have heard it on all the contestants.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-11056050

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/celebs/news/2010/08/23/x-factor-fakery-storm-as-itv-admit-using-voice-changing-gadget-in-auditions-115875-22506939/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

    ETA Here’s a vocal coach’s opinion
    http://www.itv.com/news/x-factor-fury39439/