It’s Sunday, it’s the X Factor, and we have more auditions! Last night we saw several great acts, and tonight the talent keeps on coming. Simon Cowell, Louis Tomlinson, Ayda Williams and Robbie Williams are on the hunt for a star, and the great Dermot O’Leary is backstage with the hopefuls’ families. The show starts at 8 PM London time (3 PM EST) so get ready to join me in the comments as we discuss the good, the bad, and the ugly from tonight’s X Factor.
After a recap of last night, a preview of tonight, and the introductions for our judges, it’s time for our first act. Kiki Piesare is 29 years old from London. She’s a full-time mom with three kids who apparently looks like Janet Jackson. Her mom used to be a singer. She sings One Night Only by Jennifer Hudson and she’s awful. It’s painful and should have been cut short a lot earlier. Robbie says she radiates loveliness but unfortunately she can’t sing. Louis says the singing wasn’t up to scratch. Simon thought she’d be good but it didn’t work out that way. Four nos.
Burgandy Williams is up next. She jokes about not wanting to say her age. And then she lies and says she’s 28. She says she’s America’s best kept secret, from Atlanta but lives in London. This woman’s got personality for days. She says if she could have told herself yes years ago she would have. She sings Respect by Aretha Franklin and, thank god, she can sang. Great R&B voice. She’s my favorite auditioner of the week so far. Robbie’s in the crowd, Ayda is dancing, Dermot is dancing backstage, and then all four judges stand up. Ayda says she’s her new American best friend. Louis couldn’t stop smiling. Simon says this is not about a sob story, it’s about a hope story. Four yeses. I love her.
We are reminded that Simon hates
white guys with guitars. Roy Robson brings one out. He works in a nuclear power plant and he’s 34 years old. He jokes that he’s like Homer Simpson. He sings an original song and it’s not nearly good enough. Ayda’s bummed she didn’t loved it. Simon called it a busker audition. Four nos.
Ollie Swain is the next dead man walking with a guitar. He sings Feeling Good and he’s not bad, but he’s not great either. Robbie says he’ll put people to sleep. Louis wanted more energy. Simon called it predictable. Ayda says yes but I have no idea if he made it through.
Tommy Ludford is the third one up with a guitar. He works as a KP, but he calls himself a kitchen prince. Simon asks if he’s ever hated someone enough to spit in their food. He’s very likable. He sings an original song called King Pin. He is a sing/rapper like Ed Sheeran and he’s got presence. Simon interjects that he actually liked it halfway through. Louis says that that’s what we needed to prove Simon wrong about guitars. Ayda says he’s the prince of Wembley. Robbie says lyrically he’s on point, a star is born. Simon got swang. Four yeses.
The background music behind Athena Manourain’s introduction is Me Too, the most annoying song of the past decade. Perfect match – this is really annoying me. Athena brags about her Facebook likes. She traveled from Greece to do this show. She sings Crazy in Love by Beyonce. She can sing good, but they either set her up to be a villain or she is one. Ayda found it a bit cheesy. Louis found it entertaining – says the vocal was good but he’s not 100% sure. Robbie loved it, says yes. Ayda says yes. Louis says no, that it was too much for him. Simon thinks she’s got a dated image but says yes anyway. Drama for the six chair challenge? Check.
Next up are Tre Amici – three regular guys with day jobs. Robbie invites his dad up to judge in his place. That’s weird. They’ve been together for three years. And then, they sing Opera, specifically Nessun Dorma. One line in, Robbie whispers to an audience member that he left on the wrong one. They can sing, but this is not for X Factor. This is for BGT. Simon stops them, and says he thinks the guy in the middle, LeRoy, has the best voice. He wants LeRoy to sing on his own. Robbie is heckling from the audience. LeRoy sings a line and then decides he can’t do it himself, and finishes the song with the other two. Simon looks pissed but all the other judges (including Robbie back at the panel) stand. Then, Simon stands at last. Robbie’s dad says he wouldn’t want to be up next. Louis loved the loyalty. Ayda says that’s the most heart she’s seen throughout the entire competition, says they truly are three friends. Simon begrudgingly admits that he might have been wrong about them. Four yeses. That ended differently than I expected.
Our last act of the weekend is Scarlett Lee. She auditioned last year as well. Simon recognizes her. She appreciated being sent home because she wasn’t ready. She spent a year figuring out who she was and now she’s back. She’s self aware about being orange, so that’s good at least. She starts out by singing an original song. And while she can sing, the song isn’t good enough. Simon stops her halfway through. Simon says this was the sixth time he’s heard her sing and he wasn’t sure there would be another time. Simon says that was a four, he wants a ten. She then sings Never Enough from The Greatest Showman and it’s better. It’s not perfect but it’s pretty damn great. And she gets better as she keep singing. All four judges stand. Simon summons her for a hug after, tells her that’s what they’ve been waiting for and that’s what she’s always had inside her. Robbie says she made the best save he’s ever seen. Ayda says it was so big, she feels privileged to be a part of what will change the rest of her life. Louis says she has a massive vocal for a 20 year old. Simon says last year he was disappointed with her because she let herself down, but says she’s an amazing singer, calls it magic, wants to be mentoring her.
Four yeses five thousand yeses.
Scarlett and Burgandy were the clear standouts tonight. It’s really weird. The two returning contestants have been my two favorites so far. I wasn’t excited about either of them coming back, but Anthony Russell and Scarlett Lee have had two of the best auditions thus far.