First past the X

So, the first night has been and gone. As an X Factor first night it was a bit underwhelming but after the ridiculous dramas of the week I think that was inevitable. The big “surprise” (that we all knew about) was the reintroduction of the wildcards, the only mildly surprising bit being that all 4 of them are in the competition rather than us voting for just one to stay. Let’s look at the wildcards first

Diva Fever
I can totally see why Simon wanted them back in – they are what a wildcard act should be – a group that should never go through as top 3 but they are fun, camp and a little bit different (unless, of course, you have ever seen Same Difference, Jedward, Scissor Sisters etc.). Only one of them can sing and they will not trouble finals night but I’m glad they’re back to inject a bit of fun into the competition. By the way, when did Simon realise that the fun acts should be there? Oh yes, when Jedward made him some money.

Paije
I love Paije. I love his attitude, his voice, his humility. Unfortunately I didn’t love his stylist – it looked like he’d been blindfolded and sent on a trolley dash in T K Maxx. His singing was great though, until he moved that is. When he was moving around the judges he sounded drunk. But we’ll let him off as he was probably worrying that his stupid trousers might fall down. He’ll be there for a while.

Wagner
Is Louis mental? Wagner is ridiculous. He’s a novelty act but I’m not sure Wagner is actually in on the joke. I couldn’t watch it – Louis should have put the guy who looks like a Vulcan pixie through as he had a fantastic voice and his unusual looks made him very watchable. Wagner is just Peter Stringfellow in earrings. Don’t get it.

Gamu
Oops, I mean Treyc. The biggest “shock” was saved to the end – the lifeline thrown to serial applicant Treyc Cohen. I thought Treyc should have gone through the last time she got to judges’ houses so I’m over the moon that she has boosted Cheryl’s terrible group with her fabulous voice. I wasn’t as blown away by her song as I could have been but she has a confidence and authority on stage that makes her maybe a little too polished for the audiences who love an underdog. But I love her.

So, onto the ones we’ve known about all along and what a mixed bag it was. One or two of my early favourites really surprised me with how rubbish they were. None of my early hate figures did anything to change my opinion, but …

The Groups

FYD – competent vocals, good dancing and as good a group as we’ve seen (JLS excepted, this is not saying much). They’ll be in trouble though as they were pretty forgettable AND they were on first. In danger.

Belle Amie – horrible. The girls from Husstle must have been throwing things at the TV. Wobbly vocals, out of tune, no synergy in the group and very random styling. Worst of the night and I think they could be in trouble as well.

Wand Erection – apparently they are really good looking. As I am not 12 or a paedophile, I don’t see this. All I know is that the vocals were weak, the one who refused to do the dance audition can’t sing and if I was Chris Martin I’d be sueing them for song abuse. But as they are apparently good looking they will be safe, but I don’t think they are going to win.

The Overs

John – I’m sure John can sing very well but with this song we saw nothing to remotely suggest he has that elusive X Factor. Unfortunately for him, being a nice guy with a decent voice and no sob story is not going to get him far. I think he’ll go this week.

Storm – a real marmite character – there is nothing remotely current or edgy about this guy, nothing unique about his voice and no reason for anybody to be outraged that he hasn’t been snapped up by a record company years ago. He’s 37 which apparently is ancient (somebody should tell Kylie). But he is entertaining and clearly loving being on the show. This is the best thing that could happen to him as he’ll get to go on the tour and end up playing better venues, but he’s not going to set the charts on fire and will leave fairly early in the competition.

Mary – I was wrong about Mary. I said she was Subo without the mental health issues. She’s not. She’s about as similar to Subo as Manchester United are to Accrington Stanley (who are they?). They are roughly the same age but Mary has so much more to offer than having the mental strength to cope with the pressures of appearing on this show. Her voice is fantastic, she delivered her song with feeling, presence and perfectly controlled vocals – something the “Hairy Angel” never managed during her stint on Britain’s Got Talent. Love her. Is she a recording artist likely to collaborate with Will.i.am? No. But does that really matter?

The Boys

Matt – an early favourite with the bookies and for me. However, I was distinctly underwhelmed by his performance this week. His posture is awkward, his vocals a little screechy and that damn cap he wears is getting right on my nerves. I’m also sick to death of the whole “I’m an ordinary painter and decorator” story. So what? And actually he’s not. He’s in a band. What next? Somebody who used to be a bin man. Nah, that’d never happen. Having said all that, I still really like him and think that once he settles into the live shows, he’ll be one to watch, but I have a nagging doubt that he’d be better off fronting a band than standing alone as a soloist.

Nicolo – oh Nicolo, Nicolo, Nicolo, what have they done to you my lovely? My favourite contestant was the huge disappointment for me. It wasn’t his fault. Giving him a Lady Gaga song with a vocal range of about 5 notes and staging the number to make him look like a Eurotrash playboy has given our cocky little Italian friend a real disadvantage. Cheryl was right about the sunglasses hiding his fabulously expressive eyes as well. Gutted. But I hope the small army of fans he has amassed manages to keep him in as there is so much more to come.

Aiden – the big surprise of the night, he was quite good and quite interesting. He had the most impressive staging and that is probably down to his rather sinister stage persona – pretty appropriate for Mad World. Very Tim Burton. But the stary eyes and weird straitjacket style costume did detract from what was a fairly good vocal a bit. But this will have won him some fans and I think Aiden is the one who will go a lot further than I’d first predicted.

The Girls

Controversy time – have Cheryl’s choices justified their selection?

Rebecca – no. I still don’t get the appeal of this girl. She seems a nice, simple lass when interviewed and Simon is right when he says that the focus should not be on sad things if that isn’t her personality. But her vocals leave me cold. She’s like a Sade Lite and needs to do a lot more than bob up and down and stare at her feet to win me over. It always seems to me like she’s just marking it and we’re left waiting for her to do something amazing. Hurry up and do it Rebecca.

Cher – maybe. I still don’t like her. She is a weak singer and her rapping is awkward and incoherent. There is definitely something there – I can’t work out whether it is X Factor or arrogance. The eyebrows are distracting and she needs a good meal. She clearly completely believes the hype that she’s brilliant and I think the cockiness will lead to a big fall if she’s not careful.

Katie – absolutely no. Everything about this girl annoys me. She is the weakest singer there, there is nothing original about her style and she exudes the sort of arrogance you’d expect from a spoiled little rich girl. I have no idea about her personal background but I can imagine her screaming and screaming and screaming until she’s sick just to get her own way. I don’t know what hold she has over Simon for him to tell her she’s original. I fully expect her to be wearing a dress made out of meat next week. The only good thing about this girl is the fake twitter account @katieweasel

So, that’s Week 1. Two are going to leave and those two will probably come from FYD, Belle Amie, John and Wagner. Katie could well be in the bottom 3 (?) but the judges will save her above just about anybody, just to guarantee more public outcry and press coverage.

I still want Nicolo to win, but that’s based on his Twitter (@nicolo_festa) rather than his performance.

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