X Factor Roundup: Week 3

September 7, 2009 by  
Filed under - Home, Features

This week the X Factor juggernaut rolls into Cardiff, and they’ve managed to fit some auditions – some good auditions – in between the zoomy crowd shots and backstage footage of the judges eating sandwiches.

2 Gorgeous 4 Words (already, don’t you just know they’re not?) kick things off with an energetic entrance and an even more energetic performance, a strained, uncoordinated rendition of “Let’s Hear It For The Boy?.

The performance hasn’t gone down well. Simon complains of a headache. “He just doesn’t get satisfied by no-one at all. And that’s my opinion?, says an enraged fan backstage.

“Yeah. Yeah, it is?, Dermot confides.

Top 12 Alert! Things start to look up as 18-year-old Lucie Jones (pictured above), the only singer in her Welsh village of Pentrych, arrives on stage. Her version of “I Will Always Love You?, while by no means sensational, has Louis positively tearful.

Ian Elsey flaunts his versatility, singing odes to Beef and Onion crisps, Llamas, and a self-penned future classic “Shepherd’s Pie Til’ I Die?. All the Columbias, EMIs and Sonys of the world take notice.

Tonight’s star of the show however is 16-year-old Lloyd Daniels, who looks to be this year’s Eoghan, but with talent.

He doesn’t have a sob story, though some may argue that giving your son the name Lloyd borders on child abuse.

He’s blonde and everything, with a touch of James Morrison to his voice. If you freeze the video at the right time you might be able to make out the dollar-signs in Louis’ eyes.

His version of Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours? is a little wobbly, so the judges allow him to sing another song a capella, a stunning version of R Kelly’s “If I Could Turn Back the Hands of Time” which takes the roof off and earns him a standing ovation.

From the sublime to the ridiculous, recently broken up couple Combined Effort put irony aside for their X Factor dream providing a mediocre performance of “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now?. They’re later encouraged by the judges to reconcile, announcing their engagement back on. Move over Sophie and Kris, this is proper reality show romance.

The show’s rounded off in London Town, with 17-year-old Jade Fubara singing the song that earned Jennifer Hudson an Oscar, “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going?:

The cynic may remark that singing something off musical Dreamgirls in auditions is a sure fire way of getting into the next round, but Jade’s performance is incredibly heartfelt, and her voice should see her through to the final shows.

Stealing the show, and nicely saved for the end, is French-born waiter and Mariah Carey fanatic Fouad Djaoublia who strangles the starlet’s debut “Vision of Love” before Louis allows him a second chance, to the audience’s delight.

His “Hero?, although virtually indecipherable, has the crowd singing along, swaying from side to side, and there was a glimpse of some lighters-aloft action. It is admirable how Cheryl always manages to keep her composure:

Although Fouad had commanded the audience with such mastery, it was four nos from the judges. He later blamed the mics for his abysmal performance.

It’s safe to say that eventually he’ll be a legend in his own right.

Leonie Mercedes

If that’s whet your appetite, check out last week’s X Factor Roundup