X Factor 2013 Auditions Week 3: Kingsland Crowned The Alpha Group?

We’re back. I’m back. Nicole’s back. Sharon’s back. AAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

First up on Sunday’s arena malarkey and fresh from seeing ‘durble durble’ in Saturday’s room auditions was this year’s eccentric foreigner / token cultural stereotype, Souli Roots. It’s hard to resist Souli’s infectious joie de vivre and she combines something of the madness of Wagner with the gracious self-awareness of Rylan Clark.

However, the presumably reliable Digital Spy spoilers don’t see a spot for Souli at judges house – an indicator perhaps of X Factor’s desire for a return to credibility. Still, it’s hard to imagine a live show without at least one novelty act. It’s like imagining a cherry bakewell without the cherry or a Taylor Swift song without a veiled reference to one of her many press-engineered ‘ex-boyfriends.’

Next up in the arena and through to bootcamp was Cher Lloyd cum Jesy Little Mix firecracker, Lydia Lucy, singing a Michael Jackson song in the style of that bird lady everyone thought would win The Voice this year. After commenting on Saturday that Lydia would fit well into a group, judges praised her independence and artistry on the arena stage.

It would seem a tad odd to reverse this sentiment by bundling Lydia into a band at this point but the rumours point to her exclusion from judges’ houses so we can only wonder if she’s been Frankensteined or jettisoned altogether. Let us not forget that Liam Payne was the surprise candidate in One Direction, having wowed with his rendition of Cry Me A River in the auditions.

Jeannette Akua won me over with her sassiness but I fear the curse of the confident black woman is what will keep her from making the important stages of the competition. In the sad world of tokenism and typecasting I can’t imagine her competing with the younger, prettier, more malleable and dare I say more British Tamera Foster.

I think Rough Copy have great shtick and I was sad to see them unable to make the lives last year. At odds as long as 25 the trio would be the most interesting semi-outsider at this early stage but for rumours picked up by Gavster that visa issues once again scupper their judges’ houses progress. [Update: Thanks to tpfkar for the Digital Spy forum spoiler information that Rough Copy do go to judges’ houses, but as a duo.]

A male group are yet to win the show and Rough Copy have almost limitless commercial viability. That said, despite the crooning and swooning, the band is probably just too ‘street’ for middle England and seems more like the kind of act producers would have pushed towards the finals in the hope of launching a career from third or fourth place.

Stephanie Woods fulfilled the necessary ‘you picked the wrong song’ segment performing I Drove All Night ‘by’ Celine Dion. In her higher register Stephanie has lovely control but her style overall just reeks of Club Med and her pained expression when singing is not a face designed for big productions on the live stage. She’s trading anywhere between 14 and 50 and I don’t see her as a threat. Neither do the DS spoilers.

And then to Kingsland, the acid-trip hipster quintet of doom: bad voices, cheesy moves and atrocious styling. And do you know what? (Adopts best Louis Walsh voice) I liked it. I mean I really did.

The one that seems to be the lead singer could do to learn a few more consonants to fill out all those faux-soulful vowel sounds he seems to vomit into the air whilst reaching for an invisible dagger, the glare of Macbeth alive in his piggy eyes. And someone should really explain to the band that harmonising entails a little more complexity than five people all singing different notes at roughly the same time. Also, there’s a definite need for a stylist to harness the slapdash Dalston pandemonium in which the boys are dressed.

With all that considered, I actually like Kingsland for the moment. They’re different from their category predecessors and have something of ‘N sync about them. The public never seem to respond too well to over-synchronising groups who dance but Kingsland have a bit more individual charm than say, series 7’s F.Y.D. and it would be worth watching out for VTs that set out their individual personalities as a sign of producer favour.

Stu has heard rumours that Kingsland make the live shows, alongside BrickCity, who were given the gamma edit of being seen on Saturday but not Sunday (when there was no space for charming Giles Potter either). He reckons the other group through, StopLookListen, are comprised of three rejected black female soloists. [Update: tpfkar informs us that the girlband may not be given that name but include Rielle Carrington from week 1 and Jeanette Akua, discussed above.]

According to Gavster, there is no room even at judges’ houses for super creepy Next Of Kin, my first nemesis(/es?) of the series, whose performances make me feel like I’ve been violated by frisky aliens in my sleep and am only just remembering it. At nasty single figure odds with some firms, Next of Kin are battling Kingsland for the top band odds and I for one hope it’s true they lose that battle.

And finally, God bless little Nicholas McDonald the dark horse from Scotland. Rounding off an episode that brought a few more males to prominence, Nicholas is now the bookies’ top boy, odds as short as 6. Nicholas feels a little like a blast from the past. Part Leon Jackson (an analogy also made by Guildo Horn Forever), part early Pop Idol auditionee, the worry is that Nicholas isn’t enough of a viable commercial product. Where his crisp and pleasant croonings really belong is on the theatre stage – in fact I can clearly picture him playing opposite Melanie McCabe in a school musical.

However, if producers put him in the live shows despite his regional and demographic advantages as highlighted by Gavster and Stoney, that would indicate that they’re prepared to see him go relatively far in the competition. Stoney thinks that he’s one to consider on that basis. However, JScouser is down on the way the boys category has been treated so far whilst Mark felt that he doesn’t stand out enough.

Next week, tedious everyman Joe Whelan is back with a bang and Nicole is all about men singing their balls off. Do you think week 3 set any cats among the pigeons or are the top 3 of Abi, Tamera and Melanie holding on strong? The floor is open.

49 comments to X Factor 2013 Auditions Week 3: Kingsland Crowned The Alpha Group?

  • tpfkar

    [SPOILERS] A few comments here that don’t sit well with what seems like well-evidenced spoilers from Digital Spy:

    -Lydia Lucy out at bootcamp.
    -Stephanie Woods out at bootcamp.
    -Jeanette Akua into girlband (with Rielle Carrington + 1 other)
    -The girlband unlikely to be called STOPLOOKLISTEN, but likely alpha group.
    -Rough Copy go to judges’ houses as a duo

    Will give some opinions later!

    • admin

      Hi tpfkar, thanks for the heads up. I’m the person who edited Dug’s piece and added the spoilers without the information you have just given. I will update the article accordingly.

  • Ben Cook

    Really odd that Next Of Kin don’t even make judges houses given the exposure they got and the fact they really can sing. They could have been the next Journey South(!)

    Nicholas will do very well and is being set up to be this year’s Joe McElderry (notice they played The Climb after his performance?).

    • Journey South, where 10 years ago… Next of Kin’s market has passed.

      End of the day, someone has to get the boot, thats had reasonable airtime, else it just doesnt make good TV. Next of Kin is them…..

      Unless, Rough Copy dont actually go Judges houses due to issues etc and Next of Kin replace them… or judges get a wild card etc, which sees them at Judges Houses. Doubt it though.

  • I may be one of a small number of viewers left unimpressed by Kingsland. Their image lacks continuity and I don’t find them particularly likeable. 1D and D3 were much easier on the eyes and fit that almost androgynous look of modern teeny-boybands. In my opinion, Kingsland aren’t in the same league of cuteness. Yet, they already have an established fanbase going into the live shows (they’ll be through), so shouldn’t find themselves bottom of the vote too early in the campaign.

    On the face of it, the groups appear very weak this year. Those who have been following the spoilers for the last 6 weeks will have been encouraged to read glowing comments for a new urban girl group, possibly named StopLook&Listen [surely not]. A new TLC or En Vogue inspired group would be welcomed, though surely the R&B mold has taken a back-step in this new big-pop-hook period? Perhaps a welcome return?
    Anyway, given that Gary has formed these girls from rejects should signal they are his #1 priority. Miss Frank might be a valuable lesson to learn though.

    As predicted, Nicholas was granted the pimp slot and duly delivered a performance likely to cement him as a favourite among mums and grannies. Last week I compared him to the equally shy and unassuming Joe McElderry while flagging up his beneficial Scottish heritage. Like Leon Jackson and Eoghan Quigg, Nicholas is another boy likely to earn a placed finish thanks to mums, grannies and fervent national pride.

    Next week Sam Callaghan is likely to wow (in more ways that one after seeing his 6-pack), but should exit the show before Nicholas. Last week I remarked that Sam might be this year’s villain: a Katie Waissel or Danyl Johnson character. In the absence of a novelty act, it makes sense that one of the acts will fill this roll. My guess is it’ll be Sam. Failing that, I reckon he might divert some girlie votes from Kingsland.

    The next betting target has to be Joe Whelan. It’s fastest finger first on a Saturday, and having got Nicholas at 34.0, I’ll be waiting to pounce at the early prices over 20.0. Joe has a huge twitter and facebook following, so is a credible threat going into this year’s contest. I know that the producers intervened to make sure Sharon took him to her judge’s houses stage, so he’s guaranteed a good run in the contest.

  • I cannot help but be reminded of Craig Colton by Nicholas, and I can definitely envisage a similar trajectory to him, semi-to-heavily pimped in the early shows and ejected at around 6th. But I’m afraid of the Scottish vote. I can’t capture TPTP’s thinking and why they would put through a Scottish contestant whom they don’t want to win. And I really cannot imagine them wanting him to win.

    • stoney

      ive been thinking about this, and the only way they could ensure he didnt win was too put jade through to the lives, this would split the scottish vote and put a dent into either contestants chances. I cant see the similarities in him and craig, he is a lot younger and a lot cuter than craig was, he would appeal more to the young teenie girls than craig did thats for sure

      • eurovicious

        I haven’t watched this weekend’s shows yet but that occurred to me too. However, even with two Scots acts, one would inevitably depart before the final stages, so the full Scots vote would transfer to the other regardless.

  • tpfkar

    Based on what we’ve seen so far, Kingsland obviously favoured over Brick City. But all the spoilers suggest that Stop Look Listen (how about the Green Cross Code Girls?) are being set up as the new Destiny’s Child, all feeding into the female heavy vibe this year where girls are promoted across the competition. I think they will be alpha group, much more heavily styled than the others, and as a result Kingsland are more about having some fun in the early weeks.

    Nicholas is a great singer but looks like a weak performer, and unless he can be coached, I can see where Panos is coming from with the Craig Colton comparison, and it does leave room for Sam Callahan as alpha male (and villain as Gavster suggests.)

    Finally, lots of talk about how Joseph Whelan could end up alpha male and come through the middle. The safe way to prevent this is of course to get rid at judges’ houses. Sounds like Sharon didn’t want to put him through, and having 3 females in the overs wouldn’t be the most blatant fix we’ve seen. I’d just be cautious before lumping on.

  • Belatedly catching up on this weekend’s shows.

    Only one thing to add, really – it struck me how in both of Kingsland’s sections there were so many references to hard work, hard work, hard work, hard work. It reminded me how that was a button they kept hitting with One Direction.

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    Off-topic random moan alert!

    Had never had a problem with Paddy Power, but…Grrrrr!

    Had bets totalling about £140 on a particular selection. That selection won. I should have received about £660 back. I haven’t.The bets are still listed as ‘pending’ and their settlement team still hasn’t bloody got back to me.

    Have spoken to a number of their customer support staff. Most of them are fab and understand perfectly what I am explaining. But one or two seem to think the bets are deservedly still ‘Pending’ and seem impervious to logical explanation!

    I even point them to supporting and almost conclusive evidence on their own website and on my ‘My Bets’ page but to no avail.

    Am starting to get concerned that the settlement team are thinking the same thoughts.

    Have gone from delighted to growingly frustrated to worried.

    Awful experience.

    • Guildo Horn Forever

      Still they haven’t settled, plus there hasn’t been the promised call from their escalation manager, nor the promised email(s) from the settlement team, nor are there any new messages in my p.p. inbox.


      • Guildo Horn Forever

        Yes! 🙂

        Rang PP an hour and happened to get straight through to an escalation manager, who explained they were v busy today and she was helping take the calls.

        She understood the issue immediately, was lovely, and promised that within the hour she would have my bets settled and that she would credit me further with a free £10 bet.


        Lesson learnt:

        If you need a serious or urgent matter settled, ring the on-line bookie during the day, and push to speak to an escalation manager (or equivalent).

  • Just had a bet on Overs at 5-1. Seems a rather big price given what we know already.

    Overs – 5-1

    Sharon Osburne returns for the first time and has the Overs Category. Every judge that has came in for first season has won their first season. Danni Minogue, Cheryl Cole, Tulisa and Nicole all won their first season. Sharon has never won it (extra incentive).

    Now mathematically why its a good bet. Overs contain Sam Bailey who is top price 10-1 but should be around 8s/9s. And this week airing Joseph Whelan, he will probably be around 10-1 mark. The combined price of them two is 4/1 by themselves… there is also at least one more act in the overs category, the price of this will be high anyway, but still it makes the 5-1 bit more generous.

    One of them things for me where I know regardless views your getting 5-1 on something should be 10/3, 7/2 Max

    (A strong case can be made to back Sam Bailey at 10-1 too, but that’s another thing, Betfred just taking a view and pushed her out two points above everyone else)

    • Phil

      The theory of Sharon Osborne winning because it’s her first year is flawed, as neither Gary Barlow nor Kelly Rowland won in their first year. However, I do agree with you that the overs winning is a good bet and we may see that, with so many strong female contenders this year, that it paves the way for Joe Whelan to benefit from the lack of an alternative strong male. Just a hunch, however I’m not completely sold on him yet.

      As an aside, has anyone been keeping tabs on the Aussie version this year at all? It’s really interesting seeing the tactics deployed in the UK version being used on what is possibly a slightly more unsuspecting audience. The best example of this is the contestant Dami Im (who is actually a delight to watch, I must admit – she’s so endearing). She is shy, inexperienced, never been to a music gig in her life, not heard of half the songs she’s singing, didn’t get put through originally – but then she performs and gets 4 standing ovations every week. The first 4 weeks, she’s been one of the last to sing (in fact, they’re making a thing this week out of how she’s nervous about opening the show for the first time). If we were watching this in the UK version, it would be obvious to pretty much the entire audience that this was the favoured one.

      Anyway, good to be back this year again – bring on the live shows!

      • How could I forget Kelly/Gary.. silly me. looks like 4 from 6 then for judges.

        Still very much expect price to shorten significantly

        • Guildo Horn Forever

          You might be right about the price shortening (on the overs), but imo, Joseph Whelan (presumably one third of those overs and currently as low as 7s) won’t be winning. He’s a limited out-of-tune singer.

          Has a really technically poor singer ever won XF? Buble-lite Leon Jackson is the nearest thing to a valid candidate for that title, and even he was streets ahead of Joe Whelan.

          On stats, one to note is that in 9 series of XF there’s only been one overs winner, Steve Brookstein…and he was nine years ago…and they haven’t made that mistake since.

          There has been two times overs have finished 2nd: Andy Abraham and Olly Murs, though they were 8 years ago and 4 years ago respectively.

          In the last 3 seasons the only overs contestant to place was Devil Eyes finishing third last year.

          Is this a strong year for the overs?

          Olly Murs does prove that an over can become a commercial smash for Syco, and it’s certainly possible to make comparisons between Olly and Joe.

          The video link below surprised me. He’s not bad at all, here.

          YouTube: Joseph Whelan – Wish (Acoustic – Live) at Sheffield

          • stoney

            the age demographic has shifted considerably since steve brookstein won the show, he wouldnt stand a cat in hells chance this year for instance
            Also olly murs was not not an over, he was in the boys category

          • stoney

            actually my mistake, it was over 25’s that year, what a young/promising set of overs that was, Olly, daniel johnson (favourite from start of show) and jamie afro

            This is surely the youngest over age combined for 3 acts by a long shot

          • Matt Cardle also would’ve been an over, if they hadn’t shifted the age up to 28 for the boys that year.

          • Guildo Horn Forever

            Hi stoney,

            Yes, the age demographic has shifted considerably since Brookstein (who was arguably Sharon O’s one XF winning act! Lol) – we agree.

            I was suggesting to JS2002 that if one “over” has won in 9 years then perhaps that ‘stat to note’ translates in odds terms as this year’s winner being an over as an 8/1 poke.

            And further that as that they ‘haven’t made that mistake since’ perhaps the true odds are higher than 8/1. And that the 5/1 for an overs winner at which he is looking may not represent the value price he thinks it is?

            I suppose the big factor will be what type of winner do the XFPTB want to win? If they want to mark their 10th anniversary with an over winning, then 5/1 may well end up looking value.

            I went on to look for a over-representation of overs’ near misses, which could overturn the XF series overs’ winning percentage, but two 2nds and two 3rds in 9 years (and only ol’ “Devil Eyes(!)” Chris Maloney placing in the top three over the course of podium finishes for the last three series) doesn’t really suggest the historical 1 in 9 winning chance is misleading.

            Yeah, Olly was just an over and I think the same is true with Joe. They do have much in common. And that Sheffield acoustic YT vid of Joe’s is interesting.

            I agree, stoney, Steve Brookstein wouldn’t stand much of a chance this year; which makes me worry again for the chances of Sam Bailey. The romantic in me would love her to win but Syco aren’t romantic souls.

          • Guildo Horn Forever

            I hadn’t realised that, Tim. Great spot and note.

            My stats are wrong then, with particular regard to Joseph Whelan.

            So, there’s, in effect, been two ‘overs’ winners: Steve Brookstein and Matt Cardle, and Olly who was second, and in other years may have won.

            Matt was male and about 27; Olly was male and 25; and Joseph is male and about 26 or 27 (?).

          • stoney

            When i first saw sam bailey i was singing her praises saying i fancied her to get a rare win for the overs, however over the weeks since then ive had time to think about things and the trend in which the last 5 years have gone, and i now believe its going to be extremely difficult for her to win, especially with the maloney style fraud stories leaking out that shes actually been singing on the circuit for quite a while, her initial vt had her as a prison guard, and led us to believe she had no real singing experience. I fell for this and went off her when i read the stories. I can actually see joseph whelen going further than her, mainly due to the fact hes boy is cute and he will have a lot of female votes, even though he does look like a young jim carey im sure many will find him attractive

          • Just to add to what I originally said… I think the 5-1 is a great value bet.. however itt doesnt necessarily mean I expect this win, anyone who follows me on twitter will know that my selections are Abi and Sam B, however at the current prices on offer I think/thought the 5-1 was stand out given the fact your getting 3 acts for that 5-1. Of which two of them at time of writing were expected to be trading at below 11-1. Making the 5-1 large knowing you get the extra act.

  • stoney

    Just went to see my nan, who is 78 years of age, born and bread Londoner, and during our chat of whats on the tele asked her who her favourite x factor contestant was, ‘the young scottish boy on last week was good’ was her response. Make of that what you want

  • Boki

    Joe Whelan sounds not so good to my ears in the week 3 preview clip.

    • eurovicious

      Boki, I thought the same.

    • Guildo Horn Forever

      Yep, thirded.

      Just listening to a selection of Joseph clips of his from this year and last. It sounds as though he’s been swallowing too many files and rasps.

      To my ears, he lacks depth and power through all ranges.
      He goes to reach the end-of-lyric-line big notes, but bails out every time, as his voice can’t reach them. He’s also regularly out of tune, especially when he hasn’t reason to shoe-horn that that hoarse screech into the song. But even his screech quickly runs out of petrol. He can’t even maintain that.

      If he’d auditioned on The Voice I doubt any of the judges would have turned round. Even Danny.

      Karaoke standard – if that.

      I also question if he will be placed in the ‘overs’ category.
      In the clips you seem to get to see as much of his lad as you do Joseph. The group name could be ‘The cute kid and his hunky dad’.

      In comparison: I might not be keen on the sound of Abi Alton’s voice but at least she can really sing.

  • Dan

    Does anybody know, and Little Mix excepted, has the X-Factor winner always been somebody who we’ve first seen in the auditions rather at boot camp?

  • Natasha

    How shit has x facor been this week and last? The girls category is so very strong and the contrast in the first 2 weeks we saw compared to these last 2 weeks makes the girls stand out by a mile! Is that what they were aiming for? I strongly believe it is and that TPTB want a girl winner. There has been leaks on DS about what boys and groups are through to the lives but do we know what overs and girls are through?

    • Tim B

      Hey Natasha, I’ve been led to believe that the girls are Tamera, Abi and Hannah. It’s also looking like the Overs may well be Sam Bailey, Joseph Whelan and Souli Roots.


      • Ben Cook

        That’s weird since the people on DS who were at bootcamp don’t think Souli got through to judges houses.

      • Natasha

        Wow they ditched Melanie again lol, she was to ‘high school musical’ anyway if you get what I mean. The girls catergory is ever so strong and I really can not even try and predict which one they will chuck under the bus and which one they will push. Im guessing what with all the bad publicity Tamera has had then she will be the ‘shock’ exit

      • Highlighted

        Yeah can anyone at bootcamp confirm if she was through? Also surprised by no Mel though that is unconfirmed of course. Would be almost cruel. That said I thought girls were this weekend so decision not made yet?

        • Highlighted

          Judges house finished yesterday I just found out. Melanie said she was #feelinggood make if that what you will. Had not much from Hannah, Jade, Tamera or Abi on twitter

          • Ron

            It would be hard to believe that Melanie hasn’t made the final cut given how much coverage they’ve given her this year (why bother doing it for a returning contestant who gets rejected yet again? It’s a complete non story). Also, it does look like Melanie was specifically asked to re-audition by the producers, as it seems she had no intention of doing so earlier this year.

  • Abi posted a YouTube video on the facebook account a few days ago. That has since been deleted.

  • Boki

    Very strange that Souli article, why would they repeat the Gary-Rylan story I wonder. Any ideas why Tamera drifted?

  • Boki

    Btw we assumed the Hannah reached the bootcamp but now I wonder which Hannah of the two?

    • Tim B

      Boki, I’m pretty sure it’s Hannah Barrett. For what it’s worth, someone on Digital Spy has “confirmed” this. Also, she was featured in prestigious audition show 1 (and 2), which bodes well for her chances.

      • Boki

        Yes, I’ve just did a quick scan on Dspy and found the same. Also Souli seems also through based on her tweets despite conflicting the reports of the people at bootcamp, so we might have a joke act after all. Melanie remains a mystery. I topped up Tamera on a double figure price (and with my previous pre-lives success she is probably the first girl to leave 🙂

    • Luke

      It’s Hannah Barrett – there was a photo of the girls at bootcamp uploaded a while back which I saw, but it’s since been deleted (or I can’t find it, at least).

      I think Souli might just be playing along with the hype.

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