X Factor 2018 Auditions Week 2: Scarlett O’Drama

Among the problems with this new season of X Fctor, the biggest has been the paucity of new talent. After two weekends of rehearsals, the top trio on the Betfair outright are two familiar faces from last year’s show – Ant Russell and Scarlett Lee – and Irish Eurovision non-qualifier Brendan Murray.

Instead of seemingly front-loading the earliest audition shows with exciting new acts, we’ve had extended segments featuring novelty contestants, and tired, seen-before storylines. The lack of bootcamp may be the primary reason for padding out the auditions (which have recently pulled in the highest ratings) over possibly longer than the traditional four weeks. But the result is a show currently looking like it’s going through the motions.

Still, gamblers are born optimists, and the trailer for next weekend’s auditions indicate the appearance of some interesting acts that spoilers suggest are already through to judges’ houses, such as Georgia Burgess in the girls category. Let’s hope we have more of those 24 acts to discuss next week – these are our thoughts on those we saw among them last weekend.

Let’s start with Scarlett, who got the Sunday night pimp slot for her emotional segment involving a comeback within her comeback. Having failed to impress Simon with her first, self-penned number, she resorted to ‘Never Enough’ from ‘The Greatest Showman’.

She represents the big-voiced, young everywoman we’re used to on this show (multiple rejectee Jade Richards springs to mind, as does Lauren Murray). Scarlett doesn’t strike us as being as good as Lauren vocally, though she is a sympathetic figure with a backstory. Simon’s words were encouraging (“You are an amazing singer.. I would love, love, love to be mentoring you on this show”), but Molly Scott represents similar competition in her own category, so this could be teeing her up for Richards-esque Groundhog Day heartbreak at judges’ houses

Maria Laroco is also whisked away to Los Angeles by potential mentor Cowell. “Is there anyone in The Philippines who can’t sing?” Dermot asked her post-song, as if the production team were making mirth out of another young, female belter from that country making it to the later stages. After her rendition of ‘Purple Rain’, Maria struck us as an inferior version of compatriot Alisah last year. The best thing going for her is the show’s apparent determination to garner publicity in that part of the world.

Another big-voiced female at judges’ houses is Burgandy Ross. The mature American immediately endeared herself to us by saying, “If I could have told me ‘yes’ a long time ago, I would have”, and belting out Aretha’s ‘Respect’. She ends up in a duo with the as-yet-unseen Panda in the Overs, and they have competition from two other, younger duos in that category.

One of those is Misunderstood, seen in audition show 1, and the other is 14-year-old Aaliyah Robinson and 15-year-old Acacia K, whose creation story played out last Saturday. There was the highly-confected sight of the two of them being thrown together to do ‘Bang Bang’, having auditioned separately in a way that hadn’t quite worked as intended.

Like the panel, we felt Acacia’s rapping was the most interesting thing about the duo. There’s potential commercial relevance too, which is presumably why they’ve been put together. But such an obviously manufactured start isn’t very helpful in terms of selling them to the public.

Here’s hoping there’s more grist to the mill next weekend. Keep us updated with your thoughts below.

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6 comments to X Factor 2018 Auditions Week 2: Scarlett O’Drama

  • Fudd

    Quite a few acts from the rumoured final 24 got an airing tonight: I wonder if Ricky John might be the rumoured Ricky on DS? Then we had Giovanni Spano, Georgia Burgess, Armstrong Martins and LMA Choir.

    Giovanni and LMA didn’t necessary strike me as Alphas, Betas or Gammas from their treatments, as much as Giovanni will be remembered for the song swap – both of them were made memorable by not being perfect. As much as Ricky was the same he at least was given a lot of history, either to push him into the lives or give him and emotional cut further down the line.

    Armstrong and Georgia are more interesting candidates for me – Armstrong had a new link with pastrol interest whilst Georgia was a classic X Factor belter with enough of backstory shown without making her sound entitled and giving her a bit of a personality.

    They’ve managed to temper any expectation around Tom Richards; for me his audition was a brilliant example of how they bury someone – they could have made him fly should they have wished to do so.

  • I don’t believe Tom Richards’ audition had anything to do with Tom Richards. He was there to illustrate the life-changing effect of the XFactor. If not for the providence of Simon Cowell, dear sweet Louis could have been the one auditioning 8 years on.

  • Fudd

    So we saw Bella Penfold, Dalton Harris tonight and Shan (presumably Shan Smith) – not quite the plethora we witnessed yesterday.

    The only words which spring to mind from Bella’s audition is “puppy with oversized paws” and “contrived” which hardly feels like a way to set up the Alpha. She gets the Golden Buzzer at the Six Chair Challenge but we know that means nothing from Britain’s Got Talent.

    Dalton was treated far more kindly, emphasising his nerves, financial struggles of the past and being alone. From what I can recall not much emphasis on his vocal, though.

    Shan got the pimp slot – the second time someone singing Never Enough has been given that honour in a week. They were more focus on her singing with Robbie putting her through on her ‘talent’ plus he rather than Louis or Ayda met the act backstage – the glow of the head judge there.

    The auditions end next week and we still have quite a few acts to see if I recall correctly:

    The Overs: Ricky (if not Ricky John) and Claire O’Loughlin (who, looking on Youtube may have taken part in The Voice Ireland?)

    Girls: all of them have now been shown

    Boys: JSOL and Thomas Pound

    Groups: All four members of VibeFive; Gaia Cauchi, Ellie Grant plus Billie and Charlie Tomo (DejaVu) who will make up Sweet Sense and Panda Ross

    It looks like the Groups might be a key focus next week.

    As an aside, did anyone notice Louis, when arguing over Nathan, said “I know he isn’t the bad guy you’re looking for” to Simon? A hint of Simon’s aims for this year – a guy with a streak in them, who can gain headlines even when not selling albums?

    I’m trying to think who that could be out of those who we’ve seen so far who make Judges Houses. Certainly not Brendan or Armstrong. Could Dalton have a something about him; he mentioned about being ‘gangster’ at the end of his audition? Anthony Russell could certainly make headlines a la Frankie Cocozza but that wouldn’t work along the beatification of Louis Tomlinson. Of course the groups may have something up their sleeve on that score.

  • The Juan

    Tonight we saw shanice smith.

    I said in my post that it will either be brendan or her as the eventual winner…. time will tell how tptb will play this out. I can see both making the final.

    An interesting note is the large irish act numbers/focus this year. Depending how many progress, would see a large amount of irish voters/interest. Easy for tptb to migrate those votes across to brendan for the win (if he is the chosen one) on the way to and before the final/during lives.

  • Starjey

    The treatment of Shan shows that she should be the alpha girl going forward, unless the public don’t take to her. But who could replace her? Scarlett as Simon’s Mentee? Georgia?

    • The Juan

      I think you’re right.

      However, I cant see her winning and at 3/1 the price is a bit short.

      I see tptb placing her on a similar arc to tamera foster, who went out to luke friend just before the semi finals.

      Really looking forward to who the sofabet team are backing for the win….

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