Tech which makes Sense

This is my initial personal view of the X Factor UK 2010 successful competitors, up to the date of writing (September 6, 2010). I did something very similar last year and people seemed to enjoy reading it, so I thought I’d do another one. Also, it will be interesting to see if my predictions come close to reality!

18 year old girl Gamu NhenguOriginally from Zimbabwe but living in Scotland with her mother and two brothers for the last five years, she performed Katrina And The Waves’ ‘Walking on Sunshine’, but with her own twist. When she announced her song choice, Simon Cowell seemed less than enthused. At the end of his audition, he revealed that it was one of the songs he disliked the most, but he was very enthusiastic and complimentary of what Gamu had done with the song. She got four enthusiastic yeses from the judges. I’m really looking forward to seeing how this young lady with a soulful, jazzy voice fares in training camp.

katie wassell, a 24-year-old lady with a unique sense of style had a really tough audition, despite everyone cheeky winking as she walked to the mark on stage. Simon Cowell initially prevented her from performing her first song choice ‘At Last’, by Etta James. I even heard Cheryl Cole say ‘Oh no’. Her second song choice was Queen’s ‘We are the Champions’. Unfortunately, Katie, now more nervous than nervous, needed two tries to get the song started. This, however, did not prevent him from mistaking the words. Things looked bad for Katie, she then begged that she be allowed to make her original choice. The judges relented and Simon gave her 20 seconds to ‘blow them up’, as he had promised she would. In fact, Katie turned in an excellent performance and made it to training camp with the votes of Cheryl and Simon. Louis Walsh, the third member of the panel, voted no first. Personally, I’m not sure if I like his quirky way of interpreting a song, but time will tell. Time will also tell if she is cleverly kicked off the show for fraud. If it is true that her American personality Lola Fountain is actually under management and/or involved in a recording contract, so I hope I won’t see her in training camp at all.

One of my favorites, Mary Byrne, a lovely 50 year old lady from Dublin, absolutely blew everyone away with her powerful rendition of the great Tom Jones classic ‘I Who Have Nothing’. Having taken five years to regain enough courage to sing after suffering from low self-esteem, her initial nervousness only showed slightly. However, as soon as Mary started acting, sheer professionalism took over. There’s no hint of an overly polished cabaret-style delivery here, just an honest, heartfelt and passionate delivery from start to finish. After giving the song her all, comments from Simon, Louis and Cheryl were overflowing with praise and appreciation. I expect great things from this lady in training camp!

anastasiaComing back from her 2008 boot camp rejection of Cheryl, it was another act with a slightly shaky start. Cheryl believed at the time that Annastasia was not strong enough. In fairness to Annastasia, she had just had her daughter and it probably wasn’t the right time for her to take on so much extra pressure. This year it kicked off with the Tina Turner track ‘Rolling (on the river)’. Simon Cowell let him play for a while, but then raised his famous “I’m stopping this” right hand. He told Annastasia, a bit off-putting I thought, that he had seen better ‘transsexual’ acts perform that track. Although he did redeem himself by telling her that she was a better singer than she had shown up to now. When asked if she had another song choice, she came up with Adele’s ‘Make You Feel My Love’, to which all three judges cheered. This performance received a much better reception and was loved by the audience, but it still sounded like she was trying to be Tina Turner in my opinion. Luckily, she got a full set of three yeses to send her off to boot camp, despite Simon commenting that she was a bit of a “cabaret singer” in her performances and that he wanted to “strip her naked.”

He also returns from the 2008 auditions at the age of 16. Liam Payne. Simon Cowell would let him go in the judging house section of that year’s eliminations because Simon believed Liam wasn’t ready yet. He suggested that Liam go back to school and finish his GCSE and come back in two years, adding that Liam would be a different person. Once again, Simon’s instincts hit home. Liam pulled off a strong rendition of ‘Cry Me a River’, with definite Michael Buble and Justin Bieber overtones, after which both Simon Cowell and Natalie Imbruglia stood up to applaud. Michael and Justin are two good singers to emulate for sure, but I personally hope they can sing in their own style as well. Cheryl Cole told Liam that she definitely got it, whatever it was. Natalie said that she was really impressive and that others in the competition should be worried about him. ‘Lulu’ Walsh said Liam fully delivered and he was very confident at just 16 years old. Simon said his talent was incredible, and Liam flew away with a house full of four yeses.

Now for a dark horse. 16 years dwayne edgar of the Dublin auditions. To be honest, I really hope this young man does well because whatever he does, he’s going to bring more energy than National Grid! His ambition is to become like Robbie Williams because, as Dwayne himself said, ‘I don’t have the best of voices, but I look forward to entertaining this crowd here today’, and he certainly did! Yes, it’s true that her voice needs a lot of work and help, but if she applies herself to vocal training the way she went into her playing, I’m sure it won’t be long before we have another teen pop star. in our hands. If charisma, likability, stage presence and big drawers were all it takes to win X Factor, this guy would have it all sewn up and the rest of the contestants might as well not bother trying. Even going so far as to walk down the steps at the front of the stage to shake hands with all four judges as they continue to perform, and not miss a beat or look at all bewildered! However, with a shaky three out of four vote, he made it through, and I really hope the voice coaches can pull off a miracle for this nice young man.

cardigan creighton Dublin Audition singing ‘Cry Me Out’ by Pixie Lott was too short for my liking. A wonderful voice and good stage presence earned her a well-deserved four upvotes. I look forward to seeing more of this lady in training camp and in the future. Watch this space!

Another auditionee from Dublin, 16 years old Niall Horan (what’s up with all the youngsters this year?) made it through, despite not putting in a truly brilliant performance. Although he introduced himself as an ‘Irish Justin Bieber’, his vocal range and strength weren’t really up to scratch. He received votes from Simon Cowell, Louis Walsh and Katy Perry, but Cheryl didn’t feel like she could give Niall an upvote, saying that she felt he wasn’t ready yet. To be honest, I agree with Cheryl, but she may still have a chance if voice coaches can help. That being said, with the help Dwayne will need, I’m not sure they have enough time left to help Niall. Sorry, that sounds nasty and I don’t mean it.

matt cardle, a 27-year-old painter and self-proclaimed ‘vagrant’ from Essex is another to consider. He performed the Amy Winehouse song “I’m No Good” and quickly had the crowd behind him. Although he seemed a bit uncomfortable on stage before and after his performance, his performance was impeccable. I think his quirky and unpretentious style will also be a big hit. This is certainly someone who could be star material, and hopefully his down-to-earth manner will continue to keep him grounded after three out of three votes deservedly put him in training camp.

dear lloyd from Malvern in Worcestershire is another 16-year-old pocket pack of dynamite. She arrived on stage as nervous as she could be, but still she managed to get past the usual questions from the judges without embarrassment. Louis asked Cher what she was going to sing and she replied that she was going to sing Soldier Boy’s ‘Turn My Swag On’, but the Carrie Hilson version. BOOM! This little bundle of nerves exploded into a polished star performer, with all the attitude and flair the track demanded…and more! Cher produced a powerful voice with outstanding miking and vocal control, and a good (if not huge) vocal range. This girl is truly X Factor material, and I’m sure she’s destined for great things. Remember the name, Cher Lloyd, because she’ll be hearing it a lot more in the near future.

Now it’s time for my final three prediction based on the ones I’ve written here. Just like X Factor, here they are, in no particular order.

*Matt Cardle

*Dear Lloyd

*Mary Byrne

Unlike the judges’ predictions, mine are not sealed in an envelope until the results are received. Mine can also be accused of being a bit premature as not all auditions have finished at the time of writing. (September 6, 2010)

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