Working in the music business, I often get asked about the X Factor. It would be hard to avoid hearing about it anyway, having a daughter of a certain age as I do, but I haven’t watched any of it this year. I used to like the auditions and the start of the live shows but last year’s series put me off and now I just can’t stomach any of it. Even the auditions, which used to be fun to watch, have lost their charm. For me the show’s far too over-produced for it to be anywhere close to enjoyable or relaxing viewing, and that’s before I even get to the singers.
Anyway, as I say I often get asked what I think of certain people on the X Factor so I thought I’d take a look at some of the finalists that people keep asking me about, just to see what it’s like this year and to give an honest view of them, having watched none of the build up. I asked my daughter which contestants I should take a look at and she gave me a list of five: James Arthur, Ella Henderson, Jahmene Douglas, MK1 and Rylan Clark. So here we go – this is my one and only X Factor blog and an honest opinion on five of the finalists. I’ll watch one video of each of them and tell you what I think.
I don’t like the moaning thing at the beginning but he seems to have a bit of swagger that’s missing from so many of the others on this kind of show. My daughter would cringe at me using the word ‘swagger’ I’m sure – I used to have a bit, in my youth. Only a bit though. He’s okay – I would imagine the people behind the X factor see him as their ‘credible’ artist. He needs to watch how he uses his range at the top and a smile wouldn’t go a miss – he’s got a very monotone expression that leaks into the vocal occasionally, making it a bit dull.
Nice strong voice, weird smiley face when she sings, boring song. ‘Boom, boom boom, even brighter than the moon, moon, moon.’ Honestly…
He sounded flat right at the beginning and the reverb they pile on his voice doesn’t do it any favours for me but he does have a nice tone and good control. I found it a bit boring after a minute or so though – he’s not the most charismatic of performers and I can’t imagine getting particularly excited by his music.
She is flat and just not really a very good singer. I see why they’ve been kept in – for the singer/MC/urban element but you really need both to be good for it to work well. He seems to have a decent style but… oh, she’s started rapping now while I’m typing this. I’m going to have to turn it off.
Oh dear. My first thought was that he mustn’t be able to hear himself – is there a problem with the sound in his earpiece? Beyond the pitch/tuning issues, he’s not even enunciating properly or completing his phrases. He would be a nightmare to work with in the studio – you’d need some serious skills to get him sounding good on record.