Our final dose of the Room Auditions, yes really! We’ve seen our winner… well unless our winner is one of those they haven’t actually bothered to show us yet. Original songs was the theme of Sunday’s show, some great, some meh and some we’re pretty sure don’t qualify as actual songs. There was also the long awaited, much anticipated, return of Jake Quickenden…
For the first time since 2010, The X Factor went back to Newcastle, the opportunity for new heights of Cheryl admiration was obviously worth risking another Joe McElderry…
She kicked off the final installment of auditions and as she faced losing her job over it we sure were hoping she didn’t fall under the deluded nutter category; luckily she didn’t. There was no trips or slips in her vocals to be heard; she delivered a warm and passionate performance of Adele's One and Only. With Cheryl stating she was the first one to give her goose bumps, she sailed through to the next round.
Singing his original song ‘A Better Man’ his performance oozed authentic emotion. Simon admitted to him that it was his last chance, following on from rejection last year. Geoff made it through but it’s a shame we didn’t get to hear more of his actual audition.
At just 15 Stevie was given a less than encouraging comment from Cheryl before he'd even sang. Like many people Cheryl isn't a big fan of the lowered age limit on the show and made sure Stevie knew it. She was soon made to 'eat cake' though (we're pretty sure she meant humble pie either that or she was just stating she wanted cake) when Stevie impressed all the judges with his confident audition.
You have to be determined to make it in the music industry, that’s a sentence we hear all to often, and is a sentence Raign epitomises. She certainly didn’t hit it off with Cheryl, talking herself into a no; a no Cheryl delighted in delivering with added spite. But that didn’t deter Raign, she forced the judges to hear her original song. She wasn’t perfect but for some reason we quite liked the original track, it was powerful and really built into something that sounded like an epic Eurovision track (that’s a compliment) Simon was impressed enough to switch his no to a yes, seeing her through to the next round.
Then it was time to brush over a bit more talent in the form of Janet Grogan and Emily Middlemas. They couldn’t be more different yet they’re both equally as talented with extraordinarily pure and drawn back voices… hopefully we see much more of these during the next round.
Lizzy entered the room and Simon asked if he'd seen her before, her witty retort that perhaps in his dreams instantly put the mood in the room at ease. She then went on to perform a beautiful rendition of 'feels like home' that was understated yet full of controlled passion. With a bunch and yes's Simon was still questioning whether he's seen her before, maybe he's a massive Twilight fan...
The beauty of the room was given its full chance to shine with Fish and Chip shop worker Michael Rice. When he walked into the room if you claim to have predicted what came out of his mouth when he sang, you’re lying. Within a few syllables the judges were like putty in his hands, his powerful, sweet tone swept through the room and bagged him a unanimous yes.
Back in 2012 when Jake was sent home from judge’s houses it’s safe to say we were pissed off, we weren’t angry, we were disappointed. Now he’s back and us alongside everyone with control of his or her senses, are over the bloody moon. He began with a fairly confident performance of ‘All of me’ that he’d given a sprinkle of Quickenden charm to, however when Simon raised his hand to call a halt the nation did an involuntary gulp of ‘oh shit’. Thankfully Simon spotted ‘Say Something’ on his song list and after Mel pushed for Jake to reveal the heartbreak of losing his little brother, he performed again. This time it was honest, raw, emotive, heartfelt and spine-tinglingly-wonderful. We fell into complete silence and he had us right there in that moment. Best audition we’ve seen this year.
The Room Auditions are now done and dusted for another year, squeezing them into the space of two weeks made them feel far too fleeting and looking back it doesn’t seem like we’ve seen that many people’s auditions, cough Tom Mann cough. Fingers crossed the Arena audition stage gives us more of a diverse glimpse and plenty more ‘wow’ moments.