Full disclosure - I love American Idol and The X Factor...I resisted reality tv for the longest time and it was really only last year that I really got into American Idol and The X Factor. Why did I resist it for so long? I don't know...probably some churlishly arrogant part of me thought that I was above the mass appeal of these shows, that I was more discerning than that, which, if I really think about it, was absurd because I was watching Julia Roberts movies and listening to Madonna since I was 10 years old!
Since The X Factor airs in the UK on a Saturday evening, I rarely ever see it on its first airing and I have to play catch-up later on YouTube. I already read about the highlights from this first audition episode of the new season so I knew about who did a good job and who...well, didn't. I think that many of us like to indulge that childish side of us that take pleasure in the humiliation of others...hell, I'm as guilty as anyone else...however, at the very least, you gotta respect them for having the gall to go through with their fantasy, as foolhardy as it may seem to some, to be brave enough to share your aspiration with the world.
What excites me more are the auditions that take our collective breath away...the ones that confound us by exceeding our expectations and then, putting us in the rather uncomfortable position of having to question ourselves over how we came to form such negative notions about perfect strangers in the first place...honestly, did we learn nothing from the marvellous Susan Boyle? By the way, this year, the producers of The X Factor decided to adopt a live audience structure for the first audition process, à la Britain's Got Talent (not surprising since Simon Cowell is responsible for both shows), and while I think that the change is for the better, I couldn't help but think that by doing so, the show just made Britain's Got Talent that much more redundant.
Joseph McElderry is a cute 18-year old boy who sang 'Dance with My Father' by Luther Vandross...it's kinda made me cringe, though, when certain members of the judging panel commented on how 'the girls' are gonna love him...as if gay men don't even exist...even more ironic hearing it from the mouth of dubious closet case, Louis Walsh. I couldn't find a full clip of his audition to embed on here so you'll just have to go on YouTube and search for this young man yourselves.
A 19-year-old single mother from Dagenham, Stacey Solomon made a similarly smart and mature song choice, singing Louis Armstrong's 'What a Wonderful World'.