"The X Factor" U.K. auditions episodes continued in the episode that ITV televised on Sept. 8, 2013. And it's all just become one big yawn. There are some very good karaoke singers (many of whom are performing songs that we're all tired of hearing on "The X Factor"), but not a superstar in the bunch. The judges (Gary Barlow, Nicole Scherzinger, Sharon Osbourne, Louis Walsh) seem almost as bored as viewers must be with this year's bland crop of contestants.
The only contestant who showed more originality than most of the other contestants was Abi Alton, 18, who performed an original song that she wrote. (The song's title was not mentioned, but the chorus was "You're my missing jigsaw piece.") However, truth be told, although Alton should be commended for performing an original song on "The X Factor," she's a shaky singer and she was over-praised by the judges, who probably thought she looked like a genius compared to all the forgettable drones they saw before her. And if we're really being honest, the whole "quirky, nerdy-looking girl wearing glasses and playing an acoustic guitar" thing was done back in the 1990s with Lisa Loeb, so Alton's act really is just very outdated, especially since Loeb hasn't had a big hit on the charts in years.
If you watched "The X Factor" U.K. in 2012, then you'll probably remember Lucy Spraggan (another acoustic-guitar-playing young singer), who blew people away in her "X Factor" audition with her catchy original song "Last Night," which ended up being a Top 20 hit in the U.K. and Ireland. Compared to Spraggan's "X Factor" audition, Alton's "X Factor" audition was very lightweight. It's an example of how disappointing and boring "The X Factor" U.K. auditions are in 2013.
By now, there's familiar pattern in what we've come to expect from the contestants whom "The X Factor" U.K. chooses to showcase, i.e., manipulate viewers into rooting for when it comes time to vote. There are at least one of these contestants who make it to the "judges' houses."
- The middle-aged mother who gave up her dream to be a singer until she auditioned for "The X Factor."
- The young male singer with the sob story, usually involving being poor, being from a broken home and/or or being bullied as a child.
- The "eccentric" out-of-tune (usually flamboyant) singer whom viewers love to hate because they can't believe this singer got this far in the competition.
- The powerhouse female singer with the "girl next door" image. (In other words: great voice, boring personality.)
- The group whose members have known each other from childhood.
- The single mother who wants to win "The X Factor" so she can provide a better life for her kid(s).
- The earnest male singer/songwriter who loves to play acoustic guitar.
"The X Factor" U.K. is now in its 10th year, which is a good time for the show to reinvent the show and do some things really differently. Instead, it's just more of the same, even recycling rejected contestants like Jade Richards and Melanie McCabe as they inevitably hurl toward another embarrassing "X Factor" elimination.
Here are links to audition highlights in the episode that aired on Sept. 8, 2013: