"The X Factor" U.K. auditions episode that ITV televised on Sept. 7, 2013, was more of the same recycled manipulation that we've seen multiple times before — literally. That's because Melanie McCabe and Jade Richards made their "X Factor" return — again.
McCabe and Richards have made it to at least the boot camp stage of the competition but have never made it to the Top 12 to perform on the show's live episodes.
McCabe's "X Factor Glutton for Punishment" tour began in 2008 and continued in 2011, 2012 and 2013. McCabe made it as far as "judges' houses" in 2011, but she was rejected by then-judge Kelly Rowland.
Richards first auditioned for "The X Factor" in 2011, then returned again in 2012 and 2013. Richards also made it to "judges' houses" in 2011, but she was also eliminated by Rowland, who became a judge on "The X Factor" U.S. in 2013.
Each year, "The X Factor" journeys of Richards and McCabe have ended in rejection and tears. It's like watching the same train wreck over and over again. But in the end, it's hard to feel sorry for these singers, because no one forces them to keep going back to "The X Factor," which clearly doesn't want them in the Top 12.
After McCabe performed Rihanna's "Diamonds" in her 2013 "X Factor" audition, judge Gary Barlow gushed, "That was absolutely brilliant! The best audition of the day by far, by a mile!" Keep in mind that Barlow said pretty much the same thing to McCabe in 2012, but she ended up getting eliminated later anyway.
McCabe gave a very simple-minded reason for continuing to go back for what will obviously be another "X Factor" rejection: In 2013, she said, "If you look at anybody in the music industry now, they've gotten so many nos before they've gotten yes. And that's what drives me to keep going."
Yes, but someone should tell her "The X Factor" is not "the music business." It's a TV show, first and foremost. And that TV show is not interested in giving a big break to someone whom the show has rejected so many times. After all, if "The X Factor" let McCabe or Richards into the Top 12 this year or in the future, then that would make the judges who rejected them before (and some of these judges are still in the show) look like idiots. There are judges' egos at stake, and these egos clearly take precedence over the contestants' hopes and dreams.
McCabe and Richards are definitely talented singers, but they seem to be lacking in common sense and lacking in having a good manager/agent/representation. Who in their right mind would voluntarily jump on the Simon Cowell Exploitation Ship over and over again to be rejected on "The X Factor" with millions of people watching? Someone who is either delusional, stupid or getting bad advice, that's who.
It's been reported that Richards also auditioned for "The Voice" U.K. in 2012, but she didn't get far on that show either.
Seriously, when will these singers figure out that there are other ways to "make it" in the music business besides TV talent shows? Most of the winners of "The X Factor" U.K. have been dropped by Sony Music, so the "X Factor" prize obviously isn't a golden ticket to a long and successful hitmaking career. And until "The Voice" discovers a contestant who goes on to become an international superstar, the show won't be considered a huge player in the music business.
The 2013 "X Factor" U.K. panel of judges (Barlow, Sharon Osbourne, Nicole Scherzinger and Louis Walsh) aren't doing much that's exciting or original. There used to be a time when "X Factor" U.K. auditions used to be big news in the British media, but in 2013, there's a distinct air of "been there, done that" boredom with the show — not just with the way the show is put together but also in how viewers are reacting.
This is the 10th year of "The X Factor" U.K., and so far there isn't one contestant this year who has grabbed the public's attention in a big way. That could change as more episodes air, but the show's producers and editors usually pick at least one standout contestant for the first episode. Although there have been some talented singers showcased so far, none has the qualities of being a superstar.
In 2013, more so than in previous years, the groups really seem to be overshadowed by the solo singers in the audition episodes. So instead of finding another JLS (which auditioned for "The X Factor" as a fully-formed group), "The X Factor" U.K. will likely continue the trend it started with One Direction in 2010 and Little Mix in 2011 — "X Factor" decision makers will put rejected solo contestants in the same group. Since 2010, the groups that have advanced the farthest in the "X Factor" U.K. competition (including Union J) have had some kind of "X Factor" tinkering with the lineup.
Here are links to audition highlights in the episode that aired on Sept. 7, 2013: