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At The Judges Homes – The X-Factor, 16th October


by Luke

In the last of the shows pre-taped episodes viewers and the fifteen remaining
acts were treated to a trip around the judges homes. As the X-Factor took a
“Cribs” style look poking around Simon Cowell’s plush London pad, the Osbourne
mansion and Louis Walsh’s Dublin home the contestants were about to find out
which two from each category were about to fall at the last hurdle. Yes, only
nine acts will be singing on the live shows where viewers will vote each week to
ditch the worst. It’s getting quite exciting as preview shows this week have
taken a look around the brand new state of the art studio set and profiled the
remaining contestants and shown them rehearsing.

The star of the X-Factor is without a doubt Sharon Osbourne and in this episode
she went to hell and back with the anguish and responsibility of deciding the fate
of her group. While Simon’s style is very “last year”, Sharon has the edginess
and the honesty that made him famous but with added compassion. As the
16-24 year old singers hung out at her mansion they were asked to sing for her
team (which included son Jack) and then took part in a “jamming” session
outside in the grounds. Simon’s girlfriend Terri Seymour answered the door to
his palatial home and it has been revealed she will also be presenting X-Factor
preview show “The Xtra-Factor” from now on. Inside, Simon had been reviewing
tapes of the remaining 25+ contestants along with his team. As they were not
required to sing he decided to interview them and have a chat one-on-one.
Everything was much more formal than life at the Osbournes and there are
reports Simon made them wear plastic bags on their feet when not filming to
keep the carpet clean. Lastly, a rat was smelt at Louis Walsh Dublin “home” -
not because he has a rodent problem but as it was discovered the house had
been rented only for this occasion and he had never lived there. He asked his
vocal groups to sing a song chosen by his team and went from there to pick his
top three.

So as each judge was shown telling their groups who was in and who was out so
near to the public vote nine acts remained and as they will be featured here so
heavily over the coming months now would probably be a good time to profile
them. They consist of :

Simon Cowell’s Group (25 and Over)

Verity – She’s your run of the mill middle aged cabaret style singer who was
never allowed to sing by her domineering husband. Now divorced she is trying
her luck and seems to be the underdog of the finalists. Simon has said she is
the weakest singer and she has been very nervous. I don’t see her lasting long.

Rowetta – Much mentioned in my articles here at Reality Shack this is the former
“Happy Mondays” backing singer who can only be described as “nuts”. She
breaks down continuously, cannot take feedback and Simon looks very worried
that she may not be able to hack the pressure of the live shows. She is good fun
though and has a belting voice which I predict will keep her in the show and
maybe even win it.

Steve – He was featured in the very first episode of X-Factor where the judges
didn’t think he cared enough about winning and was probably too lazy to turn up.
He proved them wrong when he turned up ready and on time for a second day of
auditions and has proved popular with the public for his cheeky, laid back image.
His voice isn’t amazing though but he’ll probably last a while.

Sharon Osbourne’s Group (16-24 Years Old)

Tabby – He is a young Irish guy into rock music and usually plays in a band.
He’s very edgy and has a great voice for that style of music. He’s current
favorite to win the show and will be playing guitar as well as singing on the first
live episode so he will show he is very much the “real” musician of the finalists.

Roberta – She’s a good looking blonde girl who is probably the closest thing the
show has to a typical Britney Spears style bubble gum pop singer. She’s a bit
more matured and down to earth than that though and has a great singing voice
but perhaps not the personality needed to have the all important X-Factor.

Cassie – A quite plain and bland singer who has been told that her image needs a
lot of work if she is to go much further in the show. She has a nice enough
personality but nothing that gives her the spark some of the other acts have. If
it wasn’t for most of the vocal groups being equally weak she would (in my
opinion) be a definite to be voted off the show by the public first.

Louis Walsh’s Group (Vocal Groups)

Voices With Soul – Also known as “VWS” these are three black girls, two nieces
and their aunt. They are all fairly overweight and are badly styled – like a cheap
version of 50 cent. While that shouldn’t exclude them from winning a
competition like this some of their singing (although great sometimes) has been
a little off the mark. They don’t really have the right look on screen or the
personality to pull in votes so I’m not quite sure why they made it this far.

2 To Go – This group consists of blind Peter, and best pal Emma. He has been
told he has a good singing voice but she has been told that she may not be good
enough. However, she has made remarkable improvements during the last few
episodes. They look way out of their depth to me and I fear this may be the
group Louis Walsh commented Simon Cowell would “annihilate” once they got
onto live television. They will be singing a love ballad, which could save them
from the axe first time around.

G4 – They are classically trained musical students who sing in the style of a
Barbershop Quartet. Louis feels he is taking a risk on these as he’s not sure the
public will like their style but it is felt they will add something different to the
competition. Considering the weakness of his other acts I don’t think they will
exactly hurt his chances.

Onto final predictions and I feel the Rowetta may well have the connection with
the public to win “The X-Factor”. Yes, it would mean Simon would end up as
winning manager which the public probably don’t want but seeing as this is the
first “Idol” style show to feature over 25’s I think maybe the public will vote for
one the most. As to who will be voted off the show first it is hard to work out – 2
To Go are very weak, as is Verity – but they may get a lot of sympathy from the
public so Cassie is my choice.

Don’t miss “The X-Factor” show updates and episode recaps each week here at
Reality Shack and check out the shows official website at www.xfactor.tv for
video clips, competitions and the latest news.

You can contact Luke with comments or questions at luke@realityshack.com.


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