Everybody do the seal clap!
The British invasion started with epic music, headache-inducing graphics, and an absurd number of phalluses for a family show. We’ll get to the peen later, but first let’s go over the rules of The X Factor, shall we?
People keep saying that this show is exactly like a very popular show that many people know and love and watch every winter and spring. That show is Bavarian Idol, where young people from across the broad reaches of the German state of Bavaria compete to see who sings the best Bavarian folk songs. But if you think that The X Factor is going to be like Bavarian Idol, you’re wrong. Dead wrong. You see, on The X Factor, any delusional moron over the age of 11 can compete, which means that decrepit individuals in their 30s, 40s, 50s, etc. audition. National embarrassment. It’s not just for kids any more.
Also different about The X Factor: the judges will have to do actual work. The days of just sitting at a table and drinking their silly juice out of Coke cups are over. They will have to mentor the contestants and then judge them while drinking from Pepsi cups. Now, instead of confusing everyone with their post-performance critiques, they’ll confuse the contestants leading up to the performances as well. As you may recall from Bavarian Idol, the critiques typically go something like this: “I tink dat, for me, you sount a klein peetchy. Ja, my dawg? I hope dat vee are still cool. Cuz, you know I posses much liebe for you, ja?”
Individuals can compete and so can groups. And the biggest difference is that the winner(s) receive a $5 million recording contract. Five. Million. Dollars. Seems a bit excessive, no? Seems like a bit of thumbing the old nose at the other shows. That’s a whole lotta money, and I think most of those people would still compete if there was less money. If we’ve learned anything from The Price is Right, it’s that Americans go absolutely apeshit when you offer them things like free exercise bikes or a washer/dryer combo.
That $5 million prize has brought 20,000 people out to audition in Los Angeles, though, according to X Factor host Steve Jones. Thanks to TVGasm reader Floss, we now know that Steve is a B/C-list television presenter in the UK who toned down his Welsh accent for American TV. Floss also adds: “He’s a bit of a sleaze-bucket, and has apparently shagged Pammy Anderson, Hayden Panettiere, and Halle Berry. But boy is he handsome.” Thanks, Floss! This is basically what I want to know about everyone upon first meeting them: name; social standing; who they boned; why everyone hates them.
Honk if you’re a man whore!
So Steve Jones has brought his British good looks to America where he is not only hosting The X Factor but also driving The X Factor semi. This is why immigrants do so well in this country. They just work a lot harder. If you had asked an American to host and drive truck, you would have just gotten a whole lot of attitude: “oh, hay-ell no! Do you see truck driver in my job description? I didn’t thank so! I’ll drive that truck when I see a truck-driving bonus on my paycheck. Oh, what are you gonna do? Fire me? Do it! I would love for you to do it!” That’s basically a conversation I had last week, verbatim. I’m looking for a job, by the way, if anyone has any leads.
OK, so it took us awhile to get into the show because we had to increase the drama by playing Lord of the Rings battle music and watch all of the judges walk around in slow motion. The auditions also happen before a live audience in an arena, so there are a few thousand people surrounding the stage, and I imagine this was what it was like in Roman times right before the Roman version William Hung was eaten by lions.
“Friends, Romans, countrymen… cover your ears.”
Finally, though, the first contestant was up and it was 13-year-old Rachel. She was totally adorable, with her chubby cheeks and curly hair and the flower she’d adorned her hair with.
Adorable little peanut…
We learned a lot about Rachel, but strangely, no one mentioned why she’s the only black person in her family. I guess that’s not something you ask a 13-year-old. “Hey little girl! How come you’re not white?? Why can’t you be white like your mom or your sister or your granny?”
Needless to say, Rachel was a bit nervous and tongue-tied when she went on stage and Simon asked her if she was related to Paula. Ha! He also wanted to know what Rachel would do with $5 million. Rachel embarrassed her mom by revealing that her family is flat broke and that she has to live in a two bedroom house with five white people and it gets really uncomfortable, especially when it’s their turn to host Klan meetings. So she would buy her family a bigger house. Paula looked absolutely fascinated by the story and appeared to be doing long division in her head to figure out what the deal with the house was again.
When she was done charming the judges and the audience, Rachel sang “Mercy” by Duffy. She started off a little shaky and sounded annoying at first, but she warmed up and put tons of personality and stage presence into her performance and the judges loved it.
The judges, by the way, are Simon and Paula, of course, plus record executive LA Reid, a/k/a Skinny Randy, and Cheryl Cole from British/Irish pop group Girls Aloud.
Cheryl thought Rachel was a little star. Skinny Randy said Rachel has everything everyone he’s ever signed has. Paula said all of the contestants should be like her. Simon said that Rachel is the reason they made the show 12 and up and that we’re going to be hearing a lot about her.
“Get ready for a new bathroom,” said Simon after all four judges voted yes on Rachel. A $5 million bathroom, huh? That’s gonna be some bathroom! They can get one of those Japanese toilets that sings to you as it massages your butthole to stimulate pooping. They can have toilet paper made from the finest Egyptian cotton. They’ll be able to hire Tila Tequila to hand them warm, fluffy towels after they’re done washing their hands. What a glorious bathroom!
Rachel is followed by a number of young people auditioning and making it through, and then there was the young child who sang Cee-lo’s “F*ck You.” That’s an amazing song and I sing it quite often in my apartment or on the Metro on the way to work. But I am a grown up. I may be immature and irresponsible, but legally, I am an adult. Little kids should probably not be singing this song, even if they sing “Forget You.” Years from now, that little kid will read the real lyrics on the internet and know the meaning and realize that he want on national TV and sang a bitter, bitter song written by a man dressed as a giant rooster.
A role model for all little boys.
The next memorable contestant, though, was Siameze Floyd. Siameze gave me a confuse. You see, he made it a point before he went on stage to talk about how easy it is for him, as a performer, to get the ladies. Wha? Huh? Whaaa???
Clearly, everything about this says “I love girls.”
Also, thank you editors for giving us this image while Siameze was talking about girls:
From his glorious mane, to his meat-squeezing jeans, to his high-heels, everything about Siameze screams “FABULUSSSSSS.” And his plans to sell an “energy drink” called Sy-min-ergy scream arrest and prosecution. He doesn’t seem to know you can’t legally package semen and market it as an energy drink. Because let’s be honest, that’s the first thing you think of when you hear the name “sy-min-ergy.” Or is that just me?
Expect to see this on NFL sidelines across the country next season.
So, Siameze proceeded to perform “Give It to Me, Baby” for the judges. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.
Eventually, Simon put a stop to the audition before Siameze could fulfill the songs promise of “I’m about to bust it, babay!”
You know who liked it? Siameze’s family was quite impressed.
“Whoo! That boy good!”
Now, according to TMZ, Siameze comes from a polyamorous family. His dad has four “wives” and they’re working, of course, on getting a reality show about their freaky-deaky family. So, if this whole X Factor thing doesn’t work out, there is a back up plan. But that plan can be set aside for now, because for reasons I still don’t understand, the judges push Siameze through. I guess when you’re giving someone $5 mill, they need to be able to sing, do toe touches, splits and have ideas for terrible-sounding energy drinks.
Next up were 70-year-old Dan and 83-year-old Venita from Pahrump, Nevada. They are in the witness protection program and go around in disguise as Elvis and a clown. In spite of the dangers they face from the AARP’s enforces, they’re going to risk trying out anyway and they head to LA where they are shocked — shocked! — that hot dogs there cost $5. I’m with Dan and Venita on this one. Nothing made from leftover pig parts stuffed in a casing should cost $5.
Look out Gaga. These are our new fashion icons.
After they hobble out on stage, Simon asked where Dan and Venita see themselves in five years. I think he expected them to say “the grave,” but they actually picture themselves riding around the country in a motor home and performing on the senior center circuit. Only the classiest senior centers for them, though.
As they get prepped to sing “Unchained Melody,” Simon leaned over to Cheryl and whispered “I hope he treats her well.” What the hell is that about? Maybe he thinks Dan is using Venita for her money? I mean clearly, with that synthetic wig, drug store makeup, and her refusal to pay $5 for lunch, she is swimming in dough.
Dan and Venita were about as awful as you might expect, but they had a ton of energy and Venita managed to get in three different finale notes before the song actually ended. Paula said Dan and Venita will probably outlive them all, but that don’t mean she’s going to put them through. The other judges agreed and sent the oldsters to live out what little time they have left in Pahrump, their final dream of the senior center circuit blowing away like so many cremated ashes in the wind.
You Only Live Once were two teen girls who formed a cute duo, but seemed to be on solo auditions, even though they were singing at the same time. One warbled off key. The other did death metal vocals. I actually liked them, because they were quite unexpected and I wanted to see more, but the judges said no, with Simon adding that one was singing while the other had swallowed poison.
Teen girls: keeping Hot Topix and the Hair Cuttery in business for decades…
Linda was a woman in her 60s who flirted with Simon, laughed like a nut job and then did a terrible rendition of “Touch Myself.” It was gross and after that audition, I think that she will, indeed, continue to touch herself.
Equally awful was Miranda, who wanted to be the next Madonna and who’d dressed the part. She butchered “Firework,” but the real fireworks came when she butted heads with Cheryl Cole. The two attempted to out bitchface one another after Cheryl told her she had a bad attitude. Cheryl and her 1960s hair easily out bitchfaced No-donna, who flounced off the stage.
Simone Battle was a hot USC student who had great hair, an adorable outfit, and hoped to have thousands of screaming fans whose babies she could sign. She told the judges that her first album would be called “Honey Work” because her style is like a threesome between a hipster, a drag queen and a cheerleader.
Simon called her annoying, but I actually kind of liked her. I mean, she’s the girl I would roll my eyes at if I saw her at a bar or waiting in line at a club, because you can kind of tell that she’s always “on,” and that’s awful in real life, but good if you just have to watch the person on television or whatever.
So she sang the Pussycat Dolls’ “When I Grow Up” and it was pretty irritating, but still better than the actual Pussycat Dolls themselves. There was a lot of jiggling and wiggling and the camera pans up and down her hotpants-clad legs a bit excessively, but the performance wasn’t too bad.
The producers want you to know what a pretty face Simone has…
and what great boobs she has…
also what firm thighs she has…
and don’t forget her feet!
It certainly changed Simon’s mind… he was singing a different tune after it ended. He thought that she was fearless and ambitious and fun to watch. Cheryl said she had potential. LA Reid, who turned out to be quite crabby, was underwhelmed. So Simon suggests Simone sing something else.
She chose “Bulletproof” which is a stupid song that doesn’t actually show off anyone’s voice, but it was enough to put her through; although LA still didn’t “get” it.
After Simone we took a break for a couple of montages. In the first, Simon and LA couldn’t agree on anything and bickered back and forth. They are like the same person but with different skin color and polar opposite hair. In the second montage, people talked about how winning the $5 million would change their lives. One guy told us that he wants to fly to Australia and sing to a girl there and then the next day go to Spain and “spread” his “talent” there. Watch out for that guy, ladies of the world. I don’t think talent is the only thing her will be spreading. The health of the world depends on that dude NOT getting his hands on $5 million.
The next serious contestant was Stacy Frances, a mother of two whose three-year-old hates her singing. So she has to wait until the kid goes to bed so that she can go practice in the bathroom. Also, she’s 42 and her last boyfriend told her she was too old and talentless to make it as a singer. So, she was basically dating Simon when he was on American Idol. What a depressing life. Her boo thinks she’s old. Her own kid hates the sound of her voice. This is Stacy’s last chance to turn things around. Although she seems to have terrible taste in men and is raising rude children, so it may be too late.
“You suck, mommy!”
She started “Natural Woman” slightly pitchy, but once her nerves worked themselves out, she proceeded to blow everyone’s faces off. Simon and LA looked excited and you could practically see the dollar signs popping up on their eyeballs.
LA says his spirit was stirred and since he has no hair on his head, the hair on his arms stood up. Cheryl Cole was blown away and Paula promised Stacy that this is her time. Simon said it was one of the best auditions he’s ever heard. As Stacy looked on with mascara running down her full cheeks, all of the judges voted her through. Ugh. It’s going to be so depressing when she’s cut. You just have to wonder why someone so good hasn’t been able to make it work after living in LA for 10 years.
Who let Janice from The Muppets audition?
That was the last audition in LA. The next city was Seattle, where Cheryl Cole was mysteriously replaced by Nicole Scherzinger. Kinda weird, no? There are a lot of rumors out there about why this happened. Was Cheryl’s accent too difficult to understand? Was the experience too overwhelming for her? Was her hair so big because it was filled with secrets? Does Nicole Scherzinger appear to be more fuckable? All we know is that before the commercial break there was an adorable, wide-eyed piglet at the table and after the break there was an attractive but slow-witted giraffe.
Nicole reminded us that she got her start on reality TV talent show Popstars, so she clearly knows what she’s looking for, and it’s not a cookie cutter pop star. Do you think she knows she’s a cookie cutter pop star? Or do you think she was being ironic?
First up in Seattle was Geo Godley, an “internet blogger” [as opposed to the other kind] who had three strikes against him from the get go: velour track suit, tie dye shirt, and singing a “tune that I wrote; it’s just a feel good song.” I’m going to go out on a limb and say that ecstasy is to blame for what happened next.
A promise of what’s to come.
So, Geo’s song was truly awful. It was about being a stud, not a dud. I think the only stud in Geo’s bedroom is the one holding up the walls. Amiright, ladies?? [Rimshot!] The song continued with Geo describing how he wants to do it Bill Clinton style and get nude. And then this happens:
Lookin’ like a fool with ya pants on the ground.
And then this:
Paula claimed that seeing Geo’s penis made her physically ill. Like I said in the minicap, this seems to be a bit of an overreaction. I understand that Geo is the type of guy you want to avoid; the type who invites you over to his house, but you refuse, because you know there are things in his bedroom that you shouldn’t be near. However, healthy adult women don’t vomit from the peen unless their gag reflex is involved. Nicole shrugs, politely says no thank you, and leans back to reminisce about how she got her start in showbiz. The other judges passed, as well. And Geo was sent home to live out the rest of his life as the guy who pulled his dick out on national TV and made Paula Abdul vomit without actually touching her.
Nicole’s face pretty much sums the whole thing up:
Up to redeem the men was 20-year-old Marcus whose mom gave him two years to launch his singing career; failing that, he had to go to college and get a degree. Let’s pause for a minute and think about this. The two aren’t mutually exclusive, right? Like you can do one while you do the other. It only takes about four years to get through college, where you could learn how to read contracts, operate music equipment, negotiate a salary, gain valuable life experiences. This is not exactly a Sophie’s choice, is it?
Anyway, Marcus’s two years are almost up, so like the old woman from earlier, this is his last shot at having any sort of life worth living. In addition to singing on the toilet, we also learn that Marcus enjoys basketball and children. He especially likes watching the children at church. Not his church. The church around the corner with the coat closet with the hole in it in the Sunday school classroom.
He sang Stevie Wonder’s “I Wish.” He danced and got the audience involved and sounded great and was awesome in general. LA Reid got so excited that he started to mime throwing things at Marcus. Nicole and Paula got up and danced. Simon looked like he felt a fart coming on. Backstage, Marcus’s family was very excited, except for his grandfather who seemed bored.
“High school graduate” = unemployed
After he finished, the audience gave Marcus a standing ovation, totally overwhelming him to the point where he had to lie down on the stage in a puddle of hoodie and sweat. LA Reid said that, back in the 80s, he worked with an amazing artist named Bobby Brown and he’s been looking for Bobby Brown ever since, and he thinks he may have found his next Bobby, although he hopes that this one won’t turn into a raging crackhead.
Nicole said that Marcus is what they’ve been waiting for. Simon said that Marcus reminds him of Usher. All of the judges voted yes while Marcus’s family went nuts.
A trio of Bruno Mars wannabes performed next. You know they’re morons straight off the bat when they announced that their group name is The Anser. We don’t know which hipster came up with that, but I’m going to guess it was Glasses, who seemed to be the brains behind the operation. Prettyboy/Slouchyhat might have suggested it, thinking that that is the right way to spell answer. Tubby was probably busy eating his feelings during the naming meeting. I would have suggested calling them Vagisil, after the yeast infections that are surely developing in the tight folds of those pants.
The cast of Newsies: 2014
So Vagisil sang “Rolling in the Deep.” They’re all decent, although Prettyboy/Slouchyhat is the best and will probably be taken solo at some point, sending the other two back to Seattle to supress their depression through black tar heroin. For now, though, the judges put all three through..\
23-year-old Nicky is desperate to make it big. She’s been singing “forever” and wants to sell out stadiums and then retire. Also, she’s crazy. She sang Mariah Carey’s “Emotions” and the only things she had in common with Mariah Carey were volume and nutjobiness. After her screechy, spastic performance, Paula wondered if Nicky tried out on a dare. They all said no, leaving Nicky shocked and outraged. She wandered the halls of the arena like a ghost until the judges went on break and then she pounced on them, demanding another opportunity while at the same time berating Simon. Yeah, I’m thinking she lost a bet with that one.
Just as awful as Nicky was T for Two. After singing “Living for the City,” the mother/daughter duo were sent to waddle off stage while Simon speculated that they live together in a field with no other houses around. I like the idea of forcing creepy, screechy people to live apart for the rest of society. They’ll be on standby until some greedy television producer needs to trot them out and humiliate them.
Darren Michael should also be living in a field by himself. He somehow convinced his lady friend to spend $100,000 on his singing career. It was not money well spent. And by the looks of Darren, he ain’t bringing much else to the table. When Simon said he was living in a nightmare, Darren needed clarification: “is that good or bad?” It’s bad, you tone deaf idiot. It’s really bad.
Last up was major sob story of the day, Chris Rene. He’s proud to be a 28-year-old trash hauler and has a two-and-a-half-year-old son. He’s done with the trash now, though. He’s ready to be a supastah. Chris explained that the $5 million would mean stability in his life. For years, he was hooked on drugs and alcohol and recently ended up in rehab. He’s been clean for 70 days.
Addiction is no excuse for terrible fashion choices.
He sang a song he wrote called “Young Homie” and, unlike most home-written songs, it wasn’t too terrible. He’s got a smooth voice and a confident stage present. I couldn’t tell if he was good-looking or not, because I thought he might have a bit of the meth mouth going on, so I’m going to have to leave that up to the rest of you.
The judges were thrilled to have someone with a sad tale and actual talent and Simon said it feels great to sit in his chair and meet a star for the first time. Maybe you need the show, maybe we need you, he added. They all voted yes and Simon got Chris to promise to stay on the right track.
This audition was bittersweet. I applaud anyone who can overcome an addiction — it’s a disease that’s not easy to beat. And I’m not saying the judges shouldn’t have let him through or he shouldn’t have auditioned just because he’s at the very beginning of a tough road… But I just hope he’s got a strong support system. He’s going into a high-pressure, tough industry and his journey is going to be televised. Life doesn’t get more stressful than that. At any rate, his story and his skillz make me want to see more of him, so I imagine he’ll be on the show for awhile to come.
So that was it for the first night! What’d you think? Who was your favorite performer? I gotta say, I was a little underwhelmed by the level of talent. Also! If you’re on Twitter, check us out at @TVGasm during Wednesday’s show. I live Tweeted last week and think I got the hang of taking notes, Tweeting, drinking beer, taking phone calls, and avoiding my cat’s teeth all at the same time! So be sure to check us out!