The X Factor – Boot Camp

Daniel Wren

The X Factor – Boot Camp 1

Judge Highlights:

Nicole: “Girls, have you been watching these auditions? That last one really pissed me off. Please don’t waste my time, because I care too much… Kick some butt and grow some balls.”

Sharon: “What WAS that? I have never in my ENTIRE career heard yodelling in Respect.”

Louis: “…At least it was different.”

Emeli Sandé Alarms: 3

Best Contestant: Andrea Magee

Worst Contestant: Giles Potter


Boot Camp has arrived, and my favourite bit came first – when all the judges sit falsely by their phones, and pretend that they don’t already know which category they’re mentoring. Sharon’s dog Bella had her first cameo (and may I say HOW CUTE IS THAT FUCKING DOG?) Anyway, Sharon got stuck with the over-25s, which seems like a total farce to me, given that it’s Sharon’s rightful year to win, and an over-25 will win when hell freezes over. Nicole was given the Girls, Gary got the groups and Louis will be leading the boys. Back to his bedroom, presumably.

I’m personally a fan of the new format. X Factor has taken some inspiration from The Voice and incorporated some nice*chairs into Boot Camp. Firstly, everyone had an audition with some other acts, and the respective judges for their category sent their favourites through. It’s at this point we lost Justin Peng. It was a sad day for us all. Secondly comes the six seat challenge. The judges see the final 25 acts in their category, and award a prestigious seat to the acts they like. Once they fill the six seats, however, an act can only gain a seat if the judge sends an already-seated act home. Basically, the judges let the acts think they’re safe, and then SNATCH THEIR DREAMS OUT FROM UNDER THEM. It’s cruel, it’s malicious, and I love it.

*(Probably about a tenner from Ikea)

Nicole sent a few randomers home, most notably that girl wot Sharon had a few years ago (Stephanie something) and Hannah Sheares, former Daisy Chains frontwoman. Nicole proceeded to flip out at the Girls category because nobody had any ‘balls’ (spot the irony) and went backstage to scare the shit out of them. Following this, Tamera Foster performed a very good ‘Stay’ by Rihanna and grabbed herself a seat. Abi Alton did quite a good job too with a piano version of ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’. Hannah Barrett stood out for me, singing ‘I’d Rather Go Blind’ (which is an amazing song.) Melanie Comeback McCabe cried before she even started her audition, and seemed to win the sympathy vote from Nicole and got a seat. So, making their way to Antigua next week with Nicole are:

Abi Alton                                                           (Flower crown girl)

Hannah Barrett                                                (Sounds like Azealia Banks)

Relley Clarke                                                     (Looks like Cruella De Vil)

Tamera Foster                                                 (She’s quite good)

Melanie McCabe                                              (Melanie McComeback)

Jade Richards                                                    (‘The Adele One’)

Moving on to Sharon’s oldies, Sam Bailey returned to set off the second Emeli Sandé alarm of the show, with ‘Clown’. Gary said it was ‘note perfect’. It wasn’t. But it was alright. She snagged herself a seat. Next up was Souli Roots, token X Factor psychopath. She, surprisingly, improved a lot since audition, but messed up a backwards roll during her performance, which must have been the only reason she was sent home. Jason Newland, smooth-voiced gentleman, was sent home after singing a brilliant version of ‘Higher Love’ (especially compared to Tyler James’s whiny version from The Voice last year.) She’s a missed a trick there. Sex icon Joseph Whelan came next and sailed through with a crap version of ‘Iris’ by The Goo Goo Dolls, but Sharon’s a sucker for a rock voice, isn’t she. Gary suggested she send him home later on, at which point he did a Preston and walked off for a bit, but he got through safely.

Shelley Smith started Sunday’s show with a pretty provocative version of ‘Respect’. She is a woman and a half. She’s got such a great personality to go with her performance, but whether she’ll make it through to the live shows or not, I don’t know. I always end up doubting that anyone over the age of 25 will make it through. Shelley grabbed a seat though. My personal favourite Andrea Magee played the drum during her performance which seemed to pay off. It was a wonderful acoustic-y number, and she really showed some originality and gained a seat. If she doesn’t make the live shows, I’ll be hugely disappointed. Katie Markham (unheard of before now) sang ‘Clown’ by Emeli Sandé as well (*sigh*) and was temporarily given a seat before being bumped for Zoe Devlin, who’s a bit jazzy but probably won’t make the live shows. Anyway, joining Sharon in L.A. are:

Sam Bailey                                                             (The old one who works in a jail)

Zoe Devlin                                                              (Hopefully no relation to Janet)

Andrea Magee                                                       (My personal favourite)

Lorna Simpson                                                       (Looks like Jessie J but black)

Shelley Smith                                                         (Big blonde Bristolian)

Joseph Whelan                                                      (Good abs, average voice)

Next were Gary’s groups. Brick City auditioned first with a sweet version of ‘Like A Prayer’. Vocally tight, good harmonies, and excellent seat-taking ability. Rough Copy had to audition as an even rougher copy due to one of their members not being allowed to leave the UK for Judges Houses. Something to do with his Visa expiring. Gamu knows how he feels. Anyway, the two of them got through by themselves. If they make it through to the live shows, it is unknown whether or not they’ll regain their third member. Time may tell. Kingsland strutted on next with their dorky choreography. I hate that I love them. They’re like One Direction, but awkward and they can all sing. They stole a seat too. Xyra came along (they can all sing too. Take that, Bel Ami) and sang a wonderful ‘Billie Jean’ and took a seat.

Strange manband ‘Tenors of Rock’ performed another broadway-quality tune, but they’re not quite X Factor material, are they? More like something you’d go to see at your local theatre if nothing else was happening, or a Britain’s Got Talent act. Either way, they *temporarily* got a seat. Code 4 performed next with some more Diversity-esque choreography and cracking vocals, and also fought for their chair, and won. Finally came the newly formed and creatively named ‘Unnamed Girl Group’, composed of three rejects from other categories. Gary is obviously not going to say that he made a mistake in creating this girlband, so sent them through and chucked out Tenors of Rock. Next of Kin were sent packing after performing a below-par country version of ‘Rule The World’. That song was bad enough by Take That. It doesn’t need country music to make it worse. Escorting Gary to New York City are:

Brick City                                          (A bit like Karmin, but double the size)

Code 4                                              (Diversity with vocals and sans small curly child)

Kingsland                                         (Would perform a good ‘sixsome’)

Rough Copy                                     (Probably won’t make it far because they lost a member)

Unnamed Girl Group                     (A bit like Bubble and Squeak but with X Factor contestants)

Xyra                                                  (Good girl group. Will probably get booted out in week two)

“Waiting nervously in the back for Louis are the boys”. No joke needed for that voice-over. Sam Callahan came first explaining how he was going to “perform his nuts off”. This observer notes that he probably did not do this judging by the size and standard of his package onstage. A thousand ovaries seemed to explode as he walked onstage. Sam played an acoustic guitar (as do about 90% of the boys) but seemed to pull the right strings with Louis and gained a seat, despite having criticism from Gary about simply ‘not singing very well’. Yodelling Adonis Barclay Beales yodelled during ‘Respect’ and it was a proper nightmare, but I won’t lie, the yodelling is still a turn-on. He didn’t get through, but he’s definitely getting booked for my birthday.

Ale-Alejandro sang ‘Little Things’ which was revolting, but he was mostly in tune, so temporarily got a seat. ‘Homeless man-chic’ advocate Luke Friend also played a guitar (*sigh*) and got through. Also claiming seats were talentless teen knob Giles Potter (really Louis? REALLY?) and cowering wallflower Nicholas McDonald, who arrived wearing a t-shirt saying ‘JOCK’. No comment. Alejandro was desperately hoping Louis wouldn’t call his name when Nicholas was put through, but he did, and was sent home. So, the producers are trusting Louis to take the following boys abroad to his house in Saint Tropez:

Paul Akister                                               (Has made no impression on DobleVision)

Sam Callahan                                            (He’s a good 8/10)

Luke Friend                                               (Like a homeless man’s Cabbage Patch Kid)

Ryan Mathie                                              (Has also made no impression on Doblevision)

Nicholas McDonald                                 (Sweet Scot who’s quite nice)

Giles Potter                                               (Twoddy little halfwit who can’t sing)


The time has come, friends, for Doblevision to predict the final twelve. Here goes:

Abi Alton

Tamera Foster

Melanie McCabe


Sam Bailey

Andrea Magee (Alright, so I just *hope* she gets through)

Joseph Whelan


Code 4


Unnamed Girl Group


Luke Friend

Ryan Mathie

Giles Potter

About Daniel Wren

Vada Magazine staff writer. Interested in travel, news, politics and dating.