The X Factor’s back – hooray! Since its inception in 2004 the show has attracted audiences in the millions, producing huge recording artists like Little Mix and Olly Murs. Arguably, it’s established itself as the UK’s most iconic music competition show. But whether you love The X Factor or hate it, it’s hard not to enjoy some of its more ridiculous Audition clips.
As we get ready for the return The X Factor, we look back on the audition room’s funniest (and most nonsensical) moments. Take a look!
‘More like house wine’ Champagne was already comedy gold when he walked into the audition room wearing two pairs of sunglasses, a pink plastic microphone in hand. His voice was by no means the worst that room had heard, but unfortunately it wasn’t enough to override the off-beat first impression created by his ‘image’. The audition goes from silly to ludicrous when Champagne’s continued peals of ‘Amazing Grace’ are met with unheeded protestations from the judges, Simon’s repeated cry of ‘CHAMPAGNE’ mingling with Sharon’s cackles of laughter.
Speaking of dodgy wardrobes, the sight of two girls dressed head-to-toe in leopard print (leopard ears, tails and gloves included) spelt trouble from the start. Nonetheless, the judges still looked shocked when the pair’s rendition of ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’ opened with an explosion of monkey noises. What made this audition even more iconic (and surreal) was the vocalist’s expression of utter regret as she sang to the floor, and the other’s energetically shameless delivery of some ear-splitting jungle sound-effects. ‘Fantastically bad!’ Sharon declared with glee.
3. The Louis Walsh Fanclub
Nobody loved X Factor judge Louis Walsh as much as this auditionee, who approached the judging table with an arm outstretched and a ‘Louis Walsh Fanclub’ booklet in hand. Simon could barely contain his mirth when he heard that the fan page dedicated to the music manager had just 45 members (‘That’s four a month! You’ll need to get some help in’), and the hilarity culminated in the other judges deserting Louis to hear a rendition of Celine Dion’s ‘My Heart Will Go On’. Before we move on, just take a look at the poem the fan-club’s president penned inside the booklet for Louis: ‘This poem is for you Louis / No one can understand / I watch you on a Saturday / I long to touch your hand.’ You couldn’t make this stuff up.
Simon didn’t receive the same adulation from the mother-in-law of contestant Lorraine, who performed a shaky execution of ‘Begin the Beguine’. Scandalised by his laughter, Edna returned to the audition room to give the music mogul a good telling off, in spite of her daughter-in-law’s cheery lack of concern with the judges’ rejection. Edna meets Simon’s declarations of embarrassment and half-hearted apologies with a furious rebuttal that he must ‘alter his ways,’ the soundtrack to Jaws playing in the background for full dramatic effect.
5.The Slowest Singer in the World
The editors of the show had another field day with this X Factor hopeful, who drawled out Westlife’s ‘You Raise Me Up’ in a relentlessly consistent monotone voice. It went on for so long that they mashed up clips of his audition with ones showing the changing of the seasons – that, and those cutting back to the judges’ pained expressions. ‘No!’ Simon duly cries in horror when the torture comes to an end and Louis asks if the judges want to hear a second song. ‘I could sell you as a sleeping aid!’ he adds, laughing.
This is what dreams are made of – if you dream of hilariously terrible X Factor auditions. The bar was initially set high when the duo told the judges that they’d already sold 180 copies of a CD full of their songs, but it only went downhill from there. Getting more and more high-pitched as the song progressed, the performance dissolved into a bizarre ‘screaming match’, as Cheryl dubbed it, the urgency in the singers’ voices heightening with each new line. When the ordeal was over, the wide-eyed and open-mouthed judges could only stare in silent disbelief at the auditionees. For their part, they both looked strangely shocked as well.
Another duo and another instance where the bar was initially set high, Ant and Seb compared themselves to P. Diddy and Usher, as well as (bafflingly) Rick Astley. It was a strange mix of influences – something which their performance would reflect. Still, like poor Champagne’s, the singer’s voice certainly wasn’t the worst to have graced that room. However, his chances of stardom were shot by rapping brother, Seb. We’re using the term ‘rapping’ loosely here – Seb really just interjects every now and then with a weak ‘woah-oh’, doubtfully delivered ‘come on move your body’, or out-of-rhythm ‘yeah man’. Needless to say, the judges collapsed into giggles almost immediately.
8.David Mockford’s Original Song
David Mockford begins by identifying the ‘X-factor’ as being ‘something unique’, and proceeds to establish this as something he’s definitely got. After a slightly apologetic opening statement that his song is an original called ‘Sexy Lady’, David begins his legendary performance and forgets the lyrics two lines in. What makes this audition particularly hilarious is the way he appears to go from desperately appealing to the figurative lady to determinedly fending her off, holding his hands up as he closes the song with ‘That’s it, sexy lady, alright!’ Sharon’s face crumbles as she finally dissolves into laughter, and Simon exasperatedly asks if he can imagine himself singing that song on the final. That’s when David bemuses them all, proclaiming in response that ‘if The Beatles had had a fifth member they could have done rather well.’ Wait, what?
Hopefully this year’s season will turn out some even funnier moments, but if not at least we’ve got these classics to fall back on.
And if reading this list has made you want to purge yourself from some VERY bad performances, restore your faith in live entertainment by taking a look at our talented bands instead!
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