Same old same old, but with makeup so thick, I’m surprised the contestants could bat their collective eyelids as the harsh light of showbiz hit them, like karaoke Bambis standing in the open meadow for the first time.


In reality I spent most of the evening with eyes on my twitter feed as the comments about X Factor were more entertaining than ITV’s flagship talent show.


Far too many adverts (and I’m not just talking about the actual adverts, I’m talking product placements), and a marathon running time, far too much pedestrian talent and not enough jaw dropping, must-hear vocals, meant that this year’s debut live show was a drag not a thrill.


The pacing of the programme felt unprepared. It felt rushed and unready but at the same time tryingly drawn out. Song choices were insipid and uninspired to say the least. The question remains: Were the judges hearing what we were hearing through our television sets? Perhaps here in the wilds of North London television reception is distorted. I’m being told there is talent on screen, but I’m not hearing it or seeing it.


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Show favourites James Arthur and Lucy Spraggan seemed wilted with live television nerves. Their previous heart and grit seemingly erased with the glitter and shine of the television studio and HD ready makeup. The only real glittery moments were Jade Ellis’s take on Enrique Iglesias’s ‘Hero’, which was stunningly performed with emotion and determination and Ella Henderson’s take on Take That’s ‘Rule The World.’ Even Gary Barlow admitted that he hates it when someone sings his songs better than him.


Dreary, lazy and well way past its relevance. With all respect to the judges, I think this is programming in dire need of a revamp.


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The show’s ‘judge drama’ has always been one of its greatest assets, and we expect loads this year as more and more onscreen minutes are devoted to our 4 fearless keepers of the talent. Louis Walsh continues to ‘make it his own’ with his… ‘You remind me off a younger…’ We love Gary’s ‘what’s-that god-awful-smell’ face and Nicole’s I’m delivering terrible news voice. Tulisa hasn’t yet bashed the table, but we’re expecting an outburst at any moment.


The XFactor continues tonight at 8.00PM

About the author: Jake Hook
The editor and chief of THEGAYUK. All in a previous life wrote and produced songs on multi-platinum records.