The Best Talent Show Auditions

Thursday, 23 August 2018

Yep, that's right, it's that time of year again; The X Factor is back on our screens next week. Even if you hate to admit it, the series consumes the majority of households in the UK every weekend for the last few months of the year, and i'm not shy to admit I am a fan of Simon Cowell owned show, and have been since it's launch in 2004.

Artificial or not, there's no denying these shows house some insane vocals, and some of the biggest stars in the world (One Direction, Little Mix, Leona Lewis, Fifth Harmony, Olly Murs, Kelly Clarkson) have come fresh off of talent shows. I wanted to share some of my favourite auditions and forgotten gems, from various talent series all across the globe.

Despite having huge success in the US, The Voice didn't quite grip viewers in the UK, which means there are a lot of slept on artists who have appeared on the show. The first series - when the show was on BBC - introduced us to Vince Kidd, who delivered this almost unrecognisable rendition of Madonna's Like A Virgin in his blind audition. If you think you recognise Vince, you may have seen him in X Factor's boyband Futureproof from series 4 in 2007, albeit looking very different. If you're enjoying his vibe, there are various covers and originals you can find on YouTube from Vince, personal favourites are Smother Me, Sick Love, and You and Me.

I'm not usually one for a kid audition, but 9 year old Angelica Hale completely stole my heart when she performed Alicia Keys' Girl On Fire. The control and range this little girl has is absolutely out of this world, and i'd confidently say I enjoyed this more than the original. Angelica finished second on season 12 of America's Got Talent in 2017, and has gone on to perform at various events since.

There's no secret that a lot of people watch The X Factor purely for the hilarious auditions, and although I want to talk about people with talent, there was no way I couldn't include this gem. In 2008 Ant & Seb entertained the nation with their version of Peter Andre's Mysterious Girl. Google didn't tell me much about what the pair are doing 10 years later, but I hope this is being played at every one of their family events.

Another forgotten gem from The Voice UK is Irish singer-songwriter Leah McFall. I was obsessed with Leah when she was a contestant on the second series in 2013, because the diversity in her vocals is delivered with such unique sounds that i'm still blown away by to this day. I enjoyed every single one of her performances so it was hard to choose out of of them all, but as well as the outstanding I Will Survive (above), check out her version of Rita Ora's RIP and Bang Bang with mentor Will.I.Am. Leah's capacity to turn a song into a completely different sound is on another level, but unfortunately after coming second on the show and releasing a couple of singles, she hasn't blown up the way i'd hoped. Such a waste.

I'm such an emotional wreck that I cry at Ice Age, so you can imagine how easy it is for me to fall into someones sob-story on these kinda shows. However, Jade Richards stole absolutely everyones hearts when she delivered an emotional rendition of Adele's Someone Like You in 2011. She was sent home by Kelly Rowland at Judges Houses, but returned to our screens 2 years later. The Scottish singer spoke about her experience on the show for a BBC documentary in 2015, and unfortunately cannot bring herself to watch the show anymore after several knock backs.

In 2012 Willie Jones completely shocked the judges and audience when he delivered country song Your Man on The X Factor USA. As well as his unique voice, Willie was such a likeable character that made us love him even more. Unfortunately he was sent home in week 1 of the live shows, but started a successful journey touring with MAGCon, appearing on Netflix shows, and signing to Empire. He released his debut single Runs In Our Blood this year.

The X Factor changed their rules some years ago meaning that contestants were able to perform their own songs instead of covers if they wished. Half of the fun in the auditions is recognising the song and enjoying the new version, so it takes bravery to deliver your own creation to millions. In 2014 Monica Michael did exactly that, when she sung a song dedicated to her sister. Cheryl Cole wasn't the only one shedding a tear during the audition, as the whole nation opened their arms to Monica and her raw and emotional performance. I actually saw Monica when she supported Blue (don't judge me) in 2015, and the song live was just as moving.

2010 will probably go down in X Factor history as it was the birth of the biggest boyband in the world, One Direction. But series 7 also introduced us to Cher Lloyd. She was definitely Marmite, but I bloody love Marmite and I loved Cher Lloyd. Her cute and confident personality during her audition of Turn My Swag On won the judges over, and she got all the way to the final. She signed to Simon Cowell's label Syco straight away, and has released a stream of successful singles (Want U Back, With Ur LoveSwagger Jagger), performed with Taylor Swift, and celebrated huge success State side. Her cover of Shakespears Sister's Stay during the live shows is still one of my all time favourite X Factor performances, even after 8 years.

It certainly isn't common for rock acts to even audition for mainstream talent shows, let alone be successful on it, but Joseph Whelan changed this in 2012 with his rendition of Led Zeppelin's Whole Lotta Love. Although the performance itself was good, it was his relationship with his son that really stole the limelight.

Who have been your favourite forgotten gems from the stream of talent shows we see on our TV's every year? Do you think we'll ever say goodbye to The X Factor? Lets chat in the comments!

© Image Source: Pexels

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