So here we go again. The Good (Matt, Aiden, One Direction, Cher, Katie, TreyC and Storm). The Bad (Wagner). The Ugly (Wagner) The first week is always a bit odd but this year things were pretty well-rehearsed and almost predictable. There are acts that we simply will not remember in years to come, some that will finish up 4th or 5th and could eventually do really well Diana Vickers-style and one or two potentially good long-term pop stars which is what the whole thing is supposed to be about.
As predicted, a further 4 were brought back and I expect to see two of them, TreyC and Diva Fever around for a lot longer than many of the original 12 first choices. Two of the 16 go tomorrow.
Dermot finally gets onto the stage and shows Ryan Seacrest how the job should be done.
Here's how they came across in my living room. Points out of 10. Video links for the ones that I might want to see again.
Difficult to tell which were the group and which were the dancers. Nervous start but they didn't make any mistakes in a song that not many will recognise. Disappointing but I suppose it's early days. Simon's weakest entry by a long way. Odds of 100-1 were available on betfair at the time of writing which kinda sums up their chances.
Fabulous. This guy has to be around for a long time. Superb song choice and as the first solo act of the season he set a standard others will find hard to match.
Er, no. Right at the end we saw something of his performing personailty but it was too late as people had gone to wash up or something. I do hope they don't ask him to do Eurovision either like they did Andy.
Over the top make-up and styling not to my taste, ageing her unnecessarily. Pity. Competent performance, well, nearly. Great dance tune but her version didn't work for me.
An excellent vocal performance marred only by Louis' ridiculous presentation, set and, basically, everything else. I really hope he gets plenty more chances to prove just how good he can be without all that.
Belle Amie 6½
Nerves times 4! They could be good - just need to get used to the big stage. Tricky song to start with as mistakes easy to spot but they didn't make too many and will appeal to lots of viewers too.
Everyone's been waiting to see her. She confirmed that she does deserve to be there. A cool performance and she's one to watch as I guessed at the very start. Not the best tonight, though, but safe enough.
Diva Fever 8
A great track choice by Simon. Not so great was his dressing them up in purple bin bags then stripping them down to dreadful shorts. Camp fun and glad to see them in the competition. One can certainly sing well and seemed much more confident than several others tonight. They won't be his first group to go (unless those shorts reappear).
Another of my contenders for the Top 12 who just scraped in with a wild card. He had a great song but didn't deliver the goods consistently, sounding nervous and breathless when he tried the moving around bit which was actually quite embarrassing. If he drops the decorations and plays it straight he'll last a lot longer.
Possibly the best performance of the night. Near-perfect vocally and original phrasing of the Queen standard worked well for her. She presented herself really well but I feel she's still got a lot to do to persuade the audience and, thus, voters
Full marks for the vocal and song choice - her experience showed. But really, do I want to hear her on the radio or see her in the charts in 2011? She'll be singing covers. No. She did get a remarkable reception in the studio, though, so may be around a while yet.
I don't get this guy. Better than I expected but still a mystery as to where he'd fit in and I simply can't think of anything else to say about him.
One Direction 14
The girls'll love them. I realised while watching them just how much older everyone else seemed! great performance from most of them once they got going. They'll do well and stand a real chance of entertaining us for the kllonger term.
Simply not interested in this guy. He's pleasant enough but should be on Brazil's Got talent or something. He'll be going tomorrow. Actually typing this during his performance as no point listening too closely.
He looked terrified. He almost seemed to be trying to hard and I preferred Alex's interpretation of the classy track - she genuinely seemed to feel the words of Mad World. However, this guy was spot-on vocally and certainly made a mark and will be back for sure.
Very, very good. far better than Rebecca, who must appear to be the first person she has to remove to get on in this competition. She is following in the 2008 winner's shoes, though, (the other Alex), so no winner here but she deserves to be around for a long while yet.
Wagner, John, FYD and Nicolo seem to be in the dead zone, in that order.