X Factor 2014, review: Mocking foreigners already - can this series sink any lower?

The drama continued for a second day as the judges attempted to find talent at the auditions

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The Independent Culture

It was business as usual on The X Factor last night.

Like lambs to the slaughter, hopefuls, with dreams of stardom clouding their eyes, were led out and mocked for the nation’s viewing pleasure.

But in amongst the detritus (and the occasional gem) there were some moments which may have left some viewers wondering what the show’s makers were thinking. 

Age was always going to be an issue on The X Factor this year after Simon Cowell lowered the minimum entry limit from 16 to 14 – but never did we expect it to be used to discriminate against an older man.

The quirky group Kitten and the Hip were set up for a fall from the start. The duo from Brighton consisted of Scarlett, a 28-year-old anime version of Cher Lloyd crossed with every member of Little Mix, and Ashley, 53, who seemed to be dressed as an Elvis impersonator minus the oily quiff.

 

And when Scarlett told the judges that they were not just musical partners but also lovers - well, cue 'shocked' faces of judges hastily trying to suppress their surprise.

But that didn’t stop Louis Walsh from displaying his customary sensitive side: “I thought you were father and daughter”. Cut to Simon rubbing his palm into his face.

Their scat song did not go down well but the judges decided to accept Kitten sans the Hip. The twenty-something was already lapping up the opportunity for fame before her dismayed partner realised what was going on. Maybe next year Simon will impose a maximum age.

Aside from the casual ageism, there was a shocking "Let's mock the foreigners" segment that appeared to have been edited by a member of Ukip.

The whole farce seemed to scream: "Oh, look at those foreign people with their funny accents and unpronounceable names! Your name’s Oceane? That’s a stretch of water not something you want people to call you for the rest of your life! Har! Har! They couldn't sing if their life depended on it! Sod off back to Bongo Bongo land!"

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Andrea Faustini who got four yeses despite the Scary Spice doll (ITV)

It only got worse as Simon Cowell, who seemed to have transformed into a member of UK Border control, proceeded to interrogate the international contestants. Why do you compete on the UK X Factor when you have your own version in your own country?

Again the anti-immigration sentiment seemed to be coming through. All these foreign X Factor contestants coming over here and taking X Factor places from honest, hard-working British wannabes. It's an outrage!

But apparently all was forgotten when Andrea Faustini, the quirky Italian man belted out a Jackson 5 number, leaving the judges speechless. As if to justify all the mocking and finger-pointing, Simon said "We embrace all nationalities".

The show had spent a good 15 minutes ridiculing Andrea et al but it was okay because they put through one international contestant.

It was a strange dichotomy. Yes, Andrea, you are weird with your love of pug dogs and a bit creepy with that Spice Girls doll of Mel B that you decided to bring with you † but it doesn’t matter because you’ve got four yeses.

At least now we know what The X Factor would be like if it was produced by Ukip.

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