X Factor 2014 review: Starlight, Raign and Jake Quickenden make their mark during audition season

The talent show continued to wreak havoc on the North

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The Independent Culture

It was mostly smiles tonight as The X Factor gods were appeased by the string of offerings presented before them.

The show kicked off on a positive note with Kerrianne Covelll skiving off work to take part on the show.

“Wow, you can sing!” Simon Cowell gasped. He momentarily seemed to have forgotten that he was a judge on a talent competition, possibly given the noticeable lack of said talent.

Luckily, he regained his composure enough to call Kerrianne’s boss and smugly let him know she was through to the next round.

The positive opening audition was followed by a slew of yeses, including four for the nattily dressed Lauren Lovejoy. The vintage chanteuse gave Simon a jazzy number.


As the series unfolds, the question of how much is staged continues to crop up. The X Factor has always been a slick operation – just look at all the awards it’s won for its deft editing. But the “drama” is starting to wear thin.

Case in point: Starlight, the suspicious-looking woman in sunglasses and a hat with the audition track ‘Discipline’. She came back a second time and slapped her bottom again (no, really) at Simon when he rejected her.

Then there was the singer-songwriter Raign, who according to the judges was ancient at the grand old age of 31. Their “shock” was absurd. But it was heartening to see her get another chance to audition thanks to her sheer determination to succeed.

And then finally, we were back in last chance saloon with Jake Quickenden, who had returned for one last ride on The X Factor merry-go-round.

“You’re cute and you can sing, make this count,” he was warned after his first song failed to impress the judges.

His emotions were then put through a mangle by the judges as he was asked to channel the emotion of a recently deceased sibling into a pop song.  It was possibly one of the worst examples of using personal tragedy to manipulate both the contestant and viewers alike.