The X-Factor UK 2014 – Amy Connolly & Andrea Faustini

So the current season of The X-Factor UK started, it’s the 11th season of the show. This year we see the much anticipated return of judges Simon Cowell and Cheryl, of course Louis Walsh is back, and it’s the first time for Spice Girl Mel B to take the seat permanently, though she sat in as a guest judge before.

As expected, the dynamic between Simon and Cheryl took center stage and played off very well. It’s as though the two never had a fallout over the missteps in the US version of the show. The production of the show was slick, as we’ve come to expect. The talent this year, however, was off to a slow start. There were a few standout auditions, but only a few I see in the live show and potentially having careers.

There were a few girls and groups that were fantastic in the montages, but here are the two full auditions I thoroughly enjoyed and was absolutely taken by…

I was saddened by Amy Connolly’s early departure a few years back and was excited to see her return, and the affect she had on Cheryl:

Every year, we’re reminded not to judge a book by it’s cover, and this year, it was Andrea Faustini who taught us the lesson. With is accent, admiration for X-Factor and the Mel B doll, oh yeah, and the PUG shirt, it was inevitable he would be horrendous… but that was not the case. It was such a fantastic moment – not sure how his time on the show will last, but what an impressive first impression.

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New Girls Aloud – “Something New” Music Video

Girls Aloud are celebrating their 10 year anniversary with something new, a new single called “Something New”. It’s their first new track in over 3 years.

It’s a well produced pop track, and the girls do sound amazing. And the girls definitely still look stunning. It’s very slick and catchy, and definitely a Girls Aloud track. I definitely really love the chorus and hook, but I’m not sure about the verses, but it didn’t stop me from listening to the track on repeat. And like most pop songs, it grows on you. The more I listen to it, the more I’m hooked.

But, having said that, it’s not something new, which the title suggests. Again, it’s a great pop track, but I’m not sure how I feel about it as a lead track for a reunion-ish, “we’re back” statement song. It’s been done, it’s nothing innovative or extra ordinary. It’s better than most of the crappy pop songs out there, and the girls prove that they are capable of releasing great pop tracks, but it falls a bit flat. Had it been just about any other girl band, this would have been an amazing track.

They really reinvented their sound on Tangled Up, and continued with Out Of Control, and I was really hoping for another giant leap with the new track, and it didn’t quite go there. Yes, I still really like it and have had it on repeat. But to be honest, I expected and hoped for a bit more. But I’m glad they’re all on one track again, and hope there’s more from Girls Aloud soon.

What do you all think of the new track, “Something New”?

And just because… here’s one of my favorite Girls Aloud songs, “Call The Shots”. 

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Cheryl Cole has got the X-Factor… Judge’s Role

Cheryl Cole will soon become a household name in the US, as it was announced that she will be a judge on the US version of X-Factor, joining L.A. Reid and friend, Simon Cowell.

Cheryl Cole said, “Im so excited to be taking part in the American version of THE X FACTOR. I absolutely love it here in the U.K., and with the talent they have out in America, I’m sure we’re going to find someone very special. I can’t wait to get started.”

In addition to being a member of Girls Aloud, the most successful girl group in the UK, Cheryl has had a successful career as a solo artist, with both her albums topping the charts. Her debut solo album, 3 Words was massively successful with the singles, “Fight For This Love”, “3 Words” with Will.I.Am, and “Parachute”. Three Words is a must have for UK Pop fans.

Cheryl has been a judge on the UK version for the past 3 seasons, and has done exceptionally well. Cheryl has been the mentor to two winners, Alexandra Burke and Joe McElderry, and last year’s runner up, Rebecca Ferguson.

“I just can’t decide whether I am more excited to find and nurture the talent or for the unbelievable amount of amusement and entertainment I will have watching Simon doing everything and anything he can to beat me. He’s tried to beat me for three years in the U.K., and hasn’t even come close. His ego must be so bruised. America is gonna love this,” said Cheryl Cole.

Simon had similar words, “I’m thrilled for Cheryl. She is massively excited about this show, and has been fantastic to work with. She is also a complete brat! Most importantly, this girl can spot talent.”

The auditions are set to be taped this weekend in LA. There is still one judge and host (possibly hosts) to be finalized. Hopefully Dermot O’Leary will also make the move to the US – he’s a great host, very charismatic and is personable. He’s also got great taste and knowledge of music.

X-Factor is going to be a massive hit television show. It’s also going to be a great launching pad for UK pop acts, including Cheryl Cole and Alexandra Burke. I’m ready for the British Pop Invasion… it’s about time.

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