The X Factor 2011: Episode One in about 500 or so words

Janet Devlin X Factor 2011

The X Factor 2011 kicks off tomorrow night with a 75 minute belter of an opening episode, and on Wednesday we managed to get a sneak peak at London's O2 Arena. After getitng over the fact we weren't going to be watching The X Factor with popcorn in a cinema every week, we decided to write a bit about the show...

The first episode kicks off, as only The X Factor can, with an over the top dramatic introduction of the new judges: Gary Barlow, Kelly Rowland, Louis Walsh and Tulisa, who seems to have lost her last name since the auditions started.

We kick off auditions in London with the typical huge crowd shots as Dermot O'Leary introduces the first act, Frankie...

"I want to get all the girls," he tells Dermot. On stage and Frankie moons the panel - after Tulisa asked - to show the seven girls' names he has had tattooed on his buttocks. X Factor nudity and there's not even been a break yet.

Despite the cheeky (geddit?) attitude, Frankie impresses the panel, with Kelly offering to become lucky lady number eight!


We move on to a new feature: The X Factor make-up room, which features 'Big Brother'-style cameras hidden behind mirrors and in the corners of the room. It shows us a glimpse into the warm up routines to some of the contestants, from people bursting spots to practicing their dance moves.

Back to the auditions we move to Birmingham, in an audition that starts with someone being sick. A few minutes of retching later, Goldie Cheung performs, and this is where we get a first glimpse into the style of the new judges.

Goldie isn't a great singer, but a lot of fun; the dance routine that accompanied her original song 'bells' saw her leg wrapped around Gary Barlow.

When it came to the comments, Gary's serious attitude comes across without fail. He looks in somewhat total disgust at the other panellists as they praise Goldie's supposed talents.

Louis Walsh continues to play his part of the foolish judge, giving her the first yes from the judges.

Goldie Webb Cheung X Factor 2011

Back in London and we meet Janet Devlin, a name that you're going to want to remember, because her version of Elton John's Your Song is truly mesmerising and completely spine-tingling.

Ending the show, as always, is a bit of drama - George Gerasimou is back. The auditionee first featured as part of triple trouble in 2009 where he slammed the microphone onto the stage after getting a no from the panel.

"I've come to clear my name, I've matured and grown up in the past two years" he tells the panel before singing a Ney-Yo track.

But when the judges stop the music, it all goes wrong, very badly and very quickly. We've seen some aggressive auditions before, but this one goes quite a bit further, with Kelly up on her feet in anger as Tulisa lives up to her promise of biting back.

Gary Barlow meanwhile comes out with one his surprisingly quick witted corkers of the series: “When something matures it's usually good, like cheese or fine wine. You've matured like a bad curry."

And as security escort George off the stage, things don't improve, with even Dermot O'Leary getting involved following what is possibly the UK's longest ever swear word bleep.

The opener is packed full of action but, fortunately, less clichés and incorrect usage of percentages. The new judges breathe fresh air into the show. There is no "new Simon" or "new Cheryl", the panellists are completely different in their own right.

The X Factor is back tomorrow night and if the first episode is anything to go by, it's going to be bigger, better, and ultimately more dramatic than ever before.

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