Series spoilers follow
I’ve learned two things today: Nick Grimshaw is a very decisive X Factor judge and the Boys category needs a lot of work.
It was brilliant to see Grimmers flying solo as the Six Chair Challenge saw him set about choosing which six boys he’d take through to this year’s live Judges’ Houses. He doesn’t faff about. He doesn’t mince his words. If they’re not good enough, they’re out.
He even moved along an act after Simon Cowell said that he would have given them a chance, which was good to see – it would be easy to fall into the trap of being swayed by the boss.
No, it wasn’t Grimmers who was the problem; it was the singers.
Act after act performed, seat after seat was left empty. Cowell hopped up for a chat with Grimshaw, producers nipped in and out, but something just wasn’t right.
“It feels like everyone’s performing like they’re next door,” Grimshaw groaned, as Wembley clapped like bored teachers watching yet another kid play the triangle in a school concert.
“Back to back of disappointment,” concurred fellow newbie Rita Ora, who warned the acts the crowd were getting “frustrated”.
Grimshaw was understandably a bit baffled and probably anxious, too: he had a lot of empty chairs and a finite number of singers left that could fill them.
“They’re not being difficult not cheering,” Grimshaw said to one act, referring to the lacklustre crowd. “They need to be inspired.”
The chairs were still half empty when the crowd were sent out into a damp evening, with another eager audience filling their seats and filming due to continue into the night. Here’s hoping it gets better otherwise my money will be on another category and it won’t be because Grimshaw isn’t the right man for this job.
It’ll be because, as Ms Ora says, the boys simply didn’t ‘mash it up’.
The X Factor continues this Saturday and Sunday on ITV