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X Factor – The Lost Years: Part 124 Nov 10

A recent clearout of dusty old tapes from the ITV archives has unearthed a fascinating collection of unpublished X Factor audition footing and transcripts of yesteryear. As in later years, the competition offers young hopefuls from across the country the chance to make pop history. This newly found archive allows the pop historians among us to muse long and hard on what could have been for these vintage rejects had the judges favoured them more highly.

First up, from the 1972 (those judges are older than they look, and in those days they could afford a truly massive studio) is David – A young electrical apprentice from Bromley with bags of confidence and a penchant for flamboyance. Will the judges be wowed by his first audition?

Louis (shouting and breathless): “David, David, David, David, David. What can I say? You’ve got da loykability factor, you’ve got a great voice, your exciting, you’ve got a great look, dis audience loves you, oi love you. It’s definitely a yes from me, and when you get troo to da last twelluv, I’ll be shouting from de rooftops – OI WANT PEOPLE TO VOTE FOR DAVID”

Dani: “David. D’you know, I’m just not sure I quite get what you’re about. I’ve got to be honest, there were a few pitching issues. It wasn’t the best vocal performance we’ve had all day. Purely on that basis, I’m going to have to say no. I’m sorry David”

Cheryl: “I’m sorry David I didn’t like the song at all, and I found the musicians on stage a distraction. I always think it’s better if people sing to a pre-recorded backing track – it allows the audience to focus more on your performance as an artist. You know, I can only judge you on the performance of the song you chose and, frankly, I didn’t get it. It’s a no from me”

Simon: “Erm, David. This is a very tricky one for me because I can see that there might actually be something in this. You know behind the ridiculous image [drowned out by boos – Simon holds up hands]… Behind the ridiculous image and the frankly ordinary vocal, there’s a kind of enigmatic charm. But my problem is this really – what we’re looking for is somebody who can be a major recording artist and I just think people will find you a little bit hard to digest. I think in this case, my head’s going to win out over my heart and, regretfully, I’m going to have to say no – I just don’t think you’ve got the kind of broad appeal we’re looking for”

We caught up with Simon in 2010 and asked if he had any regrets:

“It’s funny I still remember that audition and I do think Derek had something going for him, but I don’t have any regrets, no. In fact the following year, I believe he signed a management contract with Louis and put out a version of ‘You Raise Me Up’ with the LSO and a full choir and 4 key changes. They even had Pans People in the video – It peaked at number 187 in the charts having cost the label millions and I did feel vindicated really. I mean, if there’s one thing I know, it’s music and I knew deep down Darren never really had the broad appeal it takes to sell millions of records.”

After being rejected from the X Factor and dropped from his subsequent record deal, David forged out a moderately successful career in TV acting, having appeared on The Bill, Soldier Soldier, London’s Burning, Casualty, Poirot and Midsomer Murders. He can now be seen regularly as an antiques expert on “Dickinson’s Real Deal”.



x1 Comment to “X Factor – The Lost Years: Part 1”

  1. Claire says:

    Hehe – a really funny read!


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