X Factor 2012: MSN TV goes to boot camp!
Nicole Scherzinger at X Factor's bootcamp.
X Factor definitely has the sex factor this year. Or at least, that's the impression I've formed so far based on the young, fit, scantily-clad hopefuls strutting their stuff.
It feels weird to be at X Factor 2012 when it's weeks away from its ITV1 premiere, but yes - this report comes live from boot camp in Liverpool's Echo Arena. Talk about surreal, bizarre and dead exciting!
"One person in particular has astounded everyone inside this venue"
It's not an easy task to convey the amazing atmosphere here; it's packed to the rafters with thousands of people who are well up for it. They're clapping and cheering their favourites with a fervour you'd expect in The Kop after a Steven Gerrard goal.
A succession of youngsters (am yet to see someone of bus pass age) are taking to the stage, desperate to impress judges Gary Barlow, Nicole Scherzinger, Tulisa (her blonde bonce is visible from half a mile away) and dear old Louis Walsh. He hasn't told anyone that they remind him of a young Lenny Henry or a young Robbie Williams or a young Tina Turner, but there's still time.
The press were announced to the crowd (mention of The Sun was roundly booed and an "Out! Out! Out! chant
"The quality of the contestants is superb"
sprang up; we are in Liverpool, folks) and although we're chuffed to be here, there are strict reporting restrictions.
I can't tell you anything about the contestants. I can't share the names of the songs (and if I hear [spoiler] one more time, you'll hear my screams all the way down the M1). I can't use quotes from the judges as they give feedback and I can't give you any backstory about the hopefuls.
However, what I can tell you is that the quality of the contestants is superb; I've heard only three duds in the two hours I've sat here. One person in particular has astounded everyone inside this venue - she's not exactly experienced, but her voice could power the planet. It's that strong. And when Simon Cowell hears it? Kerching!
The judges are having a good day; no rows, no disagreements, no Louis Walsh telling Gary Barlow to shut up - bummer! But hey, plenty more time for that. It is X Factor after all.