added: 2 Oct 2011 // by: Dean Midas Maynard
Pack your bags and grab your passport...we're off to judges houses.
By the end of this weekend, 32 will become the 16. Who will head on to the live shows?
Tulisa and the groups headed off to Greece with guest judge Jessie J.
Kelly Rowland took the girls to Miami, with guest Oscar winning judge, Jennifer Hudson.
Louis and Simon Cowell's mate, rounded up the overs and took them to Barcelona. He must have sold his Irish pad then!
And finally, Gary Barlow boarded the plane to Los Angeles with the boys, and was joined by a legend of a guest judge. The one and only Robbie Williams.
Robbie's leaf dress entrance a la Sinitta from a few years ago was priceless.
This week, I'll just pick out my stand outs from each category......otherwise I'll still be here when the Final arrives!
The groups kicked off the auditions, and first up were The Keys.
The problems with The Keys is that the lead singer is so good, you hardly know the others are there, and for me, that's a problem.
The Risk showed a lot of potential but I agree with Tulisa, the spark to make them potential winners is not there. Well not yet....more changes in the mix?
The likeable 2 Shoes were next, and I really hope they get through. They can sing and have an infectious personality.
Nu Vibe were the best group audition of the night and these guys could be ones to watch.
The other groups to perform were Estrelles, Girl v Boy, The Lovettes and Rhythmix. All did great performances but from these, I see Rhythmix having the best chance to progress.
Next up were the girls, for me the stand out category of this year. A great collection of talent, looks and vocals.
Amelia Lily made a very hard Katy Perry song sound easy, certain top 5 at least.
Sophie Habibas, Melanie McCabe and Jade Richards were all very good and they would all be worthy finalists, but I fear only one of these three will make it.
Misha Bryan is a class act and another girl singer set for a big future. Misha already has the look and the voice. I am sure a record contract is next.
Last up was my Midas act Janet Devlin. I love her voice and her whole aura just screams big star to me. Don't think she knows it yet.
Janet has a likability that maybe some of the other last 32 don't have..ahem, Kitty.
So after the high standard of the girls we have the novelty acts, sorry, I mean the overs.
From this category I do like Johnny Robinson and Sami Brookes. They both have the likability factor and this competition needs people like these two in it.
Aside from a hardly shown Carolynne Poole (who is a great singer), the rest were all sadly forgettable.
So next up was the boys.."Dean you have forgotten to mention Kitty from the overs?"
Oh so I did, silly me. Last up from the overs was Kitty Brucknell.
Right, next up were the boys with their mentors, legends and the new X Factor comedy double act, Gary Barlow and Robbie Williams.
Frankie Cocozza got us off to a good start and although I am not his biggest fan, he has to be a certain final 16.
Other stand outs were James Michael, who is a serious contender despite his lack of airtime, hairdresser Marcus Collins, who is a cut above (sorry) and Craig Colton who gave the best vocal from the boys.
I had high hopes for young Luke Lucas but his vocal was nowhere near as good as his first audition and I fear he could be in trouble.
So from a show that gave us enough tears to fill an olympic sized swimming pool, that's it contestants, time to get your bags packed and await your fate...
Anyone for a swim...?
You can find out more about Dean and his predictions on, and contact him, on his official website at www.deanmidasmaynard.com