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Tour concert is missing that X Factor magic

Well, I remember there used to be a host – everything you'd get with the TV show, basically, minus the judging panel and the voting lines. Now, it's just one cover after another, interspersed with highlights from the previous series, and a booming voiceover to remind us who everyone is.

So, really, it's just a concert where the losers come to di . . . I mean, perform a collective medley of the songs they sang on the box.

First up, we have Tamera Foster, a Rihanna/Beyoncé impersonator whom we'd already forgotten before last year's series ended.

Young Nicholas McDonald (the runner-up) might one day make a decent boy band member. Right now, though, the wee Scottish lad (17) looks like a lost puppy, doing the best he can with the worst of material (Robbie and Westlife). Still, the girls love him. They also have a lot of time for Luke Friend (if you're going to invite someone on stage, son, at least stay with them) and hunky Sam Callahan (nothing says karaoke like Summer of '69). One of 'em will fit right in at art college; the other will soon be flexing his muscles for Now magazine.


There's not an ounce of personality on this stage. No jokes, no charm, no One Direction. Just a bunch of desperate, factory-prepared star-chasers that really, really want us to like them. As for teenager Abi Alton, it turns out it is possible to strip Whitney Houston's I Wanna Dance With Somebody of its power. Oh, and Rough Copy? Discount JLS.

Which leaves us with Hannah Barrett (she does a fantastic Adele impression) and winner Sam Bailey (the new Celine Dion, we're told), whose debut album will be released next month. Just in time for Mother's Day. Curiously, Bailey (36) elicits fewer screams of joy from the kids in the crowd. Funny, that.