The waiting is over as The X Factor returned last night with a staggering 10.6 million viewers tuning in to ITV to see the first batch of auditions. Everyone was excited to see who was on the judging panel this year and no one was disappointed. Simon Cowell came home, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini came back to the panel, Mel B was the new kid on the block and of course resident judge Louis Walsh was there as always.
The show we love and in some cases love to hate, is back with a bang as the first of this years hopefuls filed into The Room to perform in front of the four judges. However, this time around their performances and the judges votes will be streamed live into the waiting area to be seen by the other contestants, adding pressure, nerves and some laughs along the way.
Blonde Electric – They were squeezy
The first and possibly most eccentric of last nights acts were Ruby (22) and Jazzy (24), two sisters who make up Blonde Electric. After a somewhat excitable interview where the sister act told us of their British Dad and German mother, living in 33 countries and speaking 5 languages, they enter The Room squealing and bouncing around like a bundle of energy!
After performing a number by Jessie J Simon tells the girls ‘Imagine the worlds biggest blackboard in the world and you have 8 people drawing their nails down it. Times 10.’ Yes, Simon is back right off the bat and sharing his usual extreme honesty. After the disappointed faces of Blonde Electric are flashed across the screen, Simon goes on to say ‘Irritating in a way I’m sort of fascinated by you.’ Cheryl however sat speechless next to him.
Louis √ Mel B √ Cheryl X Simon √
With the age of entrants being lowered to 14 this year, there was a huge mix of ages from old to young applying to be part of the show and make it through to the next stages. Along with a seemingly ever growing number of applicants, this year appears to have had an increase in people bringing along their guitars to help with their auditions, much to the dismay of the judges. It even resulted in Simon smashing a guitar to pieces in frustration. One of the young lads did catch the eyes and ears of the judges though, even though he had a guitar in his hands!
Reece Bibby – Loves a bit of Indie Rock!
From Accrington and just 15 years old, Reece strolled into the room, after perfecting his hair, guitar in hand and played for the judges. His voice was amazing, really unique but contemporary and sure to be loved by people far and wide. His cheeky looks will no doubt make him a hit with the girls too!
He finished with a massive round of applause in The Room and the waiting room. With comments like ‘loved it. Young, current, fresh’ from Mel B, ‘I love your passion, your voice is incredible’ from Cheryl and ‘The word for you is potential’ from Louis, young Reece is definitely one to watch.
Louis √ Mel B √ Cheryl √ Simon √
There were many great performers last night including Charlie (14) who has potential according to Simon, Chloe O’Gorman (17) who is a natural when it comes to her soulful voice and Chloe Jasmin (23) whose education left her with a posh accent and a dream to be happy day for the rest of her life. When asked where she was from Chloe replied ‘I’m from England’ which raised a giggle or two, but no one was laughing when she started singing Black Coffee with an incredible blues/jazz vocal that will take her far.
Of course it wasn’t all smiles for the right reasons, or smiles at all in some cases. Ben Quinlan professed his love for Cheryl with a green rose and a very personal performance, during which time he did not take his eyes off of her, getting to the stage where Mel B pulled out a lighter for a romantic ballad effect!
It seemed Cheryl was the flavour of the day. Jalé Antor (42) and a hairdresser came dress as Cheryl and performed Fight For This Love by Cheryl. It was a unique performance leaving Cheryl only able to exclaim what a good song choice had been made and Louis declaring the twin like nature of both versions of Cheryl. It didn’t stop there though, it seemed her name was on the lips of many a male last night with a number of them stating just how beautiful they thought she was which resulted in Mel B hilariously declaring ‘what am I? Chopped liver?’
There was emotion when Amy Connelly returned to audition. Last seen singing Faith Hill’s Ther You’ll Be in tribute to her father, Amy was through to judges houses on Cheryl’s team, when she just couldn’t cope with the pressure. She was back this year stronger than ever and with a performance that sparked tears from both her and Cheryl.
Then there was disbelief when Shayden Willis, (37) from East London just wouldn’t stop singing and playing his keyboard. When Simon told him that his songs were just terrible, his reply was ‘Do you feel music or is it a mechanical business? Come on mate.’ He just kept going even after Cheryl, Mel and finally Louis departed the judges table, leaving Simon alone to deal with the persistent painter and decorator.
More disbelief occurred, but of a different kind when Angelina Robinson arrived with her Karaoke machine and her Mum who came with a full compliment of Chinese food and a massive cake. Mum served food to the quartet of judges whilst Angelina serenaded them with a tune. Carol Trevarthen (63) stripped down to suspenders and stockings to Simply The Best by Tina Turner, whilst Steve Calligari (58) performed something that can only be described as painful.
Jay James – The Goosebumps Moment
Of course The X Factor wouldn’t be The X Factor without the goosebumps moment at the end of the episode. Last nights came in the form of Jay James (30), ex-navy after an accident which injured his knee. His performance was nothing short of incredible. It was filled with emotion and passion that was felt on every note, it was atmospheric and completely enthralling. The judges loved him and Jay even brought Mel to tears, which is rarely ever seen!
Louis √ Mel B √ Cheryl √ Simon √
Episode 2 is on tonight and we agree with the show – IT’S ABOUT TO GET LOUD!