Your Sunday night starts right here with The X Factor UK! Judges Simon Cowell, Louis Tomlinson, Ayda Williams and Robbie Williams are back with host Dermot O’Leary to find more great talent. I’ll be recapping it all starting at 3 PM EST, so join me in the comments then!
After a recap of last night, we see videos of contestants heading to their auditions that they took themselves. The judges enter in a golf cart for some reason.
Bella Penfold is 19 years old from Essex. She has a lot of energy as she walks out on stage. She seems really likeable. She sings Fell In Love with a Boy and as she struts around the stage, it’s clear that she’s got a good voice. Not astonishing, but good. I like her, but I don’t love her. No standing ovations for Bella. Robbie says she left everything on the stage, doesn’t think she knows what she’s going to do next. Ayda loved the energy, thinks she needs to “grow into her paws,” whatever that means. Louis thinks parts were a bit contrived but it was a good audition overall. Simon says she needs to stop “trying to be American” but he absolutely loves the raw talent and potential. Four yeses.
A montage of people bringing their families with them precedes our next auditioner. Lanya Matthews brought about 20 people with her to the audition. She’s from North London and she’s only 17 years old. She thinks she got a lot more confidence over the past year which has made her more ready. She is going to sing And I Am Telling You. Big song. She’s got a great voice but I’m honestly not blown away by it. Parts were pretty damn breathy. Maybe it’s fatigue from the song choice. Maybe it’s because I’ve heard this song done so much better. But they let her sing a lot of the song and it ends with all four judges standing up. I would have enjoyed my seat. Robbie’s chanting her name. Simon asks where she’s been hiding, says it was a statement. Robbie sings that he’s going to love her. Ayda says that in the shower when she sings, that’s what she sounds like. Louis was shocked by it, calls it a massive insane vocal. Four yeses. To quote Britney Spears from X Factor USA, sorry, I just don’t get it.
Dee Lush is up next. She’s from southeast London and she’s 32 years old. She looks young. She’s a teacher, says she’ll perform for her kids if they behave. LOL. She sings an original song called All The Way, about love at first sight. Dancers join her on stage pretty much immediately. This is ok but it’s really not for me. She’s sort of sing/rapping, and it’s not anything I’d go out of my way to listen to. At one point she gets down on her knees and twerks. I will say, it’s hilarious that she’s a teacher. All four judges stand and her family/friends backstage go crazy. Robbie says her personality and voice can fill a stadium. Doubt it. Ayda says she was unbelievable. Louis says she knows exactly who she wants to be as an artist. Simon guesses she’s had disappointments (in other words, he’s asking for a sob story) and after she doesn’t really provide one, he gives her a yes. The other three judges say yes as well.
Next up is Dalton Harris. He’s 24 years old from Jamaica. He struggles to recall musical inspirations – he’s nervous. This is obviously the biggest moment of his life. He’s wanted to audition for seven years. He sings Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word because he likes the message. He’s excellent from the first note. He delivers an immaculate vocal. I really really like him. He starts crying a bit in the middle of the performance. He hits a money note at the end. For some reason, only Simon and Ayda stand. If they all stood for the last girl, they should have all stood for him. Simon points out the nerves and asks why he was so emotional. He says he’s been alone since he was 15. Ayda and Louis go up to hug him. Simon said it was sincere, was a whole new take on the song. Ayda’s really happy his journey brought him there because he’s truly magnificent. Louis is rooting for him more than anyone he’s seen so far. Four yeses and one thank you from Ayda.
Ezat Azur walks out with blue lipstick and blue hair. He’s extremely flamboyant. He loves music and banking which makes Simon burst out into laughter. He believes he can win this show. Joke audition here we go. He sings Bang Bang. And it’s as bad as we all expected. I hate when they do this. But I guess it’s part of the territory of live-blogging X Factor. Robbie says singing is not for him. Louis says he should stick to banking. Simon says his voice is terrible. He’s talking back to all of them. As he walks out, he tells Dermot he knows they’re wrong. Dermot then makes a face.
Nathan Grisdale is up next. He’s 23 from Blackburn. He’s allergic to cats and has six dogs. What a great way to win Simon over. He’s nervous and doesn’t have a ton of confidence. He sings Rise Up. His singing voice is deeper than his speaking voice. He’s not stellar but he’s good. The biggest problem for Nathan is that he’s on the same episode as Dalton who sang astonishingly well. Nathan is ordinary by comparison. He breaks down in tears at the end and Ayda gives him a standing ovation. Louis says he has an amazing tone, knows he’s got a great recording voice, makes him want the boys. Ayda says he gave them a moment. Robbie says he’s capable of an 8 or a 9, and he gave a six. He needs more personality and charisma. Simon thinks the last 20 seconds saved him. I tend to agree with Robbie. Four yeses.
After a montage of people and their families, we get our now-requisite Eric Cowell cameo. Simon talks about how he sees everything in a more positive light now that he has a son.
Shan is the last act up tonight. She’s 25 from Croyden. Her dream was to be a singer when she was a little girl. We see family videos of her singing as a kid with her dad. She has been a session singer for a few years, but she wants to present herself. She sings
the new singing show staple Never Enough from The Greatest Showman. I’ve heard better versions of this song, but I still like Shan a lot. She’s got a great voice, a great presence, lots of control, and she does hit an impressive note toward the end. Four judge standing ovation for her. Backstage, her brother tells Dermot that that performance almost got him crying. Louis says the riffs and inflections were effortless. Ayda says she’s the strongest competitor they’ve seen yet. Simon says moments like this one keep him doing these shows, he was genuinely blown away. Robbie says she’s going through on pure gold plated talent. Four yeses.