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 3:35 PM EST, so join me in the comments then!
You can watch The X Factor UK live online. ITV streams the show through the ITV Hub. However, ITV blocks viewers from outside of the UK. To get around that, you need to use a VPN connection. If Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox is your preferred browser, install Hola extension and set them to UK server. Then open the ITV Player, make a free account and pick the right channel. The player will ask you for a ZIP code. Find an active UK ZIP code HERE. Make sure you have the cookies enabled. You can also try to find a working ITV stream on MyiPlayer.com, TVPC.com or FilmON.com.
Sammi Shepherd – Human by Rag n Bone – She’s a middle aged lady from Blackpool and a huge Robbie Williams fan. She’s terrible, and after being rejected she tells the panel that she sings for a living. NO
Cezar Ouatu – Nessun Dorma – He was born in Romania, but grew up in Italy. He’s 38. Simon wonders why he hasn’t had a big break yet. Cezar attributes it to lack of confidence. He sings in a high tenor that verges on a female contralto. He flips back and forth between a higher pitch and and a lower more traditionally masculine sound. It’s kind of weird. There was a female singer from the Philippines last week that kind of did the same thing. The audience and judges are on their feet and he breaks down and cries. “You’re very handsome,” says Simon. Louis calls him “Unbelievable.” Robbie calls him “Incredible.” He brought tears to Ayda’s eyes. Simon calls him very special with great energy. “You just nailed it.” 4 yeses. Hm. He was an average singer. And the flipping back and forth between his lower and higher register came off as amateur.
Louise Setara – A Moment of Your Time (Original) – 30 year old cleaner who previously held a recording contract a decade ago. “I was signed but then I met someone and I gave up music, got married and had kids,” she explains. “I wrote it about a conversation that happened between me and at the time husband,” she says of the song. Now that she’s divorced, she wants to give music another go. The song has a country twang. She has a pleasant enough voice. But this song is a dud–very old fashioned. But, the judges love her. Ayda says “I got lost in you…I want to hear more.” Louis calls her storytelling “simple but beautiful.” Robbie notes that the audience was rapt. Simon calls it one of his favorite auditions. He compliments her confidence and beautiful voice – 4 yeses.
Claire Angel Bryan – Change is Gonna Come by Sam Cooke – 35 year old has been singing since she was a teenager and is from Birmingham. She takes care of her mother full time. “I’ve been through so much in the last two years,” she says about the song, “No matter what happens, a change comes.” She has a really rich tone. She’s got a retro sound, but with a contemporary twist. Her phrasing is a little unwieldy, but she’s good! “You just blew our minds and our hearts,” says Ayda. Robbie calls her the technically best singer. He suggests she get rid of the hat and glasses she’s wearing. Good call. She’s pretty! Louis calls her “likable” and appreciates her vulnerability. Simon thinks she will inspire people – 4 yeses
Panda Ross – Natural Woman by Aretha Franklin – 48 year old is a barista from Dallas, Texas. This is her FOURTH go at X Factor. You may remember her from X Factor USA 2 when her time was cut short by an ambulance ride. She didn’t make it out of boot camp season 3. Simon doesn’t remember her at first (hm) But then it’s like a big reunion. “Six years later I’m back to settle some unfinished business with Simon Cowell. He’s gotten a little bit older but he’s still sexier!” Eh. Panda had her fans back in the day. But I thought she was overrated. She oversings and has pitch problems. She’s quite a character, though. Simon loves that. Robbie calls the performance “incredible” and “You smashed it.” Ayda says, “You gotta protect the Panda.” Louis loves her. Simon says, “What you just did was pure magic.” No, it was bunch of caterwauling, but whatever. Simon says he always wanted to give her the moment she deserves 4 yeses
Charlotte Lily – YMCA by Village People – 20 year old student brings along her cats to the audition. Apparently, she doesn’t busk without them. She pushes them around in a pram. She performs an acoustic version of “YMCA” I kid you not. Her voice is wobbly, but she does get everyone up doing the hand signs. Simon likes her because she’s “wacky.” Hm. Robbie calls her original. C’mon. That was mediocre. She leaves her cats off stage, by the way. 4 yeses
Gaia Cauchi – Only Love Can Hurt Like This by Paloma Faith – She’s a 15 year old student from Malta. She previously competed in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. She’ got a big voice, but hasn’t quite learned how to control it yet. What’s up with all the squeaking? Ayda calls her an “incredible singer.” 4 yeses
Gingzilla – Seven Nation Army by White Stripes – 32 year old drag queen performs in a dress and a full beard. Her version is very slinky. This is some next level androgyny going on here. After sounding fairly normal, Ginzilla switches into a guttural growly voice and then ends with some screams. That was something. Robbie invites her to duet with him. Ayda loved it. Louis calls it brilliant. Simon, calling her “Ging” says she’s got a better voice than she even knows – 4 yeses
J Sol – Bullet in My Heart (Original) – 25 year old singer performs in memory of his late mother Victoria. “I suddenly lost my mum in 2015,” he says. I’ve always been terrified of doing this show, but I was going through texts and my mum was always telling me ‘You need to do X Factor’ and I always said no but reading the text I thought, I want to finally tick off something she’s wanted me to do.” He wants to inspire people. I feel for this guy. He’s so sincere. But this is not a good song. It just meanders. He has some nice moments vocally, though. He could use some training. Still, he moves the judges panel. Louis, who recently lost his mother, walks on stage to give him a big hug. Robbie calls him “incredible” and says “I feel you so much.” Ayda lost her father in 2014. She relates as well. Louis calla him a “legend for what you just done.” Simon calls his audition “amazing.” Simon says, “I talk to my mom every day…every decision…” – 4 yeses
This season, there will be no bootcamp, just the judges choosing which acts will move on to compete in the Six Chair Challenge. The deliberations begin at the end of tomorrow’s final audition episode.