The X Factor 2011 auditions have ended ahead of the boot camp stage of the show – and once again there were a few familiar faces taking to the stage.
Among them was Carolynne Poole – who previously reached the final of BBC1 talent show Fame Academy in 2003 as Carolynne Good – and she could well be set for similar success on The X Factor after sailing through to boot camp.
Despite confessing she had not sung properly for eight years, the judges approved of her rendition of Miley Cyrus’ The Climb, with Gary Barlow calling the audition “amazing”.
Kelly Rowland was similarly enthusiastic. “That was a really great performance,” she said, “you have a beautiful voice!”
And the 30-year-old wasn’t the only older hopeful to impress the panel on Sunday night.
Lorry driver Terry Winstanley, 51, was voted through unanimously following his performance of Michael Bolton’s To Love Somebody, with Kelly praising him for his courage, and Louis Walsh admitting that he did not expect such a good audition.
“It’s never too late,” he told him, “You’re living proof of that.”
Meanwhile 35-year-old Beverly Saurin stunned the judges with her version of the classic Loving You – especially when she hit the famous high note at the end of the song.
“Beverly, thanks for sharing your amazing voice with us,” Gary said before all four voted her through to bootcamp.
And afterwards Louis Walsh could barely hide his delight, declaring the over 28s category to be “the strongest it’s ever been”.
However a number of younger performers also made an impact on Sunday, including 17-year-old Joe Cox – who impressed Tulisa in more ways than one.
“Joe, I think I’m in love with you,” she said. “You got four yeses!”
Anthony Cheesman also impressed with his rendition of Aloe Blacc’s I Need A Dollar, as did 19-year-old Max Vickers – who amused the judges when he confessed that he dressed up as a squirrel for his job in an amusement park.
And 16-year-old Bradley Johnson from Rainford, near Liverpool – who confessed to a troubled past after his parents split up – made his mark with his version of Ed Sheeran’s The A Team, and won himself a place in bootcamp.
Once again however the show had its fair share of less than perfect auditions, including those of married couple Neil and Margaret Sinclair.
Having failed to impress the judges with her audition, Margaret did not take the criticism well – and hit back when they told her what they thought.
“I can assure you my singing teachers told me I sing really well, so I don’t take kindly to that criticism,” she said.
“There were maybe a few bum notes, but you know I’m nervous. Isn’t everyone?”
And another familiar face, in the shape of Bridgend’s Ceri Rees, returned to the stage for a fourth attempt at X Factor glory.
Having fallen foul of Simon Cowell in previous years, the 54-year-old made a fresh attempt to get past the judges – even presenting Louis Walsh with a bouquet of flowers – but it made little difference to their opinion of her audition.
“I love you,” Tulisa said, “it’s just that I don’t love your voice.”
Next weekend sees a double bill of bootcamp shows ahead of the acts being whittled down to the final 32 who will compete at the judges’ houses.