With Nicole is unable to make the next round of auditions shown on Sunday, X Factor contestants were in for a scare when guest judge Mel B returned to the show

Mel B made a shock return to X Factor on Saturday after fellow judge Nicole Scherzinger was unable to make the auditions.

Simon, Sharon and Louis were delighted when Spice Girl Mel B strutted into the studio.

The 41-year-old was dressed to impress in sky-high stilettos, a fitted orange dress and aviator sunglasses. And a warning for all wannabe contestants, telling them not to waste her time if they didn’t have what it takes to impress her.

Mel said she couldn’t wait to see the one contestant who gives it their all. She said the perfect package includes ‘the look, the voice, and the attitude’.

Saturday’s auditions took place in London, and Simon couldn’t resist grumbling over how much it cost him to fly Mel over from her home in Los Angeles.

Mel’s X Factor debut only lasted one season in 2014, but she made a lasting impact with fans and contestants on the show.

Since 2014, Mel has been busy working on Simon’s US show America’s Got Talent, so she’s well-equipped to make all-important decisions.

In Saturday’s show, the judges sat through a string of weird and wonderful acts in the hope of finding a star.

Contestant Kazzy got himself into a spot of bother with Sharon after writing a song about plastic surgery. She even threatened him with legal action!

Boyband 5am were an instant hit with their rendition of Drake’s One Dance, and the trio showed off the best in boyband moves.

 

Host Dermot O’Leary comforted nervous hopefuls with much-needed ‘Dermot hugs’ as they prepared to face the panel.

 

X Factor judges
The returning judges aren’t the only familiar faces (Thames/Syco Entertainment)

 

Saturday night’s round of early auditions saw Gifty Louise back again after narrowly missing out on her opportunity at last year’s bootcamp stage, when she was shown the door after losing her voice.

X Factor Gifty Louise
Second time lucky for Gifty Louise (Thames/Syco Entertainment)

 

Judges Simon Cowell, Louis Walsh, Sharon Osbourne and Mel B all sent her through to bootcamp again this year.

She is far from the only contestant to come back again, though. In Sunday’s episode, viewers will see barmaid Anelisa Lamola impressing the panel, nine years on from her first crack at the programme when she was just 17.

Anelisa Lambola
Anelisa Lamola is back (ITV)

 

Sunday night also marked a return for twins Kyle and Josh Brooks, who got to the judges’ houses round with Walsh in 2014 before being sent home and are back again to try their luck.

X Factor The Brooks
The Brooks brothers two years on (Thames/Syco Entertainment)

 

In last weekend’s instalment, Janet Grogan made a reappearance, having first starred two years ago when she made it to the six chair challenge, but was knocked out in that round, with Simon Cowell admitting at the time that he had made a mistake.

Janet Grogan (ITV Pictures)
Janet Grogan (ITV Pictures)

 

However, the contestants will have some way to go before coming close to Melanie McCabe’s record – the Irish hopeful came back for four different years of X Factor auditions, but still never succeeded in making it to the live shows.

X Factor Melanie McCabe