Music mogul Simon Cowell lashed out against being “stuck” with his X Factor category, the Overs, during the Six Chair Challenge.
When Cheryl Fernandez-Versini asked her grumpy co-judge during Sunday’s episode: “What is wrong with you today?” Simon fired back: “I can’t believe I’m stuck with this category.”
Cheryl looks away when Simon looks unimpressed (ITV)
He later apologised to the contestants in his category, pledging his full support – but during the Six Chair Challenge he made it clear he was not impressed with the talent on display.
Welcoming contestant Max Stone, 27, to the stage, he said: “Max, you look, if you don’t mind me saying so, like you’re half dead. I’ve never really got anything from your personality. Tell me something fun you’ve done in your life… I’m trying to make you fun but I’m failing.”
Addressing Max, who went on to sing Bob Marley’s Turn Your Lights Down, he said: “I just don’t think people are going to like you very much.”
Simon Cowell thinks viewers won’t like Max Stone (ITV)
Vicky Ann Nash, 35, who sang Lisa Loeb’s Stay, was told by the judge: “Vicky, I like working with people who are ambitious, focused, and I don’t really get that from you.”
He added: “I really don’t like losing, and having heard the Girls category I’m really not in a great mood.”
Simon Cowell thinks Vicky Ann Nash lacks ambition (ITV)
At this stage of boot camp, each judge whittles their category down to six acts by granting the singers a seat on stage if they’re going through to the next level. When all six seats are taken, the judge can choose to swap out an act if a better choice comes along.
Nick Grimshaw has already chosen his final six Boys and Rita Ora has her six Girls. Cheryl finished choosing her Groups in Sunday’s episode, while it was finally Simon’s turn to choose who to take through from the Overs.
As Joseph McCaul, a 27-year-old singer from Ireland, prepared to sing Duffy’s Mercy, Simon complained: “Why am I hating this category even more now?”
And as theatre worker Zen Blythe, 29, prepared to take the stage to perform Lenny Kravitz’s Fly Away, Simon commented to the other judges: “Oh God, I hate this guy.”
Zen Blythe isn’t a favourite of Simon’s, either (ITV)
Cheryl told Stephanie McCourt, 27, that she lacked a “connection” with the audience after performing Aretha Franklin’s Never Loved A Man – but Simon added: “What she’s saying, Stephanie, is people don’t like you at the moment… and I think it’s just the way that you are is not very friendly, not very warm.”
One of the only contestants to fire back against the judge’s harsh words was Anton Stephens, a 44-year-old backing singer from London, who sang Luther Vandross’s A House Is Not A Home.
Simon, 56, said: “I’m going to give you some advice now Anton. You do pull weird faces when you sing.”
“You pull weird faces when you sing,” Simon tells Anton (ITV)
Anton replied: “Can I talk about that? If you’re in an environment, I think, where lots of people have Botox, so your face doesn’t move, that becomes your normal. But if you’re a bit poor like me, and your friends are poor, and you can’t afford Botox, your face kind of moves.”
The quip left Simon in fits of laughter, alongside Cheryl, Nick and Rita.
After the performance, Simon told him: “The audience believe in you, and you know what, I believe in you.”
The X Factor continues on ITV, Sunday, October 18, 7.00pm