A recently-bereaved mum-of-two was the star turn on Saturday’s X Factor, as the show reached Sheffield for the latest round of auditions.
33-year-old Andrea Ryder, whose husband Mark died nine months ago, followed in the footsteps of Britain’s Got Talent winner Paul Potts by impressing with opera classic Nessun Dorma.
“Mark always encouraged me to sing around the house,” she told the programme. “I’m sure my husband’s here with me. I promised him that I would come and do the audition so I’m going to do it for him.”
But her performance was overshadowed by more angry reactions from some of the unsuccessful singers. Retired gardener Johnny Rocco, 67, flabbergasted the judges by appearing to issue Louis Walsh with a Godfather-style DEATH THREAT.
“I’m so versatile. I can sing anything. I’ll rip the place apart. I’ll make Louis Walsh kiss my feet,” he told the cameras confidently, before singing an Elvis number that Louis branded a pub singer’s performance.
A fuming Johnny then approached the panel and stabbed a finger at Louis, before saying something in Italian. Translators later confirmed Simon’s interpretation: “It was a sign to the Mafia worldwide to kill you,” he told the shocked Irishman.
Elsewhere, feisty country-singing Kimberley, 19, was told that she was ‘potentially one of the most annoying contestants we’ve ever had’ by Simon after an audition she admitted had been fuelled by Red Bull. “You scare the life out of me,” Dannii Minogue told her – but the judges liked her voice and put her through.
And 84-year-old grandmother Dorothy Bishop, who once sung for the troops in World War Two, raised smiles with a rendition of wartime favourite We’ll Meet Again.
Some of the performances, however, were so laughably bad that Simon briefly threatened never to return to Sheffield in the future.
But the night belonged to Andrea. “I don’t know how you did that but I thought it was absolutely terrific,” Simon told the delighted singer after putting her through. “I always say that it’s not just the quality of the voice [that matters] – it’s the sincerity as well. And it was very, very moving.”