The seventh series of The X Factor has kicked off, with some of the highlights – and lowlights – from auditions in Glasgow and London.

And as usual the judges faced a mixed bag of hopefuls beginning with auditions from Glasgow where Geri Halliwell joined the panel in place of new mum Dannii Minogue.

First on stage was 41-year-old house husband Stephen Hunter who got off to a shaky start with Simon but ultimately impressed the panel with his flamboyant rendition of Disco Inferno.

“What a fantastic way to kick off the next series of X Factor!” enthused Cheryl before he was unanimously voted through to the next round.

Also faring well in Glasgow was 18-year-old Gamu Nhengu, whose lively performance of Walking On Sunshine wowed the judges.

“I really really really like you,” Simon told the Zimbabwe-born teenager, who was reduced to tears as the others heaped praise on her and sent her through to boot camp.

And there was also good news for singing waitress Lynn Frances O’Neil, singer Mark McGregor and quirky four-piece Noir, whose version of Lady Gaga‘s Paparazzi won them a place in the next round.

Meanwhile, duo G&S found themselves with a dilemma after the judges favoured only one of their members, Caroline. After she auditioned as a solo singer, however, she made it through.

“You’ve had one of the toughest auditions today….it’s been really tough” Cheryl told her before casting her vote.

At the London auditions, trio Jahm stunned both judges and audience into silence with their off-key version of Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance.

“If you want me to be honest,” Simon eventually told them, “you’re probably the worst group we’ve ever had on this show.” Louis, meanwhile, compared their singing to the sound of “three cats getting strangled in an alleyway”.

However single mum Shirlena Johnson had better luck with her rendition of Duffy‘s Mercy, making it through despite being described by Simon as “fantastically nuts”.

And Madonna fan Katie Waissel also landed herself a place in boot camp – but by the skin of her teeth after her first version of Queen’s We Are The Champions. failed to impress the judges. However she made it through after being given the chance to sing the Etta James classic At Last.

“You look like a singing scarecrow,” Simon said of the quirky 24-year-old before voting her through to the next round.