The X Factor returned with the first round of auditions and there was screaming, crying and laughter – and that was just from the judges.
There was a lot of singing, too – and not all of it good. Actually, not much of it good.
But judges Simon Cowell, Cheryl, Mel B and Louis Walsh think they have found a few stars in the making…
Former Navy man Jay James, 30, from West Wales, gave the audition of the night for Simon.
Singing Say Something, by A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera, full-time dad Jay, was desperate to make his mark.
“This is everything to me,” he said, before he stepped in front of the judges. “My nine-month-old daughter is my motivation.”
And it seems she was all the motivation he needed.
“Amazing,” said Simon, when Jay had finished singing. “That is how you do it. At first I thought you were good and then it got better. It was outstanding. I’ve got a really, really good feeling about you.”
Mel loved it so much she cried…
“And I hate you because you made me cry,” she told Jay. “I don’t cry but your passion and emotion was ridiculously good.”
“It was a brilliant song choice,” added Louis. “You had us with every single word.”
“The passion was oozing from you,” Cheryl told Jay.
So, Jay’s through to the next round.
But he wasn’t the only singer to show passion and impress the judges.
Chloe Jasmine, a 23-year-old model from Sussex, got the judges’ attention as soon as she opened her mouth…
“I like your posh accent,” Mel told Chloe.
Simon looked interested. “What’s your dream?” he asked Chloe.
“To be happy every day for the rest of my life,” she answered.
“That’s a good dream,” Simon said.
And then the judges heard that Chloe can sing good as well as dream good.
“Darling, I thought you were fabulous,” said Louis, in his best posh Irish voice.
“You’re mesmerising,” said Cheryl.
“Awesome from head to toe,” said Mel.
“I really like you,” Simon told Chloe. “You’ve got a really cool, bluesy voice. You’re one I’m going to remember.”
Simon will remember Blonde Electric, too – but maybe not for such good reasons.
Jazzy, 24 and Ruby, 22, are sisters who make up Blonde Electric. “Touring the world and singing would be an absolute dream,” said Jazzy, just before she and Ruby ran screaming into the audition room. They were like little girls on a sugar high and Mel and Cheryl definitely didn’t like what they saw. They exchanged a look – and it wasn’t a good look.
But Jazzy and Ruby weren’t put off and launched into their performance of Jessie J’s Do It Like A Dude. But Simon stopped them halfway through.
“OK,” he said. “Imagine the biggest blackboard in the world and you’ve got eight people drawing their nails down it – multiplied by 10. That’s how irritating you were.”
“But irritating in a way that I’m sort of fascinated by you.”
Mel stopped laughing.
“It’s like you’ve been invented by Louis in a computer to create the most irritating girl group in the world and here you are,” added Simon.
“In some weird way you’re that annoying that you’re good,” Mel told the sisters – who clearly couldn’t tell which way the vote was going to go.
“I think you might divide the nation,” said Louis. “I thin you’re a little loopy but all good pop stars are.”
“Yeah,” said Jazzy, almost beside herself with excitement.
Then Simon asked Cheryl what she thought.
“I think you’re very, very nice people but it wasn’t my cup of tea,” she said.
Still, Blonde Electric got three yeses and went through to the next round.
It looked like anyone playing a guitar would be instantly thrown out, as Simon decided he had become allergic to guitars.
“They all sound the same,” Simon moaned. “I’m going to get 50 guitars and blow them up.”
And then he did grab a guitar and smash it up as Cheryl, Mel and Louis shouted “No!”
Then Reece Bibby walked out with his guitar.
“I’ve been waiting for my 16th birthday so I could audition and then they lowered the age limit to 14 for this series so I don’t have to wait any more,” Reece beamed. “It’s brilliant. It’s like Christmas come early.”
But did the judges feel the same way?
“Simon’s someone I want to impress,” Reece added.
But he was already out of favour for having a guitar.
Then he started playing and singing Latch by Disclosure – and the judges started smiling.
“Man, I loved it! I wanted to stand up and applaud,” said Mel. “I think you’re exactly what this show is about. It’s young, it’s current, it’s fresh. You’re 15 and you look cute. I loved it and I love everything that you are.”
So, Mel liked Reece.
“I love your passion and I think your voice is incredible,” added Cheryl. “It was a very good audition. Well done.”
“Reece I can tell that you absolutely live for music,” said Louis. “I think the word for you is ‘potential’.”
Then it was Simon’s turn to have his say.
“Reece, are you always going to perform with a guitar?” he asked the boy.
“No, no” Reece answered quickly.
“Then I loved the choice of song, loved the version and you’re a really nice guy, Reece,” Simon said.
And Reece was through with four yeses.
Fourteen-year-old Charlie Jones got through with just one “yes” vote. How?
Charlie sang Little Things, by One Direction and Simon liked him – a lot.
“You know what?” Simon told Charlie. “You’ve got potential. I’m going to say ‘yes’ – and it doesn’t matter what the other three say.”
Chloe O’Gorman, 17, and Lauren Platt, 16, excited all of the judges.
“I think we have just scratched the surface with you,” Simon told Chloe.
“And we may have found someone special with you,” he told Lauren.
Ben Quinlan only really wanted to impress one judge – and it wasn’t Simon.
Ben serenaded Cheryl with That’s My Goal, by Shane Ward, and even got her dancing.
“I think he’s nuts,” Simon said behind his hand.
But Ben can sing and got four yeses.
Amy Connolly got four yeses, too.
Amy auditioned for The X Factor in 2008 and made it all the way to Cheryl’s judge’s house before she was sent home.
It was an emotional reunion for Cheryl and Amy, who could barely finish singing With You, from the musical Ghost, she was sobbing so hard.
“That was really beautiful,” Cheryl told her. “I’m so proud of you, proud of the fact you came back.”
Not all of those who sang for the judges got the thumbs up, though.
Go to our picture special here to see the worst of the worst – plus more on the judges’ favourites from round one.
The X Factor continues on ITV, Sunday, August 31, 8.00pm.