The penultimate week of highlights from The X Factor 5 auditions has featured some of the best and worst hopefuls from Cardiff and London.

And the Welsh leg of the auditions, at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium, kicked off with a familiar face – past auditionee Ceri Rees. The 51-year-old housewife, who has failed to get through on two previous occasions, hoped a glamorous makeover would see her luck change.

However once again she was sent home empty-handed. “You look better but I think your voice has got worse,” Simon told her. “You sound like a two-year-old when you sing.”

Ceri stormed off, declaring Cowell was “very rude” and said she would not be returning next year.

There were further disappointments for other Welsh auditionees, including bartender Rachel Roberts and fiftysomething Susan Keech, who reduced Simon and Louis to fits of giggles with her rendition of I Wanna Dance With Somebody.

And property developer Lisa Meredith hit a major stumbling block when the person she was supposed to duet with was absent. “Now I know why she didn’t show up,” quipped Simon after her less than impressive audition.

In London, personal trainer Ryan Cummings divided the judges. “I absolutely loved you,” Cheryl told the 22-year-old – but Simon wasn’t convinced. “I didn’t get it,” he said, much to the shock of his fellow judges.

14-year-old Melanie McCabe also caused ructions among the panel – although this time it was Cheryl who had her doubts, saying she was “too young”.

“I don’t have to give her a shot just because you’re telling me I have to,” Cheryl told Simon – but then she put her through to boot camp anyway.

The pair also clashed over full-time mum Shelley Morefield. “It was very pub singer-ish,” Simon told the 29-year-old, while Cheryl told her she had a “gorgeous” voice.

However it was better news for new mum Anastasia Baker and teenager Mali-Michael McCalla, both of whom made it through to boot camp. “You’re one of my favourites that we’ve seen in London,” Simon told the 15-year-old schoolboy.

Finally the auditions went to Birmingham – and the judges were reunited with another former auditionee, 2005 hopeful Anthony Little.

Having originally failed to impress Simon Cowell with his performance, and his piano key tie, Anthony turned up four stone lighter and with a new image.

His new appearance divided the judges – while Louis wanted to give him a chance, Cheryl and Simon weren’t so sure.

“I like the new personality,” Simon said, “you look better, you just have one problem. Your voice sounds completely and utterly average.”

“I don’t hear anything from that that tells me you have the potential to be a star.”

However girl duo Adante – whose entire village turned up to support them – made it through to boot camp after charming the judging panel with their rendition of Big Spender.