The second show in the fifth series of The X Factor has been screened, showcasing more of the best and worst auditions from across the UK.

Auditions this week began in Birmingham – and with judge Dannii Minogue in Australia, the hopefuls had only remaining judges Simon Cowell, Louis Walsh and Cheryl Cole to impress.

But there was little joy among the auditionees – with girl duo So Precious being described as “horrific” by Simon Cowell. “It was like someone stepping on two cats,” Cowell told the pair.

And supply teacher Phil Blackwell did little to impress the panel either with his rendition of Spandau Ballet’s Gold or Elton John‘s Your Song – despite his extraordinary ability to hold notes for a considerable length of time.

“You can’t end every song with these crazy end notes,” said Simon Cowell, trying to stifle his laughter. “If we had you in the finals and we had a minute a song you’d only have the last note.”

There was better news for the female quartet Girl Band, however. The self-confessed Girls Aloud fans won praise from Cheryl Cole, who described them as “better than any of the girl bands of the past couple of days”.

In London – and with Dannii Minogue rejoining the panel – there was bad news for holiday camp singer Holly Jervis, despite her initial confidence. “Watching you sing was like looking into a cave,” Simon Cowell told her.

However Northern Ireland teenager Eoghan Quigg sailed through to bootcamp, as did teenager Imanii Otaigbe and girl group RTI.

And 19-year-old Alexandra Burke – who narrowly missed out on a place in the live finals in 2005 – returned for another try and secured her spot in the next round.

“I thought you were absolutely amazing,” said Louis Walsh – who rejected her from his final line-up the first time around.

“You’re absolutely gorgeous,” Cheryl Cole added. “You were born to sing.”

The four-piece made it through to boot camp despite getting the thumbs down from Louis Walsh.

Also making it through to bootcamp were student Marika Beckford, 15-year-old Jade Thirwell and housewife and self-confessed Louis Walsh lover Shirley Hough, who won her place after presenting Walsh with a red rose.

Teenager Liam Payne was also a hit with the judges. “I think this kid could do fantastically well,” Louis Walsh told the 14-year-old after his rendition of Fly Me To The Moon.

Meanwhile, call centre worker Alan Turner – who was fostered at the age of four told the judges he wanted to do well on the show to make his real family proud of him – wowed the panel with his audition.

“You’ve got a decent singing voice,” Simon Cowell told him, “and you have a great manner about you. So whoever your foster parents are they’ve done a great job.”

In London there was good news for Northern Irish teenager Eoghan Quigg, who was a big hit with the judges, and Alexandra Burke – who sailed through to boot camp after narrowly missing out on a place in the live finals in 2005.

“You are gorgeous,” Cheryl Cole told the 19-year-old, “and you were born to sing.”