The second week of The X Factor 2010 has seen some of the best and worst auditionees from Dublin and London take to the stage.
And things got off to a rocky start in Dublin – which played host to auditions for the first time in four years.
Among those failing to impress the judges were out of tune boyband Temple Fire – whose rendition of Wake Me Up Before You Go Go left Cheryl Cole “speechless” – and Michael McCarthy, who left guest judge Katy Perry stunned with his falsetto voice.
“That’s not quite what I expected to come out of you,” she said.
However things picked up with the arrival of unemployed hairdresser Rebecca Creighton – who sailed into the next round with her performance of Pixie Lott‘s Cry Me Out.
“Thanks for making this day a little bit more exciting,” Cheryl told her. “I think you’ve got a brilliant voice.”
Meanwhile, 50-year-old Tesco’s employee Mary Byrne wowed the judges – and reduced Cheryl to tears – with her powerful rendition of Tom Jones‘ I Who Have Nothing.
“That was my favourite audition of Dublin so far,” Cheryl said, “full to the brim with emotion and passion.”
At the London auditions, Michael Jackson devotee Michael Lewis was given short shrift, with Simon describing his performance as “hideous”.
But there was better news for a string of acts including boyband The Reason, who impressed Cheryl with their version of her hit Fight For This Love, girl group Husstle and quirky boy/girl band Seven.
And former contestant Annastsia Baker, who made it to the judges’ houses in 2008, also returned for another try. After falling foul of Simon with her first song she fared better with her second, Adele’s Make You Feel My Love.
“You’ve still got into the habit of singing like a cabaret singer,” warned Simon. But Louis pronounced her “absolutely fantastic” before sending her through to the next round.