A barmaid from North Wales was among the standout acts on The X Factor 2011 as auditions reached their fourth week, and travelled to Manchester and London.
Samantha Brookes, from North Wales, wowed the judging panel – and won herself a standing ovation from both judges and audience – with her rendition of Whitney Houston’s One Moment In Time, despite initially talking to them so much that Gary Barlow had to remind her to sing.
Afterwards the Take That frontman told the 31-year-old that her performance had been ‘amazing’ – and the other judges were equally enthusiastic.
“If I could crowd-surf right now, I totally would,” Kelly Rowland added. “You are amazing!”
It was a busy night for Kelly – who also played her part in persuading former boot camp hopeful Chrissie Pitt to audition as a solo artist rather than as part of a group.
The 26-year-old turned up to the auditions with fellow band members Cheryl Moody, Katie Orrock and Paige Flaherty – but their group version of Adele’s Someone Like You failed to impress the judges, and left Kelly to question why Chrissie had brought them along in the first place.
“No disrespect ladies,” she said to the four-piece, “but I was wondering why did you bring them…because you just didn’t feel like you could do it by yourself?”
The band were eventually rejected by the judges, but Kelly retreated backstage where she attempted to talk Chrissie into auditioning solo.
“You have a unique voice and when you all sing together there’s nothing unique about it, not the four of you all together, I’m so sorry but I’m just saying in this moment would you want to come back or would you want to leave?” she said.
Her pep talk eventually prompted Chrissie to take the stage alone – where she made it through to boot camp once again.
Twisted weren’t the only band on Saturday night’s show who made their mark.
Manchester duo Kendro – consisting of 18-year-old Alejando and 23-year-old Keneal – divided the judges with their rendition of Lady Gaga’s Born This Way and their flamboyant performance.
Although Louis Walsh called the pair ‘likeable’ and Tulisa said they ‘stood out from the crowd’ Gary was not so keen, saying, ‘You’ve got no talent at all!’. Nonetheless the support of the others won them their place in boot camp.
However the judges were unanimous on the final act of the evening, 20-year-old Lascel Wood from Brighton – who delivered a soulful rendition of the Kings of Leon hit Use Somebody.
Tulisa said his performance was “absolutely outstanding” while Gary added, “I believed every single word that you sang to us. Real talent, well done!”
Auditions continue with the second show of the weekend on Sunday at 8pm.