“Expect the unexpected,” says Simon Cowell of this year’s X Factor.
But the first show of auditions at Wembley Arena was what viewers get every year: singers who are good, bad and just ridiculous.
It was four sisters from the Philippines who got “the biggest four yeses we have ever given”, said Simon, after watching them
Called 4th Power, they flew in specially – with their mum – for The X Factor and they were excited but a bit reserved as they talked to the judges about their ambitions.
That all changed as they performed Jessie J’s Bang Bang.
“You just absolutely took Wembley’s roof off,” Cheryl Fernandez-Versini told them. “You came out so demure and then the music kicks in and you turn into four little bad girls up there. It blew my mind.”
“This audition just changed your lives,” new judge Rita Ora added. “I was like, ‘I wanna be their sister!’.”
Jon Goodey, a 27-year-old IT salesman from Essex, was hoping his audition would change his life – into a life like his mate’s, new X Factor co-host Olly Murs’.
“Olly and I used to sing in small bars,” Jon told the judges. “We were called The Small Town Blaggers. I watch Ollie doing what he loves and I think: ‘Why can’t I do that?’ But I’m nervous.”
And that’s why Jon can’t do what Olly does. He forgot the words to the first song he started to sing but managed to get through One Republic’s Counting Stars.
“It’s uncomfortable watching you,” new judge Nick Grimshaw told Jon.
“I think there’s a reason why you’re not in a group now,” Simon told Jon. “I can’t lie and say I would believe in you.”
“You lack star quality,” Rita told him. “What will I remember from your audition? I don’t think I will remember it.”
So that was four “nos” for Jon – but he did get a hug from Olly and sympathetic smile from co-host Caroline Flack.
There were plenty of auditions the judges did enjoy, though…
Joining 4th Power at Boot Camp are Lauren Murray, Jennifer Phillips, Tom Davies, Tom Bleasby, Mason Noise, Susan Pryce, Dani Clay and Louisa Johnson.
Tom Davies announced he wants “to be the male version of Cheryl” and got through with a performance of a Justin Bieber song called As Long As You Love Me that had “some serious conviction”, said Cheryl.
Mason Noise directed his attention at Rita and danced with her as he sang Justin Timberlake’s Señorita.
Lauren Murray caught Simon’s eye with her performance of Jocelyn Brown’s Somebody Else’s Guy.
“That was absolutely bloody fantastic,” Simon told her.
Church singer Jennifer Phillips had the judges on their feet, even before she had finished singing Mary Mary’s Shackles.
“You just need a constant standing ovation,” Rita told Jennifer.
Student Tom Bleasby has already had some success, having sung a duet online with Jessie J. He found singing live very nerve-wracking, but got through Adele’s Make You Feel My Love.
“Not everyone is going to love that audition,” Simon told Tom. But he did and so did the other judges.
It was another student, 17-year-old Louisa Johnson, who really impressed the judges and had them all on their feet after she sang Michael Jackson’s Who’s Loving You.
“I want to mentor you,” Simon told Louisa.
Simon definitely didn’t want to mentor Techno Susan, who is threatening to be this series’ version of Stevie Ritchie.
Susan sang 2 Unlimited’s No Limit, which Nick thought was “awesome”. Cheryl was impressed by her twerking and Rita said she made her feel “happy”.
Simon was speechless.
If you like your auditions emotional then you won’t want to miss Sunday night’s show.
Even Simon was struggling to hold back the tears after one particular performance… And, for once, it wasn’t because it was so bad.
Click here for our photo special on the first audtions.
The X Factor continues onITV, Sunday, August 30, 8.00pm.