The X Factor returned with the reintroduced intimate auditions and tears flowed from the judges, as well as anguish over internal disagreements
The first episode of the new series of The X Factor kicked off with a mixed bag of singing hopefuls, with a female rapper going through to the next stage of the competition, much to head judge Simon Cowell’s dismay.
Simon was flabbergasted with Honey G’s take on Missy Elliott’s Work It and he made sure to avert his eyes for much of her audition, which she jazzed up with crotch-grabbing.
Honey G, otherwise known as 35-year-old Anna Georgette Guilford, was given three yesses by Simon’s fellow judges Nicole Scherzinger, Louis Walsh and Sharon Osbourne.
Boyband Yes Lad wooed the judges with a harmonious rendition of Justin Timberlake’s Can’t Stop The Feeling! and were given four yesses.
Simon in particular appeared taken with the band, praising them for being accompanied by their ‘own fan club’ at the audition.
The band, which comprises five young men between the ages of 16 and 21, are heading straight to the Bootcamp stage of the competition.
Also sailing through to The X Factor’s next round is 16-year-old Samantha Lavery, whose powerful version of Ellie Goulding’s Explosions saw her unanimously voted through by the judging panel, and 18-year-old Caitlyn Vanbeck, who drew comparisons to American Idol star Kelly Clarkson.
James Wilson, a 34-year-old joiner, failed to hide his nerves as he sang Ray LaMontagne’s Jolene, but was still awarded four yesses.
Another success story from the first X Factor episode was Christian Burrows.
The 19-year-old struggled from the offset as he performed John Denver’s Take Me Home, but was encouraged to sing a self-penned track written for his dead brother.
With tears in her eyes, Nicole said Burrows ‘got’ her, and joined the other judges in giving him a place at Bootcamp.
Several other acts have made it through to the next round, including 19-year-old model Rosie Mac, 26-year-old sales assistant Luis Elkes, 20-year-old singer Ryan Lawrie and Melissa Pedro, a 27-year-old teacher.
Upping the quota of bizarre acts on the episode was mullet-styled security guard Zak Daven, 41, who auditioned with his own piano dance ballad.
He failed to make it through, being given four no-votes, and left the sound of his track ringing in Simon’s ears.
Food technician Richard Jen Ting’s job was of more interest to the judges, and his unique version of Somewhere Over The Rainbow saw the 25-year-old voted out of the contest.
After the auditions are complete, the successful contestants move to the Bootcamp stage to battle it out before making it to the next round, the dreaded Six Chair Challenge.
The hopefuls will be whittled down to six plus an additional wildcard choice in each category – the Girls, the Boys, the Overs and the Groups – before being whisked across the world to take part in Judges’ Houses.
A final three from each category will then be picked by their mentor to go through to the live shows.
The X Factor continues on Sunday on ITV at 8pm.