35 of this year's hopefuls got the shock of their lives this week as the new X Factor judges dropped a bombshell: Their time on the competition was up already. Despite some wannabes travelling from as far as Scotland to Wembley for the boot camp stages, they were sent packing before they even performed.
After celebrating making it past the judges' auditions with a free party put on by X Factor bosses, the contestants were called by the judges to gather on the lawn outside of Croydon's Selsdon Park Hotel.
Then Gary Barlow revealed the bad news.
"We don't believe everyone standing in front of us has the potential to make it all the way in this competition," he explained. "Some of you are going home now. I'm so sorry - you're going home."
Kelly Rowland continued: "While you were partying last night, we were looking at your audition tapes.
"We only want to work with the people who can go all the way."
Meanwhile Tulisa added: "This is a tough industry. We've got to believe in you."
With some hopefuls bursting into tears, an insider explained: "It was total carnage - a thunderbolt from the blue. All were partying away on Sunday, knocking back free grog and boasting they'd be the next winner.
"Next morning many were in tears after getting the push. Even Simon Cowell wasn't this brutal."
The source added: "They were like zombies, completely dazed."
For those who did survive however there was no chance to take in what had happened, with the judges giving them just a day to prepare a new song to perform.
The remaining hopefuls were singing until gone 1AM at London's Wembley Arena yesterday to fight for their place at judges' houses.
Bootcamp continues today. Those remaining on Thursday will perform to around 10,000 fans at the Arena.
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