Marianna Zappi makes judges cry with "the best voice" of X Factor 2016 auditions

Nicole Scherzinger moved to tears by the 34-year-old's domestic abuse story

X Factor Marianna Zappi

Marianna Zappi's poignant audition on The X Factor 2016 won high praise from Sharon Osbourne - who called her "the best voice I've heard so far".

The 34-year-old campaign co-ordinator told the judges how her musical journey came to a halt because she was in an abusive relationship.

"I was very, very lucky," she explained. "For someone that was caged for so long, freedom is such a blessing.

"The tears that you see are not tears of sadness, they're tears of happiness because I feel free."

Marianna, who was born in Italy but has been living in London for eight years, channeled the "hard time" by singing Bob Marley's 'Redemption Song' for her try-out.

Her emotional performance was met with loud applause from the crowd watching in the holding area - and it moved the judges, who gave her four yesses.

"I love you to bits. You're just awesome," Nicole Scherzinger gushed. "I told myself I wouldn't cry, then you made me cry. It's real.

"You're very inspiring, and I think it's awesome that you're strong enough to share your story. I think a lot of women could related to that."

Sharon went a step further, declaring Marianna to be "the best voice I have heard in the auditions so far, definitely".

Simon Cowell added: "It's beautiful. You have incredible passion when you sing, it meant something. It was real, you're real, and it all feels right."

After Marianna left the room with her ticket to Bootcamp, Sharon told the other judges: "Her voice is so strong, her presence is strong, and I think she will be a great example to women in her age group."

Watch Marianna's X Factor audition below...