The X Factor 2018 arena auditions recap: Latest results from episode two

Who got four yesses from the judges?

The second round of X Factor 2018 auditions was a bumpy ride for new judge Louis Tomlinson as he faced two blasts from the show’s past.

ITV’s top singing contest has returned for its fifteenth series, with new judges Robbie and Ayda Williams joining Louis and Simon Cowell on the panel.

Song choice proved a struggle for several acts in tonight’s episode, with one taking three tries to finally hit the mark.

Louis then faced an awkward moment when he was reunited with one returning hopeful who lost out to One Direction at Judges’ Houses in 2010.

Viewers also finally got to see Anthony Russell’s long-awaited comeback after his unexpected exit from last year’s series.

Catch up with the latest results here…

Olatunji Yearwood.
Olatunji Yearwood

Olatunji Yearwood (4 yesses) – Trinidad and Tobago native Olatunji hopes The X Factor will help him get Calypso and Soca music “out there” around the world. Robbie and Ayda were instantly on board with Ola when the producers played the wrong tune, and he sang “no” to get them to change it. He quickly won over the rest of the arena with his original song ‘Bodyline’. “A lot of people come here and they shy away from this massive moment, but you really grabbed it,” said Louis. “This is exactly the kind of act I like finding,” smiled Simon.

Brendan Murray (4 yesses) – Brendan has already been on the cusp of success. He was once a member of boyband HomeTown, who topped the charts in their native Ireland, and made an ill-fated attempt to represent Ireland in last year’s Eurovision Song Contest. Now Brendan’s aiming to finally hit the big time – but his X Factor journey didn’t exactly get off to the best start. His initial performance, of Ella Eyre’s stripped-back version of ‘We Don’t Have To Take Our Clothes Off’, was interrupted by Simon, who said: “Lyrically that song didn’t suit your voice.”

Brendan Murray
Brendan Murray

A light bulb soon lit in Simon’s head, and he offered Brendan a second chance. The judges met him backstage, where Simon suggested that he sing ‘Woman’s Work’ by Kate Bush. Having never heard the song, Brendan took a few hours to learn it before returning to face the crowd, but disaster struck again he forgot the lyrics. Simon gave him one final chance, this time reading the lyrics from a sheet – and he finally won the panel over when he scrunched up the paper and threw it away. “Congratulations mate, you just had your moment. The paper drop at the end was quite something!” said Robbie.

Samuel Larmour (No) – Simon admitted he’d never heard of Samuel’s song choice, ‘Ex’ by James TW, and that ended up working against the guitar-playing student. “Song choice is everything for this part of the audition process,” noted Robbie.

Scarlett Townley (No) – Supermarket worker Scarlett also had guitar backing for her acoustic take on The Little Mermaid favourite ‘Kiss the Girl’, but again the judges were put off by the song choice. “Maybe it didn’t show the best of what you’ve got,” observed Louis.

Aaron Denham (No) – Wannabe rapper Aaron, a.k.a. ‘Question’, tried his best to win over the judges with ‘God’s Plan’ by Drake, but apparently that plan does not involve him winning The X Factor. “Nothing felt real about that,” sniped Simon. “That’s not the song that’s gonna get you through to the next round,” added Robbie.

Marc Higgins (No) – Most X Factor rejects have to swallow their pride when they return for a second chance, but Marc’s comeback was more painful than most. The firefighter was formerly a member of The Reason, the boyband who were cut at Judges’ Houses in 2010 – only to watch their rivals One Direction achieve international success. “It made me feel like, it could have been us,” he admitted. As if that wasn’t bad enough, with Louis on the panel, Marc had to face being judged by a 1D star, eight years since they last saw each other. It proved to be a recipe for disaster when Marc’s rendition of ‘Careless Whisper’ failed to impress. “This is really difficult for me. It did just feel a little karaoke and dated at times, and I was really rooting for you,” sighed Louis.

Jacqueline Faye

Jacqueline Faye (4 yesses) – Jacqueline, or Jackie (“You can call me anything you like, you’re Robbie Williams!”), lives on a farm in Oxfordshire with chickens, ducks, horses and her two peacocks, Chas and Dave. However, the 53-year-old harbours an inner diva, which she got to unleash on the Wembley stage, singing Cilla Black’s ‘You’re My World’. “I just fell in love with you, I think you’re incredible,” cooed Ayda. “When you walked out, I thought you’d walked on to the wrong show by mistake,” teased Simon. “Then you were great. That’s what it’s all about, that’s why we will never, ever have an age barrier.”

Anthony Russell (4 yesses) – In what will no doubt be remembered as of the most emotional moment of the series, Anthony returned to The X Factor, having quit last year’s series due to “personal reasons”. It was a touching moment for Louis, as he’d become close friends with the Liverpool lad, having offered support through his struggles. Anthony’s piano version of Avicii smash ‘Wake Me Up’ visibly moved Louis, while Simon described his voice as “sensational”. Ayda added: “You just completely surrendered to that moment and it was phenomenal.” Louis initially refused to vote due to their friendship, but Simon talked him round, meaning Anthony left with four yesses.

Which of the acts over the first weekend has impressed you the most? Cast a vote in our poll below…

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The X Factor 2018 continues next Saturday at 8.30pm and Sunday at 8.00pm on ITV.