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The X Factor 2018 recap: Last arena auditions and Deliberation Day results revealed

Who made it through to the Six Chair Challenge - and what categories did the judges get?

The arena auditions came to a close on The X Factor 2018 tonight with another glam drag queen and a family gospel group – before the judges were assigned their categories on Deliberation Day.


Episode eight began with the last of this year’s try-outs, and it saw the beginnings of a new boyband.

While three solo boys managed to impress the panel, they all left unaware that their futures on the ITV talent contest may be part of a group.

With no Boot Camp this year, the nervous contestants were then called back to London for Deliberation Day, when they found out whether or not they’d make the Six Chair Challenge.

There was also a surprise for Simon Cowell, Louis Tomlinson and Ayda and Robbie Williams, as they finally found out which categories they’d be mentoring throughout the competition.

Read on to catch up with all the latest results…

Thomas Pound

Thomas Pound – Thomas is a cleaner from Bridgend, but while he loves his day job, his ultimate dream is to be an entertainer – and he’s already experienced that through his alter ego. The 20-year-old spent four years as a drag queen named Lady Frieda Wilde, performing at pubs and clubs in his hometown. Proclaiming that he’s “mad enough and bad enough” himself, Thomas initially appeared out of character, singing Tina Turner’s ‘Simply The Best’ – but Simon couldn’t resist inviting him back for a second performance as Lady Frieda, saying: “I think you should come back as her. A little bit outrageous, I think would make more of an impact.” Meanwhile, Robbie gave a positive review: “Don’t underestimate the magic of what Thomas has just done as Thomas.”


Chloe Jane McAllister (4 yeses) – Making it to The X Factor was a huge deal for Chloe, who comes from a small town in Northern Ireland, where everyone knows each other. A fan of emotional music – “something that means something” – she took to a grand piano to play Jessie Ware’s ‘Say You Love Me’, which reminded Ayda of the three times Robbie dumped her. However, Simon wasn’t too impressed with the performance, admitting: “I got bored.” Ayda tried to lighten the mood, joking: “I felt the heartbreak, in fact I felt it so much that Rob will be sleeping on the couch tonight!”

Chloe McAllister
Chloe McAllister

The ‘Millenium’ singer then gave some touching comments, explaining how he takes his daughter Theodora to piano lessons. “I was thinking about you being that same person, learning your craft. I want to show the person who means the most to me in the world exactly what they can achieve when they put their mind to it. You’re the person I want my daughter to be like.” His glowing praise prompted a rethink from Simon, who said: “Let’s vote, because now I hate myself!”

Blaise Duncan (4 yeses) – Of Blaise’s many idols, he says the biggest is his grandad Rudolph (“not the reindeer”). Robbie was visibly shocked when the teenager said he’d be performing ‘Bailando’ by Enrique Iglesias, but he pulled it off, even convincing the audience to get up and clap along. “I think you’re a diamond in the rough, you’ve got incredible charisma,” said Robbie. “I think you’ve got something really special and I think in the right setting, you would shine,” commented Ayda. “You are different to a lot of people that we’ve seen. You’ve come on with an identity, you’ve got an idea of who you want to be,” observed Louis. However, as Blaize walked off with four yeses, Simon claimed that “he should be in a group”, with Robbie agreeing: “Good shout.”

Jon Guelas

Jon Guelas (4 yeses) – 18-year-old Jon revealed he was taking a gap year before uni, where he’d planned to study marketing – an idea that didn’t go down well with Robbie, who gave him that old Louis Walshism: “You look like a popstar”. Jon played Lukas Graham’s ‘7 Years’ on his guitar, but while Robbie said he was “obviously incredibly talented”, he noted: “The one thing that you’ve neglected is how to project your personality.” Louis noted: “You have a really interesting tone, but you do need direction, and that’s where we can help.” While Ayda thought he was “adorable”, she thought he too was boyband material, quietly telling her fellow judges: “In a group, he could really be on to something.”

Elliott Horne (4 yeses) – Music is everything to Elliot – he says if he’s not making it, he’s performing it for his parents. Going from an audience of two to a crowd of thousands at Wembley Arena, he auditioned with recent Shawn Mendes single ‘Lost In Japan’. “You are a good singer and you look great, but I think you are someone who needs to develop more,” said Louis. “You’ve got a lot of charisma, you’ve got all the things going for you,” noted Ayda. However, it seemed the judges were all on the same page; as soon as Elliot was off stage, Simon remarked: “I think I know what we’re all gonna be saying here.” Robbie immediately exclaimed: “BOYBAND!”

Elliott Horne

ATTY (4 yeses) – Pronounced ‘A-T-tie’, this is a family gospel group, featuring a husband with his wife, cousin and sister. Their act “kind of just fell in to place” after they began singing individually in church. Aiming to “get out there” and show “what ATTY are about”, they auditoned with a gospel version of another Shawn Mendes track, ‘Mercy’, which had the judges on their feet in applause. “The unity that you have as a four, we can feel it. It was a really, really moving, amazing audition,” said Louis. “I feel what you’ve got, it’s really powerful,” reviewed Robbie. “I’m lost in the magic of what you all do together, it’s something very special,” added Ayda.

Lady Frieda Wilde (4 yeses) – While Thomas didn’t initially have his drag with him, he managed to work his magic – and low and behold, Lady Frieda was the final act to take the stage in this year’s auditions. Donning a black dress, long wig and feather boa, she again went with Tina Turner, launching an energetic performance of ‘Proud Mary’ by doing the splits – a move that made Robbie and Ayda wince. “Simon Cowell seldom gets it wrong! I really really loved it,” grinned Robbie. Louis gave him a note, saying: “It’s great to see you having so much fun, but it’s also worth showing how good a singer you are as well.” Summing it up, Simon said: “Whether you’re Lady Frieda or Thomas Pound, I don’t care, because both of you have got a yes!”

Thomas Pound in drag as Lady Frieda Wilde
Thomas Pound in drag as Lady Frieda Wilde

Deliberation Day

With the auditions over, it was time for the competition to properly begin. This year, bosses have tweaked the format, axing Boot Camp entirely.

However, with too many contestants remaining ahead of the Six Chair Challenge, they first had to face a Britain’s Got Talent-style ‘Deliberation Day’.

The 130 acts who got a ‘yes’ were called back to London, where the judges would determine whether they’d fight for a chair, or be sent home early. Only 60 – less than half – would make it through.

Once the decisions had been made, each act was called to one of two rooms – but only one room would get good news.

“We’ve spent the last 48 hours painstakingly narrowing that 130-plus down to 60,” said Robbie.

“It’s been a very hard decision for us,” added Ayda. “When you watch things back on tape, it’s a completely different story.”


It was Room B that found out they’d be sticking around. The lucky ones included Brendan Murray, Janice Robinson, Cezar Ouatu, Anthony Russell and Scarlett Lee – you can read the full list here.

Category Reveal

Before the Six Chair Challenge could begin, there was one more order of business to attend to – the all-important category reveal.

The four categories were again separated in to different rooms – and the judges had no idea which one they’d mentor until they walked in.

First, Simon found out that he’d got the Girls. “I wanted you lot!” he exclaimed. “You’ve all got a shot, this is probably the best Girls category we’ve had for a long time. Let’s make this amazing.”

Ayda was then introduced to the Overs. “This is the group I wanted more than anything!” she grinned.

“I’m so excited to be by your side for this journey. What the boys don’t know is I’m the most competitive human on that panel. We’ve got this!”


The Groups were ecstatic to find out they’d be mentored by Robbie. “They’re mega excited, I think I might be more excited,” he said. “I’m very, very happy.”

Finally, Louis was assigned to the boys. “Get in! That’s who I wanted!” he shouted.

Which act stood out for you in the last weekend of auditions? Vote for your favourite below…


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The X Factor 2018 continues next Saturday at 8.35pm and Sunday at 8.00pm, when the Six Chair Challenge begins.

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