The X Factor 2017 kicked off tonight, and here we’ve got a roundup of all the results from the first auditions – including the likes of Anthony Russell, Jack and Joel and Grace Davies.
This year the ITV talent contest has kept the same judges, with Simon Cowell, Nicole Scherzinger, Sharon Osbourne and Louis Walsh all back to scour the country for the next singing sensation.
Their search has got off to a good start, with all but one act in tonight’s opening episode going through to Boot Camp.
But plenty of the usual X Factor boxes were ticked along the way – including Simon interrupting an act to make them do a second song, a blast from the past returning for a second shot, and even one hopeful stripping off to shock the panel.
Read on to find out how the first batch of budding popstars fared…
Rak-Su (4 yesses) – Four-piece boyband Rak-Su (Ashley, Miles, Jamal and Mustafa) fell flat with their first track, Justin Timberlake’s ‘Señorita’. Simon gave them a second chance, and this time their original song ‘I’m Feelin’ You’ wowed the judges. “I like the fact that you’re quirky, I like the fact that you’re friends,” said Simon. “We haven’t had a good group since Little Mix on this show, maybe it could be you.” Sharon grinned: “I liked the hook in the song, I have to say, I really do like the hook!”
Sam Black (4 yesses) – Sam was put up to The X Factor by his girlfriend, and it seems the 60s music fan will be thanking her after his performance of Dion’s ‘Runaround Sue’ won him four yesses. “You sang the song well, I have to say, it’s a very old-fashioned song,” Simon said. “It’s just finding out where your direction should be.” Nicole added: “I love the whole 60s vibe, you just light up when you sing.”
Kayleigh Taylor (4 yesses) – The judges didn’t expect much from Kayleigh when she came in showing off her tattoo of Simon and joking about her weight. However, her rendition of ‘My Immortal’ by Evanescence won her rave reviews, a standing ovation in the holding room, and a pep talk from Sharon. “You don’t realise the talent you’ve got, I really like you,” said Louis, with Nicole adding: “This is what the show’s all about. You have a gift, and music likes you.”
Jo-Ann Mason (4 nos) – On the other hand, Jo-Ann boasted that she was “definitely match-fit for today’s performance” – but delivered a cringey version of Sinead O’Connor’s ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’, and even briefly forgot the words. Louis summed it up best: “It was like there was somebody inside you, singing, you know the horror movies and you hear somebody singing inside the person? It was just very forced.”
Jack Smith (3 yesses) – Jack’s guitar rendition of Outkast’s ‘Hey Ya’ fell flat, with Simon claiming it “didn’t feel authentic”, while Sharon said it was “boring for an audition”. However, despite getting a no from Nicole, he left with enough backing from the judges to put him through to Boot Camp.
Rwanda Shaw (4 yesses) – Rwanda fared better with her performance of Florence and The Machine’s ‘You Got The Love’. Nicole told her: “You’ve got an awesome voice, you’re gorgeous, you’ve got so much potential.”
Anthony Russell (4 yesses) – Ten years after his first attempt at The X Factor, Anthony turned up for a second go – sporting a black eye. His take on ‘Issues’ by Julia Michaels touched the judges. “I really really loved it. I felt every word you were saying, you told the story of the song so well,” praised Sharon. “You’ve got a good energy about you. You can interpret a song in your style and make it your version,” Simon reviewed.
Elisangela Mahogany (3 yesses) – Elisangela began her performance of Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape Of You’ by whipping off her coat to reveal she was wearing nothing but a bra and tassled pants. Obviously, this caught Simon’s attention. “Wow, do you have a second song… third song… fourth song?” he cooed. Her sultry moves won over most of the judges, but Nicole gave her a ‘no’.
Jack and Joel (4 yesses) – The judges rolled their eyes when these best mates revealed they’d be doing a medley of Ed Sheeran tracks, but at least they stuck to “all the upbeat” ones. “Guys, you’re like a breath of fresh air,” Louis said. “Honest, full of personality, full of likeability, talented and different.” Simon added: “You’ve got a great USP going on here, which is really important. You’re not what I expected you to be. We have to let people like you remain original.”
Holly Tandy (4 yesses) – She may be just 15 years old and fresh out of school, but Holly’s audition (featuring ‘If I Ain’t Got You’ by Alicia Keys) proved she’s full of confidence. Simon was impressed, saying she “defies determination” – although Sharon did give her a pointer: “You’ve got to develop your style. Forget the hand singing, all the girls do that.”
Grace Davies (4 yesses) – Terrified of being pigeonholed as a pub and club singer, Grace bared her soul by performing her self-penned track ‘Roots’ for the first time publicly – and bowled over the judges. Louis said it was a “hit song”, commenting: “It’s very rare when someone sings an original song, I say yes, I love it.” Simon beamed: “I loved it genuinely. My God, this is a beautiful, beautiful song. It’s genuine, it came from your heart, it’s believable.”
The X Factor continues with more try-outs tomorrow at 9.00pm on ITV.