The sixteen acts through to The X Factor 2018 live shows have finally been revealed after the Overs faced Ayda Williams in the last instalment of Judges’ Houses.
Simon Cowell and Robbie Williams had already settled their Girls and Groups, and tonight episode fourteen picked up where Louis Tomlinson’s Boys left off yesterday.
Brendan Murray was the last act to perform for guest mentors Liam Payne and Nile Rodgers in Ibiza before Louis picked his top four.
Back in Los Angeles, Ayda Williams was then joined by Leona Lewis and Adam Lambert to review the Overs.
It turned out that the safe seat at Six Chair Challenge is no guarantee of success, when one unlucky hopeful became the only Golden X recipient to be sent home.
Read on to find out what happened in our results catch-up…
Louis Tomlinson and the Boys
Brendan Murray – Brendan who fought back from a dodgy audition to secure his mentor’s Golden X at Six Chair. The former Hometown member and Eurovision entrant was very aware there would be no safety at Judges’ Houses, musing: “I’m gonna have to throw everything at them.” In his efforts to impress, Brendan took on a huge song, ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’. “Really great, really great,” was Liam’s simple response. “That song is written by a dear friend,” noted Nile, in reference to Prince. “It was beautiful. I was holding back the tears, I was trying to be cool!”
After further discussions with Liam and Nile, it was soon time for Louis’ decision day, which host Dermot O’Leary described as “the worst day of The X Factor calendar”.
“It certainly feels like it,” agreed Louis.
First to hear their verdict was Dalton Andre Harris. Although worried about his “versatility”, Louis put him through to the live shows. “Is this real? You don’t know what you’re doing!” reacted an elated Dalton.
As he spoke to the next three acts, the One Direction star claimed: “The standard of singer is so, so high. In different years, all of you could have gone through.”
It was good news for Armstrong Martins, who smiled: “This is such an amazing moment. I can’t believe I’ve made it to the live shows.”
Brendan also made the cut, and promptly called his mum to let her know. “Congratulations, we’re so proud of you!” she beamed.
However, Louis concluded that he’s “not going to be able to take” Thomas Pound to the next stage. The Welshman was “absolutely gutted” to be out, sighing: “All I wanted was the live shows, but it is what it is.”
J-Sol’s instinct that he’d “messed up” his performance also proved to be true when he found out he’d been cut. “I feel like I let you down,” he mused. “Don’t be silly, you didn’t,” insisted Louis.
That meant that Anthony Russell bagged Louis’ fourth and final live show spot, a year after personal issues initially ended his X Factor dream. “Go on! I will not let you down, let’s do it lad!” exclaimed the Liverpudlian.
“I’ve been working my whole life for this! I feel like Rocky Balboa!”
Therefore, Louis’ final four Boys are Dalton Andre Harris, Armstrong Martins, Brendan Murray and Anthony Russell.
Ayda Williams and the Groups
Last but not least, it was time for the Overs to rise to the challenge – and that meant it was back to the Williams’ mansion in Beverly Hills, where Robbie had just picked his Groups.
This time, it was Ayda in charge, and she began by throwing her acts a lavish pool party, complete with the hashtag ‘#XF’ spelled out in balloons.
Referring to her hit with Livin’ Joy, Janice grinned: “I am a Dreamer, but this is beyond a dream, honey! This is a dream I wasn’t even dreaming!”
Soon, the hopefuls were introduced to Ayda’s two special guests, whom she says “represent the very best” of TV talent shows.
She welcomed Leona Lewis, the winner of The X Factor’s third series, and Adam Lambert, one of American Idol’s biggest success stories.
“We went through the same thing, we know how it feels,” commented Leona.
“Everything from here on out is going to change your life on some level,” added Adam.
Olatunji Yearwood – Those life-changing performances kicked off with Ola, who spoke of the “superb” support he’s had in his home nation of Trinidad and Tobago. “I’ve never felt like this ever in my life,” he gushed. Ola brought the Calypso vibes to Judges’ Houses with an original track, which was helpfully named ‘Ola’. “You have a way that is completely your own, it is magic and electric. Every time I see you, you make me smile,” reviewed Ayda. “He’s definitely a born performer,” noted Adam.
Delivering her verdict the next day, Ayda told Ola she loves him for bringing a “completely different style of music” to the ITV talent contest – and now he’d be bringing that style to the live shows. “Thanks for the opportunity. I’m gonna make my family proud, my country proud, you proud,” he pledged.
Janice Robinson – Although she’s much-loved thanks to her 90s anthem, Janice now hopes the X Factor can help her establish her own identity. “I’ve got all those people that have loved my songs, and I want to come back and show them who I am,” she explained. Appropriately, she performed a song she wrote herself, entitled ‘Love Is In The Atmosphere’. “I just sat there, and was like, ‘wow’,” gasped Adam. “I’m so happy that I’ve got to know the woman behind that voice,” smiled Leona. “You have a spirit and a force that is so remarkable,” added Ayda.
Ayda did question whether it was fair that someone who’d already cracked the charts should take precedence over someone looking for their first break. However, in the end, she told Janice: “It was always gonna be a yes.” The dancefloor diva began crying while livin’ her joy. “Thank you so much,” she sniffed.
Ricky John – Ricky was the lucky contestant that got Ayda’s Golden X at the Six Chair Challenge, and it clearly renewed his determination to reach the live shows. “I never really envisioned making it this far. I didn’t come all of this way to go home now,” he vowed. For his Judges’ Houses audition, he sang ‘When A Man Loves A Woman’ by Percy Sledge – but as soon as it ended, he declared: “I’m not very happy with that.” Adam offered some words of encouragement: “I feel like you have a really cool tone, and I feel like you have a lot of emotion and story and experience.”
Once he’d left to share his woes with Dermot, Ayda commented: “I really like him but every audition we’ve had, there’s been self-doubt.”
Those concerns played on her mind, and she eventually opted to send him home – making him the only Golden X recipient to miss out on the live shows. A visibly saddened Ricky replied: “It’s fine, don’t worry. Thank you for having me.”
Louise Setara – Looking to resurrect her forgotten musical ambitions following the loss of her husband, Louise was also desperate to go further in the competition, proclaiming: “I want this opportunity to work out for me so much that it actually frightens me.” The mum-of two coverered Kelly Clarkson’s ‘Piece By Piece’, and its lyrics hit home towards the end when she burst in to tears. “That song scares the life out of me,” she admitted. “I used to sing ‘Wind Beneath My Wings’ and it always reminded me of my Mum and my Dad, and I got so emotional, so I know how it feels,” sympathised Leona.
Unfortunately, Louise’s breakdown worked against her. Noting that emotions “got the better” of her, Ayda chose to say goodbye to Louise – a decision that she hinted would end her dream. “This, for me, I think was a last-crack-of-the-whip kind of thing,” she admitted.
Giovanni Spano – Wannabe rockstar Gio had been “working my whole entire life” for his moment at Judges’ Houses. “I perform in the West End, I have a great time and I love it, but I’m a little bit tired of playing a character. I wanna be Gio,” he told the judges, before performing Kings of Leon hit ‘Use Somebody’. “He’s got so much energy,” witnessed Leona. “He’s really eager to go for it,” noted Adam. Happy with his effort, Gio told Dermot: “I can feel it. I’m reaching, I’m reaching for those live shows.”
On decision day, however, Ayda told Gio that he’s “very one-level” and lacks “light and shade”. Despite reservations that he might not connect with viewers, Ayda took the chance and put him through. “You will not regret it. I’m gonna bring glam, I’m gonna bring fun, I’m gonna bring everything,” he grinned.
Danny Tetley – As a Benidorm entertainer, Danny’s used to the spotlight – and in reaching Judges’ Houses, he was just one step away from reaching his biggest audience yet by performing to millions of viewers on The X Factor live shows. “This kind of thing does not happen to me, a boy from Bradford. That’s why it’s all so surreal,” he said. His rendition of ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow’ wowed the panel. “I think the thing that I loved about it is that you’re in full control of what you’re doing,” Adam explained.
Hours later, Ayda gave Danny the good news that he had indeed made the live finals – almost two decades after he originally failed to convince Simon Cowell on the very first Pop Idol. “Simon got it so wrong seventeen years ago!” she smirked. “Thank you so much, I can’t believe it!” he replied.
Therefore, Ayda’s final four Overs are Olatunji Yearwood, Janice Robinson, Giovanni Spano and Danny Tetley.
If you’ve missed the last two episodes, click here to find out who else has made the top 16.
The X Factor goes live next Saturday at 8.25pm on ITV, when the contestants will sing for viewers’ votes for the first time.