After two months of auditions and Bootcamp, we’ve now reached the Judges Houses round of this year’s X Factor.
Each contestants will have the chance to sing to one judge and their celebrity guest, with only a guitar as accompaniment. Who will succeed? Who will fail under this intense pressure?
Louis Walsh will be helped by Sharon Osborne, whilst Cheryl Cole made her return to The X Factor as Gary Barlow’s special guest. Tinie Tempah is Tulisa’s guest, and Ne-Yo helps Nicole Scherzinger.
We began tonight with the Girls finding out they were going to St Lucia with Tulisa. The Boys were going to Dubai with Nicole. The Groups went to Las Vegas, whilst the Overs stayed in England with Gary Barlow.
In St Lucia with the Girls, we saw them enjoying the weather and the surroundings. Finding out their mentor was Tulisa Contostavlos, they were jumping with joy. They all wanted last year’s winner as their judge, and Tulisa told them: “I’m so excited to be your judge.” Her guest judge was Tinie Tempah, and again, they Girls were jumping with joy. He told them: “There is a lot of accomplished female vocalists in the UK at the moment, Tulia being one of them, but I think there is room for one or two more.”
After jetting over to Las Vegas, the Groups made their way to Cesear Palace to discover who their judge was. When Louis Walsh walked out of his limo, they all chanted his name. His guest mentor was ex-judge Sharon Osborne, and the Groups were in awe of her! She told the contestants: “This is the biggest opportunity you will ever get. Do not waste it.”
Meanwhile, over in Dubai, the Boys were getting used to their surroundings. They were all thinking the place was amazing. Finding out their mentor was Nicole, they screamed in joy. Introducing Ne-Yo to the Boys, it was lovely to see them all so star struck.
In London, Gary Barlow presented himself to The Overs, and when he introduced Cheryl Cole as his guest, everyone screamed! She told them: “I’ve been there, and I’ve been here. I’m so excited to see what you’ve all got, and the best of luck to you all.”
In Las Vegas, we learnt that Rough Copy had to pull out of the competition, and that meant two more Groups had been called back for the Judges Houses round. First up was Times Red. The three gorgeous boys impressed the crowd, but were sent home in Bootcamp. Fortunately for them, Rough Copy couldn’t make it, and so they were given another chance. They told Louis and Sharon: “We’ve got a lot more to give.” Their song was a mash up of Ain’t No Sunshine and Lets Get It Started. They sang it in their own acoustic way. Sharon said: “There’s a lot of work to be done” whilst Louis said: “I love their harmonies.”
Next up was professional dancers, and they sang Hey Ya by Outkast. Louis said: “I like them. But, I’m not sure if they could be lead singers.” Duo NK1 were next, and they felt very nervous. They sang Just Be Good To Me, and and performed it very well. Both Sharon and Louis loved them. Sharon said: “I think they’re great together.” Union J were next up, having changed their name from Triple J. The judges brought them back with a brand new member as they felt they were stronger as a four-piece. The boys felt happier as a four. Their song was Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen. They harmonised well together, considering they’d never sang together before. Poisonous Twin were next, but Sharon didn’t like them. Duke were next, and they sang The Way You Make Me Feel. A different kind of group from what we normally see on The X Factor, Louis asked Sharon: “Oh my, what was that?” GMD3 were the final group to audition, and the guys were feeling pretty nervous. Their song was Bless The Broken Road, and EF loved them.
Next, we went to Dubai to see the Boys audition in front of Nicole and Ne-Yo. They were all nervous. First up was James. He felt like it was a big deal to be taking part on The X Factor. He said: “To get through would make me feel like I’m worth something.” His song was Turn Down The Lights, and he serenaded Nicole and EF. The passion in his voice was clear, and reminded us a bit of a young Michael Bolton. Nicole loved him. Next in was Nathan Gayle, and his song Ne-Yo’s Monster, which must be weird to sing it in front of the man himself. Ne Yo said: “He’s actually a pretty good singer.” Adam Burridge was next, and he sang a cover of Abba’s S.O.S. Even though we’re not a fan of Abba’s songs, we liked this version! Ne-Yo said: “It’s not a voice I haven’t heard before, but it’s a good voice.” Jake was up next, and he was fighting another battle – his brother was terminally ill and was deteriorating rapidly back in the UK. His song was Take That’s Back For Good. He sang it with such emotion, EF had tears in our eyes. Nicole said: “He has a really nice tone, but I just don’t know if he’s ready.”
23 year old model Ryland Clarke. In his first audition, he impressed the audience, but not Gary Barlow. He said; “I do feel that the other guys feel like I’m here for a laugh, and I’ve got to prove that I’m here and I’m serious.” His song was Rihanna’s We Found Love. He started off very emotional, and serious and captured EF straight away. Nicole said: “That’s the best he’s ever sounded.” EF agrees. Jarmaine Douglas was next, and the 21 year old supermarket worker wowed everyone in his first audition. His Bootcamp audition didn’t go that well though, so we were interested to see if he’d sink or swim this time round. His song was David Guetta’s Titanium, and even though there were a few ropey moments, he did manage to bring back that sparkle from his first audition. Ne-Yo said: “The nerves are literally eating him inside out.” Nicole wasn’t sure if he was ready for the competition.
St Lucia was our next destination, with Tulisa, Tinie Tempah and The Girls. First up was mother of one, Jade Ellis. Jade blew us away in her first audition. She said: “I’d like to give my daughter a security, a home where she feels safe and not scared.” Her song was Ben E.King’s Stand By Me. Tinnie said: “I kind of like her.” Tulisa said: “I like her energy, she’s real.” Next was sixteen year old Amy from Essex. She said: “I’ve waited my whole life for this.” Her song was Emeli Sande’s Read All About It. Tulisa said: “She has so much soul for somebody so young.” Her nerves got to her though. Leanne Robinson sang her heart out, and said: “This could be the start of a beautiful career.” Tulia said: “When she gets it, she’s up there with the big ones.” EF favourite Jade Collins sang It Must Have Been Love, and sang it beautifully. Tinnie said: “I think she was good.” 20 year old Lucy Spragan was next, and EF loved her first audition. Lucy’s song for this audition was I Will Always Love You, and she, once again, sang it in her own way. Emotion was clear in her voice. Ella Henderson sang next, and her song was When I Look Into Your Eyes, and she was amazing. She blew both Tinnie and Tulisa away.
We then went to see the lovely Gary Barlow, Cheryl Cole and the Overs. He said: “These people are relevant, and I think they will sneak up and take the crown!” Carolynne Poole was the first to sing, and having missed the live shows last year, this was her chance to shine. Her song was Ronan Keating’s Nothing At All. Carolynne mesmerized with her voice, but the arrangement was awful. Gary said: “She needs a confidence boost.” Cheryl said: “I worry about her.” Next was Nicola, and in her first audition Gary hated her performance, therefore she was worried about his reaction. Before she sang, Gary pulled her over and said: “Put the past behind you, don’t be beaten.” Her song was Steps’Tragedy. Odd choice. We aren’t sure if it worked or not….!
Brad was next, and having rocked the audience in his first audition in Cradiff, he hoped to have the same reaction this time. He sang The Final Countdown well, and his voice was very husky. Melanie sang Paul Young’s Everytime You Got Away, and screamed her way through it. Gary said: “Its going to be tough for her to be away from her family.” Next in was 30 year old chimney sweeper Kai. Kai had been spending the last ten years between chimneys and music. His song was Maroon 5’s Payphone. We like Kai, he can sing, and he made the song his own. Last up was 34 year old Christopher, and in his first audition he was shaking with nerves. This time, however, he was fine. His song All Out Of Love by Air Supply, and he sang it beautifully.
And there we have it – the Judges Houses round 2012. Who did we like? We loved Ella Henderson.
The X Factor continues tomorrow night on ITV1.