On Sept. 19, 2015, “The X Factor” U.K. continued with its audition episodes for the show’s 12th season. The show’s judges are Simon Cowell, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, Rita Ora and Nick Grimshaw.
Here is a summary of the audition highlights in this episode:
(All of these contestants were voted into the next round.)
Megan Dallas, 24, did an impressive performance of TLC’s “Waterfalls” on acoustic guitar, including rapping the bridge that was originally done by Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes. Performing this song on acoustic guitar is harder than it sounds, so Dallas got well-deserved “yes” votes to advance to the next level.
(Click here to watch Megan Dallas’ performance.)
Kerrie-Anne Phillips, 28, gave a soulful ballad rendition of Rihanna’s “We Found Love.” She was technically a good singer, but it all felt very “cruise ship.” Still, it was good enough for the judges and the audience.
(Click here to watch Kerrie-Anne Phillips’ performance.)
Lucy Duffield, 26, got a chance to sing two songs for her excellent audition. First, it was Alicia Keys’ “If I Ain’t Got You,” which she knocked out of the park. Then, in an obviously staged moment, Cowell asked her to sing another song that was on her audition list: Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing,” which Duffield sang a cappella and got a standing ovation. Cowell must have been tipped off by the other “X Factor” producers that “I Have Nothing” was a stronger song for Duffield, so he let her shine even more. Clearly, she’s been chosen by Cowell and others behind the scenes as an early frontrunner. And it obviously didn’t hurt that Duffield had met Grimshaw before when she performed on his show when she was in the female duo War of Words. Good news for her, bad news for her competitors. Can you say “Fix Factor”? Luckily, Duffield is a truly talented singer but it’s still off-putting to see a contestant being so blatantly pre-chosen for the Top 12.
(Click here to watch Lucy Duffield’s performance.)
Louel, a male/female duo Louis and Ellen (both 19 years old), did a very good version of Ariana Grande’s “One Last Time.” He’s got a rich, deep voice that perfectly complements hers. Plus, they’re young and attractive, which are the qualities that Cowell and company always want in the “X Factor” acts they want to succeed. If Louel continues to perform like this, the Top 24 could be in the duo’s future.
(Click here to watch Louel’s performance.)
The Shures, a married gay couple named Chris and Gabriel (ages 28 and 32), met on a karaoke website, and they kind of a karaoke version of Ellie Goulding’s “Love Me Like You Do.” The vocals were good, but the duo needs to work a little on having more charisma while singing. Given the Shures’ cute love story, it was pretty obvious that they were going through to the next round before they even sang a note. It remains to be seen how long the Shures can last up against other more talented singers in the Groups category.
(Click here to watch the Shures’ performance.)
Sherilyn Hamilton-Shaw, 40, gave a sob story about having a heart problem and helping her husband rehabilitate from a serious accident that left him paralyzed. Despite the shameless ploy to pull at people’s heartstrings, Hamilton-Shaw gave a pretty good performance of Whitney Houston’s “I Didn’t Know My Own Strength” that brought Fernandez-Versini to tears. She may not be destined to be a pop star, but Hamilton-Shaw is a strong contender in the Overs category.
(Click here to watch Sherilyn Hamilton-Shaw’s performance.)
DTOUR, a six-member R&B group (whose members are ages 20 to 29), lived up to the group’s name with an obviously staged detour during the audition. After bombing with an awful version Chris Brown’s “She Ain’t You,” DTOUR’s female manager stepped out on stage and sang a plea to the judges to give DTOUR another chance. Frankly, she was a better singer than anyone in the group. DTOUR did slightly better with an a cappella version of Wiz Khalifa’s “See You Again.” It wasn’t good enough for the judges, and DTOUR was eliminated.
(Click here to watch DTOUR’s performance.)
Chase Mystery, did a terrible karaoke version Michael Jackson’s “The Way You Make Me Feel.” It was like watching a parody of a bad Michael Jackson wannabe. The performance was as cheesy as the stage name Chase Mystery. Thankfully, we don’t have to see any more of this train wreck on “The X Factor” this year, since Mystery was sent home.
(Click here to watch Chase Mystery’s performance.)
Tori V Musekiwa, 44, gave a pitiful performance of Whitney Houston’s “All the Man I Need.” Needless to say, she was cut from the competition.
(Click here to watch Tori V Musekiwa’s performance.)
Unit X, a glum female trio who members are ages 17 to 21, sang a downbeat, off-key version of Beyoncé’s “Pretty Hurts.” The group members looked like they would rather be somewhere else and were rightly sent home.
(Click here to watch Unit X’s performance.)
Nige and Kay, a married couple ages 26 (she) and 44 (he), did a pleasant version of Olly Murs featuring Demi Lovato’s “Up.” It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great either. There are thousands of other duos who can do that song so much better. But “The X Factor” always has a shortage of outstanding acts for the Groups category, and so Nige and Kay were put through to the next round.
(Click here to watch Nige and Kay’s performance.)
Andy Taylor, 35, works as an ice cream man as his day job, and he had the gimmick of giving the judges ice cream cones before his very karaoke performance of Walk the Moon’s “Shut Up and Dance.” The judges then proceeded to throw and smear ice cream on each other in a playful food fight. The judges were in a good enough mood to vote this average singer on to the next round. Taylor can’t rely on the ice cream gimmick forever, so don’t expect this contestant to make it into the Top 12.
(Click here to watch Andy Taylor’s performance.)
Anton Banaghan, 21, gave a very unremarkable, slightly awkward performance of George Ezra’s “Budapest.” Some of the vocals were off-key. All of the judges except Cowell were impressed, and he was put through to the next round.
(Click here to watch Anton Banaghan’s performance.)
Ollie Marland, 21, seems to be stuck in other decades except this one. He did a mediocre version of Wham’s “I’m Your Man” and looked like he stepped out of a Boyzone music video around 1998. Even though he got some well-deserved criticism from the judges, he was put through to the next round. It’s further proof that “The X Factor” will bend over backwards for acts that have “teen idol” potential.
(Click here to watch Ollie Marland’s performance.)
Joseph McCaul, 27, was a bundle of nervous energy and was rightly called by Cowell a “great singer but a horrible performer” after McCaul belted out Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come.” Cowell asked McCaul to come back later and do another song: a slowed-down a cappella version of Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody.” That impressed all of the judges except Cowell, but it was enough for McCaul to be voted through to the next round.
(Click here to watch Joseph McCaul’s performance.)
Menn on Poinnt, a male duo ages 29 and 31, did an original song called “Turn It Up.” Despite singing off-tempo and off-key, and having an annoying persona of trying too hard, Menn on Poinnt charmed the judges and the audience with a high-energy performance and got through to the next round.
(Click here to watch Menn on Poinnt’s performance.)