Wednesday 18 January 2017

Revealed: This year's X Factor Wildcard

Published 30/10/2015 | 09:00

This year's X Factor judges (left to right) Nick Grimshaw, Rita Ora, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and Simon Cowell (Syco/Thames TV/PA)
This year's X Factor judges (left to right) Nick Grimshaw, Rita Ora, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and Simon Cowell (Syco/Thames TV/PA)

The X Factor judge Rita Ora has said it is "so exciting" to welcome back Monica Michael to the ITV singing competition as a wildcard.

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The news was announced on ITV2 sister show The Xtra Factor tonight after fellow panellists Simon Cowell, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and Nick Grimshaw approved the decision.

Monica Michael X Factor
Monica Michael X Factor

Talking to the official ITV X Factor website, judge Ora said: "I couldn't sleep Sunday night thinking about Monica and if I could convince the other judges of giving her a wildcard."

She added: "It's so great that Simon, Cheryl and Grimmy agreed. What a rollercoaster for Monica, but sooo glad to have her back. So exciting."

Embargoed to 2101 Sunday October 4
MANDATORY CREDIT REQUIRED: SYCO/THAMES TV Undated handout photo issued by ITV of Monica Michaels performing at the Six Chair Challenge during the ITV1 talent show, The X Factor. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Sunday October 4, 2015. See PA story SHOWBIZ XFactor Results. Photo credit should read: SYCO/THAMES TV/Corbis/Dymond/PA Wire
NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
Embargoed to 2101 Sunday October 4 MANDATORY CREDIT REQUIRED: SYCO/THAMES TV Undated handout photo issued by ITV of Monica Michaels performing at the Six Chair Challenge during the ITV1 talent show, The X Factor. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Sunday October 4, 2015. See PA story SHOWBIZ XFactor Results. Photo credit should read: SYCO/THAMES TV/Corbis/Dymond/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

A tweet on the official X Factor Twitter account read: "We are VERY excited to announce that this year's #XFactor Wild Card IS...@monicamichaeluk! #XtraFactor."

On Sunday, Ora, who is mentoring the Girls category, chose Louisa Johnson, Lauren Murray and Keira Weathers as the finalists progressing through to the live shows from Judges' Houses.

Embargoed to 2101 Sunday October 4
MANDATORY CREDIT REQUIRED: SYCO/THAMES TV Undated handout photo issued by ITV of (left-right) Havva Rebke, Lauren Murray, Kiera Weathers, Rita Ora, Monica Michaels, Louisa Johnson and Chloe Paige during the Six Chair Challenge during the ITV1 talent show, The X Factor. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Sunday October 4, 2015. See PA story SHOWBIZ XFactor Results. Photo credit should read: SYCO/THAMES TV/Corbis/Dymond/PA Wire
NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
Embargoed to 2101 Sunday October 4 MANDATORY CREDIT REQUIRED: SYCO/THAMES TV Undated handout photo issued by ITV of (left-right) Havva Rebke, Lauren Murray, Kiera Weathers, Rita Ora, Monica Michaels, Louisa Johnson and Chloe Paige during the Six Chair Challenge during the ITV1 talent show, The X Factor. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Sunday October 4, 2015. See PA story SHOWBIZ XFactor Results. Photo credit should read: SYCO/THAMES TV/Corbis/Dymond/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

It was assumed the youth worker faced fresh heartache as she had failed to make it past the Six Chair Challenge in 2014.

At that time, Fernandez-Versini decided not to take a chance on the Londoner. The former Girls Aloud singer has since acknowledged the move as a mistake.

Now, Michael has been given yet another chance. "I'm so hyped to be back as the wildcard," she told the ITV X Factor website.

"Thank you to all the Judges for believing in me and for the public for supporting me. See you on Saturday night!"

The Londoner also tweeted her good news, reassuring her fans that it was not some kind of Halloween trick.

"Hi guys! I know Halloween is upon us but this is not a trick... I AM BACK!!!! #XtraFactor #WildCard" she wrote.

Speaking on The Xtra Factor, head judge Cowell said: "There was always going to be a wild card. It's not a given, but we always like that opportunity. Funny enough, we all spoke to each other on Monday... it is crazy not to bring one person back".

The X Factor returns for the first of the live shows this Saturday. Posting on Twitter, music mogul Cowell said: "I am at rehearsals for Saturday. They are really really good this year. Some big surprises this Saturday".

The X Factor is broadcast on Saturday October 31 at 8pm.

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