Sunday 4 December 2016

X Factor: Irish student Kelly Kiernan falls foul of nerves, Olly Murs' mate falls flat, and twerking granny triumphs

Published 29/08/2015 | 21:30

Mullingar student Kellie Kiernan fell foul of nerves as she attempted to tackle Ariana Grande's 'Just a Little Bit of Your Heart' on the first show of the new series of ITV's X Factor.

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Before hitting the Wembley Stadium stage Kelly (18) could be seen in tears saying, "I didn't think I'd get like this."

When she emerged on stage Simon called her "babe" and asked her what was the weirdest thing she'd ever done to which she replied, "doing a year in university doing science."

The small talk didn't help, however, as Kelly began singing but soon trailed off and stopped.

"I'm just so nervous, I'm so sorry," she told the judges, but new judge Nick Grimshaw was clearly not impressed, replying with, "I know it's terrifying in here but that's kind of the deal."

However, the standard of talent across the first show was high with the judges - Simon Cowell, 55, Cheryl Versini Fernandez, 32, and newcomers Rita Ora, 24, (who decamped from BBC's The Voice) and Grimshaw, 31 -  sending the majority of acts through with the maximum four yeses.

Not all the successful acts could actually sing, though, as twerking grandmother Susan Pryce (60) from Brighton bagged four yeses for her lively rendition of No Limit by 2 Unlimited despite not hitting one note.

The novelty acts were few and far between, however.

Lauren Murray, a 25 year old dental receptionist from Essex, was something special.  She eventually gave an incredible performance, despite initial issues with her predictable song choices.

She got off to a terrible start when she revealed her song choice, Whitney Houston's I Wanna Dance with Somebody and then How Will I Know.  Finally, she caught their attention by suggesting Jocelyn Brown's 80s hit Somebody Else's Guy.

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Clearly ruffled over the unexpected criticism of her song choices, Lauren starts out very shakily, prompting Cheryl to advise her to 'take a breath' and compose herself. 

She did just that and then gave a rousing performance, securing her passage to the next round with four resounding yeses from the grinning judges.

Also hailing from TOWIE territory, student Louisa Johnson (17) received the best comments of the night and broke down as she landed four yeses for her take on Michael Jackson's Who's Loving You.  Simon was massively impressed, saying, "I really, really want to mentor you." 

Dani Clay, a 33-year-old preschool teacher, also from Essex, meanwhile got through with Marvin Gaye's I Heard It Through the Grapevine.

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Not everyone from Essex (yes, there was yet another) got through, however.  Jon Goodey, a 27-year-old IT salesman who used to be in a band with Olly Murs received four nos from the judges for his take on Counting Crows' One Republic, which was slightly awkward given Olly is the new show co-presenter with Caroline Flack...

"I feel like what you're lacking is the star quality presence you need to be a performer" said Rita, "What will I remember from this audition?  I don't think I will remember this audition."

Nick added, "For me it was uncomfortable to watch."

Simon was also pretty harsh.  "John, I don't want to patronise you but I think there's a reason why you're not in a group now and I can't lie to you and say that I would believe in you."

Cheryl was a little kinder, saying, "I actually think you sang very well.  The audience enjoyed it, but unfortunately you might be remembered as Olly's duo friend rather than for your own individuality and your own performance."

John looked gutted but was embraced by a clearly uncomfortable Olly after his audition.

He wasn't alone in his defeat, however, as Man & Woman - Cyprian Anyanga Ndah, 36, and Ruth Botwe, 30, an "on-off" couple fro London also faced the trauma of a wall of definitive nos when they 'sang' Michael Jackson's You Are Not Alone.

Ramping the standard back up a few notches, however, was girl band 4th Power who made the first big impression for the bands category, getting the judges and audience on their feet, dancing and clapping. 

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The four sisters - Mylene, Celina, Irene and Almira Cercado (aged 19-27) - revealed they had flown from the Philippines with their mother and they made the most of their audition showcasing top notch vocals and impressive dance moves with Jessie J's Bang Bang - including the rap.

Their four yeses were never in doubt. Simon said, "In terms of first auditions this is probably the best we've ever seen."

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Similarly Jennifer Philips, an "over 35" part time carer from London, and 19 year old politics student Tom Bleasby from Leeds, both bagged four yeses for singing Mary Mary's Shackles and Adele's Make You Feel My Love respectively.  Simon said Tom would divide audiences but put him through anyway.

Tom Davies, a 25-year-old gym receptionist from London successfully tackled Justin Bieber's As Long As You Love Me - helped by an array of backing dancers - and received four yeses.

However, waiter Mason Noise (21) from Birmingham didn't quite hit a home run as he only received three yeses for his take on Justin Timberlake's Senorita.   Simon's yes was noticeably absent.

Catch up with the first episode on TV3 iPlayer.  The next episode airs at 8pm on TV3 Sunday August 30.

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