Ryan Ruckledge booted out of X Factor amid tears and tantrums
TV mogul Simon Cowell slammed 22-year-old hopeful Ryan Ruckledge as "a horror of a human being" as the first episode of The X Factor's boot camp stage got under way at a country house in Hertfordshire.
The Blackpool auditionee was under-rehearsed and off-key because he had taken advantage of the free bar the night before so judges Cowell, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, Nick Grimshaw and Rita Ora blasted him for his performance.
The pressure was on as contestants had to split into groups comprised of the four categories: Groups, Overs, Boys and Girls before choosing a song to perform to the panel.
Ruckledge lost his cool over his group's choice of Anything Can Happen by Ellie Goulding.
"I don't hate the competition. I just hate the song," he said before asking for the strongest vodka and orange at the bar.
Later on, he jumped into a pool to sober up, but it was too little, too late.
Judge Ora said: "I just feel like he cares more about the fame side of things rather than the actual talent."
Radio 1 DJ Grimshaw agreed, adding: "He wants to be on Big Brother."
Cowell was brutal in his assessment of Ruckledge: "Your attitude of what you did stank. You let yourself down, you made yourself look like a complete and utter idiot."
He refused to give the unprepared contestant another chance: "I'm not interested in your attitude, your terrible voice and the fact that you decided getting drunk was more important than working with this lot."
As the young man left, Cowell added: "What a horror of a human being."
But Ruckledge had a last word for show bosses: "Tell Simon he can stick his show!"
Elsewhere, the brutal necessity of cutting down the numbers led to tensions flaring as stressed-out contestants forgot lyrics and disagreed over songs.
Londoner Monica Michael clashed with fellow hopeful Princess Diamond as they argued over their rendition of Blank Space by Taylor Swift.
A flashback sequence detailed the row which ended with Princess Diamond walking off on her own after accusing Michael of having "too much attitude".
However, the youth worker had the last laugh as she was put through to the next stage, the dreaded Six Chair Challenge, while a devastated Princess Diamond burst into tears as she was told she would be going home.
Crying and beating the ground in frustration, she told presenter Olly Murs: "I really wanted it, babe."
In another group of contestants, 18-year-old Kiera Weathers and 23-year-old Kelly Mai-Webb were stuck with the whinging of sibling duo Castiello, who spent most of the time grumbling about the song they had to perform.
As the girls got their choreography in sync and belted out Taylor Swift's Blank Space, the boys looked hopelessly out of place with their ill-timed dance moves which prompted laughter from Murs and the panellists.
Cowell gave it to them straight: "From where I'm sitting, it was like this lot had rehearsed and you turned up by accident during their audition."
Needless to say, Castiello's dreams of winning X Factor came to an abrupt end.
However, the judges could not get enough of the energetic version of Proud Mary performed, among others, by 17-year-old Louisa Johnson and early favourites for The X Factor crown, Filipino girl group 4th Power.
The four sisters, whose original audition to Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj's Bang Bang went viral, justified the hype with on-point vocals and a cool imitation of Tina Turner's famous routine to the song.
Elsewhere, there was good news for 25-year-old dental receptionist Lauren Murray, who is into the next round despite a so-so rendition of Michael Jackson's Man In The Mirror.
Cowell gave her some words of advice: "You weren't given the best part. You understand what I'm saying? This is a competition."
Lauren admitted that she had not expected to impress the panellists.
Generosity on the panel's part also benefited contestants such as 45-year-old Anton Stephans and Ankush Khana, who will take the Six Chair Challenge despite forgetting the lyrics to their songs.
Viewers should also keep an eye on Tina Turner sound-alike Bupsi, Olly Murs lookalike Jamie Benkert, 21-year-old Josh Daniel (whose original audition to Labrinth hit Jealous visibly moved Cowell), 17-year-old Charli Beard and the church-inspired trio of Bekln, Silver Tone and Jennifer Phillips who will all take part in the nail-biting Six Chair Challenge.
The second episode of boot camp airs on Sunday September 27 at 7pm on ITV.
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