Anelisa Lambola gets second crack at X Factor stardom
ALMOST a decade after she first tried out for The X Factor, Anelisa Lambola has stunned the judges with her "soulful" second audition.
The singer was a strong favourite when she auditioned in 2007 at the age of 17, but crashed out of the talent show despite reaching the final 12 of the girls' group.
Now 26 and working as a barmaid in London, Lambola returned to perform Aretha Franklin's (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman, saying: "I am not having history repeat itself. I am going to go and win this competition."
While Simon Cowell and Sharon Osbourne did not immediately recognise her, she soon jogged their memory.
Osbourne told her: "I loved your voice and I love it now. You're a woman now and you're not a little girl, and it's great."
Cowell praised her decision to return to the ITV show, saying: "I think you have a real talent. I think you were right to come back however many years later."
"Your voice is just soulful and classic," Scherzinger said.
Sunday's show also featured Ivy Grace Paredes, a 33-year-old singer from the Philippines, who travelled all the way to Leicester for her chance to perform Whitney Houston's All The Man That I Need.
The judges gave her a round of applause and four yeses after her audition, with Cowell exclaiming: "Oh my gosh. What just happened there?"
Scherzinger replied: "She just sang our faces off, pretty much, is what."
There was also good news for Antonia Mirat, a 32-year-old Croatian opera singer - although Cowell was not a fan.
After she performed her unusual pop version of Mozart's Queen of the Night, the judge complained: "It was like you were screaming at me."
But he was voted down by the other three judges, who praised Mirat's vocal talent.
Cowell was more impressed by accounts assistant Faye Horne, 24, despite putting her off her audition by getting the giggles.
After thinking that she was called "Faye Horny", he burst out laughing - and Horne struggled to suppress her own laughter as she tried to sing Sam Smith's Writing's On The Wall.
Cowell apologised: "I don't know what is happening here Faye, I'm really sorry."
In scenes reminiscent of rival talent show The Voice, Osbourne made him spin his chair around and face the back so he could not catch Horne's eye.
"That was difficult for you, embarrassing for me," Cowell said after the performance.
But despite the false start, Horne was put through to bootcamp by all four judges.