Tuesday 15 October 2019

X Factor: Joseph McCaul gets second chance and Tipperary barman Anton Banaghan wows the judges

Anton Banaghan at X Factor
Anton Banaghan at X Factor

Two young Irish hopefuls have made it to Bootcamp stage on ITV's The X Factor.

Saturday night's show saw the return of Joseph McCaul (27) from Athlone four years after he first tried out for the show, but fell at the tough Bootcamp hurdle.

McCaul, who also appeared as a duo with sister Donna on You're a Star and represented Ireland at Eurovision in 2005, initially failed to impress with his take on Sam Cooke's A Change Is Gonna come.

Simon Cowell said he was a good singer but "terrible performer" and the judges asked Joe to come back with a different song.  He chose Whitney Houston's I Wanna Dance with Somebody.

Joseph McCaul London auditions of X Factor
Joseph McCaul London auditions of X Factor

Simon initially said elements of Joe's performance such as saying 'Hello Wembley' and inviting the audience to clap were "corny" but he gave a visibly emotional Joe a yes as did Cheryl Fernandez Versini and Nick Grimshaw.  Rita Ora was not present for the audition.

Another Irish hopeful also made it through to the Bootcamp stage on Saturday night's show.  Anton Banaghan (21) from Tipperary is a part-time barman who sings locally. 

He auditioned with George Ezra's Budapest.  Despite saying it was a bit "limp" Simon gave Anton one of his four yeses, sending him through to the next stage.  Anton is originally from Romania but moved to Ireland with his adopted family.

Also on the show, which marked the final audition stage, Cheryl was reduced to tears by the emotional audition of 40-year-old Sherilyn Hamilton-Shaw who belted out Whitney Houston classic, I Don't Know My Own Strength.

Sherilyn Hamilton-Shaw during the audition stage for The X Factor (Syco/Thames TV/PA)
Sherilyn Hamilton-Shaw during the audition stage for The X Factor (Syco/Thames TV/PA)

"I can't handle that song," the 32-year-old admitted as concerned fellow panellists Simon Cowell and Nick Grimshaw looked on.

Shaw, a mother-of-three from South Wales, has a heart defect and runs her own charity raising funds to place defibrillators in public places.

The Welsh hopeful started singing when she was 13, but gave it up at the age of 30 after her husband suffered a life-changing injury and was paralysed for six months.

A visibly affected Fernandez-Versini praised the singer for her performance.

D-Tour perform during the audition stage for ITV talent show The X Factor (Syco/Thames TV/PA)
D-Tour perform during the audition stage for ITV talent show The X Factor (Syco/Thames TV/PA)

"It's ridiculous how much the words resonate with me and I understand you've been through some hard times," she said. "It really touched us."

Cowell was more pragmatic in his appraisal: "It wasn't the best vocal I've heard of that song," he stated to boos from the crowd. "But it's quite rare that every lyric of the song is relevant to your life."

Radio 1's Grimshaw said: "There was such emotion in it. I really connected to it. I think you're awesome."

Hamilton-Shaw swept the panel with three yeses (Rita Ora was absent for this segment) and sailed through to the next stage of the competition.

Elsewhere, Cowell was surprised when one of the managers of boyband hopefuls D Tour invaded the stage.

The group, who described themselves as a mixture of One Direction and Boyz II Men, were put together by duo Debbie and Paul, but the six-piece failed to impress the judging panel with their rendition of Chris Brown's She Ain't You.

"I thought it was a mess. You don't look right, either. I don't see where this fits in today's market," said Cowell.

Debbie marched on to the stage, took a microphone from one of her boys and begged the head judge in off-key song-form to vote them through to bootcamp.

"They did lack a bit of confidence today," she conceded. "But it's been a long day."

Fernandez-Versini was not swayed, saying: "When you make it as a pop star, long days become your life."

However, D Tour were given another chance but their half-hearted rendition of Charlie Puth's See You Again sealed their fate.

"I just don't want to give you any false hope. We've seen and heard better groups," Cowell said.

Andy Taylor, a 34-year-old ice cream man from Wakefield, attempted to sweeten the judges by giving them ice cream. He auditioned to Walk The Moon's Shut Up And Dance and received four yeses.

Lucy Duffield, a 26-year-old sales assistant and part-time singer from Essex, reminded Grimshaw that she had sung on his show as part of duo War Of Words.

Signed and then dropped by record label Polydor, she wowed the audience with an a cappella version of Whitney Houston smash I Have Nothing.

X Factor's supremo was so carried away by what he heard, he nearly swore. "What I like about you is the fact that you're a bit effed off," Cowell said. "You've tasted that you nearly had it and then it was taken away from you. This could be your time, Lucy."

Fellow Essex girl Megan Dallas, a 24-year-old accountant from Basildon who played guitar as she performed TLC classic Waterfalls, also earned four yeses.

Other acts through include: husband and wife team Nige and Kay, married couple Chris Kennedy and Gabriel Cabrera, and Menn On Point - two Ghanaians living in London who got everyone dancing to their original composition called Turn It Up.

The next episode of The X Factor airs on Sunday at 7pm

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