Sunday 21 July 2019

X Factor: Joseph McCaul heads for Six Chair Challenge as Anton Banaghan fails to beat Bootcamp

Joseph McCaul (second from right) performing during Bootcamp stage at X Factor
Joseph McCaul (second from right) performing during Bootcamp stage at X Factor
X Factor hopefuls at the boot camp country house (Syco/Thames TV/PA)
Ryan Ruckledge's behaviour did not impress the judges (Syco/Thames TV/PA)
X Factor hopefuls at the boot camp country house (Syco/Thames TV/PA)
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

The unbearably tense Bootcamp round of X Factor on Sunday night resulted in joy for one Irish hopeful but disappointment for another.

First to appear on stage outside at a house in Hertfordshire was Tipperary barman Anton Banaghan (21) who had wowed with his rendition of George Ezra's Budapest on Saturday night's episode.

Contestants were challenged with teaming up with other hopefuls to audition with one song, decided upon by themselves, for the four judges - Nick Grimshaw, Cheryl Fernandez Versini, Rita Ora and Simon Cowell.

Unfortunately Anton failed to make it through after his performance with his group.

However, another Irish hopeful, Joseph McCaul, did manage to beat the dreaded Bootcamp - on his second attempt.

McCaul (27), from Athlone, fell at the bootcamp hurdle when he entered X Factor in 2011 but Sunday night saw him make it through with three out of four other contestants from his group.

They sang Michael Jackson's Man in the Mirror and the performance generated much debate among the judges, with Nick Grimshaw commenting that one contestant was a "one trick pony".

Joseph, who previously won You're a Star and represented Ireland at Eurovision with his sister Donna will next tackle the controversial Six Chair Challenge round which will see contestants perform for their mentor who will then either award them a chair, or not. 

Even if they are awarded a chair they may still be replaced should a later contestant perform to a higher standard.

Elsewhere on last night's show, Simon Cowell slammed 22-year-old hopeful Ryan Ruckledge as "a horror of a human being" after the Blackpool auditionee spent the night drinking instead of rehearsing.

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 X Factor continues on TV3 on Saturday September 26.

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