Thursday 24 May 2018

X Factor offers second shot at success to 2014 contestant and single mother

Emily Middlemas auditions for The X Factor (ITV)
Emily Middlemas auditions for The X Factor (ITV)

The second episode of The X Factor was an emotional one, as both a returning contestant and a single mother who previously had a record contract were given second chances.

Emily Middlemas made a comeback to the competition after appearing on the ITV show in 2014.

The 17-year-old from Glasgow got through to the Judges' Houses stage two years ago but failed at the last hurdle, and is now back to progress further.

Giving it another shot, she won over the judges with a pared-back rendition of Stevie Wonder''s Master Blaster, and receives positive feedback from Cowell, Louis Walsh and Nicole Scherzinger and three yeses.

Fourth judge Sharon Osbourne was absent from some of the auditions due to work commitments abroad.

Another tear-jerking moment came when 39-year-old Rebekah Ryan arrived in the audition room full of nerves, determined to make another go at having a music career.

She explained that she was 17 when she was originally signed by MCA Records and had a single that charted in the UK Top 40 before she was dropped.

After a wobbly rendition of Hozier's Take Me To Church, Cowell prompted Ryan to sing Sarah McLachlan's Angel, which she pulled off with panache.

Cowell told her: "I felt every word of that... I like you."

He said she deserved a "break" after years of trying, and Osbourne - who had returned to the panel - added that the day of auditions was "worth it" for Ryan.

She made it through to the Bootcamp stage of the competition after the judges voted unanimously in her favour.

An amusing interlude in the episode came when Cowell was seen emphatically sharing his adoration for 51-year-old Eddie Lee, who bears a striking resemblance to the X Factor boss.

"Is it wrong that I find you attractive?" Cowell asked the singing hopeful.

After admitting he often gets mistaken for the TV judge, Lee entertained with his version of Elvis Presley's Can't Help Falling In Love, and was given three yeses to get through to the next round.

Cowell, Scherzinger and Walsh were surprised when Saara Aalto, 29, jetted all the way from Finland to take part in The X Factor, and left in hysterics when Abiola Allicock, 42, warbled her way through an original song.

Aalto made it through with yes-votes across the board after her impressive take on Sia's Chandelier, but Allicock did not secure a spot at Bootcamp.

Another high point was when Scherzinger stepped up to sing with 23-year-old Thai student Kittipos Maspu as he attempted Cats song Memory.

However, despite her help, his efforts did not see him win any votes from the judges.

Press Association

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