It's been nine months since we saw James Arthur win the X Factor and tonight the search for the next biggest star began again with the first episode of the new series. Having promised changes for the new series, we were saw the judges: Louis Walsh, Nicole Scherzinger, Gary Barlow and the return of Sharon Osbourne take to the panel in a smaller, more intimate room.
With the arena audience reserved for the second audition process, it was time for this year's batch of hopefuls to try their best to impress the judges in the more intimate setting and as the show kicked off, we were left impressed with what we were being offered.
Teen Luke was the first hopeful we saw stand in front of the judges and whilst his hair had a lot to answer for when he admitted that he hadn't washed it for nine months, his rendition of Stand By Me was impressive enough to make the judges perk up. Commenting on his voice, Sharon told him: "I'm crazy about you. You're quite fabulous". Picking up on his hair, Nicole commented: "You're a dirty haired diamond in the rough."
The X Factor is well and truly back! (ITV Pictures)
But Luke wasn't the only one to impress during the show as Alejandro Fernandez-Holt also managed to get four yeses which took him through to the next round.
Sam Bailey, Hannah Bailey, and teen Tamara were probably the biggest stars of the night as their voices blew the judges away. So much so that Gary, Louis, Nicole and Sharon all predicted that they would be the ones to watch.
However, the X Factor wouldn't be the X Factor if there weren't a few token bad auditions and boy did we get a few tonight courtesy of hopeful J Star Valentine who could definitely rival Rylan Clark's crying face when he performed Hallelujah. Whilst we didn't love his voice, we loved Gary's response: "I couldn't make my mind up whether it was strange or c-r-r-r-a-a-p". Sharon added: "You sang that song like a ghost."
Check out the clip to see what we mean.
Rocker Fil (Yes, that's Phil with an F) also left a lasting impression on the judges but for all the wrong reasons when he failed to be rock-y enough for Gary and co with his performance of Robbie Williams' Let Me Entertain You. But after Gary showed him how to be more rockier (by chucking his mug off the table), Fil was given a second chance.
Best Moment: The moment where Sharon collapsed in a fit of laughter when a hopeful sang Busted's Air Hostess, in particular the line: 'I messed my pants'. Yes we found it funny but not THAT funny...
Random Moment: Nicole appeared to be so positive of everyone's performances, including the really bad ones.
Verdict: The X Factor is well and truly back and we can't wait to see who will make it all the way to the finalists.
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