The judge of this year’s Girls category, Cowell mixed things up by not only reuniting the original American Idol judge line-up – himself, Paula Abdul, Randy Jackson and host Ryan Seacrest – but also inviting over fifty music executives and professionals to watch each of his Six Chair Challenge winners perform.
The star-studded crowd included songwriting legend Diane Warren, Sinitta and former X Factor winner Leona Lewis.
Only five out of the six girls were able to perform in front of the undeniably intimidating crowd, as 19-year-old Pilipino Maria Laroco was forced to sing via video message after having a visa issue.
While each were applauded for their strong performances by the crowd, Cowell had to whittle down the competition down from six to three.
As the eliminations took place, Laroco was the first to be turned down by Cowell via phone. “I’m sorry, you’re a great person,” Cowell told her. He also encouraged her to return to the show to return next year.
And after putting Scarlett Lee, Molly Scott, Shan Smile through, it was time to say goodbye to 20-year-old Georgia Burgess.
And many X Factor fans were none too happy about this.
— David Lynch (@DavidLy92053004) October 7, 2018
Unsure why Simon put Bella through. Georgia was so much better #XFactor
— strawberry kisses (@RawleeM) October 7, 2018
#xfactor Love Scarlett glad she’s through. Love Georgia,I’m sad Simon didn’t put her through.
— Sandra (@mamatotwins13) October 7, 2018
everyone being disappointed because on Georgia not going through me included ? All I'm getting out of this is Simon legit wants his show to tank #xfactor
— Just #TeamLouis 🏠 (@julie_bit94) October 7, 2018
Indeed, Burgess had given an exceptionally strong performance at Cowell’s mansion of Jocelyn Brown’s ‘Somebody Else’s Guy.”
So much so that she’d won over Paula Abdul who gave a standing ovation and said Georgia reminded her of former American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson. Ryan Seacrest even said “She has got it! And she is so likeable!”
Cowell told an understandably disappointed Burgess that his ‘gut instinct’ was that it ‘just wasn’t your year’ and sent her packing.
— ITV (@ITV) October 7, 2018
And veteran songwriter Diane Warren said Burgess reminded her of Adele because she was ‘so fun’ and she wanted to ‘hang out with her.’
But this wasn’t the only thing some X Factor fans appeared to get cross at Simon Cowell tonight.
As instead of following the traditional X Factor rules of eliminating three contestants at the Judges House stage – Cowell decided to keep four. This huge rule change led many viewers to express their confusion and even disappointment on Twitter.
#XFactor Simon Cowell seems to be making up the rules as he goes along this year but I suppose he is Mr X Factor so he can get away with it lol.
— Jasmine Medley (@JasmineMedley30) October 7, 2018
Since when did the rules change to have 4 acts in one category and not 3?! Shocking decision.
— Ethan Riaz (@EthanRiaz) October 7, 2018
Simon Cowell creating his own rules for his category, will all the other judges have four acts too? #XFactor
— ashley (@ashleylynda_) October 7, 2018
Absolutely ridiculous that Simon hasn't put Georgia through. Also does this mean all of the judges are picking four as I'm pretty sure it's only 3 that can be picked? 🙄 #XFactor
— Amy Kate Bown (@akbown97) October 7, 2018
This means that Molly Scott, Shan Smile, Bella Penfold and Scarlett Lee will go through to the live X Factor segment of the competition.
It remains unconfirmed whether the remaining three categories – Boys, Overs and Groups will also be putting through four out of their six acts through to the next round.
X Factor continues Saturday at 8.30pm.