The X Factor’s Bootcamp got off to an explosive start on Saturday night as favourites were sent packing, the Wall of Songs caused arguments aplenty and some singers crumbled under the pressure of performing in groups for judges Simon Cowell, Louis Walsh, Nicole Scherzinger and Sharon Osbourne.
Like most Saturday nights, there was also drinking, fighting and crying. Here’s the five most shocking moments from Saturday night’s Bootcamp:
1. One group did a lot of boozing…and not a lot of singing
After being split into groups of four, the majority of the contestants knuckled down to a whole night and morning of rehearsals knowing that the following day, they were going to be faced with one of the biggest auditions of their lives.
But for one group, they decided to just knock off, go down the bar and party. You’d be mistaken for thinking you’d tuned into Magaluf Weekender on ITV2 as Ginny Lemon, Doctor Woof, Descendance and, erm, Russell (who said everyone looked “a bit crazy” and looked like he had no idea what he’d just walked into) poured gin with wild abandon in an empty bar and got completely smashed.
We don’t think belting out karaoke with a bunch of strangers is the vocal coaching Simon and co. had in mind for Bootcamp.
2. Descendance descended into chaos
After a heavy night drinking, mother and daughter duo Descendance were feeling a bit worse for wear. But their day was about to get a whole lot worse.
During their very first audition, mum Debye, 40, and daughter Hayley, 20, had been told that they would perhaps be better off splitting up, with mum Debye taking more of a backseat.
So it came as no real surprise when following their performance at Bootcamp, the judges turned round and said that Hayley could progress to the next stage…but only if her mum dropped out of the competition.
So far, so X Factor. But what happened next was a bit of a shocker. Instead of automatically giving her daughter her blessing to continue, Debye burst into tears, was comforted by Hayley and the pair left the stage saying they’d have to think about what happened next. Cue plenty of backstage drama, after which we were convinced Debye was going to tell Simon to shove it. Thankfully, she agreed and daughter Hayley went through.
3. Alisah did NOT take no for an answer
When Alisah Bonaobra performed in a group at Bootcamp, she was told it was a no and that she hadn’t made it through to the next stage of the competition.
Whereas all of the other hopefuls looked a bit sad and left the stage, Alisah wasn’t taking no for an answer.
Falling to the floor and bursting into tears, she begged Simon and the other judges to give her another go. The 22-year-old drew so much sympathy from Nicole Scherzinger that the judge left her seat, went to comfort her on stage and asked what she wanted to do.
And then, just like a scene from a naff film, Alisah spontaneously burst into a few bars of We Belong Together from Mariah Carey. It came from absolutely nowhere and it was actually a bit cringe.
Either way, it actually worked and Alisah then got a yes and went through. Well if at first you don’t succeed, cry, cry again.
By the end of the episode though, there was egg well and truly on Simon’s face when Alisah returned and gave a gravity-defying performance of Defying Gravity from Wicked and rendered the judges speechless. Very deservedly, Alisah then went through to the Six Chair Challenge.
4. Rebecca Grace made a shock exit
Rebecca Grace’s first audition was one of the most memorable from the closed rooms. The McDonald’s worker gave a stunning rendition of Kelly Clarkson’s Piece By Piece, getting a round of applause from all of the judges.
“Do you not realise how good you are, and how good you could be,” said Louis Walsh at her first audition, with Sharon Osbourne saying she was like a “rough diamond” and Nicole Scherzinger describing her performance as “powerful”.
Simon Cowell also said that there was something about her he really liked, and at Bootcamp she put in an equally standout vocal as she sang Love On Top by Beyoncé incredibly well.
So it was a really bizarre and shocking moment after the group performance that Rebecca was told it was the end of the road and she would be leaving the competition. The decision to send her home was not unanimous, and it was arguably the biggest mistake the judges made on the night.
5. Shanaya Atkinson-Jones was incredible
After making it through the first stage of Bootcamp, Shanaya Atkinson-Jones then had to return to sing solo for the judges. She said it meant “everything” to her, and that getting through to the Six Chair Challenge would give her confidence.
Well, she needn’t have worried. Her performance of Dance With My Father by Luther Vandross brought Nicole Scherzinger to tears and was easily one of the most spectacular performances of the night.