We were warned. At the start of Louis Walsh’s Six Chair Challenge, Simon Cowell said that it would be “chaotic”. And chaotic it was.
It was up to Louis to select the six singers for his Boys category that he wanted to take through to Judges’ Houses, but he didn’t make the process easy.
He dithered, deliberated and was so indecisive about swapping the boys in and out that it was almost impossible to keep up with what was going on.
The dramatic climax came when Spencer Sutherland, Benji Matthews and Lloyd Macey were locked in a three-way sing-off, and poor Benji was the one who ultimately lost his seat. At that point, it looked like there was going to be a revolt in the arena led by Sharon Osbourne and Nicole Scherzinger who were left screaming “NO, LOUIS, NO!” at his decision, storming over to him and demanding answers.
Before that, Russell Jones buckled under the pressure – with Sharon Osbourne calling his performance “awful” – and brotherly love was tested to the absolute limit when Alex Mallett and Leon Mallett (who originally auditioned as a duo) were split up and had to go head to head against one another.
And then there was Anthony Russell. Owing to Six Chair Challenge being filmed so far in advance, the X Factor hopeful who has had to withdraw from the show for ‘personal reasons’ revealed that he was “skint” and “£80 overdrawn” after buying a suit for the big day.
He added that he’d kept the tags on and that he was taking it back to the shop the next day. It was a rare lighthearted quip in a marathon of traumatic moments.
Now, after all that, these are the six Boys who are now just one step away from The X Factor live shows:
The X Factor continues next Saturday and Sunday with Judges’ Houses on ITV.