Lee also made it through boot camp, but stumbled at the Six Chair Challenge, with then-judge Sharon Osbourne controversially dumping the contestant after a sing-off.
“It was heartbreaking, it took me so long to get over but it’s only made me stronger,” Scarlett said when she returned to this year’s auditions. “I hope Simon looks back and says ‘This girl has improved’… probably not, he’ll probably say ‘That’s the orange girl!'”
However, Lee didn’t have an easy first audition, Cowell stopping the singer as she performed original track Survival. “This must be the sixth time I’ve heard you sing, I’m not sure there’s going to be another time,” the head judge said. “That was a four, I want a ten.”
Fortunately for Lee, she blew away judges with her second choice: Loren Allred’s Never Enough from hit musical The Greatest Showman. She received four yeses, with Cowell concluding: “You are an amazing singer, it was magic. I’d love to be mentoring you on this show.”
On making it to the Six Chair Challenge, Lee once again impressed judge Cowell with her version of Kelly Clarkson’s Piece by Piece, a performance that earned her a place at the Judges’ Houses.
On reaching Cowell’s Malibu mansion, Lee sang for the judge and 50 famous faces from the world of music. It’s here she made the brave choice of performing Whitney Houston’s I Didn’t Know My Own, a track penned by one of Cowell’s guests Diane Warren.
Fortunately, this gamble paid off, with Lee unable to hold back her emotions after being told she’d made it to the live shows.