Rita Ora caused uproar during tonight’s Six Chair Challenge after deciding to swap Charli Beard out of her final six.
The 17-year-old from Hull sang Jennifer Hudson’s Love You I Do, with Cheryl Fernandez-Versini telling her she’d “smashed” the vocal. Nick Grimshaw said he’d have given Charli a seat straight away, while Mr Cowell told Rita it was a “no brainer” – she simply had to have a place in the next round.
But while Charli did get a seat for a while, her addition meant there were no more empty spots and the swapping began. So, when faced with wanting to add 21-year-old Havva Rebke to her line-up, Rita opted to swap out Charli, explaining her decision was because she felt she would get “swallowed up” later on in the competition.
But Wembley was having none of it, roaring for the judge to “bring her back”. It’s no wonder Cowell dubbed this stage of the competition the “lion’s den”, with the mentors able to chop and change until the final singer has sung.
The new judge sat with her head in her hands, admitting that the challenge was the “hardest thing in the world”.
“They hate me right now,” she admitted as Wembley struggled to be calmed.
Grimmers tried to sooth his pal’s nerves, telling Rita she “100%” had the “toughest category” to decide on, with Cheryl adding: “you could cut the atmosphere with a knife”.
It was a night of tough decisions for the Body On Me singer. Her call to send home Karen Mav was also an unpopular one among the crowd, as was the loss of Sharon Rose. Chloe Baker – who we saw for the first time tonight – was also swapped out, as was Lucy Duffield. Kelly Mai Webb, Sophie Plumb and Katie Coleman weren’t given seats and the auditions of two singers – Jasmine Leigh Morris and Caitlyn Vanbeck – weren’t even shown due to time constraints, according to a spokesperson. Only the seats housing Monica Michael and Chloe Paige remained unchanged.
But with the drama done and dusted (for now), Rita is left with quite a category: Kiera Weathers, Louisa Johnson, Monica Michael, Lauren Murray, Chloe Paige and Havve Rebke are her final pick.
Now it’s onto Judges’ Houses in LA for the girls where Rita will once again have to slice her group down to those she’ll take through to this year’s live shows. Piece of cake…
The X Factor Six Chair Challenge continues next Sunday from 7:00pm on ITV