The new format saw the acts perform one last time on location. Then, in real time, the judges decided which three singers they’d take through to live shows in a show broadcast from Wembley studios.
First up was Cheryl, and in a shock twist, the Groups mentor opted to keep duo Reggie n Bollie for the ‘fun factor’, over vocal harmony groups Melody Stone, BEKLN Mile and New Kings Order.
Obviously Cheryl can’t take everyone. But it seemed an unlikely move to take the ‘comedy’ double act over the others.
Cheryl justified her decision by saying Reggie n Bollie (formerly Menn on Point) would bring high energy to the live shows, explaining she would struggle to do something different each week with the style of music the rest of the groups offered. Of her other two safe acts – 4th Impact and Alien Uncovered – the mentor said she was excited about the differences the two girl groups brought to the table.
The shocks weren’t over for the night as Mr Cowell set about cutting his Overs category from six singers down to three. Cowell gave Bupsi and Anton Stephans a spot in his final line-up. Then, with ten seconds to make his final decision, Cowell admitted he’d had a last minute change of heart about who his third and final act would be. That spot eventually went to Max Stone, meaning Cowell had previously thought he’d be taking either Jennifer Phillips, Kerrie-Anne Phillips or Ebru through.
Jennifer Phillips in particular has been a firm fan favourite from her first audition, in which she sang Mary Mary’s Shackles. In fact, I personally would have said she was a contender for the finals, let alone the live shows. Kerrie-Anne Phillips also seemed to have hit the right notes with the boss, who openly shared his eagerness to work with her. While Ebru impressed at Judges’ Houses it seems Max has ‘done a Fleur’ and clinched it with his final audition, much like last year’s eventual runner-up Fleur East. Given that worked out pretty well, perhaps we should put our faith in the boss?
The X Factor continues Sunday at 7:30pm on ITV