The X Factor auditions take a dramatic turn tonight when the show moves its search for talent to Manchester, with one contestant going to new lengths to get noticed, storming the set for a chance to audition in front of the judges.
“She just appeared from nowhere!” recalls Dermot O’Leary of 21-year-old Kirsty Murphy from Wirral. “In her defence, she got told she wasn’t going to be able to be seen that day and there was a big sign on the door saying, ‘Judges’ Room, keep out’, so she didn’t break the Da Vinci code to get in.
“So she got in and for me it’s really awkward because I’m with someone else’s friends and family and they are going, ‘Who’s that girl?’, so I had to usher them to one side and then this girl’s family, who are hard core Scousers, start cheering her on.
“They put her through because they admired her guts. All-in-all it was a rather eggy situation. Part of me thought, ‘Good on you,’ but then I had to play politics with this other family. I was trying to be peacemaker but it was hard that day.”
The mystery gatecrasher certainly made an impression on boss Simon Cowell…
“That was brilliant! She had had enough of waiting. For whatever reason she wasn’t going to get in front of us to audition that day but she was fantastic because she found her way through the back of the stage, got in front of us and that’s exactly the sort of person I like working with – someone who’s a bit naughty and breaks the rules.”
Fellow judge Sharon Osbourne was also impressed – albeit a little scared. “When she came in I was a bit frightened, actually. She walked in and came right over to the desk and I was thinking, ‘Oh my god, alert, alert!’ But she was ballsy! It takes a lot to do that.”
X Factor continues Sunday at 7:30pm on ITV