Simon Cowell’s gaffe to Louis Walsh in a Jeep: The 5 most awkward moments from last night’s X Factor

Amongst all these cringeworthy moments on Saturday night, there was a bit of singing as well...

Simon Cowell on week 2 of The X Factor

Quite a lot of stuff happened on Saturday night’s X Factor.


The Cutkelvins gave another amazing performance, Rak-Su were voted the most popular act of the night after singing their incredible original song Dimelo and Leon Mallett was instantly eliminated and sent home.

Whilst you can read all about that here, there also seemed to be a disproportionate amount of awkward and cringeworthy moments, from Simon Cowell slipping up (although not down stairs this time) to Louis Walsh achieving the impossible and making a Jeep look rather unappealing.

Here are the five most cringeworthy bits from Saturday night’s show:

1. Sam Black did a duet with Rod Stewart…in the bogs

Rod Stewart and Sam Black on week 2 of The X Factor
Rod Stewart and Sam Black on The X Factor (ITV)

In his pre-performance video tape, Sam Black said that being an attendee at The Pride of Britain Awards this week was a “mad” experience – most of all when he saw Rod Stewart walk past him and pop into the loo.

So what did Sam do to meet one of his musical heroes? Well, not the respectable thing and wait outside for a selfie and a chat. Instead he barged into the gents and had an impromptu sing-song with Rod by the urinals. Oh yeah, and he filmed the whole thing on his phone.

We’re sure Rod won’t mind us saying that he looked a little, um, ‘merry’ in the vid as he hugged Sam and swayed and spun around with him, the pair doing a remarkably good impression of two lads who refuse to accept the night’s over long after the lights have gone up.

But most hilariously of all? The song they chose for their dunny duet was, of course, Mandolin Wind.

2. Simon’s embarrassing microphone mishap

Simon Cowell on week 2 of The X Factor
Simon Cowell on The X Factor (ITV)

Simon Cowell had to miss last week’s X Factor after falling down the stairs. Cue Dermot O’Leary making quips about his favourite band no longer being Steps and how he should maybe move to a bungalow. Bantz.

But maybe Simon was suffering from a bit of lingering concussion? It all started after his group The Cutkelvins had performed. They were waved off by Dermot, and the host then cut back to Simon to introduce his next act.

“It looks like Lego,” was all we heard Simon say. But the way in which he looked genuinely mortified and embarrassed and rushed to put his hand over his mouth suggested he was slagging something off. It could well have been the set used for The Cutkelvins, which arguably looked more like a Rubik’s Cube than Lego… but that’s beside the point.

Nicole prompted him with a “you’re up next”, to which Simon replied “with who?!”. Dermot then prompted again: “With your next act”. But all that made Simon say, incredulously, was “no-one told me that.”

More silence.

Simon: “OK, it’s Rak-Su” – and with that he threw his hands down on the desk. Maybe he needs another week off?

3. Louis Walsh doing this

Louis Walsh on week 2 of The X Factor
Louis Walsh on week 2 of The X Factor (ITV)

Who knew a Jeep could look so naff? Apparently all it takes to knock the cool credentials off one of these is to stick Louis Walsh, a quilted jacket and some painfully mid-90s sunglasses in the drivers’ seat.

“I’ve got a real cracker for you, this beauty of a car has had only one previous owner – me! And now it could be yours!” Louis beamed, leaning ever so casually on the bumper as he tried to sell it during the viewers’ prize giveaway. We were just surprised he wasn’t wearing driving gloves.

It was as if Louis was future-proofing his career, sneaking in an audition tape to present one of those prize VTs for This Morning in case he’s dumped (again) as a judge from next year’s X Factor.

But realistically, we don’t reckon Jeff Brazier and Andi Peters have anything to worry about.

4. Lloyd Macey’s nan

Lloyd Macey's nan on week 2 of The X Factor
Lloyd Macey’s nan on week 2 of The X Factor (ITV screen grab, FT)

Christopher Maloney’s nan needs to watch out. There’s a new nanager (‘nan’ + ‘manager’) in town. More specifically, in a small Welsh town.

Not content with hijacking her grandson’s audition by sitting at the judges’ desk and giving Simon Cowell a fish finger sandwich (that’s not a euphemism, FYI), nanny Chris has printed up 5,000 ‘Vote for Lloyd Macey’ posters and is distributing them everywhere – from the hairdressers to Morrisons – whether the locals in Rhondda Valley like it or not.

She proudly marched around, thrusting them at anyone who would listen, like a determined politician on the canvassing trail. “Everyone knows who nanny Chris is,” said Lloyd without hyperbole. And although the whole thing was very sweet, it was also as if we’d woken up to a bizarre throwback to ye olden days of X Factor  – the days where the nans were centre stage and Hero by Enrique Iglesias was trotted out for the 398th time.

And then the VT ended and we cut to Lloyd Macey’s performance. Of Hero by Enrique Iglesias.

5. Jack and Joel were slated by Simon Cowell

Nothing unusual there, you might think. But what if we told you that Simon Cowell is actually their mentor.


After Jack and Joel worked all week with Si choosing their song, perfecting and honing their performance and having him sit through their rehearsals and sound checks to make sure everything was hunky dory, you’d have thought Simon would be the one ready with the praise for the boys. Particularly because – as Simon was at pains to point out – their song choice of Havana is on his record label. And is currently sitting at number one in the chart.

“I think this is a cabaret act,” Simon said to them after their performance. “But I’m saying this because we don’t have that much time this year. And what has got to happen going forward is that you’ve got to start thinking that every time you’re on that stage you’re making a record.” Always good to have the support of your mentor, eh?


The X Factor airs Saturdays and Sundays on ITV.