Tonight’s episode of X Factor was full of big performances. 19 year old Bella Penfold was a hotel singer from Essex who was very excited to perform in front of an arena audience. She had a ton of personality. She sang Joss Stone track Fell In Love with a Boy. Ayda felt she was like a puppy that hadn’t grown into her paws yet. Louis felt it was a bit contrived in places, but was good overall. She made it through.
17 year old Lanya Matthews was a student from Tottenham who brought her friends and family along to watch her perform. She sang Jennifer Hudson's And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going. The judges were surprised with her choice because it’s a tough one, but she did really well, earning a standing ovation from the judges and audience. Louis said it was hard to shock them, but that she just did. Louis said that was a “massive, massive insane vocal.” Layna easily sailed through.
32 year old Dee Lush was a music teacher from South East London. Her students didn’t know she was auditioning for the show. She sang an original song All The Way about love at first sight. She got a standing ovation for her Missy Elliott-like performance. Louis said, “That was a finished article. You know exactly who you want to be as an artist. Really well done.” She made it through.
24 year old Dalton Andre Harris was a performer from Jamaica. (Louis cheered for Jamaica)! Dalton was nervous and couldn’t even remember who was his musical inspiration. He grew up poor without electricity or running water. He said, "This is single-handedly the most important moment of my life so far." He sang Elton John's Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word. He got emotional during the performance and when Simon asked why he said because he’d been on his own since he was 15, but that it was okay. Ayda and Louis went up to hug him. He made it through.
Louis said he wanted to tap into the awkward and quirky and to not be afraid of it. 21 year old Ezat Azur Hastings was an eccentric customer service employee at a bank who looked like he might have fit that bill. The blue-haired performer was passionate about banking. He sang Jessie J, Ariane Grande, and Nicki Minaj's Bang Bang. The performance was not good. Louis said, “I think you should stick to banking in the nicest way possible.”
23 year old singer Nathan Grisdale was from Blackburn. He’s allergic to cats but he has six French bulldogs. He sang Andra Day Rise Up with his own spin on it. Louis said, “You have an absolutely amazing tone.” Nathan made Louis excited about the prospect of getting the Boys category so he could work with Nathan.
The judges got in a bit of a fight over Nathan’s personality and Louis said, “He’s got loads of personality!” when Simon was concerned about him. Louis gave him a pep talk afterwards telling him to tap into his quirkiness and told him, “Loads of love”. Louis really seemed to like Nathan as a performer.
25 year old session singer Shan from Croydon. She said, "When I was a little girl my dream was to be a singer and I've never given up on that dream." She sang reggae in reggae bands with her dad when she was young. She felt now was the time to step forward and her big dream was to be a great role model. She sang Never Enough from The Greatest Showman. She gave a moving performance that had everyone on their feet. Louis said, “What you do vocally with all the little inflections…it was effortless. I couldn’t stop watching and listening to you.” He said, “It’s the easiest yes of the day.”
X Factor episodes air on ITV at 8 pm on Saturdays and Sundays and on Sundays and Mondays at 8 pm on AXS in the US. Live shows should begin in October and run through early December.
Be sure to check out our Debut Album section and take a listen to Louis’ songs that he’s released or teased so far. His album is due out either later this year or early 2019.