Episode 2 again started with a focus on the new X Factor judges panel, including Louis Tomlinson. First contestant Ola from Trinidad and Tobago got the crowd pumping with his personality and bright yellow suit. He got a standing ovation from the judges. Louis said "I've not been sat on this panel that long, but that is definitely the most fun I've had sat here. Amazing! A lot of people come here and shy away from this massive, massive moment, but you really, really grabbed it. Thank you for that."
Next up was Brendan who was in a boyband that got to #1 in Ireland, but the next one didn't do so well so the band ended. The judges didn't care for his song choice so they gave him another chance with a different song. Louis gave him a pep talk backstage telling him he had an interesting voice and to use that.
Several contestants came next with poor song choices. Then, Brendan was back for another attempt. He struggled and took a water break. He struggled again so they let him use the lyrics sheet since he didn't know the song Simon asked him to sing. He did much better, earning a standing ovation from the judges. Louis said "Brendan, you've got a really, really special voice. Not going to lie I felt the nerves. I was nervous for you. I was really hoping you'd deliver and you absolutely have, lad. Well done."
Marc Higgins was up next and Louis recognized him from the same season of the X Factor Louis was on. Marc had been with a group called The Reason that got to the Judges' House, but One Direction got the yes that year instead of Marc's band. Now a firefighter, Marc was back looking for another chance. Unfortunately, it wasn't a good audition. Louis said, "This is really difficult for me. It just felt a little karaoke and dated at times and I was really rooting for you, lad, but it just didn't do it for me I'm afraid." Louis commented that this was hard.
Jackie, age 53, was next. Louis greeted her with a "Hello, darling." After telling the audience about her farm and her peacocks, she blew the audience away with her audition and big voice. Louis said, "For me, you know, stories like this is exactly what this show should be about. Someone at your age standing up there and having a real moment like that."
Anthony Russell was next. He made it through to the Judge's House last year, but left the show. Louis had contacted him after the show to help him and he came back for another chance at X Factor. Louis told him to "smash it, lad" before he performed and smash it he did. At sevearl points during Anthony's audition, Louis seemed to be holding back tears. Louis and the judges were out of their chair immediately and Louis went up on stage to give him a hug.
Louis said, "Bloody hell, I have to pull meself together after that. Just give me a sec. I'm pretty emotional after that, lad." Louis struggled to speak afterwards and said, "It was a big moment for both of us, lad, and you absolutely delivered. Well done, well done." Louis didn't think he should vote because he was too close to Anthony, but Simon insisted and it was obviously a yes.
Here's Anthony's story and audition, but make sure you have the tissues handy!
Rave reviews are pouring in for Louis as a judge. Just a sampling from Twitter:
Louis seems like a natural on TV. Viewers are getting treated to a side of Louis they may not be familiar with yet - the kind, caring spirit who quietly reaches out to help others. Want to see more moments? Check out more Episode 2 videos and Episode 2 photos. Here's a video of Louis' moments from Episode 2.
Thanks to Louisource for the video montage of Louis' moments.