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Arena auditions get the better of the contestants in X Factor episode 5

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With the end of the room auditions last week, 187 X Factor hopefuls returned to impress judges and a live audience on Saturday night at the arena auditions.

As the pressure mounted, many of the contestants struggled to capture the hearts of the Wembley spectators, with several acts being deemed boring by the panel of judges.However, when James Graham walked onto the stage, the arena was blown away by his powerful voice.


The 17-year-old student from Essex stunned Simon Cowell, Cheryl Cole, Mel B and Louis Walsh in the room auditions as was given four yes votes.

Last night, the singer chose to sing Bonnie Raiit's I Can’t Make You Love Me for the 5,000 strong crowd.

"Standing in front of the judges in that first audition was so nerve wracking, I have never felt nerves like it before," the performer admitted before walking out on stage."

Today is a massive deal for me but my family are more nervous than me I think," he revealed. At the end of the performance, the recording studio volunteer was given a standing ovation from his smitten fans, with Mel B calling him "blooming sexy" before the judges gave him four yeses, sending the vocalist to bootcamp.

As the day continued, the judges saw the return of Cheryl Cole impersonator, Jale Antor, leaving Cheryl speechless following her performance of Cheryl's fourth number one single, Crazy Stupid Love.


The 42-year-old hairdresser dressed like the Girls Aloud singer and even taped a copy of the singer's rose tattoo on her back. Next to wow the crowd was singing duo, The Courtesans, who opted to sing Tom Jones' Delilah.

Eileen and Ben are a couple from London and previously impressed Cheryl at the room auditions with her finding them "captivating"."We are terribly nervous but also extremely excited. We want a career at this and it all relies on this show," Eileen revealed. From Eileen's unique vocal performance to Ben’s air guitar, the audience and Louise Walsh were surprised with their carefree attitude and gave the pair a standing ovation.

Despite comparing them to something out of Night of the Living Dead, Simon was impressed with their performance and praised them for being "fantastically nuts".

However, with the mounting pressure of performing in front of a packed-out arena, nerves got the better of many acts.


After seeing many contestants reduced to tears on stage, Paul Akister then took to the mic to audition again for the judges.

Paul was sent away from Louis' Judges' Houses last year for his lack of confidence, so the performer knew the importance of his next audition.

The 25-year-old confidently sang Marvin Gaye's Let's Get It On, which got Cheryl and Mel B up on their feet dancing around Simon .

"Paul I think we both had a great time during that song actually," the music mogul joked before the singer was given four yes votes to see him through to the next round.Next to the stage was Lauren Platt who was previously named Cheryl's "favourite 16-year-old so far" at the room auditions.


"My room audition was crazy and I got four yeses which was amazing. The comments I got I did not expect," said the student. "Since the audition I have been non-stop practicing and doing a lot of shopping for my clothes," she continued.

Hoping to impress, the Essex vocalist did her own take of Whitney Houston's How Will I Know. "I am so excited right now I could slap you! You have just got everything!" joked Mel B as she congratulated the young Singer on her performance while Simon revealed that he didn't think they had even scratched the surface with Lauren. But as some acts adapted well to singing in front of a large crowd, many contestants struggled with the transition from the room auditions to the arena, including Indian Ifill and Lou Boy.

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Last to perform in the day was Amy Connelly, who had received four yes votes from the panel of judges and reduced Cheryl to tears with her rendition of With You from musical Ghost. The 25-year-old shop assistant from Essex was sent home from Cheryl's first ever Judges’ Houses in series five but the singer returned, hopeful for a second chance. "Normal life is with my children, house cleaning, night feeds, changing nappies but this has been my dream since I was a little girl," she admitted before her audition.

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However, the singer’s performance of Whitney Houston's Greatest Love of Allfailed to impress the judges with Louis Walsh reducing the vocal to a karaoke performance.

Tune in on Sunday to watch more of the arena auditions on ITV at 8pm.

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