Contestants surprise in the first X Factor live show
The X Factor 2014 live shows kicked off on Saturday and saw Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, Louis Walsh, Simon Cowell and Mel B sit down to take their seats to judge the first performances from the finalists.

With the possibility of bringing back four contestants from bootcamp and judges' houses as a 'wild card', the judges decided that Lola Saunders, Overload, Stevie Ritchie and Jack Walton deserved a second chance at performing at the live shows.

As sixteen acts waited nervously backstage, it was Paul Akister who was first to kick off the show with a rendition of Ella Henderson's Ghost.


A haunting performance from Paul Akister. Now off to the river to pray you get though #XFactorLiveShows

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The Lancashire singer stunned the audience and the judges unanimously commended him for returning to the competition
following being sent home from Louis' judges’ houses last year.

Next up was wild card contestant Lola Saunders, who the judges chose to bring back for the live shows after being sent home at Cheryl’s judges' houses.

The former fishmonger sang Sam Smith's Stay With Me and was obviously nervous with the pressure of the live shows.

Despite being impressed with her performance, Simon was confused by her long dress which distracted from her vocals.

"I'm very proud of you," said Cheryl as she ignored Simon's comments about Lola's outfit choices.

Following Lola's performance was another wild card act Overload. The five-piece band sang a cheeky version of Katy Perry's I Kissed A Girl which won over the young girls in the audience and the judges.


Welcome the second Judges' second Wild Card - it's Overload! #XFactorLiveShows

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"You guys have always come out fighting…but it kind of fell apart
," said Mel as she was disappointed by their lack of rhythm and confidence.

Hoping to impress next was Jay James who opted to sing Paloma Faith's latest hit, Changing.

"You were prepared to take a risk," praised Simon as he was happy that the ex-Navy officer was willing to sing a modern song.

Following Jay's powerful performance, Stephanie Nala then took to the mic to sing a reggae-style version of Bread’s Everything I Own.

But Simon said something was missing from her performance and her lack of confidence as a solo artist let down her performance.

"The song was flat. You looked amazing but sounded awful," said Louis before Cheryl and Mel defended the 20-year-old's vocals.

Next to the stage was Leeds-born, Jack Walton, who was Simon's choice for the wild card performance.

The 17-year-old wowed the audience with his acoustic version of Rhianna's Only Girl, melting hearts throughout the country.

"That was such an amazing song choice," said Cheryl as Simon said that One Direction's Louis Tomlinson texted him saying that Mel had made a mistake in originally sending Jack home.

Following a controversial week in the media, Chloe Jasmine confidently stepped out onto the stage to wow with her sultry jazz performance of Britney Spear's Toxic.


Is anyone else addicted to Chloe Jasmine? #XFactorLiveShows

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"You're spectacular
," said Louis before Mel said that her performance to "transported" her to another world.

Returning with the groups, Louis introduced The New Boy Band which is now called Stereo Kicks, before they performed Katy Perry's Roar.

"You blew them [Overload] off the stage," said Simon as he congratulated them on their harmonies and having that "something special".

Hoping to impress was dance-lover Stevi Ritchie who performed an energetic rendition of Ricki Martin’s La Vida Loca.

"You are going to be in this competition longer than most of Cheryl's girls, because the public love you," said Simon following his performance which ended with him ripping open his shirt.

The youngest contestant of the competition, Lauren Platt, recently celebrated her seventeenth birthday and was next to step onto the stage with a performance of Pharrell William's Happy, which impressed the judges.


Shaking up Pharrell's track in a massive bowl of pink glitter and bubbles - it's Lauren Platt! #XFactorLiveShows

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"Great song choice," said Simon as the judges agreed that she was one to watch.

Next to stun the judges was singing duo, Blonde Electra, who wanted to throw a performance similar to a Miley Cyrus concert.

Their performance of Kim Wilde's Kids In America impressed the judges with Cheryl saying: "You know you're a bit insane…but you can actually sing."

Ben Haenow was next to the stage, admitting that he was overwhelmed with the A-list treatment of an X Factor lifestyle.

However, his husky performance of Simon & Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water received mixed reviews from the judges with Mel commenting that his song choice was "wrong" while Cheryl said that it was one of the "top three performances of the night".

Having struggling with his confidence this week, Jack Quickenden returned this evening, but failed to impress Mel as comparisons with Ben Haenow suggested that he lacked the X Factor.

Next to impress was Fleur East with a performance of the current UK No.1 single, All About That Bass by Meghan Trainor.


Fleur East may be all about that bass, but we're definitely all about her voice #XFactorLiveShows

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"You're everything
," praised Cheryl as the judges admitted they were blown away by her performance.

Last of the groups to perform was Only The Young who admitted that having been a group for two years gave them an advantage over the other groups as they knew each other so well.

The group sang a mashup of Elvis Presley's Jailhouse Rock and The Beatles' Twist n Shout.

"You're way cooler than what you did," said Mel as she expressed her disappointment at their old-fashioned song choice.

Meanwhile, Simon admitted that their song choice was "smart" but their mentor was letting them down.

The final act closing the show was Italian student, Andrea Faustini, who opted to sing Michael Jackson's hit song Earth Song.


Andrea has lit up the studio with his version of Earth Song #XFactorLiveShows

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"You’ve got to challenge yourself if you want to be bigger than you are
," said the 20-year-old student before his performance.

"Outstanding performance…you deserve every single one of those cheers," said Cheryl before Louis said he could "win the competition".

'The Italian Bear', as he is now being referred to, was shocked with the crowd's cheers and the positive comments from the judges.

Two acts will be leaving competition on the live show on Sunday which will also see performances from Pharrell Williams and Taylor Swift.

According to reports, Stephanie Nala is most likely to be leaving tomorrow's show with either Blonde Electra or Overload.

Tune in on Sunday at 8.15pm on ITV.