X Factor judges reveal their wildcards - Honey G, Samantha Lavery, Ryan Lawrie, Saara Aalto and Yes Lad


The X Factor judges have revealed their wildcard acts for this year.

After auditioning hundreds of contestants across the nation, Simon Cowell, Nicole Scherzinger, Sharon Osbourne and Louis Walsh were tasked with whittling down their groups to the final six this weekend.

Shortly after their selection, viewers who tuned into Sunday night's Xtra Factor Live, saw which wildcards were selected - a lucky draw for people who the judges felt also deserved a place at Judges Houses.



The X Factor judges have revealed their wildcard acts for this year

This year, Louis chose Samantha Lavery for Simon, Simon picked Ryan Lawrie for Nicole, while Nicole chose Saara Aalto for Sharon and Sharon opted to bring back Yes Lad for Louis.

Samantha, a 16-year-old student, sailed through the first rounds of the competition with Nicole calling her "an English raw diamond in the rough".

Upon hearing her fate, Samantha said: "I had no idea about the wildcard and couldn’t believe it when I got the call from Louis. I still can’t believe it’s real.

"There were so many tears from me and my family – especially my grandad when I found out I was back in the competition. I feel like I have been given a second chance to prove to Simon I deserve to go to the lives."


 Samantha Lavery, Ryan Lawrie,  Saara Aalto  and Yes Lad were all picked

Having originally auditioned as a solo act and then made it to Six Chair Challenge in a newly put together boyband, it was Simon who first realised they’d missed a trick with 20 year old singer, Ryan, telling him, "We made a big mistake in not putting you through Ryan as a solo artist".

"It was totally unexpected and I was absolutely buzzing to get a call from Simon," the young hopeful revealed. "I'm really excited for it and with all the feelings and emotions running through me it just doesn’t feel real at all. I want to show Nicole why Simon brought me back."

Meanwhile, 29- year-old singer Saara Aalto was an easy choice for Nicole, who supported her from her first audition.

"I'm so happy to get the wildcard from Nicole," the Finnish contestant explained. "She understood me from the first audition. This is the point that can change my life and I know I have so much to give."


Simon was in charge of the girls category

Five piece boyband Yes Lad - made up of Joel, Cian, Sonny, Lewis and Luke - originally secured a seat in the Six Chair Challenge with Sharon telling them, "You did so well".

However, pressure on Louis from the other judges about needing to have a mix of different groups made Louis swap them out for eccentric duo, Ottavio and Bradley.

"We thought that was it and we were out," the group said. "It's so surreal to now be going to Louis' house. We feel we're the underdog and have something to prove to Louis. We have Sharon on our side and she said that she believed in us so hopefully Louis will listen to her."