The three under 25 girls who have made it through to the live shows of The X Factor opened up about meeting their mentor Simon Cowell's young son Eric at rehearsals.
Samantha Lavery, Emily Middlemas and Gifty Louise, who will perform live for the first time on Saturday, discussed working with the music mogul during rehearsals at a press event, and revealed that Simon had brought his two-year-old along with him.
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Eric visited his dad at work
Gifty joked: "He's like a mini Simon Cowell...They walked in together and Eric sat on the chair next to him and [Simon] was patting him like, 'are you okay?' It was just so cute." Samantha added: "He's sat there shouting 'daddy daddy!' it's literally the cutest…
According to the trio, Simon was keen to hear his young son's opinion on their three acts.
"When we were singing Simon was looking at him like, 'do you like them?'," Samantha revealed.
"We were like, 'we've got to impress Simon and now we've got to impress mini Simon!' No pressure!"
They then revealed that they spent time playing with the toddler, with Samantha saying: "I think Eric's got a soft spot for all of us…little Eric has got to be there on the night because he was loving it."
Emily, Samantha and Gifty will be performing in the first live show on Saturday
Samantha spoke fondly of her mentor, saying: "[Simon's] helping us grow and he knows where he wants us to go. He has that vision which makes us feel really good about ourselves…it gives us a bit of strength."
The 56-year-old has previously revealed that his son was "in training" to become a judge himself. Speaking on ITV's Lorraine, he said: "What's funny is he gets to see me watching the shows sometimes and when he likes something he's a really good barometer, so he's in training."
The X Factor airs Saturday and Sunday, 8pm on ITV.