High octane drama for The X Factor as Bootcamp kicks off

Tears, tantrums and mayhem ensue as Bootcamp kicks off on The X Factor and contestants are faced with a new challenge: The Wall Of Songs.

The episode also sees head judge Simon Cowell giving the room of hopefuls a pep talk after declaring: “I actually can’t take this any more.”

More than 120 acts take to the stage at north London venue Alexandra Palace in a bid to make it through to the following round of the ITV singing show: The Six-Chair Challenge.

The newly-added wall of songs sees the singers each picking a song written on a piece of paper to determine the groupings they will perform in for the judges.

Simon explains: “There are 50 songs, each song is repeated three times. You select the song you want and then you will match up with the other two acts you’re going to end up with.

“When you’re working with whoever you are working with, work as a team, but also understand that they are your competition as well.”

First up to perform is group No Getaway singing alongside soloists Christopher Peyton, 46, and Caitlyn Vanbeck, 18, whose Edinburgh audition moved judge Nicole Scherzinger to tears.

Couple Tom, 24, and Laura, 29, from Liverpool, are determined to impress the judges after Simon told them to split up and advised Tom to go through as a solo act during their original audition. They take to the stage with Matt Terry, 23, and Aeron Smith, 20.

Laura says: “I’m afraid I’m going to let Tom down. I have to prove to Simon I deserve to be on that stage as much as Tom.”

Former X Factor participants Gifty Agyeman, 20, also known as Gifty Louise, and Anelisa Lamola, 26, are both hoping to progress further than they did in their previous attempts on the show.

Anelisa, who auditioned in 2007, said: “I was 17. When I got kicked off the show, I literally lost all confidence. There is a lot of pressure coming back…”

Irish singer Janet Grogan, 28, gets a boost from Simon who tells her: “You’re becoming my new favourite thing.”

She famously made it through to the six-chair challenge in 2014, but Simon did not select her to go through to the judges’ houses stage with him.

Tensions run high when girl group Skarl3t abandon their threesome pairing to rehearse alone after saying they were “stuck with parts of the song we weren’t familiar with”.

The day ends on a dramatic note for the last trio to perform – Samantha Atkinson, 32, Rebekah Ryan, 40, and James Wilson, 34, who is dyslexic.

James explains: “I found out I had dyslexia when I was six or seven. I struggle with my reading and writing, it’s difficult for me because it’s all about reading the lyrics.”

He disappears moments before they are all due to go on stage as the pressure of the show becomes too much for him.

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