X Factor judges send through act who reduced them to tears
The X Factor judges were reduced to tears by a singer who auditioned with a song he wrote about the sudden death of his mother, and sent him straight through to the next round of the competition.
J Sol, 25, revealed he had decided to follow his late mother Victoria’s wish for him to appear on the TV singing show, after reading old text messages he exchanged with her.
Following his performance, he was embraced on stage by One Direction star and judge Louis Tomlinson, whose own mother Johannah died in December 2016 aged 43 following a battle with leukaemia.
Tomlinson told the performer from east London: “That was moving for me. I lost my mum as well, I think you did an amazing job.”
Robbie and Ayda Williams were also emotional as they praised J Sol, with Ayda telling him his song Bullet In My Heart reminded her of the unexpected loss of her father in 2014.
She said: “I will never forget how the world swallowed me up on that day when I found out. I just want to thank you because that was a beautiful song and a powerful song and I know your mum will be really proud of you.”
The judges reached a unanimous decision to send J Sol through to the next stage, and head judge Simon Cowell confided that he speaks to his own late parents every day, and when he has to make an important decision.
J Sol said that he knew his mother would be proud of him.
The emotional episode also saw older singers trying to impress the panel, including 30-year-old Louise Setara. The cleaner had turned her back on a record deal she signed aged 18 in order to get married and start a family.
The single mother of two wowed the judges with a rendition of a song she wrote about a conversation she had with her former husband.
Cowell said her performance was one of his favourite auditions that he had seen on the show, while Tomlinson praised the storytelling in her lyrics.
Setara said: “Tomorrow I’ve got to carry on cleaning and I’ll be Cinderella again. Today I got to go to the ball.”
Cowell was also confronted by a contestant who had previously sung for him on the US equivalent of the show.
American barista Panda Williams previously reached the bootcamp stage of the US X Factor, but was taken to hospital with pneumonia after her successful audition.
Cowell said that Williams’ rendition of late soul singer Aretha Franklin’s (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman was one of the best versions of the song he had ever heard.
The X Factor continues at 8pm on Sunday on ITV.