“The X Factor UK” aired the third round of season 15 auditions last night (Sept. 9) in the U.S. on AXS TV. Another batch of contenders faced a crowd of 5,000 people and “X Factor” judges Simon Cowell, Robbie Williams, Ayda Williams and Louis Tomlinson hoping to make their dreams come true.
Among them, were two stylistically different teen singers Aaliyah Robinson and Acacia K, who were tasked with a tough challenge. Not only did they rise to the occasion, they smashed it! Plus, a transgender singer delivered a moving performance and another teen vocalist crushed a Prince classic to close out the show.
Flower Girl Blossoms in ‘Impossible’ Performance
Natasha Boon strutted onto the stage and told the judges she comes from a long line of family florists and has never really performed in front of a lot of people. Everyone liked her bubbly, bright personality and she really blossomed with a surprisingly soulful performance of James Arthur’s song “Impossible.” Robbie Williams was particularly taken with her audition saying, “You’re a star, a diamond in the rough, you remind me of Amy Winehouse.”
Natasha was thrilled with his comparison and all the other judges agreed, giving the 26-year-old singer a unanimous pass to the next round.
Simon Works His Group-Forming Magic
Louis Tomlinson knows firsthand Simon Cowell has sort of a sixth sense for putting total strangers together to form amazing groups. Look at One Direction! When 14-year-old Aaliyah Robinson and 15-year-old Acacia K hit the stage, they were each trying out as solo artists. Aaliyah is more soulful, R &B while Acacia is a rapper. Simon stopped both of their auditions and after seeing Acacia, challenged them to get together as a duo and come back to perform a duet.
Let’s echo Simon who echoed Louis by saying these girls smashed their delivery of “Bang Bang!” They brought so much energy into the arena – and Simon was even singing along. It was fun, also, to hear Louis tell the girls how much they reminded him of the first time One Direction stepped onto the stage to perform together after they were formed. We all know that the story had a happy ending and at this point, the future is looking good for this pair of girls as well.
Here Comes “Trouble”
Speaking of energy, Owen Matthews had oodles of it when he took on a classic by The King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley. Robbie was shocked when he said he’s only 17. He chose to sing “Trouble” and wowed all the judges and audience with his charismatic, electric rendition. He’s also sailing through to the next round and it’ll be interesting to see what he does next.
Felix Shepherd Makes a Bold Impression
It’s amazing how many talented unknown singers are out there, who have faced a lot of challenges and turned to music for comfort. Felix Shepherd surprised the panel when he revealed that he was there to prove he’s more than “just a transgender guy.” He also credited his mom for support to make his transition and then sang a beautiful and moving rendition of “All I Want” by Kodaline. Simon thanked him for “trusting” everyone and he earned a well-deserved pass to the next round.
Amazing Prince Closer
“X Factor” host Dermot O’Leary asked Maria Laroco’s family a question that was probably flooding everyone’s minds after her mind-blowing “Purple Rain” show-closing audition: “Is there anyone in the Philippines who can’t sing?” The 17-year-old pint-sized vocal powerhouse reminded us of last season’s amazing Filipino contestant Alisah Bonaobra and explosive season 12 girl group, 4th Impact.
Maria definitely took a huge risk in taking on this iconic Prince song. In her case, the risk paid off. Louis was thrilled saying, “That was absolutely incredible, incredible! To do what you’ve just done, at 17, vocally, you absolutely blew me away. Well done.” Ayda praised her saying, “You just bossed that stage! Well done.” Simon perhaps gave her the highest praise saying, “So, you are 17 years old and you’ve flown all the way, which is a long trip. You’ve taken on probably one of the biggest songs in the world. I’m going to go beyond a billion yeses. I’m going to give you infinity yeses.”
Maria broke down in tears while receiving all the praise and she’ll definitely be one to watch as she advances in the competition.
“The X Factor UK” airs in the U.S. on Sundays and Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on AXS TV.