“The X Factor UK” aired round six of season 15 auditions last night (Sept. 17) in the U.S. on AXS TV. The new judging panel, consisting of Simon Cowell, Louis Tomlinson, Robbie Williams and his wife Ayda Williams, are really getting into a comfortable groove while screening potential hopefuls who are vying to become the next international music superstar. The fifth round of auditions brought some memorable moments, including a surprise reunion between Louis and a returning contender.
Several amazing singers turned about in round six to perform in front of the judges and Wembley crowd. Overall, several standouts will be moving on to boot camp. But, three soulful singers really wowed everyone with stunning performances that will hopefully bode well for their “X Factor” future.
Bella and Lanya Pull a One-Two Punch
Bubbly contestants are always fun to watch and the first contender of the night, Bella Penfold, brought oodles of 19-year-old energy. Bella was bright, bubbly and she could really sing. She did an incredible rendition of Joss Stone’s “Fell in Love with a Boy” which caused all the judges to fall in love with her. Bella has soul, grit and determination and she’ll be one to watch as she sailed through to the next round with four yeses and an “I love you” from Simon.
Seventeen-year-old Lanya Matthews fooled everyone with what Simon immediately observed as “quiet confidence.” With a huge family cheering her on with Dermot O’ Leary at the sidelines, she belted a sensational, soulful rendition of “And I Am Telling You” from “Dreamgirls.” Anyone who saw “American Idol” finalist and Oscar-winning actress-singer Jennifer Hudson sings this in the film knows it’s a huge musical undertaking.
Have no fear, however. Lanya simply smashed it and delivered what could arguably be one of the best auditions to date. Simon gushed praise telling her, “That was more than a performance, that was a statement.” Louis added, “As time goes on it gets harder and harder to shock us, but you’ve just done exactly that.” We can’t wait to see what Lanya does next.
Dee and Dalton Dazzle and Deliver
Aspiring rapper and teacher Dee Lush caught everyone’s attention with her original rap about “love at first sight.” She was incredible and gave a really sweet statement about always telling her students to never give up on their dreams. Everyone loved her and she received a unanimous pass to the next round.
Dalton Andre Harris’ backstory about coming from a challenging background and flying all the way to the UK from Jamaica already made us root for him to do well. But, no one expected what an astonishing, rich, warm tone he has. He delivered an incredible, emotional rendition of Elton John’s ballad “Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word.” It was breathtaking, and Simon paid him a huge compliment saying, “You sang something which was sincere. It gave me a whole new take on the song.” He is also sailing through to the next round.
Nathan is Nice and Shan Slays It
Nathan Grisdale confessed being awkward following a really solid effort on making Andra Day’s anthem “Rise Up” his own. His nerves showed through a little. But, we agree with Louis. Nathan is nice and he would probably sound great on a recording. It will be interesting to see if he comes out of his shell in the next round.
Shan closed out the night with a stunning rendition of “Never Enough” from “The Greatest Showman.” She received a standing ovation and well-deserved praise for a vocal that was filled with interesting riffs and plenty of authentic emotion. She could definitely be one to watch moving forward and set the bar really high for contenders who follow. When Simon says, “I was genuinely blown away,” you know she’s something special.
“The X Factor UK” airs on Sundays and Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT in the U.S. on AXS TV.