Belfast Telegraph

Robinson rocks the X Factor judges

Former drag queen Johnny Robinson proved the unlikely hero of the X Factor on Saturday, stealing the show on "rock night".

The 45-year-old took on The Darkness' I Believe In A Thing Called Love for his performance in the ITV Show. And the wannabe wowed the audience with his rendition - earning prolonged screams and cheers.

The judges were equally blown away, Tulisa Contostavlos having to wait until the cheers died down to tell him: "You say you have never sung rock before but you sung it like a rock star. Listen to the crowd, you absolutely smashed it. Johnny - rock star of the night for me!"

Kelly Rowland added: "You really do rock, we understand that, but I must say, you are such my guilty pleasure. I don't know if I can see you selling records but I know for darn sure I love to watch you and I have a good time."

Robinson even got positive words from self-styled "Mr Nasty" Gary Barlow. "Johnny, I really enjoyed that," the Take That star said. "There's only you that could sing that song tonight. Amazing."

His mentor Louis Walsh said: "The thing about it is, Gary has to like you because everybody here likes you and the public like you. Gary doesn't want to like you but he does like you."

Robinson, who earlier admitted he was "a bit worried" about the performance, said he was "gobsmacked" by the reaction, and fought back when Barlow could not resist a jibe, asking where his shiny suit was from, replying: "It was from your wardrobe!"

Another act to cause a stir was Misha B who found herself in the midst of allegations of bullying backstage after her performance of Prince's Purple Rain. N-Dubz star Contostavlos told her: "There's no doubt about it, when it comes to talent you are way up there.

But she urged the hopeful to "leave the war" behind, saying she had heard reports of her bullying other contestants, while Louis said one of his acts had complained about being bullied by her. But the pair found themselves up against Barlow and Rowland, who both insisted what went on back stage had nothing to do with the contest, sparking a row that had to be halted by host Dermot O'Leary.

Liverpool hopeful Marcus Collins opened the show with a performance of Lenny Kravitz's Are You Gonna Go My Way, while 16-year-old Janet Devlin put her own stamp on Guns and Roses' Sweet Child O' Mine.

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