Belfast Telegraph

X-Factor hopeful through after singing Angels with judge Robbie Williams

The ITV show returned to screens on Saturday.

An X-Factor contestant has booked his place in the next round of the show after singing a duet with new judge Robbie Williams in the opening episode of the latest series.

Andy Hofton, a customer service adviser from Macclesfield, was joined by Williams onstage at the show’s audition for an impromptu rendition of the star’s hit Angels.

The pair drew a standing ovation from the audience and even had head judge Simon Cowell singing along with them.

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Robbie Williams and his wife Ayda have made their debut on the X Factor judging panel (Ian West/PA)

Hofton jumped around the stage in delight following the performance with his idol, which won the approval of all the new judging panel judges – including Williams’ wife Ayda and One Direction star Louis Tomlinson.

Cowell had earlier cut off Hofton when he was performing his own song Castle Of Love.

Hofton claimed he had offered the track to Williams’ former Take That bandmate Gary Barlow, but had heard nothing back.

Williams joked that if Hofton had contacted him with the song instead of Barlow, he would have given him a call back.

An emotional first episode of the ITV show’s new series also saw Cowell take to the stage to apologise to a former Pop Idol contestant that he rejected for his appearance.

Benidorm bar singer Danny Tetley blew away the judges and the audience with a rendition of Jennifer Hudson’s And I’m Telling You. The rapturous reaction reduced Tetley to tears.

Some 17 years after Cowell told him he did not have the right look to forge a career in the music industry, the mogul admitted he felt that the business was now more open minded.

After all the judges put him through, Cowell embraced a tearful Tetley onstage.

There was also good news for 1990s singer Janice Robinson, who had a hit in 1994 with Dreamer alongside Italian house duo Livin’ Joy.

Robinson was unanimously put through after her performance of the song brought both Robbie and Ayda to their feet for a dance.

Fighting back tears, the Rock DJ singer said Robinson’s performance had transported him back to a person that he used to be in what he called a “messy” time in his life.

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Louis Tomlinson originally rose to fame with One Direction on The X-Factor (Ian West/PA)

Tomlinson called Robinson’s song “a banger”, joking that he enjoyed it at the time of its original release when he would have three years old.

Tomlinson was also left impressed by 16-year-old singer Molly Scott from County Durham, who performed her grandmother’s favourite song It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World by James Brown.

Scott received four yes votes from the judges, with Tomlinson’s labelling the performance as “like watching a little Christina Aguilera.”

London duo Misunderstood also progressed with an acrobatic performance of their original track Juicy Fruit.

There was less luck for the group Livia and The Elementals. Cowell called their performance one of the most unenthusiastic he had ever seen ,while Williams referred to the circus inspired act as “Cirque du no way”.

X-Factor continues on ITV on Sunday at 8pm.

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