Belfast Telegraph

New X Factor starts with a bang

X Factor is back with a new batch of big voices, bonkers hopefuls and bitchy judges.

The new series started with a bang as shy supermarket worker Jahmene Douglas wowed the judges.

Viewers saw the 21-year-old Asda worker, from Swindon, Wiltshire, conquer his nerves to put in an electric performance of the Etta James track At Last.

The talented singer, who describes himself as a "stay-at-home kind of guy", got a great reception, with judge Tulisa Contostavlos telling him: "You not only have the X Factor, you've got the shock factor."

But not everyone was given such an easy ride, with fellow judge Nicole Scherzinger warning: "Everyone might take me for the nice, sweet judge but underneath I'm a scary b*tch."

Former Spice Girl Mel B joined the panel in Manchester and played the role of a pantomime villain with gusto, showing her scary side to every contestant except one.

Even she was impressed by 16-year-old Ella Henderson, from Tetley in Lincolnshire, who sang a song dedicated to her dead grandfather. Scary Spice told the teenager: "What we just witnessed was incredible."

There was tension when Pink tribute artist Zoe Alexander stormed off stage and began swearing and smashing up the studio after reacting badly to the judges' comments.

Vying to be the new Susan Boyle, self-confessed geek Curtis Golden, a student from Buxton in Derbyshire, offered a confident rendition of Candy Man which took audiences by surprise.

Other contestants on the first show included a fireman, an 82-year-old pensioner and a Rod Stewart wannabe.

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