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X Factor judges Simon Cowell and Cheryl Fernandez-Versini admit 'regrets'


Monica Michael during the audition stage for The X Factor (SYCO/THAMES TV)

Monica Michael during the audition stage for The X Factor (SYCO/THAMES TV)

Monica Michael during the audition stage for The X Factor (SYCO/THAMES TV)

X Factor judges Simon Cowell and Cheryl Fernandez-Versini were forced to admit their "regrets" after booting Monica Michael out of last year's competition.

The 25-year-old youth worker, from north London, was knocked out during the six-chair challenge, losing out on a place at the judges' houses round.

She returned to the ITV show this year, where she was hoping to impress the duo, alongside new judges Rita Ora and Nick Grimshaw, with her rendition of Christina Aguilera's Impossible.

As she received four yeses, Cowell said: "We made a big mistake with you last year, and it happens. But it's actually a good thing that you've come back because you're interesting and I always want to see and hear that personality and that distinctiveness in your voice.

"You should never lose that. It's all about being real," he added.

Fernandez-Versini said: "You were the biggest regret of my category last year. You do something to me when you sing. This time, you've come back stronger, better. I just love you."

It was another successful night for contestants, as 11 aspiring acts got through to the next round.

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Saffron Silva, Abby Eades and Leah Gooden, who were knocked back by Louis Walsh last year during the judges' houses stage, also won a ticket after performing their version of Blackstreet's No Diggity.

"You're improved a lot. I'm very proud of you girls," Fernandez-Versini said.

Jade McGuire - a 30-year-old single mother-of-two from Glasgow, who sang and released three singles in the early 2000s with group Pop - won four yeses with her performance of Tina Arena's Chains.

Alex Boye, who Cowell recognised from his appearance on America's Got Talent, received the thumbs up from all four judges with his energetic rendition of Pharrell Williams's Happy.

Italian singing teacher Davide Papasidero, 25, has followed in the footsteps of last year's finalist Andrea Faustini after winning three yeses with his take on Aretha Franklin's hit Respect, while groups Silver Tone and Bekln - which consists of members from the London Community Gospel Choir - also got through.

Filipino mother Jenesa Gill left Ora speechless with her performance of Shakira's Hips Don't Lie, where she gave Cowell a lapdance and a kiss on the lips.

"I like your hips, I like your lips, I wasn't crazy about the singing," Cowell admitted.

The other contestants who got through include Dublin duo Rock And Rose (Kevin Carrick and Becky Rose Joyce), 17-year-old Hull student Charli Beard and session singer Vicki-Ann Nash.

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