In “The X Factor” U.K. arena auditions episode that ITV televised on Sept. 14, 2014, Jay James confirmed his status as a serious contender to make it into the Top 10 and possibly win on the show. James, who is a 30-year-old former Navy employee, may not be a pitch-perfect singer at all times, but it’s the way that he performs a song with raw emotion that makes him stand out from the pack of other contestants, most of whom come across as karaoke singers.
In this episode, James performed Coldplay’s “Fix You” and got a well-deserved standing ovation. One thing that really needs to improve about James’ on-stage performing style is that he tends to close his eyes too much when he’s singing, but since he’s not a professional singer, he should be able to get better as he gets more experience.
Of course, the judges (Simon Cowell, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, Mel B and Louis Walsh) were thrilled with James’ performance and voted him through to the next round. Cowell is mentoring the Overs category (solo contestants over the age of 25), and it’s obvious that Cowell wants to take James as far as he can go in this competition.
Here are the other audition highlights of this episode:
(All of these contestants were put through to the next round.)
The aforementioned Jay James, 30, gave a stunning rendition of Coldplay’s “Fix You.”
Jay James performs Coldplay’s “Fix You.”
Rouge Kiss, a five-member girl group ages 22 to 28, did an embarrassing, very awkward version of Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy.”
Rouge Kiss performs Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy.”
Overload, a five-member boy band ages 17 to 20, did an original song called “No No No” that sounded like a One Direction reject tune. Overload’s singing abilities and stage presence are weak by any standards, but a lot of teenage girls in the audience were into this performance, probably because the members of Overload are good-looking.
Overload performs original song “No No No.”
Kayleigh Manners started off singing The Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun” with an acoustic guitar, but she was clearly nervous and she stumbled badly. She was then asked to do another song, and she fared much better by singing Elton John’s “Your Song” without a guitar. The judges have been over-praising Manners’ average voice, and they probably just want her on the show because, with her nose piercings and tattoos, she looks so different from the typical “X Factor” contestant.
Kayleigh Manners performs The Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun” and Elton John’s “Your Song.”