The bootcamp stage of The X Factor has remained much the same over the past few years, bar the odd change but this year things are going to be very different. After the usual group performance, the remaining acts will be divided into their categories where the judges will finally be told who is mentoring which category. They will then perform one category at a time, each act will sing a song. If they impress their mentor, they will be given one of six seats, but if they aren't good enough, they will be sent home. Once the six chairs have been filled, the mentor will have to swap someone from the chairs out if they wish to put another act through. So the pressure is on, by Sunday night we will know the identity of the Top 24!

Recap and videos after the JUMP...

 Day 1

Before the acts have even got the chance to sing, the judges find out who they will be mentoring this year. Louis says before his call 'Don't tell me I have the girls', why does he not want the girls? They're by far the strongest. Anyway, strange taste aside, Louis has the Boys. Good news for teenage girls as he'll pick three Bieber clones but bad news for the boys as they have Louis mentoring them. Sharon is next, and she and her dog are delighted to find out that Shazza is mentoring the Overs! It's between Nicole and Gary now for the last two categories, first up is Gary who has the Groups and isn't that happy about it leaving Nicole with the Girls. She's understandably thrilled to have gotten through.

With all of that over them, the categories are now going to be whittled down leaving the judges with 50 acts in total. This will be done by the solo acts performing in groups of three whilst the groups will perform in pairs. We don't see very much of this stage of the competition, only brief clips of some of the acts impressing whilst some of the acts we saw previously including Justin Peng, Dynamix and Jeanette Akua are sent home.

Up next is a trio made up of three female soloists, Melanie McCabe, Amy Mottram and Stephanie Woods. The trio are performing 'Fighter' by Christina Aguilera. Vocally, they're alright but none of them blow me away, Amy has a nice tone but sings it with no passion, Melanie is still a little karaoke, she doesn't really connect with the songs she sings if I'm being honest and Stephanie hits a bum note. Nicole is unsure what to do, Sharon doesn't want Stephanie to leave but Nicole decides to send Melanie and Amy through to the final round, sending Stephanie home as she's just not ready. Sharon is devastated to see the girl she sent home in 2007 going home. 


Day 2

Up first singing for their places are the Girls, mentored by Nicole. Singing first is Karen Harding. for those who watch that dancing show, no she hasn't defected from the Beeb to X Factor, this is a DIFFERENT KAREN. She wasn't shown previously but her room audition is shown briefly and she does a good rendition of 'Love On Top' by Beyoncé, she's taking on Fun.'s mammoth hit 'We Are Young' but has re-arranged it in a sultry, jazz setting, reminiscent of Corrinne Bailey-Rae. I really like her, she's different and has a gorgeous tone. Karen gets the first seat.

Lydia Lucy is the next hopeful to perform. You may remember the Essex girl from her arena audition where she sang 'The Way You Make Me Feel' by Michael Jackson to a fantastic reaction from the judges and audience. Her rendition of 'For Once In My Life' is again pretty good if a little forgettable. That said, she's likeable and has a good voice and unsurprisingly, she also gets through. Lydia gets the second seat.

Up next is someone who is feeling the pressure more than anyone else, Hannah Sheares who has had a rough time in the competition after she was split up from her best friends in the room auditions having auditioned as part of a girlband called 'Daisy Chain'. She impressed them at the arena auditions with an emotional cover of 'Skyscraper' by Demi Lovato. This time around, she's taking on an upbeat song with the Tina Turner classic 'River Deep Mountain High'. She sings it well but her tone isn't soulful enough for the track and she sort of falls apart as it goes on. Unfortunately, the judges aren't impressed and Nicole sends her home. Hannah goes home.

We briefly see Siana Schofield taking on 'Wake Me Up' by Avicii, it's good but clearly she's missing something because the judges seem a little non-plussed by the whole performance and she's sent home. Siana goes home. 

Chrissie Rhodes wowed everyone last week with a beautiful stripped back cover of 'Young Hearts Run Free' however her rendition of 'Iris' by The GooGoo Dolls sadly seems to fade into the background and Nicole says that it wasn't enough for the competition. Chrissie goes home. 

Jade Rendle is another act we haven't seen before, she's a 21-year-old karaoke DJ from Wigan and it's interesting that she's listed as a karaoke DJ because her rendition of 'Alone' by Heart is just that, karaoke. Good karaoke but karaoke all the same. She is sent home and Nicole uses her audition to give the remaining girls a stern talking to. She's bitterly disappointed by the lack of passion she has seen and tells all her girls to grow some balls or they'll be sent home. Jade Rendle is sent home. 

One of the favourites in the competition is up next, it's Tamera Foster who originally auditioned as part of girl duo 'Silver Rock' where they were split up at the room auditions stage. She wowed the judges with her potential in the arenas when she sang 'I Have Nothing' by Whitney Houston but her vocals weren't consistent as she forgot the words. She wants to show that she can be relied upon to deliver week after week with this performance of 'Stay' by Rihanna. To her credit, she holds it together and delivers a good rendition of the Rihanna track, even if she does tend to shout towards the end of the performance. She has a lot of potential but needs to gain better control of her voice as her performances tend to feel a bit screechy. However, the judges are blown away and all give her massive praise. Tamera gets the third seat.

Also impressing the judges is Relley C whose first audition, where she sang 'Don't You Worry Child' was a breath of fresh air. Her arena audition didn't do quite so well but she still deserved to get through. She wants to do a good job with her rendition of 'Respect' by Aretha Franklin. Despite the predictable song choice, it's a really strong performance which impresses me a lot. I love Relley's tone and she has great stage presence and is very likeable. Relley gets the fourth seat.

One of the returning acts now, it's Jade Richards who is hoping to impress with her rendition of 'Clown' by Emeli Sandé. I have to admit that I'm really disappointed, she sings it with very little emotion and I don't think that her raspy tone works at all on the song, it sounds misplaced. Despite this, the judges really enjoy her rendition of the track and she is also given a place in the seated area. Jade gets the fifth seat.

24-year-old Sheena McHugh is up next and she's taking a risk with an acoustic cover of 'The One That Got Away' by Katy Perry. She has a nice tone, it's slightly country in nature but she also has a folksy charm to her voice. I enjoyed listening to her on the stage and she did a good job with the song but I'm not jumping out of my seat. Nicole says that she's going to send her home as she doesn't think she's right for the show but Sheena breaks down and says that she did everything Nicole asked her to do. Nicole is moved by Sheena's determination and reconsiders her decision, sending her through after all! Sheena gets the final seat.

With the seats now full up, it means that Nicole will have to really think about her decisions because she now has to swap someone out if she wants to put another act through. Nobody sitting on the seats is guaranteed a place at Judge's Houses so the power is now in the hands of the remaining acts who have to deliver a better performance in order to usurp someone from their chair. Up next, hoping she will wow her mentor enough to get a seat is Hannah Barrett who reduced the judges to tears in her first audition when she sang 'Read All About It Part III'. She doesn't want to go home so she's taking on 'I'd Rather Go Blind' by Etta James. Wow, she has so much soul in her voice, this is a gorgeous rendition of a great song, it might be quite an old song but the emotion of the song is effortless and she really does herself justice with this performance. I loved this from Hannah, she poured everything into it and deservedly gets a shot, Nicole gives her a seat at the expense of Sheena McHugh who is sent home. Hannah Barrett gets a seat.

The next act taking her shot is 19-year-old Abi Alton who impressed the judges in her arena audition when she sang an original song. She's good but not amazing, I find her a little bit boring. Thankfully, she changes my mind with her piano cover of 'I Wanna Dance With Somebody', she totally transforms the song and makes it her own even if I hate this trend of taking upbeat songs and turning them into ballads. Her voice still needs work, it's a bit thin for my liking but she gets a shot as Nicole gives her a seat, sending Lydia Lucy home. Abi Alton gets a seat. 

Another act who has been here before is Melanie McCabe. She auditioned in 2008, 2011 and 2012 each year failing to quite make it to the live shows, 2011 being the only year she made Judge's Houses. She has faced rejection so many times that she says this year is the last year she will audition for the show, she won't re-audition if she is sent home again.  As soon as she emerges on stage she cries. Hmm, call me cynical but she doesn't know that she is on a stage in front of an audience and a panel of judges who love sob stories does she? Anyway, she performs Katy Perry's 'The One That Got Away', it's a nice song choice for her voice and she has a good voice but let's be honest, she doesn't have a lot of stage presence, she is just a good singer, she performs the song like she's in a school play and I just feel that she isn't a star. The judges obviously love it, particularly Louise who thinks she's amazing (what nationality is she again?). Nicole decides to give her a spot at Karen's expense. I'm fairly disappointed to be honest, I really liked Karen's tone and Melanie as good as she is, still lacks stage presence.

Girls Through To Judge's Houses: Melanie McCabe, Hannah Barrett, Tamera Foster, Relley C, Abi Alton, Jade Richards

It's judgement day for the Overs, as mentored by Sharon and up first is Sam Bailey who wowed the judges when she performed in the room auditions, and again impressed at the arena auditions with her rendition of 'Who's Loving You'. She's taking on Emeli Sandé's 'Clown' and again, she can sing but I'm not wowed. Her voice is good but I find her delivery a little dated and at times she can come off a little shouty. I'm worried that if she makes lives, she will become the Mary Byrne style crooner who doesn't have much relevance to the current music industry. The judges, however are impressed and she is put through. Sam gets the first seat. 

Souli Roots isn't quite so lucky as she is sent home after delivering an average vocal performance.

Call-centre worker Jayson Newland is up next, he hopes that his cover of 'Higher Love', famously covered by James-Vincent McMorrow will be enough to get him a seat. His tone is great and his upper range wows me, I wasn't blown away by his first audition in that I felt it was great but a little standard soul singer but this is something else, his clarity really impresses me. The judges love it, Sharon says he's great but she has her doubts and surprisingly, she doesn't put Jayson through. Jayson is sent home.

Sabrina Rumike succeeds where Jayson and Souli failed as she takes on 'I'd Rather Go Blind' also and really impresses Sharon and the other judges. She has a fantastic soul voice, she's a little generic but she has talent and the judges see a lot of potential in her so she looks like she will be going through to Judge's Houses also. Sabrina gets the second seat.

Up next is Joseph Whelan who auditioned last year where he got to bootcamp. His first audition this year saw him get rave reviews from the judges, and his 5-year-old song Cian. He has a very good rock voice but I'm underwhelmed to hear that he's taking on 'Iris' by The GooGoo Dolls as it's such a predictable song choice. He sings it well but there's no wow factor because the song is so overused on these shows. Thankfully, his rendition is enough to get him through to the next round with Gary telling him to work on his lower range. Joseph gets the third seat.

Single mum and white van driver Shelley Smith impressed the judges in her original arena audition with a soulful cover of 'Feeling Good' by Nina Simone which was further enhanced by her likeable, bubbly personality. My main concern with Shelley is that so far she has picked lots of retro songs and I struggle to see how she would fit the current market. She's taking on Aretha Franklin's 'Respect' which is not only sung about 1000 times every year on X Factor but was actually sung by her last year in the group performances at bootcamp. Despite this, she does have a nice voice and she's still as likeable as ever, stage presence isn't really an issue with her but I do worry that it'll all become a little cabaret for my liking. She finishes her performance to a round of applause and the judges are really impressed. Sharon tells her to take a seat and calls her daughter Madilyn up to give her mum a hug. Shelley gets the fourth seat.

Full-time nanny Katie Markham is also quickly given a seat after her good rendition of Emeli Sandé's 'Clown'. Katie gets the fifth seat.

And just as it looks like the remaining acts will still have a decent shot, on comes Northern Irish music teacher Andrea Magee who is annoyingly montaged once again despite giving an amazing rendition of 'River Deep, Mountain High' accompanied by (what I think is) a bodhran? She is so creative and original and a total contrast to the diva overload that is the 'Overs' category, the fact that she;s still fairly young also ought to count in her favour. I honestly think she is the Over I most see having a serious chance of winning despite her lack of exposure. Andrea gets the final seat.

So just as Lorna Simpson prepares to take to the stage, there are no seats left and her only chance of getting through is by impressing Sharon enough to prompt her to replace one of the current seated acts with Lorna. Well if she doesn't get through after wowing with 'I Wanna Dance With Somebody' by Whitney Houston then I don't know what will, Lorna is seriously seriously good, she hasn't been shown a lot so far but she has serious talent and will do well if she makes the live shows, she's not only just as talented as Sam and Shelley but seems a little more relevant and current also. Lorna gets a seat, replacing Sabrina.

The final Over now and it's single mum Zoe Devlin whose jazz vocals have made her a favourite amongst the judges;. She is taking on 'You Are So Beautiful' by Joe Cocker. Not the most interesting of song choices but she makes it her own and really impresses me with her bluesy tone. Just like Zoe and Andrea, we haven't seen a lot of Zoe in the competition but I honestly think the three of them have made more of an impact tonight than the overs we have been shown more of like Joseph, Sam and Shelley. Sharon tells Zoe that she is getting a seat but doesn't know who to lose. Gary tells her that based on the performances, she should send Joseph home. Joseph gets out of his seat and proceeds to talk off stage, Sharon tells him sternly to 'sit down'. Well Joseph isn't coming across well at all, is he? He seems to have gotten worse this year rather than improved, has gave three alright performances and now seems to be throwing a bit of a tantrum. Louis disagrees and says Katie should be sent home and Sharon complies with the Irish music mogul and sends Katie home. Joe was very lucky and that semi-strop doesn't bode well. Zoe gets a seat, replacing Katie Markham.

Final Six Overs: Zoe Devlin, Joseph Whelan, Shelley Smith, Sam Bailey, Lorna Simpson, Andrea Magee.

Gary's Groups category are up next. Gary wasn't initially very pleased to have the groups but feels more confident. We are told that he puts a group together from two rejected female soloists (Jeannette Akua and Rielle Carrington) and SeSe from Dynamix who was offered the chance to go solo at auditions but turned them down. More on them later.

We very briefly see Brick City singing 'Like A Prayer' by Madonna, the edit does them no favours as they sound out of tune but they're actually really good and according to people who watched bootcamp live, they sounded better in the arena. Anyway, the judges still love them and Gary gives them a shot by sending them to the chairs. Brick City get the first seat.

Fresh drama is available courtesy of returning group Rough Copy who unfortunately face a similar situation to last year, one of the members cannot get a visa in time for Judge's Houses so rather than the group pulling out, he has decided to leave the group meaning it's just two of them. He's waiting in the wings but what remains to be seen is whether his departure will be felt. I'm slightly reluctant to admit this but I LOVE their rendition of 'Stop Crying Your Heart Out' by Oasis. They seem a lot less cocky as a two-piece maybe they just don't come across so strongly as a two-piece, anyway they sound really good. Gary says that they have done a great job despite the obstacles they have had to overcome. Rough Copy get the second seat.

Kingsland are up next, they remind me a little of The Overtones with their harmonies, their rendition of 'For Once In My Life' by Stevie Wonder is actually a decent performance although their individual vocals don't really wow me. Anyway, they do a good job and manage to get a seat. Kingsland get the third seat.

Xyra also impress the judges with their rendition of 'Billie Jean' by Michael Jackson. The arrangement of the song really adds to the effectiveness of their performance although I must admit that I think aside from the bass singer, none of them are particularly outstanding vocalists. However, their harmonies are strong so I'll forgive that. Xyra get the fourth seat.

Anyway, up next are Tenors Of Rock who impressed the judges with their rendition of 'Living On A Prayer'. They have good vocals, they're a good rock group and we haven't had a proper rock group before. They did a good job with their rendition of 'Who Wants To Live Forever' but they're still not really wowing me. I just think they're a decent group, nothing exception. Gary enjoys their performance but criticizes them for perhaps not really having a massive potential market. Tenors Of Rock get the fifth seat.

Up next are boyband Code 4 who weren't exactly brilliant in their arena audition but got through mainly due to the fact that they were good at working the crowd. However surely even their stage presence cannot save them from a terrible cover of Avicii's 'Wake Me Up'. It was absolutely dire, they didn't have a voice between them and the back flip was just totally bizarre, they're on X Factor not Britain's Got Talent! I mean, seriously? And Nicole says she would give them a seat? They can't sing in tune! Code 4 get the final seat.

With no more free seats, up next are the girlband who have had less time to rehearse than anyone else in the competition having been put together just a few hours prior to their performance. They are made up of Jeanette Akua, who I actually compared to Beyoncé in Destiny's Child in auditions, Rielle Carrington and SeSe from mixed group Dynamix who were rejected at bootcamp. Before they sing SeSe gets emotional because the second chance means a lot to her and the trio have to compose themselves. This isn't boding well if they're emotional wrecks already. However, they manage to pull it back when they begin to sing their cover of Rihanna's 'We Found Love'. They have superb voices, each of them has a strong R & B vocal but together, they need a bit of work. Their harmonies are quite good but not amazing however considering the fact that this is them after just a few hours together, they were a lot better than some of the groups who have been together months or even years. They get a great reception from the audience and the judges love them, Gary gives them a seat but at whose expense? Manufactured Girlband get a seat, replacing Tenors Of Rock.

Last group of the night is one of the favourites, Next Of Kin who reduced Nicole to tears in their first audition with their original song and their story of being given a taster of fame and success in the late 90's. The brothers are taking on a Take That song, namely 'Rule The World'. Well I would say that it's a risk taking on a song by their own mentor but it's such a safe and pedestrian song choice that I can't quite bring myself to say that. What I will say is that they're good singers, that isn't up for debate. What I find myself questioning is whether they are capable of selling records and sadly, I believe tat they answer to that question is 'No'. They're far too retro, they have a distinctly 90's sound and the boyband market is already overloaded so I struggle to see where these three would fit in. Gary decides not to give them a seat, some of his fellow judges are shocked but I agree, there was no connection to the audience there. Next Of Kin are sent home.

Final Six Groups: New Girlband, Code 4, Kingsland, Rough Copy, Brick City, Xyra.

With three categories now chosen, it's all down to Louis and his Boys to complete the Judge's Houses line-up. Up first is Sam Callahan who we have barely seen in the competition so far. He takes on 'Iris' by The GooGoo Dolls, he must be only the seventieth person to sing that song at bootcamp, I mean seriously, is the song list that restrictive? Anyway, he sings well, it's probably the best he has sounded in the competition but he still doesn't really do anything for me, he has a good voice but he's very generic and there are thousands of other similar artists who can sing just as well as he can. Sam gets the first seat.

Bizarre yodeller Barclay Beales now who has got to this stage of the competition despite barely even having a singing voice. His yodelling is little more than a gimmick and it's quite clear of that when he delivers a painful rendition of 'Respect' by Aretha Franklin. Not only is the yodelling woefully out of place but he actually sounds dire in his normal singing voice too, the attempt at some sort of upper range/falsetto mess is pretty cringeworthy and the audience end up making strange faces at one another. The judges tell him that it was rubbish and send him back. Yodel-e-do! Barclay is sent home.

Up next is club singer Paul Akister who has wowed with his blue-eyed soul appeal on both occasions that he has sung in front of the judges. He takes on 'I'd Rather Go Blind' by Etta James and sings it very well I must say, he has a really strong tone and is very likeable also. His delivery could be improved, at times it does come across a little bit session singer-ish but that is understandable given his background. Anyway, he gets another superb reaction from the judges and audience and is given a seat. Paul gets the second seat.

Spanish pop hopeful Alejandro Fernandez-Holt now, well when I say Spanish I actually mean, comes from Birmingham but has Spanish roots. He wowed the judges and the female members of the audience at the arenas when he took on 'Hero' by Enrique Inglesias but I was still reserving getting too excited, believing that he was mainly praised for singing in Spanish whilst his English singing was just alright. Anyway, he's not hiding behind another language today as he takes on 'Little Things' by One Direction. It's good and he sings it grand but it's hardly what I would call a brilliant performance, the song itself is possibly one of my least favourite songs in the whole wide world, the lyrics are excruciating and it's just another average pop vocal that appeals to teenage girls. I'l give him that he has a more technically impressive voice than Sam but he's still nothing special. Alejandro gets the third seat.

Up next is Ryan Mathie, the trainee mechanic that never stops banging on about bin juice. He's actually alright, he can sing quite well but there's very little about him that seems marketable. He's just very plain, he has little stage presence and he does alright acoustic covers of songs, I've never been wowed by him. Ryan gets the fourth seat.

Hairtastic Luke Friend is up next, I wonder if he has actually washed his hair recently? He's taking on Heart's 'Alone' and I must admit that I'm a bit disappointed by how he covers the song, it wasn't a good choice for him anyway but his vocals are just very average and I feel like he has yet to live up to his very impressive room audition. That said, he's still one of the few interesting Boys in an otherwise very mediocre category this year so I hope he gets through. Luke gets the fifth seat.

One of the youngest acts in his category is up now, it's Giles Potter who has impressed the judges with his cheeky chappy persona in the room audition but is yet to impress me with his less than brilliant vocals. His arena audition, shown last week was a bit of a car crash as he messed up his lyrics but Gary gave him advice and the judges sent him through. He's taking on 'I Won't Give Up' by Jason Mraz, again he is an alright singer, his voice is probably better than his previous auditions but this is still extremely average by any standards. There's nothing different about him, he's just an alright teen singer and I fail to see how he would cope with the live shows as his voice is rather thin so song choices would be limited. Despite this, Louise is obviously impressed as he gives him a seat. Giles gets the final seat.

Hoping to steal a seat is football coach Tom Mann whose voice the judges loved in his first audition. He is taking on Cyndi Lauper's 'Girls Just Wanna Have Fun' but has slowed it right down and is playing it on acoustic guitar. Sorry but this is rather rubbish, his voice is far too thin for my liking, his high-pitched voice doesn't sound great at all and I can't imagine many people wanting to listen to a whole album of this. Aside from that, the 'slow down an upbeat song' has been done so many times, I honestly want to put my fist through the television, slowing down a fast song is just that, slowing down a fast song, it's not 'putting your own spin on it' as the judges love to say. Louis isn't convinced by Tom and didn't like the song choice so he's forced to hang up his boots. Tom is sent home.

The final auditionee is Nicholas McDonald, a Scottish schoolboy who surprised the judges in the arenas with a strong vocal performance of 'A Thousand Years' by Christina Perri. He's taking on 'I Won't Give Up' as well and to his credit, has a stronger voice than Giles. That said, he's still nothing special, as technically impressive all that is for a 16-year-old, he's hardly Freddie Mercury. He has poor stage presence, what he does is rather dated, that sort of squeaky clean singing ballads type of teenage pop singer went out of date years ago and there's nothing particularly unique about his voice. He can sing, sure he can but when about 99.9% of the other contestants can also do that, there has to be more than just a good voice for someone to stand out. Nicholas gets a seat, replacing Alejandro Fernandez-Holt.

Final Six Boys: Sam Callahan, Paul Akister, Ryan Mathie, Luke Friend, Giles Potter, Nicholas McDonald.

Next week, Judges Houses!
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