Nine years later and … Anelisa Lambola is back on The X Factor!
Anelisa Lambola makes her return to The X Factor on Sunday’s episode, almost a decade after she first auditioned for the show.
The singer wowed the judges when she auditioned in 2007 at the age of 17, but crashed out of the talent show despite reaching the final 12 of the girls’ group.
Now 26 and working as a barmaid in London, Lambola feels she is finally ready, saying: “I am not having history repeat itself. I am going to go and win this competition.”
As she prepares to perform Aretha Franklin’s (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman, she admits: “Coming back is a lot of pressure, especially after these many years, because the biggest question is going to be: ‘Is she better?’”
Anelisa is not the only former X Factor contestant to return for a second shot.
In a series that has been full of returnees including Janet Grogan and Gifty Louise, identical teen twins Kyle and Josh reappear for auditions.
Now 17, the Brooks brothers were encouraged by Louis Walsh’s words when he decided not to put them through during the Judges’ Houses stage in 2015: “I think in a year or two you are going to be incredible.”
Ivy Grace Paredes, a 33-year-old singer from the Philippines, has travelled all the way to Leicester for her chance to perform Whitney Houston’s All The Man That I Need.
With her toddler being looked after by her parents back home, she tells the judges: “X Factor can give me the stepping stone that I need to do good in future, because this is all for my daughter.”
Also hoping to impress the judges is Jamuna Gibbs, a 63-year-old cleaner from Lancashire who performs Robyn’s Dancing On My Own and informs the judges: “I like men because I’m a tart. A tart with a heart.”
Sharon Osbourne tells her: “Oh Mrs, you’re naughty. Fabulously naughty.”
But it is Simon Cowell who gets amused by a naughty word as accounts assistant Faye Horne, 24, enters the room.
After thinking that she is called “Faye Horny”, he gets the giggles – and Faye struggles to suppress her own laughter as she tries to sing Sam Smith’s Writing’s On The Wall.
Simon apologises, saying: “I don’t know what is happening here Faye, I’m really sorry.”
In scenes reminiscent of rival talent show The Voice, Sharon makes him spin his chair around and face the back so he does not catch Faye’s eye.
“That was difficult for you, embarrassing for me,” Simon says after the performance.
Croatian opera singer Antonia Mirat, 32, sets Mozart’s Queen Of The Night to a pop beat for an unusual audition, while 16-year-old schoolgirl Olivia Garcia opts for Alicia Keys song Empire State Of Mind.
Simon jokes: “Olivia Garcia from Wigan sings New York. Why not? That’s The X Factor.”