X Factor 2016 Bootcamp: Full Matt-Tel Jacket

Away from the narrative unfolding on screen, the Betfair market is telling its own story about this year’s X Factor – as judges’ houses are being filmed, rumours are swirling about who has and hasn’t made it. Since last week we’ve seen initial favourite Caitlyn Vanbeck drift alarmingly in the betting, despite an excellent edit in last Sunday’s bootcamp show. Now clear at the top of the betting is another act who had a highly promising bootcamp edit – although, of course, that’s never a guarantee of a happy ending.


Ah, bootcamp – it’s always offered up its share of ridiculously forced storylines: who can forget Simon Cowell singling out Zayn Malik from the crowd for the latter’s inability to dance? But down to one episode, and overshadowed both by spoilers from the 6CC and those rumours from judges’ houses filming (as summarised by Martin in the comments), it feels of more dubious relevance.

Offering even more evidence against taking too much from Sunday’s episode, Ryan Lawrie was shown among those being sent home, and yet rumours indicate that he is among the boys in the live shows, presumably having made judges’ houses as the wildcard. Time will tell how this is all managed. First let’s tidy up the final room audition show from last Saturday.

We’d pointed out last week that we were waiting on seven acts who were rumoured to be among the pre-wildcard judges’ houses. We got to see plenty of Sohelia Clifford, 18 and a waitress, who set herself up as a kind of Katie Waissel-esque pantomime villain as she channelled Ariana Grande with confidence beyond her vocal abilities.


There was slightly more cursory treatment for the other supposed judges’ houses candidates. Four of Diamonds were bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, if slightly too slick and uninteresting for their take on Meghan Trainor. There wasn’t enough screentime to feel optimistic for either them or Nate Simpson, who displayed decent enough vocals on ‘A Change Is Gonna Come’.

Three overs rumoured to be in judges’ houses had yet to be seen; two were shown. Christopher Peyton, 46, from Virginia originally, the son of a preacher man, received a reasonable amount of screentime and plenty of praise for ‘I’ll Rise’. Simon and Louis claimed he reminded them of Seal. He was called an “artist” by Sharon, and Nicole felt it was “honest”.


Samantha Atkinson, 32, a landlady from Hull, was filmed at home and work, and had got through to bootcamp last year. She tried Adele’s ‘When We Were Young’ but, amongst some kind words, got slapped down with the “pub singer” tag by Simon.


The final audition to be shown this year featured a heartwarming four yeses for Essex 25-year-old Mike Hough, who had made bootcamp in 2009 and whose rendition of Alanis Morisette’s ‘Ironic’ seemed a little overpraised. He’s one of many competing for the overs wildcard and hasn’t featured in recent rumours.


The bootcamp episode did feel a little rushed and random. We had the innovation of a wall of songs putting three varied acts together. But while we had some of the usual storylines of tensions within these groups, we also had plenty of times producers showed us three acts on stage while bothering to caption only one of them.

Before the performances, we’d had some screentime for Honey G, whom producers are evidently still trying to make happen. First seen on stage was Caitlyn Vanbeck, preceded by reminders of her Kelly Clarkson impression in the room auditions. We saw her overcoming nerves at her choice of Avicii’s ‘Wake Me Up’, before shining alongside Christopher Peyton, in an edit that was incredibly positive. Simon described both acts as “incredible”, and Caitlyn individually as “seriously outstanding” and “pure class”. There were several cutaways to Matt Terry appreciating the performance.


Next up we got our first sighting of Relley C, who reportedly makes judges’ houses again this year. Unfortunately, she was completely overshadowed by Bradley & Ottavio – we were reminded of chickengate before their bizarre performance. The show didn’t hide the fact they were being put through for “ratings”, as Louis described it to Simon’s supposed exasperation.


There followed some more comically or unintentionally bad performances, from the likes of opera-singing Antonia Mirat, living doll Sada Vidoo, Honey G and Beck Martin. We never got a chance to see The Brooks audition during the bootcamp episode, but they featured in a few cutaways during these moments, indicating that producers were at least somewhat keen to keep viewers reminded of them.

The build-up to the next group promised to be mainly about Tom and Laura, who had charmed in the room auditions. However, they proved to be bit-part players alongside Matt Terry. The Olly Murs comparison was wheeled out again for Matt, whose singing sounded wonderful next to the awful Aeron Smith. Much of the audience stood for them. Sharon said of Matt: “He’s got everything.” Nicole said of him: “He’s so cool.” Cowell added: “One of the best boys we’ve had in a long time.”


There was decent screentime for an effective threesome that included returnees Gifty Louise and Anelisa Lamola, as well as Chanal Benjilali, singing ‘Work From Home’. The audience was animated more than ever before. The edit suggested that Nicole’s praise was for Anelisa, though Sharon did go on to say of Gifty, “I do like the girl with the cropped hair,” to which Simon and Nicole agreed.


There was a briefer but still positive segment for 5am and Janet Grogan, about whom Simon said “you’re becoming my new favourite thing”. Niall Sexton was also given plenty of screentime and praise for his rendition of ‘Fix You’.

It was the same for Samantha Lavery with ‘Flashlight’. “We really liked her,” said Nicole. Christian Burrows featured in the next extended segment, with a reminder of his sad backstory before an emotional rendition of ‘7 Years’ that saw his “passion” praised.

There was then an attempt to fashion Mean Girls-type villains out of Skarl3t, who had gone away to rehearse on their own to the consternation of innocent Kayleigh Marie Morgan. Both were allowed through after failing to gel for ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’.


The next trio featured two of the three boys rumoured to be through to the lives, Ryan Lawrie and Freddy Parker. But the focus was on Melissa Pedro, getting support from both during nervous preparations. On this evidence, neither of the two boys appear vocally strong enough to compete at the business end of the competition.

The final drama revolved around the group performance of Rebekah Ryan, Samantha Atkinson and James Wilson. We were reminded of the last-named’s battle with dyslexia and nerves, before he went AWOL. Faye Horne, Ivy Paredes and Saara Aalto were among those seen shining in auditions before the wanderer finally returned. James admitted his guilt before their emotional rendition of ‘I Only Want To Be With You’ gained the judges plaudits.


The six chair challenge may be looming but those following rumours online are already speculating about the final 12 already chosen at judges’ houses. It’s the rumours about the overs which seem most credulity-stretching, with supposed places for not one but two acts who spoilers say fail to make it onto the six chairs in this weekend’s episode: Honey G and Saara Aalto. If this is true, presumably one is the wildcard and the other is parachuted in to replace Ivy Paredes when the Filipino was reportedly unable to get a visa to attend.


Last year’s live reveal of the finalists may have been chaotic, but at least it kept us in suspense until the last moment. Now we’re left wondering how some of the supposed shock inclusions and exclusions will be managed, if they do indeed come to pass. Do let us know your continuing thoughts below.

Photos via ©ITV / @ThePixelFactor

50 comments to X Factor 2016 Bootcamp: Full Matt-Tel Jacket

  • In Bootcamp, Mike Hough was labelled on screen as in in the “Boys”, though it could be a mistake. They actually seem to be calling the Overs the Over 25s this year.

  • Henry VIII

    It’s only because we know that they desecrate ratings in order to pave the way for their chosen ones that we can even give the Overs final 3 rumours any possibility of credence – two singers that they introduced as joke acts and one that they’ve hardly shown.

    I think the reports from people from the Girls and Overs 6cc, which we are soon to see anyway, are credible. But the rumours beyond that could be mostly lies.

    Another desecration is of grammar from Americanisms – “we were waiting on seven acts” and not “waiting for” 😉

  • 360

    I would expect Honey G to be the wildcard so they can save some face in not giving her a chair at Six Chair.

    I can’t believe how much Matt Terry looks like Louis Tomlinson. Legit thought you were using a joke image, folks.

  • Donald

    Playing catch up after two weeks, will get there tonight.

  • Ben Cook

    I think the spoilers are made up. There’s no way they’re not putting Caitlyn through to the lives. She’s clearly Simon’s favourite.

  • Teesa

    If Emily Middlemas and Ryan Lawrie are really dating i can already see producers engineering a sing off between those 2 at the lives!

  • Martin

    I also think the spoilers are made up. Why on earth would they make such an effort to keep Sohelia Clifford on if she wasn’t going through to the lives? Nobody will care if she gets booted off and she can barely hold a tune.

    • Ben Cook

      Yep and why do they continue to pimp Christian if they’re putting Ryan Lawrie through, who I can barely remember.

      • Fudd

        And we were presuming Matt is the Alpha (albeit not a surefire Plan A) yet they dangled him over the trapdoor tonight.

        To me Sohelia seems very much the lined up hate figure for the lives – reasonable voice but unlikeable. What’s the point of sending her home now? It’d have far more effect to get rid of Kayleigh over her. Caitlyn has felt like the Alpha Girl and I saw nothing tonight to change that; Gifty was also given a lot of support. I think range and age may count against Emily and Olivia respectively.

        Onto the Boys and Christian has a wiff on Alpha about him now, with a performance which had James Arthur written all over it. Though with James Arthur now resigned to the label I wonder if we might see a switch of horses? Matt was up, down, up, down, up which would have gave the audience an emotional connection but I don’t think his actual singing did him many favours. This is unlike Nate who had probably the strongest vocal of the night for the Boys but there’s still a lack of connection with the audience with him. James put on a performance but they also very much altered his look from his audition… from ballad singer to an entertainer? Freddie has been shoehorned into a ballad singer and a more uptempo performance was immediately criticised, with him bieng asked to return to his audition performance. One song wonder? Niall’s version of Run was said to be better than Nicole’s – even his mentor said as much. But he still doesn’t have the background of either Matt or Christian plus I think he’s been pigeonholed into one style of singing.

        So my guess for now.

        Girls: Caitlyn, Gifty and Sohelia
        Boys: Christian, Matt and James

  • Martin

    Christ alive that was a testing watch.

    Matt Terry getting a questionable pimp slot. Is a half step real music terminology?! They’re going to have to do better than that for him to get the win. Christian Burrows was surprisingly good tonight, if a bit James Arthur. Did he not do that exact version of Feeling Good when he was on?! Whilst I’m being picky, Emily Middlemas stole her version off of George Ezra. X Factor up to its old tricks as usual. Also with Freddy reprising his audition song already, not strong signs!

    I need to go and sit in a dark room after that.

    • Edie M

      Freddy is awful, one trick pony. Also surprised how poor Matt was, but it did give him a mini in episode journey which kept him in focus until the end. It will be strange if Christian doesn’t get to the lives.

  • Edie M

    Why does Matt terry get to be the only boy to sing live on xtra factor?? Why are they pimping him so hard, average looks & voice…

  • Lala

    I also think the spoilers are made up

  • Martin

    In fairness to Matt, his voice is good. I don’t know about the correct terminology but when he uses a higher register, his voice opens up and it sounds very soulful. Problem is, as with Louisa last year, he has no identity or unique quality about him. He’s a pretty boy with a nice voice who is probably inoffensive enough to win it without much else.

  • Tom

    No offence guys but I’m really missing the sixth sense of Stoney. Where is he?

  • Fudd

    So Simon just questioned The Brooks’ commitment and professionalism? It’ll take a lot for them to bounce back from that but the show could do it.

    • Ben Cook

      They’re actually just not very good are they? I don’t think they’re going to be given much of a push.

      • Edie M

        They weren’t even aired on the main boot camp show last week, they seem to have really fallen out of favour

        • Fudd

          Are they going to even get through to the lives? It’d make sense to go with one duo (surely Bradley and Ottavio), one boyband made up by more than two members (5am) and one girl group (I’m veering towards Skarl3t). The Brooks being questioned by Simon just set it up for Louis to ponder about it again and send them home.

          How is Simon going to be able to criticise them when he was pushing Louis to bring them back, though? There’s no point praising the joke act; it jarred with Reggie and Bollie last year even though they were entertaining.

  • Fudd

    Honey G replaces Ivy at Judges Houses.

    Wildcards: Samantha Lavery, Ryan Lawrie, Saara Aalto, Yes Lad.

    So… the rumoured spoilers are still on. But surely not???

    • Edie M

      Seems spoilers are more likely now

    • Spiidey

      I’m confident the spoilers are now true. Honey G was the big surprise in the spoilers but she was given a great edit at 6 chair so seems favoured. Sharon possibly went rogue and wasn’t meant to send her packing. The fact that the crowd liked her I found most interesting, I was convinced from the audition/boot camp footage that she’d get tingly booed by the crowd. Suggests she may have a higher degree of longevity in the lives than I initially thought.

      Saara also seems much more likely now, particularly given Simon’s comments after her 1st performance. It’s possible Sharon is told to put her through from JH to lives, regardless of any connection or otherwise. She’s mid-run fodder though – Simon may want to give her enough exposure to possibly launch her in Europe but I just can’t see the viewers taking to her enough to make her a viable to 3/5 contender.

      The lack of Caitlyn is the only remaining confusing one given her treatment to date but they’re maybe saving her for next year to prevent the two x blonde females two years on the trot.

  • Edie M

    So the whole wildcard thing was clearly concocted to get Ryan back. Starting to believe the rumours he’s through to lives.

    • Ben Cook

      Hmm I suppose at least one of the wildcards has to make it otherwise it was a waste of time. But none of the 4 are particularly talented or memorable so it’s a waste of time anyway.

  • Phil

    I just don’t get the point in having wildcards sent to judges houses. Surely there is much more mileage and entertainment value in putting them straight to the live shows and basically lumbering each judge with an act they’ve already rejected but can’t get rid of until they’re voted out?

    Also fwiw I thought Honey G was actually really good tonight. I like how there’s a “is she for real?” thing about her – it’s probably all an act, but there’s just this possibility it isn’t. It’s fun.

    • Edie M

      The fact it was revealed on xtra factor meant the whole thing is clearly a retconned manipulation, I think it was simply to bring Ryan lawrie back- can’t think of any other reason.

    • Fudd

      My mother doesn’t understand the manipulations of The X Factor. Her reaction tonight (as she was in the other room at the time) “Oh it’s not her is it… let me know when she performs so I can watch!”

  • Rose Lloyd

    I didn’t take the comments on The Brooks too seriously to be honest. I felt it could be a bit of camouflage, really – to criticise them on those two issues could pretty easily be turned around by a storming performance at judges’ house. Also one of the twins looked profoundly unmoved by what was said, as if he knew it might be coming.

    • I don’t think The Brooks are capable of a storming performance though

      • Rose L

        I’d mostly agree, but not being all that good has never stopped an act getting to Live Shows. They’ve seemed fairly competent to me in the past – until last night, that is. They’re promising to come back bigger and better at Judges’ Houses on their Twitter feed and I think they do still look like contenders despite last night’s debacle. What I was wondering is, are they likely to attract a similar demographic to 5am? Because those boys are much slicker and more exciting – but perhaps for a slightly older, less teen girl sort of crowd? If I thought those two acts were going to attract the same vote, I’d definitely pick 5am any day.

  • Martin

    I thought the down playing of The Brooks came across more as a way of distancing them from the ‘fix’ rumours but they weren’t very good tonight at all, and were extremely short changed in the edit. Maybe they are just there to make up the numbers? After this weekend, who knows? I get the feeling that the show isn’t really pushing anybody too hard.

    The emergence of the wild cards also does give the spoilers a bit more credibility. After Saara Alto kicking off at SCC, maybe the show switched lanes to chase ratings. I still can’t make sense of Relley C being through though.

    I was also won over a bit by Honey G. I mean, she’s clearly an actress and in on it all – like Chloe Jasmine was her year, but even more blatant. With regards to Simon pushing for Ottavio and Bradley coming back, the way it was packaged was more to highlight how frustrated he was at the current line up, without singling anybody out. It would be quite easy to turn that round to an anti-vote adter a week one performance.

    • Fudd

      The Brooks performance tonight was a bit of a mess, shown as part of a Don’t Stop Me Now medley (a song which is a kiss of death for any X Factor act unless their name is Olly Murs). They could easily turn it around during the first live show. I saw it as way of differentiaitng (sp?) them from 5am. The latter have come so far in five weeks whilst the Brooks are still struggling despite being twins and preparing for this moment for more than two years.

      Saara had a decent run to this point so her inclusion isn’t too much of a surprise in the long run. Honey G’s appearance was predictable from the moment her audition aired. Relley C makes no sense at all, as you say.

      Surely they’ll get rid of one of the joke acts in week one? Niccolo was sold down the river in series 7 for Wagner with Diva Fever going the following week and Blonde Electra were binned in series 11 over Stevi Ritchie. I’m leaning towards Ottavio and Bradley being the week one ditch at the moment as I think Honey G has the backbone and confidence to go further whereas Ottavio and Bradley are too emotional – one comment out of turn and they could have a complete meltdown.

      • Edie M

        Interesting point about favoured joke acts. They haven’t had one like honey g before (I really hope she’s in on the joke…) whereas cosmic riot remind me of previous joke acts (diva fever, 2 x rylans etc)

  • Martin

    The point Fudd makes about the contrast between 5am and The Brooks is a good one, I hadn’t thought of that. Were their auditions aired next to each other? I can’t remember.

    I suppose, if the spoilers are true, Relley C’s appearance makes more sense when thinking back to Lorna Simpson and Fleur East at this stage in their respective years. Way to demolish a categories chances though. Unless Relley C can win people around like Fleur did.

  • If the spoilers are true, can anyone explain why they’d pick Ryan over Christian? That’s the one I’m most baffled by. Followed by Caitlyn.

    • Edie M

      Is it because of his relationship with Emily? Or bc he has already been signed in the past and opened capital summertime ball so they think he’d be a reliable performer? It is strange. If caitlyn goes it has to be the Louisa Johnson effect surely?

  • Martin

    The spoiler on DS regarding Ryan Lawrie being put into a boyband during SCC also surfaced as correct during Xtra last night. Perhaps Simon’s aim was to produce a new 1D this year, however none of the boybands seem up to it so is just running with a load of pretty boys in The Brooks, Ryan, Matt and perhaps 5am and seeing if any stick? They flooded the Cardle demo in 2014 and still Ben ran away with it – perhaps it’s a similar circumstance and whoever gets a decent vote turn out in week one will be the beneficiary of producer favour going forward.

    We don’t really know anything at the minute – Christian Burrows missing out does seem a little suspect. Ryan has producer favour on his side because he’s younger and prettier and has his relationship with Emily Middlemas (if she even gets through) for tabloid fodder but Christian is equally as emotional with a good back story about his brother and SCC was the start of a nice bromance with Matt Terry. Unless the show is running scared of comparisons with their recently re-acquired James Arthur, I can’t really see any other reason for them going with Ryan over him apart from a heart breaking rejection at judges houses. The plan A at the moment seems to be ratings, and there may be more longevity in Ryan than Christian, in terms of VT fodder and tabloid attention.

    • Fudd

      My question in regards to this is was flooding the Cardle demo in 2014 a tactic to uash the vote rather than trying to find someone to launch? Stereo Kicks and Fleur were their commercial hopes in live show one so I presume they were hoping the Cardles would cancel each other out. Of course it didn’t work so they could well be going for the other approach this year and flooding the show to launch someone.

      If the rumours are true then I don’t get why they haven’t plotted Ryan’s path through the competition more carefully so the audience could claim an emotional connection – from Boot Camp rejection to a new group to the ‘mistake’ which has resulted in him becoming a Judges Houses candidate. Unless he’s seen as relatively disposable; despite the question mark over him from the Six Chair Challenge Matt is presumably entering the lives as Alpha Boy and Freddy being shown to be strong at judt song gives me the feeling of Gamma at the moment.

      As for Christian’s departure, considering the bromance between him and Matt which was played for all it’s worth during the Six Chair Challenge I have the feeling the show will pit it as him v Matt for the final place if the rumours are true. Sending one of them home will be very much a shock too.

      If the rumours are correct, though, they seem to be making a bigger mess of this series than they did 2013. The Overs have a non-existent decent singer, a returning joke act and a quirky foreign act who screwed up at the 6CC when they went into Boot Camp as arguably the strongest category; the Boys have lost their biggest emotional connection for an act who’s basically disappeared since the audition stages and someone who can only sing one song whilst the Girls have ditched what we thought could be a Plan A for someone who has l’no identity’ according to Simon. The only category which has any logic behind it at this stage is the Groups even if I am surprised that they’ve gone male heavy with it.

      • Martin

        Perhaps, in a broad brush stroke, they know they want a young commercial male winner but aren’t particularly concerned about who it is, hence why they’ve let the overs self distruct, left their best girl out of the live shows and gone male heavy on the groups. It’s interesting that the most Cardle/Haenow-like act, and the most natural vote getter overall (in my opinion) James Wilson is left out of spoilers. Without one single person or people to go in hard on (like Louisa), they seem more concerned with giving the acts a journey than giving them a winning edit. Ryan was unseen at the weekend, it will be interesting to see if that footage from Xtra Factor with him in a bad boyband is bought to the main show at judges houses.

        • Henry VIII

          But none of the males they’ve got are commercial because none are great singers. (Olly Murs wasn’t great either but could get a bit of success because of his personality and stage presence – very rare). None of the girls are either. With a young group some can carry the others and enhancing the sound is easier but I don’t think they can pull off a 1D or Little Mix with the groups they’ve got.

          Cowell may have learned that now. His big projects seem to be outside of XF nowadays (although they usually come to nothing). They may just be having a ratings based series. To try and resurrect it.

          • Martin

            Well yes, quite. My only counter to that would be with Ryan Lawrie having a Scottish vote for back up. Nicholas McDonald was hardly the greatest singer and he may have won with more producer favour. Eoghan Quigg was arguably worse than Ryan and had to be heavily nobbled.
            I do think your second point is far more likely though.

          • Fudd

            I’m not so sure about the ratings argument. Surely by now they’ve learned that emotional cuts and staged comebacks don’t tend to work for a show where even those who only have a passing interest can smell the manipulation from a mile off?

            If they wanted ratings surely they’d go for something like Samantha, James and Janet for the Overs; Matt, Christian and Nate from the Boys; Caitlyn, Gifty and Emily from the Girls and 5am, The Brooks and maybe Skarl3t from the Groups? Acts they’ve given an emotional connection to where people are invested in their progress and development.

            Basically one of the things they wouldn’t do if they were solely concentrating on ratings is destroy the Overs.

  • Henry VIII

    Yeah they can’t make any money out of Ryan after the series so he supports the ratings push – ie their first lovebird couple. With no more talent they’re getting like other RTV shows.

  • Henry VIII

    James Wilson LPM 32 and with a fair amount waiting to back him. Wildcard or bubble?

  • Harry

    Predicted final placings (assuming there aren’t any more Wildcards to be given out):

    Honey G

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