Dannii Minogue almost jumped out of her chair. "When you see a performance like that it's the absolute perfect audition. It's just so exciting to be sitting here on this panel," she said.
Louis Walsh gushed, "Danyl, I thank God that you came in today!" Cheryl Cole, while a little less over the top, was nonetheless enthusiastic "You're a natural-born performer."
Simon Cowell was the most complimentary. "OK Danyl. I've been doing this for how many years? Eight, nine years? OK, Danyl, that was singlehandedly the best first audition I have ever heard." The audience roared with approval.
This was true car-crash television. Emma, who had unsuccessfully auditioned in 2007, returned with sister Samantha to sing Mariah Carey's "Hero." Barely had a note left the mouths of the rotund duo, and the judges were grimacing.
"Arguably twice as bad as before Emma," said Cowell, gesturing in desperation. "Emma, you can't sing." She remained unperturbed, answering with a "whatever" before waddling offstage with her sister. Backstage, she said she thought she'd "probably" get through next year.
Stacey Solomon, 19, arrived onstage in teeny hot pants with a shy giggly manner. Cowell asked her who told her she was good. "Sometimes my mum does," she chuckled back and then began to sing. Cowell's expression transformed as she broke out a goose-bump inducing version of Louis Armstrong's "It's a Wonderful World." Cowell mouthed "Oh my God" at the camera and later told the singer, "Stacey, I am rarely surprised, but that took me by surprise. You are really good." Solomon came in third in the contest.
This performance was a dream come true for the 20-year-old from London. Beyonce Knowles joined Alexandra Burke onstage to sing her hit single "Listen." Burke, clearly blown over by the opportunity to sing with one of her idols, gave an outstanding performance. An emotional Burke burst into tears at the end of the song and told Knowles she had made "her dreams come true." Knowles called her "a superstar" and according to People magazine later told Cowell she wanted to work with Burke. After winning the competition in 2008, Burke is now hoping to crack the U.S. market. She has signed a $3.5 million deal with Epic records and in an interview with Now magazine credited her success in the States largely to Beyonce.
"It all happened because of Beyonce," she said. "She rang up her people ... and she was like, 'You need to watch this girl.' They then watched the show, flew over to see me on the last date of The "X Factor" tour at Wembley, and that was it. They signed me and I was in complete and utter shock."
Cowell chose "that horror we saw in Wales Rachel" as his worst audition for 2007. Rachel Lester an unemployed 25 year old was very sure of herself before the audition. "I am an extremely good vocalist. I can sing like Prince for Christ's sake. I can sing like Cyndi Lauper and Gwen Stefani so you know you don't get any more versatile than that."
She announced in front of the judges that she was "better than Madonna" before attempting to sing Sheena Easton's "Sugar Walls."
"Lazy, deluded, very little talent," was Cowell's response to her performance. Lester responded with a tirade of expletives against the judges and was removed from the audition room by security.