Tearful teen singing sensation Olivia Garcia booked her place at the judges’ houses after her latest X Factor performance brought Wembley Arena to its feet.
The Orrell 16-year-old was last on stage in the girls’ section of the brutal Six Chair Challenge and appeared very nervous before the music struck up.
The round is one of the most intense in the competition and saw 11 young female hopefuls fighting for one of just six places in the next round in front of a live audience.
Once all of the chairs are filled, any successful singer could still be swapped out for another contestant – meaning nobody is safe. And being on last, the former Up Holland High School girl only had one chance to join the elite.
But her rendition of Paloma Faith’s Changing clearly impressed the panel, brought a standing ovation and the St John Rigby College student to tears.
And as millions watched the prime time ITV show, chief judge Simon Cowell said to Olivia: “Right now, you have made my life very difficult because I have to give you a chair. That was outstanding.”
His final move was to give her seat number three, meaning 17-year-old Luena Martinez fell at the final hurdle.
Other judges also voiced their pleasure at the performance. After Olivia completed her song, Nicole Scherzinger asked: “Where on earth did you come from?” to which a laughing Louis Walsh replied: “Wigan, of course!”
Olivia, who had her family with her for support at the audition, said she was inspired to apply when watching Leona Lewis back in 2006, even though she was only SIX at the time.
She got through a previous televised round in front of the judges with a performance of Alicia Keys’s Empire State of Mind, despite Cowell and co thinking that the song didn’t suit her voice.
Right now, you have made my life very difficult because I have to give you a chair. That was outstandingSimon Cowell