Scouser passes X Factor boot camp

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Liverpool singer Christopher Maloney © ITV X Factor

The X Factor returned to Liverpool again this weekend for the boot camp stage of the competition as the remaining 211 contestants hoped to impress the panel of judges at the Echo Arena, after a night on the tiles at Alma de Cuba.

Liverpool’s Christopher Maloney, who overcame his nerves to impress the judges in his first audition, finally emerged as one of the lucky ones sent through boot camp to the judges’ homes stage.

His progress in the over 28s category came in suitably dramatic fashion, as the 34-year-old’s name was the final one to be announced on both nights of the weekend shows, leaving him shaking and in tears.

He was joined in the next phase by Liverpool girl band Poisonous Twin, featuring Sophie Houghton and Stephanie McMichael, who will jet off to Las Vegas in next week’s show.

Even before any of the acts had a chance to sing, the seemingly ruthless judges left a third of the would-be pop stars devastated, sending them home without even giving them a chance to perform.

After some initial cut-throat decisions, X Factor hopefuls were then given 72 hours to prepare their routines which involved collaborating with their fellow boot-camp counterparts.  They were put into pairs or trios for battle-style sing-offs which lead to over-zealous showmanship and erratic vocal tangents.

Following a few shaky performances, there were more than a few raised eyebrows from judges Gary Barlow, Louis Walsh, Tulisa and Nicole Scherzinger.

Maloney and other crowd favourites made it through to the final 70 despite some unexpectedly shoddy performances. The remaining line-up continued to compete in more challenges as it was their last opportunity to lift the roof of the Echo Arena and score points with the judges.

Liverpool singer Christopher Maloney ©

Customer services advisor Maloney’s heartfelt rendition of Take That’s ‘A Million Love Songs Later’ sent the Liverpool crowd wild in admiration of his powerful rasping vocals and humble demeanour.

Maloney was hopeful prior to his performance, saying: “I’m going to sing for my life and hopefully nerves won’t get the better of me, this could be my time.”

So it proved for Maloney, as he broke down after being selected as one of the final six acts for new mentor Gary Barlow’s category.

Backstage, Maloney was overwhelmed by emotion. He said: “I didn’t think they were going to call my name out. All day I have been thinking it was a ‘no’.”

As for now, the show goes on for local hope Christopher, as he prepares to face the music for one last challenge before the X Factor live shows.

About Joshua Nevett, JMU Journalism