Ben Haenow wowed the X Factor judges once more at the competition’s second live show last weekend with a passionate rendition of John Lennon’s ballad “Jealous Guy”.
With the week’s theme being the 80s, the 29-year-old van driver from Purley got standing ovations from two of the judges, smoothly making it through to next week’s live shows along with 11 other acts.
Haenow cheekily winked at the panel and the audience as Mel B and Simon Cowell jumped to their feet, smiling and applauding.
Louis Walsh eagerly commented: “That’s exactly what we’re looking for at the X Factor. You’re a natural recording star. You never got the break. This is what the shows are about, somebody young and talented, bluesy and soulful. You’ve got
the big package, you’ve got everything!”
Simon Cowell’s over-25 hopeful had been ill during the week and complained about suffering from “a bit of a throat infection” and being put on voice rest, but Mel was not impressed by his story.
She said: “Don’t be a wuss and complain about yourself being ill, we all get ill and when you go on tour that’s what happens. So be a man and don’t complain.”
However, after Haenow’s performance, Mel commented: “The good news is: I frigging loved that, absolutely loved it. You gave me everything in your voice and you showed me all your little ranges. It was spot-on, brother.”
Cheryl, who lost two of her acts in the Sunday eliminations, said: “This competition is getting better and better by the act and it’s going to be so hard to choose. That was absolutely fantastic, Ben. You’re such a natural performer. It was so enjoyable, thank you.”
Cowell defended his protegé saying: “Mel, you were a little bit harsh about the fact that he was sick and he was afraid about not being able to sing. A little word for you to learn this week, it’s called ‘sympathy’.”
He continued: “Back to you, Ben. You know what I love about you, is that you take a track, you make it your own version and you’re an absolute pleasure to work with. That wasn’t like someone performing in a competition, that was like
someone who had already had a hit coming on our show.”
“I take back what I said before, that was the best performance so far,” he added in reference to Lauren’s performance, which Cowell also really enjoyed.
On Sunday night, after a live performance by Jessie J and Maroon 5, two acts were sent home: Stephanie Nala and Chloe Jasmine.
Haenow will perform again in the next live shows on Saturday and Sunday, 25-26 October, with the week’s theme being “Saturday night at the movies”.
You can watch Haenow’s latest performance here.