Gary Flockhart: Strong X Factor start surprised me

Contestant Chloe Jasmine on The X Factor. Pic: ITV/PA
Contestant Chloe Jasmine on The X Factor. Pic: ITV/PA
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Never thought I’d say this, but I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of some of the contestants on X Factor.

Yes, yes, I know I said in last week’s column that I would be giving the show a wide berth, but I just happened to have the telly on that channel – honest, guv!

Not everything about the show impressed me, mind.

The sight of Simon Cowell smashing a guitar in anger over the number of young hopefuls coming in to strum as they sang at the live auditions had me ranting at the telly – though to be fair, it’s only typical of a man who has been blamed (and not unfairly) for ruining the music industry.

Granted, having a guitar does not make you a good singer, but it’s better if you can play one, surely.

That sacrilegious act aside, there was plenty to enjoy.

When Reece Bibby walked into the audition with his guitar, the judges expected yet another Ed Sheeran wannabe. But the 15-year-old wowed the judges with his acoustic rendition of Disclosure’s Latch, and I swear I could see pound signs rolling in Cowell’s head as he watched the fresh-faced singer.

Super-posh Chloe Jasmine, pictured, the singer with the Marilyn Monroe-inspired look, is someone I’m predicting big things from in the coming weeks.

Of course, it wouldn’t be X Factor if there weren’t any comical acts, and there were a fair few.

Blonde Electric’s audition was cringey and I can imagine Louis is viewing them as this year’s Jedward.

Obviously, it’s too soon to predict winners, but don’t be surprised if a group comes out on top.

That group could be four-piece Only The Young, who played Elton John’s Something About The Way You Look Tonight – and nailed it.

I reserve the right to completely slate the show in a few weeks’ time but, seeing as X Factor got off to a strong start last week, I’ll stick with it for a while.