Sunday night’s episode of The X Factor kicked off the brutal six-chair challenge, but before that, the judges were told which groups they’d be mentoring moving forward in the competition.
In descending order, Simon Cowell declared that his preference would be to mentor “the girls, the groups, the boys, then the overs.” Imagine his displeasure when viewers voted the X Factor creator and judge into mentoring the “overs” category, which has no upper age limit. Better yet, see it for yourself:
While the contestants in the “overs” category jumped for joy, Cowell dropped what looked to be an F-bomb before approaching hosts Olly Murs and Caroline Flack to ask if they were “winding [him] up.” They were not. Backstage, his mentees were crestfallen.
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Cowell took to Twitter to apologize for swearing, writing, “it’s not big and it’s not clever,” and that he personally extended that apology to the contestants in his category, as well.
In cheerier X Factor news, 17-year-old Louisa Johnson earned her place at judges’ houses with a truly stunning rendition of “I Am Telling You,” a standout audition from the six-chair challenge. Check it out:
While Cowell might be unhappy with his category, at least he’ll have a friendly face by his side when he narrows down the competition at judges’ houses in advance of the live shows: One Direction band member Louis Tomlinson is set to join him.
The X Factor U.K. airs Sundays and Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on AXS in the U.S. and on Sundays at 7 p.m. BT on ITV in the U.K.