X Factor 2018: Simon Cowell makes Bella Penfold burst into tears – this is why

Tonight, X Factor fans tuned in to see the first of the Six Chair challenge, and head judge Simon Cowell, 58, was up first with his category, the girls. 

It will quickly become apparent to viewers that Simon was having difficulty choosing which contestants to put through or send home, after the first six performances all gained a seat. 

With her position in the competition riding on her next performance, contestant Bella Penfold, 19, took to the stage to perform Stormzy’s Blinded By Your Grace. 

“I’m Bella Penfold, I’m 19. I’m here because I got four yeses and I want one of them chairs because if these chairs represent hard work, dedication, the willing to learn and potential, then I think I deserve a seat,” she said.

After a gritty, determined performance, including the rap, the judges gave their comments. 

And whilst the feedback was incredibly positive from the other three judges, Simon dropped a bombshell and Bella Penfold burst into tears. 

“Bella, I’m not sure this is going to make me very popular, but I can’t give you a seat,” he remarked. 


The whole arena then erupted in boo’s and even Louis Tomlinson, 26, and presenter Dermot O’Leary, 45, expressed their disbelief.

“That is a huge shock,” Dermot commented backstage. 

“But I want to tell you why,” Simon continued. He was then seen getting up out of his chair and walking towards the stage, before he diverted and slammed his hand on the secure seat button. 

Viewers then saw the stage erupt with golden light and Bella dropped to the floor in complete amazement.

Bursting into tears by Simon’s foolery, her hands shaking as she covered her face in amazement, she then ran to her family in the audience. 

“You had me fooled there!” Louis exclaimed.

Before Simon concluded: “That being incredible news, now we have to decide which of those chairs you’re going to fill.”

Bella’s performance wowed all the judges and Robbie Williams, 44, commented: “I think you’re phenomenal I really do. Great vocals, great rapping. You got Wembley buzzy.”

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Ayda Field, 39, added: “Bella it’s not polished, it’s raw, you’ve got so much going for you.” 

“Bella, thank you, because my pet hate, is every Tom, Dick and Harry, thinking they can rap. But you should be rapping,” Louis explained. 

It comes after this year’s series of X Factor has introduced the ‘safe seat’ or formally known as the Golden X. 

Whilst the majority of contestants won’t be safe until everyone has performed, that doesn’t apply to the act on the Golden X. 

The safe seat is offered to an outstanding performer by the relevant judge, and once they have got it, they cannot be swapped out of the competition during this round.

It also ensure the act is guaranteed to be through to the next stage of the competition, judges houses. 

X Factor returns tomorrow night at 8pm on ITV. 

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