Bella joins Simon Cowell for next X Factor round

Pam Mills

The 19-year-old, who grew up in Tunbridge Wells, has advanced to the judges’ houses round of ITV series The X Factor after an emotional performance on Saturday [September 29].

And some bookmakers are now offering odds of 12/1 on her winning the competition.
Bella sang and then rapped in her rendition of Stormzy’s Blinded by Your Grace in the Six Chair Challenge episode, which was seen by 4.6million viewers.

This brutal elimination process sees just 24 acts progress to the judges’ houses out of the 36 who had qualified from the auditions.

Head judge Cowell, who is mentoring the female participants, decided if he wanted one of the performers to take one of six hot seats – which would signify if they were in a position to go through to the next round.

Bella had confidently walked onto the stage and said: “If these chairs represent hard work, dedication and willingness to work to your potential then I deserve a seat.”

There were already six women sitting in qualification positions when Bella started to perform. This meant if she was to go through another singer would miss out.

In a special twist, judges can allow one singer to bypass the nerve-wracking chair process by pressing a golden buzzer which automatically puts them through.

The audience cheered wildly as Bella sang, but the teenager’s chance hung in the balance as Cowell said: “Bella, I don’t think this is going to make me very popular, but I can’t give you a seat.

But I want to tell you why…”Bella appeared heartbroken at the apparent rejection, although her disappointment turned to joy when Cowell moved to press the golden buzzer. “I always had this feeling about you,” the head judge said as he gave Bella a hug.

The performing arts student had worked as a waitress in One Warwick Park Hotel before being given the opportunity to entertain diners with her singing two years ago. It was the first time she had taken to the stage.

Bella attended The Mead School and St Gregory’s Catholic School in Tunbridge Wells although she now lives in Brentwood, Essex.

Colleagues at One Warwick Park Hotel will now be cheering for her as she performs at the judges’ house stage, and will be looking to be one of 16 acts hoping to progress to the live final shows.

Judge Robbie Williams told her: “I think you’re phenomenal, I really do. Great vocals, great rapping, you got Wembley [Arena, where the round was filmed] buzzing.”
And former contestant Louis Tomlinson, who is also now a judge, added: “I don’t like any Tom, Dick or Harry thinking they can rap, but you should be rapping. You’ve got the full package.”

In an earlier interview Bella told the Times: “Simon [Cowell] is such a nice man. He comes across as stern but he gives great advice and wants us to win. He can suggest songs for us to perform, and he told me I had the most potential of anyone he had seen sing that day.

“I love performing at One Warwick Park and I want to come back and sing at their events. “
After tears and drama, the other female acts to progress were: Molly Scott, Georgia Burgess, Maria Laroco, Shan and Scarlett Lee. Bella is likely to next feature on Saturday, October 13.

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