On the "The X Factor" U.K. auditions episode that ITV televised on Sept. 14, 2013, it was the groups' turn to shine.
The best of the bunch was Next of Kin, a trio of brothers who performed an original ballad titled "Can't Find Me," which got a standing ovation from the judges (Gary Barlow, Nicole Scherzinger, Sharon Osbourne and Louis Walsh) and brought Scherzinger to tears.
Scherzinger commented, "That song was just magic because it was so truthful."
Barlow added, "This is what we’ve come here to find."
This is Next of Kin's next big shot at stardom. The trio was signed to Universal Music in the 1990s and toured with Westlife, but Next of Kin never made it big when signed to Universal.
The group's members are Nathan Bass (32 years old), Mark Bass (29 years old) and Kieran Bass (27 years old). During an interview on "The X Factor" U.K., the Bass brothers revealed that their parents Diane and David sold the family's £300,000 four-bed detached house in Braintree, Essex, and moved to a two-bedroom house nearby to help finance the brothers' music career.
Nathan said, “We were dropped by our label after nine months. We had no earnings and in the midst of it all our mum and dad, who’d sacrificed so much for us, lost everything.”
Kieran added, “We’ve been waiting for this opportunity now for the past 13 years. If we get rich we’d like to buy Mum and Dad their house.”
Also hoping for another shot at stardom was the trio Rough Copy, which was disqualified from "The X Factor" U.K. in 2012 because one of the members had visa problems that prevented him from going to Las Vegas for the "judges' houses" phase of the competition. Rough Copy was replaced on "The X Factor" U.K. by the groups Times Red and Triple J, whose name was changed to Union J after "The X Factor" added solo contestant George Shelley to the group's lineup. Union J went on to fourth place that year, signed a deal with Sony Music's RCA Records, had a No. 6 hit in the U.K. with "Carry You," and is readying its debut album, which is due out before the end of 2013.
In 2013, Rough Copy auditioned for "The X Factor" U.K. with Jessie J's "Do It Like a Dude" with some improvised lyrics and sailed through to the next round.
Other groups who did well in their auditions were Kingsland (which performed an acoustic version of Swedish House Mafia's "Don't You Worry Child") and Brick City (which did an a cappella version of Bruno Mars' "Locked Out of Heaven").
The most talented solo singers who stood out the most in this episode were two 16-year-olds: Nicholas McDonald (who performed Josh Groban's "You Raise Me Up") and Giles Potter (who performed Jessie J's "Price Tag").
James McDonald (no relation to Nicholas McDonald) also impressed the judges. He did his version of Stevie Wonder's "Lately" that was good but somehow his voice seemed kind of generic.
Stephanie Woods, 20, first auditioned for "The X Factor" U.K. in 2007, but she was rejected by Osbourne at "judges' houses." Woods did a very good version of Snow Patrol's "Run" that wasn't perfect, but it was good enough for her to be put through the next round.
Lydia Lucy, 19, oversang Jessie J's "Mamma Knows Best" and had some pitch problems, but she made it to the next round.
It wouldn't be "The X Factor" without at least one eccentric contestant. In this episode, it was 34-year-old reggae singer Souli Roots, who sang an original tune that she said she wrote called "The Recession Song." In an interview on the show, she proclaimed, "I want to be as big as Bob Marley! I want to sell out arenas worldwide!" She sang off-key and the lyrics were somewhat juvenile, but most of the judges were entertained by her originality and stage presence. Barlow wasn't impressed with Souli Roots, but he was outvoted by Walsh, Scherzinger and Osbourne.
Here are links to audition highlights in the episode that aired on Sept. 14, 2013: