A medley of love ballads, a blast back in time with tunes from the 80s, Spice Girls tribute complete with Union Flag get-up and a rendition of Gangnam Style – X Factor arrived in the region with a bang.
Thousands of screaming fans packed into Birmingham’s LG Arena to see their favourite stars from the latest installment of the TV talent show, including winner James Arthur and Rylan Clark.
The contestants performed a host of pop classics for screaming fans to a backdrop of fireworks and flames, while surrounded by dancers.
Teenagers Katie Bate, 15, from Dudley and her friend Becky Jacobs, 16, from Wolverhampton, were there to see boyband District 3.
They had a made a special banner for the boys.
Ounsdale High School pupil Becky said: “We made this banner especially for the boys. I’ve met them once before at a meet and greet and they were lovely.
“I think Rylan is fantastic too.”
Big X Factor fan Beth Parry,13, was at the concert with friend Emily Knowles, 14, from Solihull – both huge fans of James Arthur.
Beth, a pupil at Tudor Grange School, Solihull, said: “I love X Factor and always watch it on TV. I love James Arthur.”
College lecturer Margaret Law from Stoke took along her daughter Sophie Henderson, seven, to see the concert. The pair wore blue and green flashing hats.
The 40-year-old said: “We love Rylan. He was the star of the show when it was on TV. Me and Sophie watch the X Factor every Saturday night.”
Series winner James Arthur was the true star of the live show on Saturday night and although he didn’t come out onto the stage until the very end, fans agreed his slick and heart-felt performance was well worth the wait, with his soulful voice sounding even better in the flesh than on TV.
He performed a string of hits that helped him win The X Factor in December including Hometown Glory, Let’s Get It On, Sexy and I Know It surrounded by half a dozen scantily clad female dancers and the winner’s single Impossible. The 24-year-old had to share stage time with Rylan, who split opinion on the talent show last year but proved a crowd favourite with the Birmingham audience.
The 24-year-old from Essex sang a mash-up of Spice Girls hits, dressed in a Union Flag suit. He also performed catchy pop song Gangnam Style.
Boybands Union J and District 3 blasted out a few love songs each, much to the delight of their loyal female fans.
Meanwhile Scouser Christopher Maloney performed a handful of 80s classics during the two-and-a-half hour concert. His performance led to boos from some in the crowd after his controversial appearances on the TV show.
Ella Henderson wowed the crowd with her powerful voice, while talented but nervous Jahmene Douglas sang his own rendition of the Etta James classic At Last.
The night was all about seeing Union J live for friends Eloise Downes and Melissa Burton from Burbage in Leicestershire. The pair were at the concert with their mothers.
Melissa, aged 10, said: “I love Union J. I really wanted them to win the show. They are brilliant.” Eloise, aged 11, added: “X Factor is the best. I love James Arthur and Rylan as well. They are fantastic. The X Factor is my favourite show on TV.”
Boyband Union J surprised one lucky fan by plucking her out of the audience and singing Carly Rae Jepsen’s hit Call Me Maybe to her.
After the show on Saturday night James Arthur tweeted: “Great show in Birmingham! Loving the noise.”