TEENAGER Reece Bibby made it through to the next round of The X Factor – after persuading Simon Cowell he could ditch his guitar.
The 15-year-old from Accrington, whose audition was aired on Saturday, was able to enter the talent show for the first time after ITV bosses lowered the minimum entry age.
And the Hollins Technology College pupil wowed the judges with an acoustic version of Disclosure song ‘Latch’, with former Spice Girl Mel B particularly impressed.
She told the youngster: “Man, I loved it. I wanted to stand up and applaud. I think you're exactly what this show is about. It is young. It is fresh. It is current.
“You're 15. You're cute. I loved it and I love everything you are.”
However, Cowell seemed dubious and asked Reece: “Are you going to always play with a guitar? I ask cause I’ve just heard 100 guitars today.”
But when he replied that he can perform without the instrument, he was given four ‘yes votes’ by the panel.
Reece, who lives with his dad Jamie, mum Lyndsey and sister Lexie, was actually approached by producers to audition for this year’s competition, after the minimum age was lowered to 14.
He has already performed with former X Factor finalists Sam Callahan and Kingsland Road at Oswaldtwistle Civic Theatre, and even managed to perform an impromptu gig with his idol Liam Gallagher last year, as the former Oasis frontman spent time in Accrington to shoot a video.
Before his audition, the teenager said: “My dad brought me up listening to indie music – Pulp, Stone Roses, Oasis.”
And his family members were in tears backstage as he delivered a stand-out performance.
Cheryl Fernandez-Versini told him: “I love your passion and your voice is incredible. It was a very good audition, well done."
Cowell added: “Reece, next time, you'll be in front of three or four thousand people. You’ve got to kill it.”