Louis Tomlinson gulps back tears and becomes emotional as a former contestant returns to The X Factor for a second chance, a year after pulling out of the show.
Anthony Russell, a labourer from Liverpool, arrives for an audition in the second episode of the new series of the talent show, with One Direction star Tomlinson on the panel along with fellow newcomers Robbie and Ayda Williams, and show boss Simon Cowell.
Cowell tells the audience that Tomlinson reached out to help promising singer Russell last year who performed with a black eye back then when he quit the show for personal reasons.
Tomlinson says: “I don’t think I’ve seen someone do a first audition with a black eye, you stole my heart straight away.
“I really got to know you over the past year, and your family, and I think you’re a lovely, lovely guy.”
In a pre-recorded clip, Russell says: “I auditioned for X Factor last year and it was like fire.
“I thought, ‘my God, I’ve got a shot at this’, but I started going down a rocky road, making wrong choices… so I had to step out of the competition myself.
“I was devastated. But then I got a message on Twitter from Louis and started chatting to him. He’d seen my story in the papers and he said, ‘do you need help? I want to help you’, so I jumped at it.”
Russell adds: “I went to rehab for four months, it really helped me, it was a blessing. I wouldn’t be where I am now if it wasn’t for Louis.
“As soon as my head started clearing, I thought I want to give this another shot. I’m not on this earth to throw in the towel.”
While on stage in front of an arena audience, Robbie asks the contestant how he feels after getting help.