The live finalists were confirmed on last night’s The X Factor: Celebrity, but there was one huge surprise no one was expecting: Vinnie Jones was invited to appear on the live shows despite missing the auditions.
While the audition process was being filmed, Vinnie, who had been slated to appear, tragically lost his wife Tanya following a battle with cancer.
Although he was unable to film the auditions, head honcho Simon decided he still wanted him to participate in the show.
And at the end of Saturday’s show (October 19) Simon made the call to Vinnie to ask him to be on the live shows back in London, starting next weekend.
In an emotional conversation, two months after Tanya’s passing, Simon asked Vinnie how he and the kids were coping.
“Yeah my daughter is fantastic, she’s been strong, it’s really brought us closer together,” Vinne replied.
I’m with you, I trust you, I’m up for that.
Simon went on to say: “When we heard the news, we were all thinking about you, it was tragic, I just wanted to check you were ok.”
Vinnie told him: “We are just getting through it, you just learn to carry the grief really, Simon.”
As Simon questioned whether he was up for doing the show, Vinnie told him Tanya had really “pushed” him to do it and she was “very excited about it”.
Simon then said: “We’d love you to be on the live shows this year, we’d welcome you and give you all the help you need.”
Vinnie responded with a positive yes: “I’d love to,” before continuing: “I’m with you, I trust you, I’m up for that.”
When Simon told him Nicole Scherzinger will be his mentor, the former footballer quipped: “Oh good, that’s alright I didn’t want the little Irish man.”
As Vinnie told him he’s “honoured” to take part, Simon replied that it’ll be “really special” and he was “thrilled” Vinne had accepted.
Vinne will be in Nicole’s Overs category alongside Victoria Ekanoye, Martin Bashir, and Ricki Lake.
Simon is mentoring the Groups who consist of Try Star, V5, The Islanders, and Max and Harvey, while Louis takes on the Unders: Megan McKenna, Johnny Labey, Kevin McHale, and Olivia Olson.
The X Factor: Celebrity returns LIVE on Saturday October 26.
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