Who is Gary Barker? X Factor 2017 contestant, Liverpool pub singer and full-time dad


X FACTOR is back on our screens and we’re being entertained by the latest singers as they battle it out for a spot at Bootcamp.

This weekend the judges met Gary Barker – but who is he and what did he sing?

 Gary needed to attempts at his audition

Rex Features
Gary needed to attempts at his audition

Who is Gary Barker?

Gary Barker is a 30-year-old dad from Huyton, Merseyside.

He regularly sings in a local pub and took to the X Factor after his fiancée put him forward.

Speaking to cameras before his audition, he said: “She thinks I can do well so that’s given me more motivation to push myself to be more than a pub and hotel singer.

“I’ve got nothing to lose.

“I’ve just got to go in there and be myself, and just go for it.”

Gary then performed a cover of pop hit Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars.

 Gary made it through after his second song

Rex Features
Gary made it through after his second song

However, his first song didn’t go down too well with the judges.

After stopping his performance, Simon Cowell said: “That’s not what we’re looking for.

“What we’re looking for is someone with an incredible voice.

“Where we’re trying to move things along this year is to try and find more originality…”

Gary then offered to sing another song and decided on Sam Cooke’s Change Is Gonna Come, adding: “It really shows my voice off.

Simon replied: “All the bad habits you’ve got, you’ve got to throw out the window, that’s the challenge.”

Thankfully, after the change of song, Gary got four yeses and made it through to Bootcamp.

When is The X Factor 2017 on ITV and who are the judges?

After launching on September 2, X Factor 2017 will continue at 8pm every Saturday and Sunday on ITV.

The show begins, as always, with auditions as the nationwide hunt to find this year’s winning act begins.

Despite heavy speculation of a judging shake up, the panel will be remaining exactly the same as last year.

This means Simon Cowell, Nicole Scherzinger, Louis Walsh and Sharon Osbourne will hold the hopefuls’ fates in their hands.


Alisha Dixon is also appearing for certain audition shows, having stepped in as a guest judge when Sharon and Nicole were unable to attend.

It’s the first time in seven years that X Factor bosses have kept the same judging panel as the year before.

A source said: “The ­chemistry was perfect last year, so it’s only natural to want to bring the same line-up together again.”

Dermot O’Leary will be returning to hosting duties after making his big comeback to the show last year.



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