Singing sisters from Leicester through to X Factor bootcamp
Two singing sisters are aiming to set the X Factor alight with their alternative style of contemporary folk.
Laura and Mary-Anne Ratcliffe were the first hopefuls to make it through to the bootcamp stage of this year's show.
The duo, who go by the name Mia and the Moon, impressed celebrity judges Gary Barlow, Mel B, Tulisa Contostavlos and Louis Walsh at the first auditions in Manchester back in June, with their rendition of Shackles by Mary Mary.
Laura, 25, said: "Gary said that we had the power of a five-part choir with two voices, which was great.
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"In fact, we got positive comments from all the judges, and they all said yes so we couldn't have asked for better."
After the panel's thumbs-up, the sisters, from Braunstone Gate, in Leicester's West End, were taken to the Liverpool Echo Arena to begin filming the bootcamp stage.
Guitarist and singer Mary-Anne, 23, said: "There was so much talent there, and all it took for a jam was for someone to pick up a guitar and you'd get 100 of the best singers in the country all singing in harmony. It was amazing."
Despite the positivity from the celebrity judges, Laura said their unique style of contemporary folk had left them in a musical no-man's-land.
"They also said we were quite different from what they were used to and they didn't quite know where to put us," she said.
"I suppose that could work to our advantage, or disadvantage really. But we won't know until later."
The pair both left Lutterworth Grammar School after their A-levels and began to focus on their careers as musicians.
"Music is our lives whatever happens with the show," said Laura.
"I've never wanted to do anything else and I can't see myself doing anything other than singing."
The sisters said they had each brought their individual styles to the duet.
Laura said: "Although we're sisters we've come from really different places.
"While Mary-Anne was busking in Leicester and meeting musicians in Leicester, I was on a Caribbean cruise ship – a lot more glam.
"But when we get together we really work."
The bootcamp phase of X Factor is due to be screened in September.
Mary-Anne said: "It was surreal but amazing.
"We've been told we can't really say much about it, because it hasn't been aired yet, but everyone was so talented – it was quite scary actually."
Laura said: "Being at bootcamp was really intimidating because the people are really good – they're much better than how they come across on television."
Laura also told how she originally intended to take part in the show by herself, but could not face waiting in huge lines to get to the judges.
She said: "When I first went to audition I went on my own but the queues were massive for the soloists.
"When I looked at the queues for the groups they were tiny in comparison, so I called Mary-Anne and asked if she fancied it – I was just being lazy, I suppose."
For information about the band, e-mail: