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It’s finally time for the contestants to face the public and their votes!

SATURDAY

Tonight the long-awaited live finals start right here! As Dermot O’Leary would say, it’s time for nerves and cold feet to take a backseat, as the 12 remaining acts fight to win the public vote and stay at the top. A new twist to the competition has been added where each judge are allowed to play a wild card which has been discussed and deliberated by viewers all week – the waiting was over as the nation discovered which rejected act returned to the show from each category tonight. Simon, I must stress with this new card do you know how bad so many families, friends, and auditionees, wish you introduced the card in all the other previous X Factor seasons?! Such a shame. The theme for tonight’s show is Number One hit songs. Also this year another addition to the contest is a double elimination – two acts have to go.

Girls.

Prediction: Gamu
Returning: Trecy

Boys.

Prediction: Paije
Returning: Paije

Groups.

Prediction: The Reason or Husstle
Returning: Diva Fever

Over 28’s.

Prediction: Elesha
Returning: Wagner

FYD opened the show by singing ‘Billionaire’ by Travie McCoy, their performance was alright to be honest. I was a bit 50/50 with their dance routine and stage arrangement but they are very good vocalists,and entertaining chaps nevertheless.

Louis commented “Well FYD what a brilliant opening to show.  Great song choice, great styling, great choreography, brilliant band.  My only criticism is that you are probably better dancers than singers but great opening well done.”

Matt Cardle follows who sings every note to Kelly Rowland’s When Love Takes Over incredibly.  It has been rumoured that he is going to win baby! His performance was just flawless, I can hear his hit single already. I’ve liked Matt from day one, he’s blessed with the kind of voice you can never get bored of and tonight he proved it to everyone exactly why he made it through to the Live Shows.

“I wasn’t genuinely convinced you could do this after your first audition, then your performance at Boot Camp was incredible but this just topped that.  You just need a bit more belief in yourself now,” says Simon.

Dannii says, “You’re so fantastic, really versatile, and you delivered it.  I can’t wait to hear the next performance.”

John Adeleye received one of the nicest compliments from the judges tonight even though it was his own mentor Louis Walsh, all the other judges comments followed suit. Louis said, “You’re the most genuine and sincere contestant in this show.  You have a lot more to give in the competition. I need people to vote for John.”

Cheryl, “That’s one of my favourite songs of all time.  You sang it beautifully.  If I was to sum you up in one word it would be gorgeous. I’m not sure you’ve put you’re stamp on competition yet but amazing performance.”

Simon, “You look fantastic, great.  You sang well, the final note was very good, but I think you weren’t given the chance to give it your all.  You weren’t given a chance to do something contemporary.”

Singing ‘One Sweet Day’ by Boyz II Men and Mariah Carey, one of my favourite songs, John did well with his full choir and all, but I have to agree with Simon I expected a lot more from John knowing that he’s capable. Louis – sorry to say it but I’m not sure it was the best song choice for John to really showcase his vocal abilities.

Rebecca Ferguson – I have to say without boosting Rebecca’s confidence but am I the only one who thinks that some of her notes sound like Aretha Franklin? I also hate it when the music and backing singers swallow up the singer’s voice, they got Rebecca a few! She sings Teardrops by Womack.

Simon “You’re a fun girl, you’re a great singer.  Now enjoy every second you have on this show and let’s meet the person you really are. I think it was a bit of a safe choice song wise but I think you have enormous potential.”

Louis, “You are class act, I like everything about you.  Amazing recording voice.  You’re the real deal.”

Storm Lee presented us with a dynamic energetic performance for the Over 28’s accompanied by a unique acrobatic backward drop into a bed of supporting dancers! He really did his chosen song justice – We Build This City on Rock and Roll by Starship, with dramatic eye make-up, and fiery red hair Simon couldn’t even deny that he was really good tonight after clowning the theatrics!

Simon, “It is what it is. Louis turned you into something out of Batman and the performance is very 70’s Glam Rock but I don’t think you have much choice.  Without that you’re somebody who has failed to be Rock star.  It’s kind of absurd but maybe it’ll work.”

Louis, “I loved it and the audience loved it.  I know what it means to him, it’s a big dream to him.”

Simon, “To be fair you did sing it really well.”

Belle Amie really let me down a little tonight, after singing a note perfect George Michel’s Faith at Simon’s house. It was definitely a gorgeous song choice with Airplanes by BoB, I love that song but was I the only one sensing a lot of nerves? Especially on the Rap segment of the song, they looked stunning though.

Cher Lloyd is my Little Miss Funky meets Swaggerific, I adore her stage presence like no other in the competition she’s captivating to say the least and Dannii second my opinion after she sang Just Be Good To Me by Beats International. She’s my favourite female vocalist on X Factor so far, since Gamu didn’t come back! Grrr!

Dannii, “I loved that, you’re so watchable, you’re a star. You really command that stage like no-one else in the competition.  Keep it coming every week.”

Simon, “Any doubts anyone had about why this one picked you has just been totally and utterly blown away.  You’re exactly what we’re looking for, a new little star.  You should be unpredictable.  Some people like you, some people won’t. I love you, even though I probably shouldn’t say that at 51.  You’re part of a new generation and I loved it.”

Cheryl,  “For you at 17 to come on and give a performance like under the pressure you’ve had this week that proves you are a star.  You’re cool, you’re current.  I’m so proud of you.  You’re exactly what this competition needs.”

Diva Fever put the F in Fabulous with their rendition of Sonny by Boney M, it was hard for me to see the outcome of who would be returning for the Groups as I just adored Twem’s performance at Simon’s House, and would have loved to see them come back but Diva Fever still did well I love them – Go get ‘em do your thing divas!

Louis, “Diva Fever you put smile on everyone’s face.  You bring the Fun Factor.  Do you know what, you remind me of Simon and Piers Morgan at a party!” What the hell Louis?! And this is X Factor not Fun Factor stop patronizing the boys! Ha-ha!

Simon, “This might create a few raised eyebrows as to why I put you through.  I think the world has become a boring place.  I always think the world of music should be a fun and entertaining place.  You always make me smile when you perform and that’s why you’re here,” Awww am I sensing a little soft spot for Diva Fever Simon?

Paije Richardson has always been my favourite male vocalist in the competition, but tonight I feel that Dannii absolutely gave him the wrong song choice with Killing Me Softly by The Fugees. He needed a song like John Adeleye that would really show off his vocal range and capability, because my gosh he’s powerful.

Louis, “From you’re very first audition I saw something in you and you’ve proved you got something.  I’m so glad Dannii gave you a second chance.  You remind me of a soulful, cuddly little Luther Vandross.”

Cheryl, “You came out tonight and you owned that place as a wild card.  You sing like a diva with soul and passion and I absolutely love that about you.”

Simon, “I was praying Dannii would bring you back as a wild card.  What’s fantastic is you’ve come back without an attitude you’ve got something rare which is you’re infectious, and you sang that really well.”

Dannii, “Welcome back, it’s so good to have you here.  Everyone loves you.”

Katie Waissel – Tut Tut! I’ve seen a show and music video of Katie circulating on Facebook this week with the caption, ‘Why did Katie get through if she has a show, record contract and music video?’

She sings a legendary song indeed, We Are The Champions by Queen as she’s always mentioned she wants to become a legend. I really love Freddie Mercury from Queen.

Louis, “When you auditioned I thought you were more style than substance and after that performance I haven’t really changed my mind, I don’t know who Katie is… That song was too big for you.”

Dannii, “It must have been so hard after everything this week though vocally that was fierce.  In my honest opinion I don’t get the whole look, I loved what you were wearing in auditions, the quirkiness doesn’t work for me at all.”

Simon, “I totally disagree with Dannii, I actually like what you’re wearing, I really do.  We have all these people trying to look like someone else, nothing original…you have an interesting voice, a one-off, you’ve not had the best press in the world…I’m glad that you’re here.”

Cheryl, “There’s going to be a lot of people who don’t get the style, allowing them to be expressive, you stand for that and I love that you’re teaching me all the time, getting to know you, you’re a great girl, I really have enjoyed getting to know you…Louis in time I hope for you to get to know her.”

Mary Byrne shocked me this week. She, for me, gave the best performance of the night with prolific song ‘Man’s World’ by James Brown. She’s been diva-fied!

Dannii, “Mary, Mary, Oh my God you just completely brought the house down. [Mary cries, huge applause] I can only say that that is the best vocal performance on the show.  You know what Simon says about new wave of Popstar – this needs to be your day job.”

Cheryl, “What can I say, you can just absolutely feel the energy in the room.  I felt and heard every single word of that performance.”

Simon, “I can see how you have developed an image from looking at Cheryl, the hair and everything else.  What was fantastic and we’ve had some diversity, you know what regardless of your age or taste in music people love that you tried and you came out here and gave it 110 per cent and I know Louis has always believed in you it was a great choice of song and I’m really happy.”

Fellow Ireland-born number one fan Louis says, “Lady from Dublin…so proud of you, you’ve waited 50 years for this, I so want everyone to vote for you cos you’ve got the X Factor.”

Nicolo Festa had the best stage introduction to his song Just Dance by Lady Gaga. Love the arrangement, but I think the song choice wasn’t really for him.

Louis, “You’re not everyone’s cup of tea but you’re definitely mine, you’re a diva and quirky and you took Lady Gaga and made it your own.”

Cheryl, “I didn’t love it Nicolo, I’m sorry, the one thing above all that you need almost is to redeem that connection and that comes from your eyes, I would have liked to have seen you, I’m sorry.”

Simon, “I actually think I’ve gone slightly nuts this year as I actually quite liked that I mean given what the alternative is, which is singing a boring song it was different. You look better than you sound but better than we heard at your first audition and I liked it.”

Dannii, “As I said at judges houses you were my biggest risk, I love that about you taking it right to the end and working it.  People say diva like it’s a bad thing, it’s a good thing.”

Louis comments, “I’m working with three!”

One Direction definitely gave the best performance of the night for the Groups, they are so so young but I think they’ve got a brilliant chance of doing really well on the show. They sing Viva La Vida by Coldplay.

Louis, “You totally made it your own… it was my idea originally, Simon, to put them together… I think potentially you could be the next big boy band but you have a lot of work to do.”

Dannii, “You look like you fit together, like you’re the perfect band. That song was fantastic and you did make it your own, I wasn’t thinking Coldplay then.”

Cheryl,  “I have to agree with Dannii you look like you were meant to be a group…you have all the ingredients for the perfect boy band…the girls will be going crazy for you but you need more time to develop as a group.”

Simon, “Regarding your role in putting the band together Louis, we’ll rewind the tapes. You guys came together because your Boot Camp auditions weren’t good enough but too good to throw away, when one of you started to screw up, Liam stepped in and brought it back together, that’s what bands do, it was brilliant guys.”

Wagner Carrilho is back for Louis’s Over 28’s, sorry Wagner but I really wish Elesha Moses was given the chance.  Mr Carrilho sings Ricky Martin’s She Bangs mixed with Love Shack by the B52’s! Loved the bongos, Wagners got skills. I’ve realised why they decided to mix his song with Love Shack! Its down to the way he pronounces it!

Dannii, “I am having to compose myself, just when you think it can’t get any crazier, a medley with a bongo thing in the middle… [Pauses] Yeah! It was entertaining but I’m trying to keep my head together as we’re looking for the next recording star! It was fun but very karaoke.”

Aiden Grimshaw sings Mad World by Gary Jules, I was literally blown away by that. I’m such a passionate music lover, especially when it comes to expression emotion and feeling in song lyrics, and my goodness he absolutely nailed it, it was amazing. He took on the role, and felt every single word, it was so moving and vocally brilliant, best male performance by far. Compliments all round from the judges…

Louis, “I thought we had found ourselves a Popstar and know I know we have found something special in this guy, one of the best performances of the night. I think you’re the next big male Popstar.”

Cheryl, “Wow, I have to say I’m taken back by that, that was the surprise performance of the night. That was fantastic, that was of Popstar level already.”

Simon, “Interestingly this the second time I’ve sat on one of these shows and blown away by that song. It happened in America and it’s happened tonight, you are so current, the Robert Pattinson – Twilight thing, your voice reminded me of Michael Stipe, you played it perfectly and made the song original. My favourite performance of the whole night.”

Treyc Cohen – bless her, is a very good vocalist but I loved Gamu a lot more I’m still trying to get over her not coming back, I do think she was a lot better than Trecy – I find she bores me somewhat. Sorry Trecy!

She sings One Love by Mary J. Blige and U2.

Louis,  “All I can say is that Cheryl did a really good thing putting you in as wild card, you deserved to be on that stage, you’re a fighter, you tried before and came back, that’s what you have to do in the music industry, this is your time.”

Dannii, “What a show, so many incredible performances to start with one like that means you’re going in up there, keep that up every week. Your voice is phenomenal, you can sing anything and I just want you to put your stamp on it every time.”

Cheryl, “I actually feel like the luckiest judge tonight, to be able to welcome you back, that was incredible, I’m so happy to have you hear representing my category, thank you so much for delivering.” Right Cheryl so why didn’t you put her through first time round? Understatement.

SUNDAY

The results are here.

My predictions for the double elimination are:

Going home – Wagner Carrilho and Diva Fever.

Lowest votes –  Nicolo Festa, John Adeleye or Paije Richardson.

Ouch! Was that a shocking reveal tonight, Nicolo Festa was the first singer to leave the X Factor, followed by Katie Waissel and FYD left to battle it out to stay in the running having received the lowest amount of votes. But we lost our first group – FYD, such a big disappointment to many fans and their mentor Simon. Expect the unexpected when it comes to the public vote, next week we have to endure the suspense all over again as another act leaves.

Words by Kemi Giwa

Pretty Little Thing Sale