X FACTOR: MATT AND MARY ON TOP
Dressed like a legend of the silver screen, Mary Byrne once again delivered a powerful performance, belting out the classic hit I (Who Have Nothing) into her 50s-style microphone.
Dannii hailed the performance as “world class”, although urged Mary to sing a more contemporary song next week.
“You represent real women with real life experience,” cheered Cheryl.
Simon enjoyed the performance, but agreed with Dannii that Mary needs to “show a different side” going forward.
Matt CardleÂ Â took on Britney and wonâ€¦ starting to see a pattern yet?
The king of taking a â€˜girlyâ€™ song and making it man-friendly, Matt Cardle excelled again tonight, tenderly plucking his acoustic guitar as he wailed through Hit Me Baby One More Time.
“That version could be a Number 1 hit record!” Louis exclaimed.
Cheryl said Matt only had to listen to the crowd’s reaction to realise how fantastic it was.
Simon hailed it as “absolutely fantastic” before Dannii rounded-off proceedings with a bit of mum-dancing.
X Factor rapper in residence Cher Lloyd who showed off her considerable singing skills, in a Brian Friedman mega-production.
In a performance jam-packed with attitude, the diminutive diva swaggered around the stage, in an urban medley that fused Backstreetâ€™s No Diggity with the Tears for Fears anthem Shout.
“This really felt like you!” Dannii said: “And Cher, you sang it really well too.”
Simon was full of praise for the Worcestershire lass, “I’m really, really happy for you,” he said.
Cheryl thanked her mentee for being a little toughie. “You are everything a popstar should be!” she gushed.
Katie Waissel, who arguably was the only act to actually sing a real guilty pleasure.
Singing Jungle Bookâ€™s King Of The Swingers, blonde bombshell Katie put in a performance that Baloo himself wouldâ€™ve been proud of.
As the crowd went bananas, Louis shouted over the din: “Katie’s got The X Factor!”
Dannii adored the adaptation, whilst Simon announced, “I liked you last week, I absolutely loved you this week!”
Move over Jessica Rabbit thereâ€™s a new sex kitten in town! The sexiest performance of the night was undoubtedly Rebeccaâ€™s, who pulled off 1940s glamour-puss chic in fine style.
Wearing an elegant red dress, the Liverpudlian purred through the jazz classic Why Donâ€™t You Do Right, leaving the crowd to holler and wolf-whistle at its finale.
“You are definitely a class act!” Louis yelled.
Dannii admitted she would happily go out and buy a Rebecca Ferguson record, before Simon finished off the praise with:
“This is the night you turned into a star.”
It was then time for every teenage girlâ€™s heart to skip a beat as the One Direction boys took to the stage to perform the Pink ballad Nobody Knows.
As the lights went down it was just the boys and their mic stands – no dancers, no gimmicks, not even any of the enthusiastic shoulder bops that Harry is so keen on.
Their performance set the studio alight.
“You’re living the dream!” chimed Dannii, followed by Cheryl’s “You’re my guilty pleasure!”
Simon finished things off by verbally patted his boys on the back.
Entrusted with kicking the night off in style, was Mr Paije â€˜reliableâ€™ Richardson who delivered yet another solid vocal performance.
The former cinema usher, one of the competitionâ€™s most naturally gifted singers, wowed the audience with his slow rendition of Chaka Khanâ€™s Ainâ€™t Nobodyâ€¦ it was a simple performance that showed off the strength and depth of his voice.
Louis loved the performance and cited it as Paije’s “best yet”.
Simon wasn’t keen on the outfit but praised the 19-year-old for an outstanding finish.
“You have arrived!” Dannii beamed, “You had a real sparkle in your eye this week.”