After weeks of auditions, Bootcamps and Judges Houses’ the wait was over on Saturday night and two-hours of wildcards, flamboyance, bickering coupled with an appearance from X Factor alumni One Direction, ensured the Live Show did not disappoint.
From Dermot O’Leary’s tongue-in-cheek dance to Psy’s Gangnam Style to the dramatic entrance of the judges to the Superman theme, it was clear it was going to be a memorable night.
With Olympic and Paralympic athletes and volunteers in the audience for the opening Heroes inspired show, the pressure was on Gary Barlow, Louis Walsh, Tulisa Contostavlos and Nicole Scherzinger to show why their acts deserved a coveted place.
Fans furiously voting all week for their favourite to fill the 13th spot in the Live Show found out the results early on with Christopher Maloney collapsing in tears when Dermot revealed the wildcard results. Look back on Christopher’s reaction.
Renamed and raring to go District3 were first on stage with a laid back version of Tina Turner’s Simply the Best.
Tulisa led the praise complimenting the boys on their "amazing R&B vocals." However both Tulisa and Nicole agreed the boyband needed to have more fun and relax on stage.
Look back on District3’s debut X Factor performance.
Boyband of the moment One Direction returned to the X Factor to wish the 13 finalists luck and Louis Tomlinson revealed the boys are backing James Arthur.
Minutes later it was the 23-year-old’s turn to take to the stage, and with the support of the One Direction boys James gave a powerful performance of Kelly Clarkson’s Stronger.
Impressed by James’ interpretation of the hit song Tulisa and Louis described him as “unique” but Gary Barlow was not so overwhelmed.
See if you agree with Gary and check out James’ performance.
X Factor fans were transported back to the sixties and seventies with hippy-chick Melanie Masson’s version of The Beatles’ With A Little Help From My Friends.
The Over 28s Glasgow-born singer belted out the classic hit and was dutifully praised for hitting the high notes with Louis saying he felt like he was at the legendary Woodstock festival watching her performance.
Look back on Melanie’s performance.
Lucy Spraggan made X Factor history by playing her own song Mountains, and it was a gamble that paid off with the judges unanimous in their support for the Sheffield singer’s work.
Gary said the 20-year-old was a "great singer, a great musician and most importantly a great songwriter" reminding Lucy not to give up on her songwriting.
Watch Lucy Spraggan perform her own song Mountains.
Dynamic duo MK1 picked up the pace and tried to show they could be the X Factor Champions with a mash-up of Chipmunk and Hot Chocolate.
Strutting about the stage the energetic urban artists had the enthusiasm but were not on top form vocally. However Charlie and Simeon’s rendition was positively received by the judges and Tulisa added: "You looked like the first act that was enjoying themselves on stage tonight."
Check out MK1’s explosive X Factor Live Show debut.
It was a quick recovery for wildcard Christopher Maloney, who managed to calm down and wipe away his tears for Mariah Carey’s Hero.
The crooner showed off his vocal range with the soaring ballad but he didn’t manage to hit all the high notes with the judges. Louis jokingly asked if he’d been on a cruise ship recently while Tulisa and Nicole revealed they felt the performance was "dated.”"
Defending his Over 28s act Gary said: "We couldn’t choose the songs this week and we’re going to start work on Monday."
Find out why Christopher Maloney was the wildcard saved by the public.
Union J’s take on the Queen classic Don’t Stop Me Now was the focus of the first argument of the night. The colourful dance display was not enough to win over the judges.
Gary was the harshest of the critics and blamed Louis for pressuring his group into a "catastrophic song choice." Tulisa and Nicole were equally harsh and the N Dubz star said there was too much going on in the performance for her liking.
Look back on the mixed response to Union J’s performance.
With just a pianist accompanying her on stage Jade Ellis poured her heart into Enrique Iglesias’ ballad Hero. The Londoner’s smooth and sultry tones captivated the judges and audiences alike. Blown away by the stand-out performance Gary told her: "You’re in a category that’s very strong and I feel somewhere along the line you might have been forgotten – until now."
Watch Jade’s unforgettable performance.
Party animal Rylan Clark brought the glitz, glamour and sparkle to the night with a flamboyant rendition of Spandau Ballet’s Gold.
The quirky singer was pushed around the stage on a podium by a mass of backing dancers and had his mentor Nicole on her feet dancing along. But it was clearly not Gary’s cup of tea telling Nicole she should be ashamed of herself for picking the singer for the Live Shows.
Revisit Rylan Clark going for Gold on the first Live Show.
And chimney sweep Kye managed to wow the judges with his rendition of Michael Jackson’s pop ballad Man In The Mirror.
It’s not easy to do justice to one of the King of Pop’s classics, but Kye managed the feat, with the panel all responding with favourable feedback.
Louis told the 30-year-old: "That was an incredible performance, you’ve paid your dues in the music business and it’s now your time.
"You’re going to get a record deal and go very far in the competition because you have the talent."
Tulisa Contostavlos continued: "I know you’ve waited for this all your life and you deserve it, you’re an amazing artist. Those vocals were so on point tonight."
See how Kye captured the hearts of the judges on Saturday’s show.
Also performing tonight was Ella Henderson, who at the tender age of just 16 has wowed the judges time and time again – and managed yet again on Live Show One.
Singing Take That hit Rule The World - a particularly brave choice considering Mr Gary Barlow is one of the judges – Ella could have fallen flat on her face.
But instead the teen got the best possible feedback, with Gary telling her: "I’ve got to be honest there’s nothing I hate more than someone singing my song ten times better than me.
"That was absolutely stunning. People can learn to sing at 16 but the way you sing, the way you feel and put the song across was absolutely extraordinary."
Over 28s contestant Carolynne Poole then took to the stage to sing a “countrified” version of Nicki Minaj’s club class Starships.
It was a bold choice of song and the gamble paid off, with everyone on the judging panel giving the 32-year-old the thumbs-up.
Nicole told her: "Well it was a very bold song choice singing Nicki Minaj, countrified, but I’m a sucker for country music and I think you did very well. Very strong vocals."
And Louis added: "Carolynne, I know you’ve waited all your life for this.
"I think it’s about time we had a really good country singer on X Factor, you could be like the UK version of Shania Twain."
Look back on Carolynne Pool’s out of this world Live Show performance.
And down-to-earth 22-year-old supermarket Jahmene Douglas closed the show with an emotional performance of John Lennon’s Imagine.
Jahmene has battled with bad nerves throughout his entire time on X Factor and it was clear that he was suffering from a few wobbles tonight too – but the determined singer managed to pull himself to give an overall stunning performance.
Louis told the hopeful: "I’m so glad Nicole picked you because you were one of my favourite auditions on X Factor ever. You are amazing.
"You don’t have the confidence that the other contestants have but you have the voice and the potential."
Jahmene’s mentor Nicole also gushed about the singer, jokingly telling him: "What I want to say first of all is that you found your balls and you have overcome your nerves and your confidence. You are amazing."
Revisit Jahmene Douglas’ cover of John Lennon’s Imagine.
All the contestants’ performances from Saturday night are now available to download from iTunes.
More About Melanie Masson
- X Factor stars wish STV viewers a Merry Christmas
- Back to normality for aXed X Factor contestants
- X Factor's Melanie Masson hints at album talks
- X Factor's Melanie Masson thought Gary Barlow was going to quit
- X Factor Scot Melanie Masson reveals plans to work with Gary Barlow
- Melanie Masson picks Jahmene Douglas to win X Factor
- X Factor Scot Melanie Masson’s family 'so proud of her'