The 12 finalists for series five of The X Factor have been revealed, in a special extra episode shown on Sunday night.
And the line-up features a number of the judges’ favourites from the auditions – although for some of the other early frontrunners it was bad news.
The first to learn of their fate were the boys, who are mentored this year by Simon Cowell. They travelled to his home in Barbados for their final chance to impress him and win a place in the live shows.
And the lucky three who did make it through were Irish teenager Eoghan Quinn, Pontins’ Bluecoat Scott Bruton and former boyband member Austin Drage.
Teenagers Mali Michael-McCann and Liam Payne missed out, as did Alan Turner, who hit the headlines after claims that he lied to the judges about not knowing his real family.
Dannii Minogue’s category, the over-25s, were revealed next, and it was good news for Spanish singer Ruth Lorenzo, who was the first to learn that she had made it to the final.
Joining her are single mum Rachel Hylton and pool cleaner Daniel Evans – who reduced Dannii and Cheryl both to tears at his original audition, after revealing he had been inspired to enter by his wife who had died in childbirth the previous year.
James Williams, Suzie Furlonger and Louise Heatly – the oldest contestant in the semi-final – all missed out on a place in the live shows.
The groups were next, learning at Louis Walsh’s house in Dublin whether they had made it.
Boy band JLS – who impressed the panel at their initial audition – were first to be told they had reached the final. They are joined by four-piece group Girlband and another girl group, Bad Lashes.
Boy band Priority – who were made up of rejects from earlier stages of the competition – girl group Desire, and brother-sister quartet 4Instinct all missed out on a place in the finals.
Finally, Cheryl Cole revealed to the girls which of them she had chosen to go through to the live stages.
Student Diana Vickers, former semi-finalist Alexandra Burke, and Laura White – tipped by many as the one to beat – all made it through, but there was bad news for waitress Annastacia Baker, office worker Hannah Bradbeer and teenager Amy Connolly.
The live shows will begin next Saturday night.