After weeks and weeks of auditions, the judges have now chosen the three acts they are each taking through to the live shows – where the public will have the final say on the 12 finalists.
With trusted friend Sinitta on hand to offer advice, Simon had Jay James, Fleur East, Ben Haenow, Helen Fulthorpe, Lizzy Pattinson and Stevi Ritchie to choose from.
Ex-Navy man Jay was an easy choice, a favourite of Simon’s from the start, as was van driver Ben. His third slot went to Fleur. When she first stepped up to sing Jessie J’s “Bang Bang”, Simon said to Sinitta, “You know, I hardly remember her”. When Fleur had finished, Simon said, “Now I’ll remember her”.
Cheryl had Tinie Tempah as her guest judge and his favourite act in her category was Emily Middlemass, the youngest contest and just 15.
But Cheryl didn’t think Emily was ready. “There’s no doubt in my mind you can be a star,” she told the teenager. “But I think you need another couple of years.”
Fishmonger Lola Saunders and shoe shop assistant Kerrianne Covell were also rejected.
Which means Cheryl’s three finalists are Chloe Jasmine… “I think you’re amazing,” Cheryl told her; Stephanie Nala… “But you’re going to have to work on your confidence,” Cheryl warned; and Lauren Platt, who’s just 16… “You blew everyone away,” Cheryl said to Lauren.
Click here for our picture special on all 12 finalists.
The X Factor continues with the first live show on ITV on Saturday, October 11, 7.30pm