The X Factor 2010: it’s the final!

It was a night to remember for the four remaining The X Factor acts when they took part in the 2010 final on Saturday night.

Matt Cardle, Cher Lloyd, One Direction and Rebecca Ferguson – all of whom were competing for that coveted £1m record contract and a shot at the Christmas number one – each performed a song chosen by their mentor as well as having a chance to duet with a musical superstar.

One act was set to be eliminated on Saturday night, with the remaining three battling it out for the series crown on Sunday night’s results show.

First to perform was Matt Cardle, who wowed the judges with his emotional rendition of Dido’s Here With Me.

“You’re a born recording star,” Louis Walsh told him, “and you have to be in the final tomorrow night.”

Later on in the show Matt performed a duet with Rihanna, singing her hit song Unfaithful. As with previous duets he sang the first part solo before introducing the singer to collaborate on the remainder of the song.

The singer also performed her new track What’s My Name later on in the show.

Rebecca Ferguson, meanwhile, received a similarly enthusiastic response for her first song of the night, the Corinne Bailey Rae track Like A Star.

The 24-year-old performed the song standing on top of a podium while wearing a spectacular pale pink evening gown.

“You are an absolute beauty,” Dannii Minogue told her. “This is the start of your confidence believing in yourself, you so deserve this.”

Simon Cowell added, “I adore you because you have one heck of a recording voice and you are a fantastic role model.”

Later she duetted with Christina Aguilera on the latter’s hit song Beautiful.

Rebecca appeared overcome by Christina’s presence and at one point missed her cue on the song – and afterwards she was almost speechless. “I’m made up,” was all she said in response to performing with the singer.

Meanwhile One Direction tackled Elton John’s Your Song in the first half of the show and in the second half had the chance to perform the Robbie Williams chart-topper She’s The One with a little help from the man himself.

It was a busy night for Robbie, who had performed with Take That on the Strictly Come Dancing final earlier in the evening.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed you guys every week,” Cheryl said of their performance, “and I think you deserve to be standing on that stage tomorrow night.”

Simon, their mentor, admitted he had been nervous after hearing the first two performances from Matt and Rebecca. “My heart was sinking,” he told the band, “they were so good.”

“But you guys gave it a thousand per cent. I really hope people pick up the phone and vote for you.”

Finally Cher Lloyd kicked off her bid for the series title with a mash-up that began with The Belle Stars 80s hit The Clapping Song and ended with Missy Elliott’s Get Ur Freak On.

In the second half of the show she duetted with Will I Am on the Black Eyed Peas hit I Gotta Feelin’. The performance began with Cher singing the group’s chart-topper Where Is The Love?

“Using one of Cheryl’s expressions I’m going to say you smashed that,” Simon said of her first song.

“This is why I am happy we put you through. You are my favourite little brat with a heart of gold.”

And Cheryl also had supportive words for her act. “I saw something in you the second you walked in that audition room,” she said. “You are here in the final no matter what controversy you’ve faced and I hope to see you smashing it again.”

Saturday’s show also featured performances from Rihanna and Christina Aguilera as well as all 16 X Factor finalists – including Katie Waissel, Aiden Grimshaw, Wagner and Treyc Cohen – opening the show with a performance of 80s hit Flashdance

The results – and the winner of X Factor 2010 – will be revealed on Sunday evening’s show.