The second week of X Factor live shows has seen the eleven remaining acts take on songs by legendary divas in a bid to remain in the competition.
And once again it was the girls who kicked the show off, with Welsh teenager Lucie Jones upping her tempo and taking on the Whitney Houston song How Will I Know.
The performance received a mixed response, with Simon Cowell telling her she did “quite well” while Cheryl Cole pointed out that something still wasn’t “connecting properly” with her performances.
However they loved Olly Murs’ rendition of Tina Turner‘s Fool In Love. “This was the person we fell in love with,” Simon told him. “Different league!”
There was also praise for girl group Miss Frank, who in Louis’ absence were introduced by presenter Dermot O’Leary. Cheryl said, “There are no bookends in this group, you can all sing – it’s a job well done.”
Simon however wasn’t so keen, calling their performance “mainly terrible” and “out of tune”.
And he wasn’t overly enthusiastic about Rachel Adedeji who was next on stage. “I liked it but I didn’t love it,” he said of her rendition of Beyonce’s If I Was A Boy.
However there was better news for Joe McElderry who sang another Whitney Houston song, Where Do Broken Hearts Go. “That was note perfect,” Simon told him, “You’ve got a great future ahead of you.”
Next up was Danyl Johnson, who took a risk by singing a new, relatively unknown Whitney Houston song, I Didn’t Know My Own Strength.
“Talk about challenging yourself,” Cheryl told him, “You really delivered!” Dannii Minogue, meanwhile, described the performance as “flawless”.
Lloyd Daniels tackled the Leona Lewis hit Bleeding Love and received a mixed response from the judges but they were left slightly stunned by John and Edward’s rendition of Britney’s Oops I Did It Again.
“I hope you stay longer,” Cheryl told them, “even if it is just to annoy Simon.” The man himself however was not amused. “Arguably the worst live performance I have ever seen in all these years of doing the show. But you’re sort of entertaining in a weird way.”
The final three acts elicited a mixed reaction from the panel. Simon criticised Rikki Loney’s rendition of Aretha Franklin‘s Respect, saying “the song was too big for you”, while Dannii loved Jamie Archer’s version of Christina Aguilera’s Hurt.
“You brought a lot of softness to that…well done,” she said.
The evening was rounded off by Stacey Solomon performing the Etta James song At Last – a track she admitted she had never heard before the show.
However she pulled it off, with Dannii telling her she gave a “beautiful performance” and Cheryl saying, “You looked like a little pop star”.
The results will be revealed on Sunday night’s show, with one more act eliminated.