The 12 remaining acts in X Factor 2010 have delivered another set of diverse performances as each tackled a ‘guilty pleasure’ song.

And once again it was a night of mixed fortunes for the contestants, with many of them winning praise but others falling foul of the judges and song choices being questioned.

Among those who fared well was favourite Matt Cardle, who took his guitar onstage to perform a slow acoustic version of Britney Spears‘ Baby One More Time.

As in previous weeks, the judges reacted with enthusiasm.

“That is such an iconic song,” Cheryl Cole told him, “but I felt like I was sat in an unplugged session listening to an acoustic artist.” Simon Cowell, meanwhile, called the performance “incredible”.

The mogul was also keen on Rebecca Ferguson’s rendition of the jazz classic Why Don’t You Do Right, which was famously sung by Jessica Rabbit in the film Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

Rebecca not only gace an impressive performance but she resembled the character in a floor-length red dress and matching hair.

“This is the night you turned into a star,” he said. “I can’t fault any part of that.”

Cher Lloyd and Katie Waissel were also a hit with the judges, the former on familiar territory with a mash-up of Blackstreet‘s No Diggity and the James Corden version of Shout, the latter singing The Jungle Book classic I Wanna Be Like You.

“It didn’t feel like someone taking part in a competition,” Simon said of Cher’s performance, “it felt like someone who had had five hit records and was putting in a performance.”

And he said of Katie’s song, “It was genius…it shouldn’t have worked but it did, I loved it. You genuinely deserve to be here.”

Treyc Cohen made it a full house for the girls, overcoming illness to win praise for her rendition of Led Zeppelin’s Whole Lotta Love.”You’ve been ill all week, but I’ve not heard you complain once,” Cheryl said proudly.

However it wasn’t plain sailing for some of the acts. Although Mary Byrne’s performance of I Who Have Nothing was a hit with both judges and audience, both Simon and Dannii said they would like to see her tackle something more modern.

“You can’t do the same song every week,” Simon told Mary’s mentor Louis. “You’ve got to use a little bit of imagination.”

And while boy band One Direction did well with their rendition of Pink’s Nobody Knows Dannii expressed doubts over whether or not the song could be classed a ‘guilty pleasure’.

Aiden Grimshaw also divided the judges with his performance of Diamonds Are Forever. Louis said he had the “whole package” but Cheryl added a note of doubt into proceedings. “You’re very intense to watch,” she said. “Personally I love it but I’m not sure everyone would get it.”

And Simon had reservations about Paije Richardson, who kicked off the show with a slowed-down rendition of Rufus and Chaka Khan’s Ain’t Nobody. “You’ve got to start acting and behaving like a star,” he said after criticising the 19-year-old’s bright pink jacket.

Girl group Belle Amie, meanwhile, received a mixed response for their version of the Pretenders and Girls Aloud hit I’ll Stand By You.

“I’ve got to say you’ve got great taste in music,” joked Cheryl, but Louis disagreed.

“It wasn’t a great song choice,” he said of the track which the girls chose themselves, “and you’ve got a problem because you’re on your own in this competition. Simon’s putting all his energies into One Direction and it’s not fair.”

Simon hit back calling Louis “nasty and unpleasant. They are not puppets, they are people,” he said.

Earlier he had criticised Louis for choosing 80s hit Zoom for John Adeleye to sing, calling the song “horrible” and the backing dancers “distracting” – and did the same when it came to Wagner’s performance of the Spice Girls‘ Spice Up Your Life crossed with Ricky Martin‘s Living La Vida Loca.

“Do you understand how crazy it is you criticising me for song choice,” Simon said, “and you give him the Spice Girls.”

Wagner however remained professional, despite reports earlier this week that he had been furious with his song choice.

“I like to sing classical arias and love songs but Louis is very wise,” he said. “He knows I come from a country that is full of dancing.”

The results will be revealed on Sunday night’s show, and following a fortnight of double eliminations, it was revealed that only one act will leave the competition this week.