It was a night of mixed fortunes for the five remaining X Factor finalists as they each performed two songs to try and win a place in next Saturday’s semi-final.

The first half of the show saw the quintet tackle ‘guilty pleasures’ while the second half gave them the opportunity to perform a track by one of their musical heroes.

And this time around Little Mix kicked off the show singing a mash-up of The Supremes Where Did Our Love Go and Justin Bieber’s Baby – before returning later on to perform the Christina Aguilera track Beautiful.

Their first effort divided the judges, with Louis Walsh saying the performance was “lacking something” but Gary Barlow calling it “a great opening to the show”.

However their second performance wowed all four of the panel, with Tulisa saying, “It was the best performance you have ever done,” and Kelly Rowland adding “You have no idea how much I want to see you at the top of the charts.”

Meanwhile it was a disappointing night for Janet Devlin, who forgot her words during her first song, a rendition of the Hanson hit Mmm Bop – and left the judges underwhelmed by her performance.

“I think the nerves took over,” Tulisa said, “I found it rather mediocre for this stage of the competition.” Gary agreed, describing the performance as a “real mess”.

However she fared better with her second track, the Red Hot Chili Peppers hit Under The Bridge.

“I wasn’t crazy about your song choice,” Louis admitted, “but I love your voice. It’s all about the voice with you.”

And her mentor Kelly Rowland was full of praise for her performance. “You had a rough start but you came back out,” she said, “and I am so proud of you for that.”

Misha B fared better on both counts, performing a rap-infused version of the Cyndi Lauper hit Girls Just Want To Have Fun in the first half of the show and the classic hit Killing Me Softly in the second.

“There is not one bad thing I have to say about that,” Tulisa said of her first performance, while Gary added, “What was great was you were back being Misha B.”

In the second half, Louis Walsh told her, “No-one wants to be in the final more than you and you’re prepared to work hard,” while Kelly added, “I am so proud of you, I know the crowd is too.”

Marcus Collins, meanwhile, won praise for both his performances, singing Wham’s I’m Your Man in the first half and the classic Stevie Wonder ballad Lately in the second.

“You gave me everything tonight honey,” Kelly said of his first song, while Gary added, “You could win this, start believing that you could do that.”

And Louis Walsh said of his second song, “You nailed every single note of that song,” with Tulisa saying, “That was emotional, I think it was just as emotional for you as it was for everyone in the audience.”

Finally Amelia Lily rounded off both the first and second halves of the show, singing T’Pau’s 80s chart-topper China In Your Hand first and finishing things off with Kelly Clarkson’s Since You’ve Been Gone.

“Last week I said you were the perfect pop star, this week I think that song choice was incredible,” Louis told her while Tulisa said, “Nobody gets lost in the music like you do, it’s an amazing talent.”

Gary added, “I remember the original of this song and it was nice to hear it sung in tune for once,” taking a sideswipe at the band’s original lead singer Carol Decker.

In the second half Gary complained her songs were “pitched just a little too high” but still said she had given two “great performances”, – leading Kelly to hit back. “Amelia Lily hits those notes in her sleep,” she said. “I wish you could hear her in rehearsals.”

The results will be revealed on Sunday evening’s show, which will also feature performances from Olly Murs and Jessie J.