The quarter-final of The X Factor 2012 has seen the remaining five acts take to the stage with a double bill of songs in their bid for a place in the semi-final.
And it was yet another triumphant night for favourites James Arthur and Jahmene Douglas as the all-male line-up took on Abba songs in the first half of the show and Motown songs in the second.
Jahmene delivered a pair of moving performances, tackling the Abba classic I Have A Dream in the first part of the show, followed by Tracks Of My Tears later on.
And James Arthur made his bid to avoid the bottom two this week – after his brush with last weekend’s sing-off – by delivering a double bill of Abba’s SOS and Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get It On – singing the latter to a speechless Nicole Scherzinger and Tulisa.
“It’s safe to say that a lot of babies may be conceived tonight in your name,” Nicole joked, while Tulisa added, “Only you could get away with singing that song, it was sexy, it was cheeky.”
The 23-year-old also impressed with his rendition of Abba’s SOS, which he gave a grungy rock makeover with his acoustic guitar – promoting Louis to tell him, “It would have been a travesty if you were not here,” and Gary to add, “I’m your biggest fan, I really am.”
Meanwhile Jahmene delivered an impressive double bill of Abba’s I Have A Dream and the Motown classic The Tracks Of My Tears, while his mum watched from the audience.
And although the judges were unsure about the song choice of the former, with Louis saying, “I don’t think the theme suited you,” Tulisa described the performance as “beautiful”.
However, Louis could not praise his other song highly enough – and while Tulisa was unsure this time, telling him, “It wasn’t my favourite performance but it was still a high standard,” he said, “You are the real deal and I know you’ll be in the final.”
Elsewhere Union J won praise for their performance of Abba’s The Winner Takes It All but divided the judges with their Motown effort, the Jackson 5’s I’ll Be There.
“You had a massive opportunity with the Motown and you didn’t take it,” Gary told them, “it was a good performance but I thought you could have gone the extra mile and you didn’t.”
And once again the judges agreed to disagree on Christopher Maloney and Rylan Clark – the former offering up a double bill of Abba’s Fernando and Lionel Richie’s Dancing On The Ceiling, the latter kicking off the show with Mamma Mia and performing a Supremes medley in the second round.
Rylan – who is this weekend’s favourite to go – was told by Gary that his Motown performance was a “bit Eurovision” although offered him an olive branch after his Abba performance, saying, “I think we need to declare checkmate right now – I wouldn’t buy the record but it’s week eight and you are still here, I have to respect you for that, for coming back every week and putting on a show.”
Meanwhile Christopher Maloney fell foul of Tulisa for his Abba number which saw him surrounded by a host of half-clad dancers. “The staging was creepy, I didn’t understand why you were surrounded by people in swimwear,” she said, “I didn’t get it.”
And Nicole wasn’t too keen on his other performance, saying, “I am looking for soul and I don’t see much soul there,” – although Gary was quick to defend his act.
“I am starting to feel slightly uncomfortable with the criticism you are getting,” he said. “You have done really well, I don’t think people appreciate how far you have come.”
The results will be revealed on Sunday night’s show, with one act missing out on a place in the semi-final.