The five remaining contestants in X Factor 2009 have faced one of their most challenging weeks yet, as they bid for a place in the semi-final.

This week saw the five acts – Olly, Joe, Stacey, Lloyd and Danyl – performing a Take That song in the first half of the show and an Elton John song in the second.

Danyl kicked things off with an energetic rendition of Relight My Fire, which won him a mixed reception. Dannii was not too keen on his dancing although Cheryl called his performance “effortless”.

Simon, meanwhile, remained unconvinced by Lloyd’s performance of the ballad Million Love Songs. “You have to have fire in your eyes,” he told the teenager before predicting he would “struggle” to win votes this week.

However, he was more keen on Olly Murs’ version of Love Ain’t Here Any More, with Louis also praising him, saying he deserved to be in the final.

And all the judges were unanimous in their praise of Joe’s version of Could It Be Magic and Stacey’s performance of Rule The World, which rounded off the first half of the show.

“Every week you get better and better,” Louis said of Joe, while Dannii told Stacey she was “the true star of this show”.

Lloyd had another rough ride from the judges in part two of the show, following his rendition of Elton’s 80s hit I’m Still Standing. “You’re just about standing after that,” quipped Louis.

However Danyl fared better with his version of Your Song, backed by a 16-piece childrens’ choir – and Olly delivered a rendition of Saturday Night’s All Right For Fighting that left the crowd chanting his name in delight.

“You put your heart in to it,” Simon told him, “I’m very very happy with you.”

Joe, meanwhile, received a standing ovation for the second week in a row, after his version of Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word had the judges on their feet.

“That was by far my favourite ever performance of yours,” Simon said.

And Stacey rounded off the show with a rendition of Something About The Way You Look Tonight, which she performed sitting on top of a grand piano.

Simon complained about the song choice, saying “it didn’t do you justice,” but Dannii leapt to the defence of her act. “I really loved it,” she said. I don’t know what Simon is talking about.

One more act will leave the competition on Sunday.