There were a few shocks in store for the remaining X Factor contestants as the competition reached boot camp stage – with some of them being sent packing before they had even sung a note.

The first day of the post-audition stage – screened on ITV1 on Saturday night – saw the judges instantly sending home 40 acts which they did not think had the potential to make it further.

And there were angry reactions to the shock decision – notably from wannabe singer Curtis Ray White – who demanded answers from the panel afterwards.

“I want to speak to them,” he said, “fair enough if I didn’t get through, they’ve reviewed the tapes and I want to know why, I want an explanation.”

Gary Barlow, however, explained to the 24-year-old that he simply hadn’t been good enough to progress further.

“You know what, mate? The truth of this is your opportunity was your audition, we sat last night and we saw everyone’s audition,” Gary said.

“To be fair to you, we are saying to you, go and make yourself better because there are people a lot better than you in your category, you’re not even going to get a chance, why do we need to lead you on for this week?”

The lucky hopefuls who did make it through were put through a gruelling series of challenges, as they were called upon to form groups and perform one of a choice of songs.

Some sang Jessie J’s Price Tag, others performed Katy Perry’s Firework, while the remaining groups tackled either Lady Gaga’s Born This Way or the disco classic You Got The Love.

And some rose to the challenge better than others.

Favourites including Misha Bryan, Marcus Collins, Janet Devlin and Jade Richards fared well, as did barmaid Samantha Brookes who wowed the panel earlier in the series – while eccentric Goldie Cheung livened up her performance by crawling around the stage.

However others struggled – including Lizzie Colbourne, who failed to impress the judges after forgetting the words to her song, and Derry Mensah, who left the panel underwhelmed after his initially successful audition.

Ultimately the hopefuls were whittled down to the final 60 – with Marcus, Janet, Jade and Goldie among them, as well as Amelia Lily, Max Vickers, Frankie Cocozza, Kitty Brucknell and John Wilding.

Essex duo 2 Shoes and girl band Estrella, meanwhile, were among the groups who made it through.

And some of the other rejected acts – including Derry, Marlon McKenzie, Becky Shaw and Perry Edwards – were thrown a lifeline as the judges put them into groups, giving them another chance of making the judges houses stage.

The second part of bootcamp – in which the final 32 acts and the judges’ categories are revealed – will be screened on Sunday at 7.30pm.