X Factor favourite for the chop Christopher Maloney held back tears as he continued to receive criticism which his mentor Gary Barlow described as “uncomfortable”.
The over-28s contestant failed to impress the judges with his two performances on the ITV hit show and is expected to be voted off.
The Liverpudlian, who has been booed regularly on the show, came in for weird criticism from judge Nicole Scherzinger. After performing Lionel Richie’s Dancing On The Ceiling she told him it was like “vanilla, skimmed milk on top of a single cornflake…I don’t see much soul there.”
Fellow judge Tulisa Contostavlos told him she did not believe in what he sang, and that she nearly laughed at his earlier version of Fernando by Abba, which Louis Walsh said was like something from Benidorm or Blackpool.
Barlow defended the performer saying: “I am starting to feel slightly uncomfortable with the criticism you’re getting,” and that the public did not know how hard he was working.
The Abba versus Motown evening saw the other four contestants receive glowing praise from the panel.
Favourite James Arthur wowed the crowd with Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get It On which prompted the former Pussycat Doll to gush: “You have so much soul…you are like hot butter that melts in our mouths.”
Walsh told quietly spoken Jahmene Douglas that if Motown were signing artists today he would be snapped up, after he performed Smokey Robinson’s Tracks Of My Tears.
Boy band Union J had their best night in the competition according to Tulisa after trotting through The Winner Takes It All, and I’ll Be There by the Jackson Five.
Novelty act Rylan Clark’s Supremes medley was a bit “too Eurovision” for Barlow, but Scherzinger said he sounded “amazing” singing Mamma Mia which might have raised a few eyebrows.