The last 24 hopefuls in The X Factor 5 have been revealed, following a second gruelling day of boot camp.
Highlights of the second day, at London’s Indigo at 02, were screened on a special Sunday edition of the show – bringing with it the usual triumphs, tears and tantrums.
Each of the remaining 50 acts had to perform a final song for the judges before they made their decision on who would make it through.
And it was time to say goodbye to some of those who had shone through in the early stages, including 80-year-old Cyril Grant, teenager Joelle Moses, and 20-year-old Rikki Loney, who had said he wanted to make the finals to prove to his parents he could make it in music.
However some of the most popular acts did make it through.
The semi-finalists in the boys category are holiday camp rep Scott Bruton, teenagers Mali-Michael McCalla, Eoghan Quigg and Liam Payne, former boyband member Austin Drage, and Alan Turner, who hit the headlines over press allegations he had lied to the judges about not knowing his family.
14-year-old Payne scraped through to the semi-final after originally being rejected by the judges. However he made it after Simon Cowell had a last minute change of heart.
In the girls’ category, the semi-finalists are waitress Annastacia Baker, office worker Hannah Bradbeer, teenagers Amy Connolly and Diana Vickers, former semi-finalist Alexandra Burke and 21-year-old Laura White, tipped by the judges as “the one to beat”.
The last six in the 25 and overs category are Daniel Evans, Suzie Furlonger, James Williams, Ruth Lorenzo, Rachel Hylton and Louise Heatly – who at 48 is the oldest person this series to get this far.
Finally the six groups who made it through are Bad Lashes, Desire, JLS, Girlband, Priority and 4Instinct.
The latter almost blew their chance during the final stage of bootcamp, when one of the members forgot her words during the song and rushed offstage.
The quartet were convinced their dream was over – but the judges put them through after taking all their performances into account.
“I have never seen such a meltdown like that in my life,” Simon Cowell said. “But there is something about those kids I like.”
As well as the remaining contestants learning their fate, the judges were also told which categories they would be mentoring this year, with the show officially confirming what was reported earlier in the week.
Simon Cowell will mentor the boys category this year, Louis Walsh is in charge of the groups, Dannii Minogue will look after the over 25 category and newcomer Cheryl Cole will have the task of mentoring the girls.
Next week’s show will see the 24 semi-finalists travelling to one of their mentor’s homes – in Cannes, Ireland, St Tropez and Barbados – for their final chance to impress their mentor and secure one of the 12 places in the live finals.
The 12 finalists will be revealed in a second show next Sunday night.