'X Factor' attempted to clear up the mess of last week's deadlock drama at the beginning of this Saturday's show, with indecisive judge Louis Walsh pleading: "It was live TV, I was like a rabbit in the headlights."
With the show's version of an apology out of the way, it was on to Love and Heartbreak week...
Sweet Jahmene Douglas, who admitted he's never been in love, was up first, singing Amy Winehouse's 'Tears Dry On Their Own', mixed with a verse of 'Ain't No Mountain High Enough'.
His lack of experience in the romance department didn't hinder the 21-year-old's performance. Louis said: "You are what this show is all about... you are one of my favourite ever 'X Factor' acts." Jahmene did his nervous giggle while the whole panel praised him and his new Motown image.
Gary Barlow's act Christopher Maloney proved to Nicole Scherzinger that he could be more than "cheesy" with an emotional rendition of power ballad 'Alone'. The Pussycat Doll said: "I'm so proud of you, brilliant song choice." But Louis laid into Gary's act, describing it as "cruise ship".
Union J were up next, making the mistake of singing a Leona Lewis song… badly. I certainly didn't want them to keep 'Bleeding Love'. But the judges were impressed. Gary called it a "total transformation" and Nicole said: "You got everything right this week."
They were followed by 16-year-old Ella Henderson, who confessed that she's never been in love. But you couldn't tell from her beautiful and powerful version of 'Lovin' You' by Minnie Riperton. She hit the high-notes perfectly and Gary said: "You completely nailed it." Nicole called her "classic" and a "timeless Goddess" and I thought "can't we just end this pantomime now and crown her the winner?"
Adele, who Ella has been compared to, even tweeted praise for the young singer:
Nicole's act James Arthur took to the stage to sing Mary J Blige's 'No More Drama' after getting some advice from R&B star Blige. I was dubious when I first heard the song choice but James did something special to it and Louis agreed, stating: "Your version was incredible." Tulisa said: "You've got this pain in your voice... I believe everything you say."
Lucy Spraggan, whose grandmother passed away this week, shook up the mood of the show with her upbeat performance of Kanye West's 'Gold Digger'. Nicole, who's quickly becoming my favourite judge, said: "You swagged it out girl."
District 3 sang boy band number 'I Swear' by Boyz II Men. They didn't want to come across too cheesy, but they did.
The second Amy Winehouse rendition of the night came from Jade Ellis with 'Love Is A Losing Game'. Jade has been somewhat overlooked in the competition so far but showed her worth with this performance. Gary called it "simple, stylish and amazing" and Nicole said: "You're like a beautiful flower."
Louis' MK1 sang Jackson 5 song 'I Want You Back' with one of their trademark raps, Gary said: "It's gone a little bit Glee for me." Nicole agreed: "I didn't feel it this week."
Gary's singing chimney sweep Kye Sones followed MK1, singing Rihanna and Eminem's 'Love The Way You Lie'. His vocals were weak, and Nicole said: "That didn't set me on fire." Gary Barlow and Louis Walsh's fall out continued as Gary slammed the judge's comments. Louis hit back, saying: "You're doing something wrong Gary... It's Gary's fault."
The man at the centre of last week's deadlock drama, Rylan Clark, was up next. Joking about Gary he said: "If you don't like it, storm off again." He broke out into Take That's 'Back For Good' in what must be the biggest insult Gary could ever face, but quickly switched it up to dance track 'Groove Is In The Heart' mixed with 'Gangnam Style'. How on earth can he say he's not a joke act?
Gary said: "If this was a competition for how many songs you could kill in two minutes you would win... I'm never going to like this."
Melanie Masson belted out 'Never Tear Us Apart' by Paloma Faith in some dreadful white flares in the last performance of the night. Nicole said: "What a way to end the show." Tulisa agreed: "You blew everyone away yet again."
Who was your favourite performance of the night and who should be sent home on Sunday's show? Let us know in the comments below.
Suggested For You
SUBSCRIBE AND FOLLOW
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements.Learn more