Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 30 August 2014

Show goes on for X Factor hopefuls

Matt Cardle battled illness to perform on The X Factor

The X Factor semi-finalists shrugged off illness woes as they battled it out for a place in next week's final.

There had been fears some would be too sick to perform after painter and decorator Matt Cardle and supermarket crooner Mary Byrne missed yesterday's soundcheck.

On the night, 27-year-old Matt, who is favourite to be crowned champion, got a mixed reaction for his two performances.

His mentor Dannii Minogue admitted ahead of his first song, You've Got The Love: "I've never seen anyone this ill on the show before."

The comments seemed to rile Simon Cowell however, who bickered with Louis Walsh after admitting he had also been ill. He said: "I've had a little sleep and a Lemsip, and I think I'm going to get through it."

Matt sang Billy Joel's Always A Woman as his "song to get to the final", but was told by Simon it was his worst performance in the competition so far.

Mary, who sang club classic Never Can Say Goodbye by Gloria Gaynor as her first song, was told by Simon that she should have chosen a more "contemporary" song.

But Louis came back by saying: "She's literally out of her bed to perform. She's had no rehearsal."

One Direction seemed to brush off problems they had in the week, which also included member Zayn Malik missing a secret gig due to a family bereavement. After watching their first effort of the night, Dannii told them: "You've had a really difficult week, and that was such a classy, classy performance."

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