Belfast Telegraph

X Factor hopefuls looking to clinch

The surviving X Factor contestants will discover on Sunday who has made it through to the show's final next week.

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

Even when the singers arrived at rehearsals their voices were in doubt, with One Direction's Harry Styles wearing a sign explaining he could not speak as he was on vocal rest.

On the night, 27-year-old Cardle, who is favourite to be crowned champion this year out of the five semi-finalists, won praise from the judges for his two performances.

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

Cardle, who spent part of the week at his parents' home suffering from tonsilitis, was told by Louis Walsh: "Girls like you, boys like you. I think you can win the competition, I really do."

Judge Cheryl Cole, who herself was ill with malaria earlier this year, told Cardle: "I really like the fact you came out and sang. Sometimes, when you're an artist you get sick. The fact you came out here and delivered a great performance is testament to you."

Cardle sang Always a Woman, a hit for Fyfe Dangerfield after it featured on a John Lewis advert, as his "song to get to the final", but was told by Cowell it was his worst performance in the competition however.

Byrne, who sang Never Can Say Goodbye by Gloria Gaynor as her first song, part of the ITV1 show's club classics theme, was told by Cowell that she should have chosen a more "contemporary" song.

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

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