Speculation over The X Factor’s surprise twist to the live shows finally ended tonight as host Dermot O’Leary revealed that each judge had been given a wildcard choice. This saw the return of four Boot Camp contestants that had previously been sent home.
Diva Fever, Wagner Fluza Carrilho, Treyc Cohen and Paije Richardson have now rejoined the 12 finalists, and each is under pressure to prove why they deserve to be there more than the others.
“I could have made a case for about three or four of the groups,” said Simon, on his way to break the news to Diva Fever. “But when I was asked to make a decision, this is the group that instantly that came into my mind.”
The boys said on stage: “We thought it was the pizza man and then my dad answered it and it was Simon!"
Hilariously camp, the Divas performed Boney M’s Sunny, which saw them strip off on stage, raising quite a few eyebrows. Simon, though, was confident he had made the right choice:
“I think the world has become quite a boring place over the past few years and I've always enjoyed the music business because it should be fun and should be entertaining. Whatever you think, it always makes me smile when I see you guys perform.”
Dannii’s wildcard choice, Paije Richardson, couldn’t believe that he’d been chosen. “I'm overwhelmed right now,” he said. “I've actually been given this chance and it's my time to shine."
Performing his own take on The Fugee’s Killing Me Softly, Paije managed to impress Louis in particular. “I'm so glad that Dannii give you the chance,” said the judge. “You remind me of a young, soulful, cuddly, Luther Van Dross.”
Cheryl added: “You've definitely come out tonight and you owned that wild card. You sing like a Diva, you sing with soul and passion and I absolutely love that about you.”
Louis’ wild card will possibly be the one that causes the most debate, but he explained his reasoning: “I picked Wagner because he’s different. Wagner is a born entertainer.”
“Having a second chance,” said Wagner, “It’s like being resurrected from the dead.”
As if to prove his two lives, Wagner sang a mix of two songs, Ricky Martin’s She Bangs and the B52's Love Shack, with bongo drums. It took a while for Dannii to find the words. “Just when you thought it couldn’t get any stranger…”
Simon wasn’t so dumbstruck. “That was without question the most bonkers performance I’ve ever seen,” he said.
The three girls Cheryl took with her to the live show have been the main focus of media attention this week, but it wasn't the much discussed Gamu who returned to the stage this Saturday. Instead it was Treyc Cohen, who confidently performed U2's One.
“What a show,” said Dannii. “There's been so many incredible performances. To start with one like that means you’re going up there, you need to keep that up every week. You can sing everything, I just want to see your stamp on it every time.”
Simon added: “By a mile, that was the best vocal of the competition.”
Despite their surprise return to the stage the four wildcard acts can still be sent home at tomorrow’s results shows and will need to fight for their right to perform during the rest of the competition.
See the first live show now on the STV Player.