X Factor judges Sharon Osbourne and Louis Walsh will prompt a game of musical chairs as the Six Chair Challenge continues in tonight’s show.
The second night of the most brutal stage of the competition will see Sharon and Louis narrow down the acts in their categories – the over-25s and the groups respectively – to just six contestants each.
The challenge means those who are awarded a seat and the prospect of a trip to judges’ houses must anxiously wait as they face being replaced by another singer if the judge thinks the latter is more deserving of it.
Singers who have been awarded seats sit with their heads in their hands as they await the judge’s decision as competing acts perform in front of a live arena audience for the chance to snatch one of the hotly contested six chairs.
The episode marks the return of controversial rapper Honey G, 35, who delivers a rendition of Missy Elliott’s WTF, as well as living doll Sada Vidoo, who performs Linkin Park’s Numb.
Sharon fills up her seats quickly and is then forced to shuffle singers including Melissa Pedro, 27, Marianna Zappi, 34, and James Craise, 29, in and out until she settles on her six final contestants – but Louis prolongs the process even more as he dithers between groups.
After sending home girl band Girl Next Door he brings them back following riotous chanting from the audience.
However, with another girl group, 4 Of Diamonds, already awarded a seat and urban female trio Skarl3t delivering an impressive rendition of Jessie J’s Bang Bang, he ultimately lines up all three girl groups to choose between them.
The girls tussle for chairs with groups including boyband Yes Lad, couple Tom and Laura and novelty duo Ottavio and Bradley.
Louis struggles so much with his decision Sharon loses patience and tells him: “Do it. Louis, come on.”
After Louis settles on his line up, Simon Cowell tells host Dermot O’Leary: “It was chaos, I thought it was bad two years ago but this was worse.”
However, he does confess to being impressed by his chosen acts, saying: “This category, I wasn’t sure about it. But now this could be the best category.”
The X Factor continues tonight at 7pm on ITV.