When it comes to the final, winning isn’t all that’s on the X Factor acts’ minds: they get to sing with a top music star.
There’s been plenty of memorable double acts over the years, so before this year’s duets come along and dazzle us, here’s my pick of the ten most unforgettable collaborations of X Factor series gone by:
1. Alexandra Burke and Beyonce: Listen (series 5)
In at one, it’s that diva-licious collaboration on Beyoncé’s Listen. Sure it’s been seven series since this happened, but I still can’t listen to this without being covered in goosebumps.
2. Leona Lewis and Take That: A Million Love Songs (series 3)
Back when Take That was a four-piece they joined eventual winner Leona Lewis for a spine-tingling rendition of A Million Love Songs. Her delight at introducing them to the stage swings it for me.
3. Stacey Solomon and Michael Bublé: Feeling Good (series 6)
So much swagger, so much style, Bublé teamed up so beautifully with Solomon, who didn’t win, but had a ruddy good time losing with this crooner by her side.
4. Matt Cardle and Rihanna: Unfaithful (series 7)
There are many reasons to love this: Rihanna’s eye-popping dress, Matt Cardle being almost unable to contain his shock at how amazing she looked, the body-to-body singing… phew. Someone turn down the heating.
5. Olly Murs and Robbie Williams: Angels (series 6)
From Robbie coming in at the wrong time to Olly hugging him at every opportunity, it was the beginning of a beautiful friendship, including the pair going on to release a cover of The Jungle Book’s I Wanna Be Like You together.
6. Joe McElderry and George Michael: Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me (series 6)
George Michael and Joe McElderry turned out to be quite the dream team, with McElderry going on to win under Cheryl’s mentorship.
7. Little Mix and Tulisa: Empire State of Mind and If I Ain’t Got You (series 8)
If Little Mix ever want a fifth member, they know where to look. Tulisa totally rocked it and couldn’t have looked more pleased to do her thing alongside her ‘little muffins’.
8. Jahmene Douglas and Nicole Scherzinger: The Greatest Love of All (series 9)
Admittedly, I love this for the wrong reasons; ie. Nicole having to grab Jahmene’s microphone after hers went dead. Poor Jahmene looked so startled. But it is a killer vocal too.
9. James Arthur and Nicole Scherzinger: Make You Feel My Love (series 9)
Talking of killer vocals, Nicole took to the stage once again in series 9 to sing with her second act James Arthur. It was, as Nicole would say of this performance with the eventual winner, amazeballs.
10. Sam Bailey and Nicole Scherzinger: And I’m Telling You (series 10)
I’ve gone a bit Scherzinger crazy now, but this diva-off with series ten winner Sam Bailey is ear-poppingly impressive. It does get a bit Bridesmaids-esque in the hunt for the spotlight, but hey, when you can hit notes like this, why not show ’em off?
See The X Factor final Saturday and Sunday at 8:00pm on ITV