As ever, I'll post the rest of the performance videos as they become available, but let's give the last word to Simon.



See? The culprits seem to be online 'prank' group Trollstation, NOT Lee Nelson. (I'm looking forward to the reply I get from his agent on Monday.)

Here are some more details, if you're interested...

...which you shouldn't be, because they don't seem like very pleasant people. Here are some of their most popular videos. (I've removed the most offensive images.)


According to their YouTube channel, they also tried to stage a similar invasion of the ATP World Tennis Championship.

More like this

My advice? Sigh a bored sigh, eat some Pringles and forget they exist. That's what I'm doing.



And with that strong showing from Emily Middlemas, we're done. And this point It's really about who's showing weakness rather than who excels, and Honey G may suffer from an especially, headache inducingly weird episode.



Saara Aalto with a medley of diamond themed songs (Diamonds are Forever/Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend). But not Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. Or Diamonds From Sierra Leone. Or Diamond Dogs. Or Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes. Or...


They're up! Infuriatingly, the first cuts off right as the likely lads begin their stage invasion.


Brave of Emily Middlemas, who looks like she floated in on the gloaming, to cover a song designed for this guy. Not sure the decision to take it much, much higher worked, but she's getting kudos from the judges for being adventurous.


Significantly, Honey G's first performance has yet to be posted to the X Factor's YouTube channel.



Did Honey G forget most of the words to Black Beatles, or was that intentional? Would be understandable to be flustered after the stage invaders, but with a Mannequining crowd, you were really aware of the silences.


Sharon completely forgets her next act (Honey G) but covers well by asking the other judges live on camera.


The truth is out there.




Matt's back, with some focus group tested vocals. Apparently he's going to scale back the falsetto, which should sound like one hand clapping.



Some clearer footage of the stage invasion. (H/T @sophlouisehall)

Trying to find out who the likely lads were, will update if I hear anything.


Oh wow, Toxic is a perfect song, unruinable. And then...ukelele.


Emily Middlemas now. Look, Toxic is undeniably a great song, but it’s also the ‘safe’ Britney choice in polite company. Mention Spears to any hipster and they’ll immediately go on about Toxic. It’s a tad annoying.

Then again, I’m president of the ‘Blackout Was an Underrated Masterpiece’ political pressure group. I’m also its only member.


I say it every week, but 5 After Midnight's harmonies are rock solid. The rest needs a bit of work, but give them anything retro and they'll nail it. Why aren't these guys the favourites to win?


The list of suspects grows.


I'm not going to miss 2016 at all.



Well that was odd.


Dermot: "We had a stage invasion, three punks thought they could take on Honey G – don't think so."

Sharon: "I think they wanted to touch you there, where they shouldn't."

Simon: "I thought it was part of the act."



OK, after all my grousing about Saara Aalto's Scandi-stereotyping, that was an exceptional song choice. The Winner Takes It All is an obstacle course for talented singers.

Nicole: "Saara, you're now number 1 in the competition."


Oh, the judges thought Matt was good btw. Do I really need to say that?



Matt Terry up first, who I'm willing to accept is not for me and that's fine. He's like those ultrasonic 'Mosquito' gadgets that shops use to scare away teens. I can't hear what Matt puts out, but it certainly seems to work.





The argument over Honey G trundles on, or maybe it trundles around, because people have been repeating the same points over and over again for the last two months. It's quite dull.

Still, as we reach the final stretch of the competition, fans are terrified G might win it all. If you have been paying attention, you'll notice she has actually improved a lot – abandoning any pretence of meter, tunefulness or rhyme, she now uses each word as percussion. It kind of works. Sort of.

But don't worry, the conspiracy theorist in me can see her being subtly edged out. The Honey G joke only works when she's tackling wildly inappropriate songs. As she takes it more seriously, and is given stuff in her wheelhouse (Vanilla Ice/MC Hammer/etc) she becomes less funny. Eventually she'll produce something vaguely listenable and be immediately ousted.

Then again, stranger things have happened.


(In this allegory, Matt Terry is Hillary Clinton, which is perfect.)


Now for this week's Backstage Nonsense

  • Nicole and Matt ate pie in what is now destined to be the last memory I have on my deathbed.
  • Mel C isn't a fan of Honey G, which is like America lecturing the rest of the world on nuclear proliferation.
  • Honey G is going to do a 'Mannequin Challenge' on stage. (It's an Internet thing apparently.) Credit to her, it's easier than learning a dance routine.
  • There are always a dozen 'xxxx reveals the TRUTH about Honey G' articles I leave off the list this week. For one: they're straight click bait with no content and we deal the straight dope on my live blog. Also, I'm not sure I understand the question. Asking if Honey G is 'acting' is like asking if John Lennon was really a walrus.


Last week saw Ryan Lawrie sent home and Emily Middlemas remaining in the competition. This breaks up the greatest Scottish power couple since Andy Murray and Kim Sears, or Mary Stuart and Rizzio. My nation mourns.

But Louis was right last week: we've already got that type in Matt Terry, at this point in the competition you don't need two. Even Honey G's biggest detractors would admit that she's unique.


A few notes:

  • Louis disappoints us. From all the build up, we expected some horrifying choices. Apparently, what he really loves is the sort of tunes you get in a Boots advert.
  • You might have noticed that, despite the billing, most are singing more than two songs. Honey G is singing four! I really don’t know what we’ve done to deserve that. Was it Trump? Global warming? Is it because I lied when I was seventeen?
  • Incidentally, are the constant mash-ups an admission that the transitions between songs are the only interesting bits?
  • The real theme this week is ‘bugger it, let’s bite the bullet’, with several acts plumping for obvious song choices. I’m convinced that –if Honey G’s hip-hoppropriation hadn’t happened– more people would be as worked up about Saara Aalto’s Scandinavian stereotyping as I am. In some ways it’s surprising that it’s taken this long for an Abba song to appear, but it’s always been inevitable. Similarly, Honey G doing MC Hammer feels like something that’s already happened. It hasn’t, but it will. You can’t stop it.


Yes, this week every act sings two songs, with half chosen by Louis. Let’s see what freaky stuff he’s into.

Saara Aalto

Louis Loves: ABBA – The Winner Takes It All

Own choice: Shirley Bassey– Diamonds Are Forever / Marilyn Monroe – Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend

5 After Midnight

Louis Loves: Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson – Uptown Funk

Own choice: Justin Bieber – Sorry / Drake – One Dance

Honey G

Louis Loves: MC Hammer – Can't Touch This / Rick James – Super Freak

Own choice: Salt-N-Pepa – Push It / Rae Sremmurd – Black Beatles

Emily Middlemas

Louis Loves: Britney Spears – Toxic

Own choice: Rag 'n' Bone Man – Human

Matt Terry

Louis Loves: Little Mix – Secret Love Song

Own choice: Sia – Alive


This week's theme, the terrifying sounding 'Louis Loves'. Do we want to know? It's been a tough enough year.



Hi, I’m Jonathan Holmes, and just two months ago I had never seen X Factor. Yet here we are. There's no going back.

Catch up with our coverage

Week 7: "Every year is the worst year of the X Factor"

Week 6: "We're all trapped in a Tom Stoppard play"

Week 5: Furious X Factor fans send SNAKES to judges!

Week 4: Fright Night Fakery and the X Factor Tabloid Factory

Week 3: "Honey G is the Donald Trump of contestants"

Week 2: Enter Robbie Williams

Week 1: "It's less a TV programme than a migraine, isn't it?"

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