In a break with tradition, all contestants went automatically through to Sunday’s show after singing on Saturday, meaning we’ll also get to hear all of their winner’s singles Sunday evening — and see them duet with some pretty starry performers, including chart-toppers Emeli Sandé and The Kaiser Chiefs.
Both Dalton and Anthony are in good positions with a strong voter base, while Scarlett is a little more vulnerable, after she won in a tense sing-off against Robbie Williams’ last remaining act, Acacia and Aaliyah, during the semi-finals — but for now, everything’s to play for.
- Everything you need to know about The X Factor 2018 final
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Read on for the judges’ reviews of each of their performances…
First song: A Song For You (Donna Hathaway)
What the judges said: Bookies’ favourite Dalton Harris brought the stadium to its feet with his rendition of Donna Hathaway’s classic love song — earning an applause that lasted several minutes — and the judges couldn’t get enough of it.
“Dalton, what an incredibly powerful performance,” Ayda told the Jamaican singer. “You are amazing. There’s not much I can say that ten thousand people aren’t saying right now,” she added, referring to the extended applause. “You are already a super star, I just hope you still talk to me when you’re a mega star…”
Speaking for the nation, Robbie added, “I’m baffled why you’re on this competition and you’re not selling out stadiums,” while Simon told Dalton that the rendition had been “one of the best performances I’ve ever seen on this show”.
Dalton’s mentee, Louis, added: “Dalton, for me it’s been evident since week one that you’re the best singer on this competition and possibly the best the X Factor has ever seen… I’m very very excited for your career after this, I’m so proud of you, well done.”
Second song: Duet with Emeli Sandé: Beneath Your Beautiful
— Emeli Sandé (@emelisande) December 1, 2018
Although there were no extended judges comments for any of the three celebrity duets, Emeli told Dalton following their (predictably amazing) duet together that “your voice is just like honey.”
“Incredible job,” she added.
First song: Let It Be (The Beatles)
What the judges said:
The usually cheeky chappie tackled this soulful ballad from The Beatles’ back catalogue, and his mentor Louis Tomlinson was delighted. “You’re fighting for every underdog… you’re striving for better, I love you,” the former One Directioner said.
“Absolutely amazing mate,” Robbie Williams said, “without this show you wouldn’t get to meet people like you. Listen, what you’ve got to do it stay on the path of the righteous [a reference to Anthony’s departure from the X factor back in 2017 after an alleged drugs scandal] because the world is opening up to you… The country believes in you.”
William’s wife and fellow judge Adya Field was equally impressed, adding: “I think Let It Be is the perfect song for you to open the show with… you have exceeded all my expectations… You’ve got Wembley Arena behind you, I love you, I wish you all the best, let it be.”
Simon Cowell agreed with Adya, telling Anthony: “That was probably the most perfect song you could do tonight. What you do… tonight will determine your future…”
So no pressure then, Simon.
Second song: Duet with Tom Walker: Leave a Light On
Louis told his mentee that the performance had been “unbelievable”, before adding: “Tom, you’re an absolute gent, thanks for doing this.”
Song: Your Song (Elton John)
What the judges said:
Scarlett had a tough time of it following Dalton’s first performance, but she knocked it out the park with an emotional rendition of the John Lewis advert.
“The reaction in the room says it all, you’re an a amazing singer but also an amazing person,” Louis told her, while Adya admitted she got “totes emosh” (yikes) during the performance.
“I just got totes emosh, hun! I’m so proud of you!… I’m going girl power all the way, go Scarlett, go Scarlett, I love you,” she gushed — while Robbie went one better and invited her to sing with him at Hyde Park in July.
Simon meanwhile took the opportunity to make a thinly-veiled dig at his former mentee and I’m A Celebrity contestant Fleur East, telling Scarlett: “This is the first time I’ve felt your nerves… This weekend could change your life I don’t want to see you in the jungle in two years time drinking worm juice, I want you on Broadway.”
Second song: Duet with Robbie Williams: Angels
“I just sang with Robbie Williams!,” Scarlett enthused at the end of the song, while Robbie countered: “I just sang with Scarlett Lee.”
“It was just one of those magic moments,” Scarlett’s mentee Simon said, “Robbie I can’t thank you enough… your chemistry between you was magic.”