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X-Factor 2013: Judges' Houses!

The final weekend before the live shows commence and it’s Judges' houses. Last weekend we saw how the 24 contestants were picked to head off to Judge’s houses and this week it is about halving that number to the final 12.

There was plenty of emotion with tears and hugs flowing both from those who got through and those that were sent home.

On Saturday night we saw Sharon take her six Over 25’s to Los Angeles where she was helped to reach her difficult decision by Robbie Williams. After hearing each of her final six sing in a sunny LA and having slept on it for the night Sharon broke the news that she was to have an all female line up with Sam Bailey, Lorna Simpson and Shelly Smith progressingto the live shows. The three being sent home, including returning Joseph Whelan were naturally guttedand it seems from twitter reaction X-factor fans are gutted too with his exit. Maybe third time lucky Joseph if you try again next year! Sharon is desperate to win the show, having never done previously. Will she manage it this year? With her selected three finalists don’t hold your breath!

Louis Walsh stayed closer to home as his six chosen contestants jetted off to St Tropez where they were treated to a luxurious yacht experience before settling into a beautiful villa where they had to perform for their place in the live shows. Louis enlisted the help of not one, not two but three big names in the form of Shane Filan from Westlife, Nicole Appleton, ex All Saints and it wouldn’t be X-Factor without Sinita making an appearance (in bikini) at Judges' house. In the end Louis opted for Luke Friend, Sam Callahan and Nicolas McDonald sending home some super talented singers particularly Paul Akister. It seems it is not just about being a good singer – but that is no surprise – especially where Louis is concerned (remember Jedward!).

Nicole brought her girls to Antigua where she picked her final three with the help of Mary J Blige. Abi Alton and her quirky style managed to take a place in live shows and Tamera Foster, who now seems to be a front runner to win the show also made it through. Jade Richards, surprisingly lost outon her second attempt in Judges' houses and the final place was between Hannah Barrett and Melanie McCabe, who was also on her second Judges' houses appearance. Hannah made it through with the cynics noting the greater back story with Hannah over Melanie. Twitter was alight with support for Melanie, and Nicole may have lost a few fans after last nights decisions.

Gary brought his groups to the big apple as they hit New York. He was joined by former X-factor contestant and ex Xtra Factor presenter Olly Murs. Probably inevitably Stop Look Listen, (now called Miss Dynamix), the band manufactured by solo rejects, made it through. Let’s face it, it would be a little like shooting yourself in the foot rejecting the band you put together yourself. Rough Copy, the band who appeared last year and had visa issues and then this year lost a member (Kaz) due to further visa issues ended up a duo made it to live shows. As predicted, in a twist at the end of the show Gary Barlow called to Kaz’s house and asked him to rejoin the band so Rough Copy will now perform as a trio once again during live shows. The final band making it through was Kingsland Road which means we had to say goodbye to Xyra, Code 4 and Brick City.

So there we have it. Our final 12. Some may say that some of the more talented have gone home this weekend and it is no longer a singing competition but more focused on back stories and personality. Perhaps they are right. Whatever your view, the live shows will kick off next Saturday on ITV1 at 8pm with first results show on Sunday also at 8pm.

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