Published Saturday, 08 December 2012
Jahmene Douglas and James Arthur will battle it out for the X Factor title (© Rex Features)
The first instalment of the X Factor final weekend opened with the return of acts including Rylan Clark, Union J, Lucy Spraggan and Melanie Masson for a big group performance.
But then it was quickly down to serious business, with Jahmene, James and Christopher Maloney each performing their first song of the night.
For Jahmene, it was Move On Up - drawing a Luther Vandross comparison from judge Louis Walsh and much praise from the others.
Christopher continued to go retro, singing What A Feeling - also to a positive reception from the judges and respect for the fact he had fought his way to a place in the final.
And for James, the song choice was Feelin' Good - prompting his mentor Nicole Scherzinger to brand him a "mahoosive talent".
It's a new dawn, it's a new day, it's a new life for YOU ...
Then it was time to bring out the big guns.
Jahmene was first to be joined on stage by Nicole, with the pair forced by technical issues to share a mic, but still belting out the Whitney Houston classic Greatest Love Of All.
Christopher was next up, dueting on Take That's Rule The World with his mentor Gary Barlow.
And then Nicole was back, this time accompanying James on Adele's Make You Feel My Love.
As the public cast their votes for their favourite act, viewers and the packed out Manchester Central Arena were treated to performances by Kelly Clarkson, Rita Ora and Kylie Minogue before it was time for the big reveal.
First to make it through to Sunday night's big final was Jahmene, with James close on his heels.
That left Christopher exiting the competition, declaring that he was still happy to have made it so far, and Nicole celebrating the success of not one, but two of her acts.
"The critique that I've had and the negative press and the lies in the press and all that...I'm the third finalist and it feels fantastic," Christopher said.
Tune in to UTV on Sunday night at 7.40pm to find out who wins X Factor 2012.
Well ... that was a whole load of drama-rama!
We had big songs, burning cars, falling over cameramen, Kylie ... Dunno about you lot, but we need to go have a little lie-down in a darkened room before tomorrow night!
Let us know what you made of the result and who you think will be the last man standing - Jahmene or James ...
We'll be back tomorrow night - make sure you join us! :)
Did an over-excited cameraman just fall over? We think he did!
That excitement must be contagious - Nicole's going mad and Jahmene's spinning James in the air!
And so is ...
Nicole's boys are both through to the final and she's trying to throttle Dermot in delight ... Put him down!
But it's farewell to the Maloney - he's headed back to his nan, bless him. Bye, Chris!
Jahmene is through to the final - we love him!
Are. You. Ready?!
Eeeeeeeek, we can't cope with the pressure!!!!
They did look a bit moody ...
We all love Kylie, we do ...
It's a very glam in gold Kylie with her reworked take on the hit Can't Get You Out Of My Head, complete with a light-up orchestra and what looked for a second like a stage invasion by some scowly-faced blokes ...
Applying for next year?
Go on - you know you want to! If Rylan can do it ...
What's that you say? Are we applying? Oh no, no, no, no, no. We're shy. :)