Published Sunday, 25 November 2012
Nicole Scherzinger looks on as with Rylan Clark hugs Gary Barlow in the sing-off (© Rex Features)
Rylan found himself back in the bottom two with boyband Union J and both acts had to again sing for survival in Sunday night's results show.
While Union J opted for Snow Patrol's Run, Rylan went first in the sing-off and performed a stripped back rendition of Athlete's Wires - a far cry from his usual elaborate, up-tempo numbers.
He even managed a quick hug for his nemesis during the song and, afterwards, Gary had to admit it was his best vocal performance, telling him: "Rylan, you have been an amazing contestant ... None of this was ever personal."
But declaring Union J "the band everyone is going to want to sign", the Take That star decided to save the foursome over Rylan.
With Nicole Scherzinger and Louis Walsh having already saved their respective acts, that left Tulisa with the deciding vote.
She praised both acts, but said she had to save the one she felt would sell the most records - and that was Union J.
Rylan accepted the decision with good grace and humour, thanking everyone for their support and insisting: "It just feels right. I've had seven bonus weeks!"
That leaves Union J, James Arthur, Jahmene Douglas and controversial act Christopher Maloney to progress to the X Factor semi-finals.
The results show also featured performances by Bruno Mars and Rihanna. The Umbrella hitmaker was completely soaked as a rainstorm was created on stage during the performance of her new single Diamonds.