A “drama queen”, a care home assistant and a supermarket worker were the amongst lucky few who tonight made it through to the X Factor finals.
The ITV talent show judges spent the weekend agonising over which of the remaining 32 acts would be culled.
But the early favourites from this year’s show have all made it through.
Receptionist Katie Waissel, 24, from London, who was branded a drama queen by Judge Cheryl Cole, made the final 12, as did bookies favourite teenager Cher Lloyd.
The final 32 acts have spent the last few days in exotic locations as they desperately tried to sway the judges.
But the waiting is finally over after the 32 hopefuls were whittled down to 12.
For the final few the pressure will now build in earnest as they face the nerve-shredding prospect of appearing live on the nation’s television screens.
There was no shortage of tension as the final 12 were announced.
Cole, who made her name as a ITV talent show winner with group Girls Aloud on Popstars: The Rivals, dramatically broke down in tears during the decision making progress, but quickly regained her composure to lambast contestant Miss Waissel, for being “a little bit annoying”.
Cole told her: “First of all I want to say it’s been a pleasure to get to know you as a person.
“I think you‘re quirky, I think you’re original, I think there’s something very intriguing about you, but I also have to say that there’s a little something that I think people could find, if I’m being brutally honest, a little bit annoying.
“Also sometimes when I’m talking to you there’s always something that I don’t believe.”
Cole then gave Malvern student Miss Lloyd, 17, a tough time too, explaining: “When I go back to the first time I ever saw you perform I instantly thought you were fantastic, I was really excited to see you again and I get here yesterday and it’s like you’ve fallen apart and you weren’t the girl that I’d seen before.”
The teenager has spent the last few days battling a throat infection.
Judge Louis Walsh chose 30-year-old care home worker John Adeleye from Londoner as one of the three in the Over 28s category to go through.
He also decided that Dubliner Mary Byrne, 50, who makes her living in a supermarket, had made the grade.
The 12 acts who will go through to the live finals are:
FYD (For Your Direction)