Gamu Nhengu was not among the four 'X-Factor' acts had their hopes of pop stardom revived tonight when they were revealed as wildcards for the final.
Each of the talent show’s four judges was allowed to pick one of their rejected acts.
Simon Cowell today revealed he had thrown his weight behind the campaign to save the 18-year-old from deportation to Zimbabwe but viewers are still puzzled as to why the teenager was not chosen by Cheryl Cole for the live finals.
Instead, Cole picked Treyc Cohen who said: “I’m so grateful for this chance and I’m not going to let her down.”
The other acts given a lifeline were Wagner, Paije Richardson and duo Diva Fever.
The four wildcards joined the 12 original finalists to test their nerves and voices in front of a live television audience for the first time tonight.
Boy band FYD opened the show with a cover of Travie McCoy’s Billionaire, adding a reference to Simon Cowell into the lyrics.
Judge Louis Walsh told them: “It was a great opening. Well done.”
Next up was painter and decorator Matt Cardle, singing David Guetta’s 'When Love Takes Over'.
Simon Cowell said his version was “genius” and would be “a monster hit” if he released it as a single.
Care home worker John Adeleye sang Boyz II Men and Mariah Carey's 'One Sweet Day' but there was criticism from some of the judges that the song was not contemporary.
Walsh, Adeleye’s mentor, said he was “one of the most genuine and sincere contestants in this competition” and he hoped the public would support him.
Bookies’ favourite Rebecca Ferguson sang Womack and Womack’s 'Teardrops'.
Cowell told the singer “I think you have enormous potential” but said he wanted to hear her sing something more cheerful to show off her true personality.
Ferguson’s mentor Cole had nothing but praise for her protege and told the Liverpudlian she loved Scousers.
Storm Lee had bright red hair, a make-up mask, backing dancers and special effects to make his performance of Starship's 'We Built This City' more memorable.
Mentor Walsh – who last year kept duo Jedward in the show with funny performances packed with gimmicks – said: “That’s showbusiness and he put on a show.”
But Cole was less impressed, telling the 37-year-old: “If I’m honest the image for me is a little too much. You don’t need to push it that far.”
Cowell said he looked liked “something out of Batman”, adding: “It’s kind of absurd but maybe it will work, I don’t know.”
Belle Amie, the girl band created from solo singers rejected at the Bootcamp stage of competition, performed B.O.B’s 'Airplanes'.
Cole said she felt “uncertain” and the group needed time to develop chemistry.
Cowell, the band’s mentor, said he believed there was a market for them and urged girl viewers to back the band.
“What a show like this needs now is girl power,” he said.
Cher Lloyd, 17, showed no sign of the throat problems which left her in tears during the judges' homes stage of the selection process.
She sang, rapped and danced her way through a version of The SOS Band’s 'Just Be Good To Me'.
Simon Cowell told her: “Any doubts anyone had about why this one (Cole) picked you a couple of weeks ago had just been totally and utterly blown away.
“You are exactly what we were looking for which is a new little star and you should be unpredictable, that’s what pop music is all about.”
Cowell, who celebrated his birthday on Thursday, added: “I absolutely love you which is probably the wrong thing to say as I’m 51 years old.”