X Factor finalist Christopher Maloney is hoping a song by his mentor Gary Barlow could help him cruise to victory.
The former ship’s crooner will team up with judge Barlow to perform Take That’s chart-topper Rule The World during the duets section of tonight’s final.
Maloney has proved popular with viewers despite bookies ranking him the outsider to win the final and failing to gain the backing of the other contestants.
He is up against fellow finalists James Arthur and Jahmene Douglas.
The star-studded two-part finale, being staged in Manchester tonight and tomorrow, will see the trio trying to impress judges and viewers with a range of songs in the hope of winning the title.
The other finalists will perform their duets with mentor Nicole Scherzinger, with Arthur performing Adele’s Make You Feel My Love and Douglas singing the Whitney Houston hit The Greatest Love Of All.
The songs which the finalists will release as their winning single are a closely-guarded secret but they have each recorded different tracks to suit their styles. The song will be released just moments after the winner is crowned tomorrow night.
Lucy Spraggan, who had to quit the show due to illness, will return to the programme along with the other ousted live finalists to perform a group song.
She has tipped Douglas to win, and said: “He is one of the most beautiful and caring people I have ever met.”
However, District 3 are backing Arthur, calling him “a true talent and an amazing artist”.
Tonight’s show will see star guests such as Kylie Minogue, Kelly Clarkson, and Rita Ora taking to the stage, while tomorrow Rihanna, One Direction, and Emeli Sande will perform as excitement mounts before the winner is named.
The contestants have been advised by show bosses not to head out in public for fear of being mobbed.
A programme source said: “It’s unbelievable when they walk the streets. The producers are keen to ensure nothing happens to them before their big night.”
The contestant with the fewest votes tonight will be eliminated with the other two going through to fight it out tomorrow.
About 10,000 fans each night will see the show at Manchester Central — the first final to take place outside London.
During the broadcast, viewers will see judge Scherzinger visiting the Rovers Return to pull a pint.
Bookmaker William Hill places Douglas as the favourite at 5/4, while Arthur is at 11/8 and Maloney trails on 7/2.
However, Maloney has managed to battle on from early odds of 100/1 and survived in the show despite many believing he has little credibility or much hope as a future chart star.
Maloney is thought to have been kept in the contest by older viewers and after attracting the votes of viewers who have been keen to undermine the show and leave boss Simon Cowell with a “joke” winner.
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