The X Factor judges debuted the Golden X in an emotional six-chair challenge which saw Ayda Field break down in tears.
Contestants battled to secure a place in the next round of the competition, as Simon Cowell and Field judged their categories.
Field broke down in tears after having to replace one of her Overs and deny a singer one of the coveted chairs.
Cowell ensured the episode ended on a cliff-hanger with the promise of a sing-off for a seat.
Field had to be comforted by husband and fellow judge Robbie Williams after allowing cleaner Louise Setara to claim an already-taken seat.
Field said “This one is really hard for me” when confronted with the dilemma on Saturday’s show, which saw the first use of the Golden X.
Hotel singer Bella Penfold, 19, was stunned when Cowell backed her by hitting the new button, after saying “I can’t give you a seat”.
Self-doubting Ricky John, a 36-year-old carpenter, was treated to a special birthday present from Field as she gave him the guarantee of the Golden X.
Georgia Burgess demanded another chance and sang another song, earning her a seat for a second time.
The episode ended on a cliff-hanger, with Scarlet Lee’s performance prompting Cowell to announce a sing-off between unknown contestants.
Teenager Maria Laroco, from the Philippines, claimed a seat in the Girls category. Choreographer Ivo Dimchev also got through to the next round.
The full results will be confirmed after the sing-off in the next episode of the X Factor.