Simon Cowell’s old American Idol colleagues Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson have helped him pick the girls going through to the live shows on the X Factor.
The TV and music supremo is in charge of the girls category in this year’s series of the ITV show.
In Sunday night’s episode, he asked Abdul and Jackson to help him whittle down the hopefuls at the Judges’ Houses stage – with Bella Penfold, Shan, Molly Scott and Scarlett Lee making the cut.
The girls, including fifth hopeful Georgia Burgess, were flown out to a plush pad in Malibu for the latest audition.
The sixth girl who had made it through the Six Chair Challenge, Maria Laroco, was unable to join them in America due to via issues so tried out via a videolink.
Cowell then laid on a special evening where Abdul and Jackson, who sat beside him on the judging panel on Idol, American Idol host Ryan Seacrest, his friend Sinitta and a group of music industry professionals including songwriter Diane Warren and former X factor winner Leona Lewis gathered to hear the contestants perform.
Scott went first and wowed the judges with her rendition of BTS track Fake Love, while Burgess earned a standing ovation from Abdul for her confident performance of Somebody Else’s Guy.
Laroco performed California Dreamin’ from home and Shan gave an emotional performance of an original track inspired by the singing competition.
Jackson declared it was “fantastic”, telling Cowell: “It really shows you who can be a star and who can’t. Because stars rise to the occasion.”
Penfold dazzled the audience with her delivery of Same Love by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis ft Mary Lambert.
Before starting her audition, she told the crowd she had just had the song title tattooed onto her neck.
“I put it on my neck just in case I don’t get through so I don’t have to look at it,” she said.
Lee, who auditioned for the X Factor last year but did not make it through to the live shows, gave a powerful performance of I Didn’t Know My Own Strength.
When Cowell pointed out that it was written by Warren, who was watching, Lee said: “I’m not playing safe Simon, I want to go to the lives.”
Her pitch perfect delivery had the audience on its feet and moved Warren to tears.
“Beautiful,” she told Lee.
After the auditions Cowell, Abdul, Jackson and Warren discussed who to put through and Cowell decided that three slots were not enough and that he was taking four contestants to the live shows.
Upcoming episodes of the programme will see judge Robbie Williams picking the groups with the help of David Walliams, while his wife Ayda asks Leona Lewis and Adam Lambert for advice on the overs category.
Louis Tomlinson takes the boys to Ibiza where Nile Rodgers and his former One Direction bandmate Liam Payne will help him choose the right wannabes to go through.
The X Factor continues on ITV.