x factor, Simon Cowell, Cheyl Cole, Dannii Minogue, Louis Walsh

Simon Cowell, Cheyl Cole, Dannii Minogue, Louis Walsh


That's it, the auditions have finished, boot camp has ended and the final 24 (6 in each group) have now been chosen.

For those of you who didn't catch any of the X Factor action over the weekend then you missed out on the judges, Simon, Dannii, Cheryl and Louis whittling down the X Factor hopefuls from 100 to just 24.

The wannabe starlets waited anxiously to see if they had made the final stage before the live shows, before finding out who their mentor would be.

Simon Cowell will mentor the over-25 contestants, Cheryl Cole the boys, Dannii Minogue the girls and Louis Walsh will oversee the bands.

As well as fresh new talent emerging on the reality TV show, including American heartthrob Ethan Boroain and schoolteacher Danyl Johson, there are a few faces we have seen before including S Club Juniors (and one of the favourites) Stacey McLean as well as Jamie Pierce who appeared on Popstars: The Rivals (the shows that propelled Cheryl into the limelight with Girls Aloud).

Each judge believes their group holds the winner (of course) but this year, unlike some others, there are some great acts in each category.

Going through to the over-25 category were Olly Murs, Danyl Johnson, Jamie Archer, Treyc Cohen, Nicole Lawrence and Daniel Pearce.

In the boys' section, Lloyd Daniels, Ethan Boroain, Rikki Loney, Daniel Fox, Joseph McElderry and Duane Lamonte qualified and the girls in contention are Stacey Mclean, Despina Pilavakis, Lucie Jones, Stacey Solomon, Rachel Adedejij and Nicole Jackson.

The groups are Miss Frank, Kandy Rain, John And Edward, Project A, De-Tour and Harmony Hood.

The X Factor also won the Saturday night ratings war for the second week running. Strictly Come Dancing, although closing the gap slightly from last week, only managed to get 8.7 million compared to X Factor's 10.1 million viewers.

Next weekend's double bill will show the 24 hopefuls travelling to the judge's homes (or country of choice) where they will face the difficult task of making it to the live shows.

No doubt it will be as emotional as ever - get the tissues ready.

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By Georgie Hindle