'We need to declare checkmate': Gary Barlow offers olive branch to Rylan… but is still left unimpressed by his latest X Factor performances
02:20 GMT, 25 November 2012
They've been at loggerheads ever since the start of this year's X Factor series, with Gary Barlow happily showing his discontent with contestant Rylan Clark.
But on Saturday night's live showdown the Take That star finally offered some sort of olive branch to the Essex wannabe.
He didn't go as far to say that he enjoyed Rylan's singing, but Barlow did offer him some praise by telling him that he had 'respect' for him coming back to try and sway his opinions each week.
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Almost making amends: Gary Barlow offered an olive branch to Rylan Clark on Saturday night's X Factor show by declaring 'checkmate' with him
Checkmate: The Take That star told Rylan he 'had to respect' him for still being in the competition, but admitted he's still not his 'sort of thing'
This week's Quarter Final saw the remaining acts perform to different songs – one from Abba's back catalogue and one Motown tune.
Rylan first walked on stage to perform his rendition of Abba's Mamma Mia! wearing a typically outlandish black and white checked suit.
And it all started well for him when the judges gave him kind comments.
Louis Walsh told him: 'Mamma Mia, what a production – I don't think you're a joke act… You're the people's champion.
Tulisa added: 'If there was a week to have fun, this was it. At the end of the day you're still here, well done. You're my kinda cheese.'
But then he looked apprehensive as it was Gary's turn to comment.
The entertainment factor: Rylan Clark was first to take to the stage singing ABBA's Mamma Mia
Check mate! Gary Barlow tipped his hat to Rylan as he put their differences to one side
Show stopper: Clark didn't hold back with his loud costumes during the quarter final
Mashing it up: The 24-year-old pushed himself to the limit with a medley of The Supremes' songs
'Too Eurovisiony': All the judges besides Nicole were not sold with Rylan's second performance
But instead of slating his performance, Barlow reflected as he made reference to his black and white checked outfit: 'We need to officially declare checkmate between you and I now. It's not my kind of thing, but you're still here. I have to respect that.'
And his mentor Nicole Scherzinger, of course was full of praise for the hairdresser, declaring happily: Now that is how you open a show!'
But it seems Gary slightly went back on his word when Rylan re-emerged in the second half to show off his Motown efforts.
Causing a stir: Gary ensured he didn't slate Rylan after he opened the show with his rendition of Abba's Mamma Mia
Feedback: Tulisa and Louis both applauded Rylan's performance before Gary got to have his turn
Fooling around: Rylan was in high spirits despite getting some negative feedback on his second performance of the night
Singing a medley of songs, Rylan again walked on stage ensuring he stood out in a flamboyant pink and olive outfit.
But Gary admitted he still wasn't a fan and had to put it down.
He told him: 'Rylan once tonight is one thing, but
twice in one night. Quite Eurovision that but actually I loved the
visuals you used, quite creative that. But as I said, too Eurovisiony
And he failed to impress the other judges as much the second time round as well.
Speaking his mind: Gary didn't praise Rylan but offered an olive branch to stop them warring with each other
Louis commented: 'If I’m really honest and you know I like you, I don’t think Motown Rylan style really worked. Nicole…..I didn’t enjoy it that much, not as much as I normally do.'
Tulisa sat on the fence and added: 'Good to hear some more of your vocals tonight, it wasn’t your most exciting performance but it was nice to see a different side.'
But a defiant Nicole had her say: 'To me you are a breath of fresh air. It’s colourful, alive and there is so much life to every performance.'
Giving it his all: Rylan was labelled to 'Eurovisiony' by Gary after his Motown attempt
Extravagant set: Rylan was flanked by dancers and lights as he battled to remain in the competition for yet another week
But it wasn't all about Rylan on the night as it was also James Arthur's time to shine once more after almost facing the axe last week.
Last Sunday viewers were left stunned when James and Ella Henderson ended up in the bottom two on The X Factor.
But not allowing the shock of facing elimination tamper with his performance on Saturday James proved he is the ultimate comeback kid.
As the contestants gave their unique renditions of songs by ABBA and Motown legends, the 23-year-old blew away the judges with his performances.
The comeback kid: James Arthur wowed on Saturday night during The X Factor quarter final
Captivating: James had the judges and the audience in awe as he sang SOS by ABBA
For his first performance of the night, James took to the stage with his guitar in hand as he put his twist on ABBA's 1975 hit SOS.
First on the judging panel to singe his praises, Louis Walsh said: 'I never thought angst and Abba would work so well but you made it your own.'
Chiming in Tulisa added: 'That is what is so amazing about you – you take a classic and you completely made it your own. I barely recognised it – you James Arthur'ed it.
'At this stage I want you to win but if you don’t you will sell more records than anyone in it.'
Bouncing back: The 23-year-old found himself in the bottom two last Sunday alongside Ella Henderson
Focused: James gave his all and stunned with his unique rendition of the 1975 hit
'Game changer': Arthur's mentor Nicole Scherzinger only had kind words to say when it came to the judges' commentary
Gary Barlow was also taken back by James and told him: 'You’ve brought your integrity back onstage with you – I really respect you for that. I'm your biggest fan.'
And with only kind words to contribute, Arthur's mentor Nicole Scherzinger made it clear she would not be impressed if James ended up in the bottom two this week.
She said: 'You are kind of ridiculous. You take everyone else’s songs and then you make them better… you are the game changer!'
Performance number two: James returned to the stage for the second half of the show where he sang Let's Get It On
Set to see the final: James traded in his guitar for a suave black suit
Returning to the stage to wow the audience and the judges once more, James traded in his guitar for a suave black suit as he sang the Marvin Gaye Classic Let's Get It On.
Heating up the studio, both Tulisa and Nicole were left blushing as the Middlesbrough singer serenaded them with his smooth voice.
Regaining her composure, Tulisa beamed when she delivered James with her feedback, saying: 'James, only you could get away with singing that song. It was sexy, it was cheeky.'
Agreeing Nicole credited James for the potential baby boom the nation might be faced with.
She quipped: 'It’s safe to say that a lot of babies might be conceived tonight in your name. You have so much soul, you murdered it, you are like hot butter that melts in our mouths.'
Serenading Scherzinger: The Middlesbrough singer took a hold of Nicole's hand as he belted out the Marvin Gaye classic
'You are like hot butter that melts in our mouths': Nicole credited James for a potential baby boom after his live offering
'You are world class talent': All the judges agreed that James provided the performance of the evening
While Gary was left stunned and said: 'James, what a vocal performance! Wow. Brilliant! It is so easy to compare you to Ed Sheeran Plan B but you are nothing like them, you are James Arthur! I can’t wait for your record.'
The Take That singer also made sure to highlight how much he enjoyed Arthur's guitar free performance when he passed on his comments.
And it was Louis who congratulated James on having the 'vocal performance of the night'.
He said: 'James that was the vocal performance of the night, you never let us down! To think you were in the bottom two that doesn’t make sense. You are world class talent.'
Up next boyband Union J came out in strong force belting The winner Takes It All.
An impressed Barlow couldn't contain his excitement and told the boys: 'I feel so good about this band, it just feels right. Josh your voice is coming through as well. I think you’re on a roll now, best of luck to you.'
And showering them with applause, their mentor Louis added: 'They work so hard, people at home I want your votes….I want them in the semi finals. We had JLS, One Direction, I think the next big boyband is on stage.'
'The next big boyband': Union J get the show moving with ABBA's The Winter Takes All
Taking on a big song: For their second performance the boys sang I'll Be There by The Jackson 5
In high spirits: George (L) and Jaymi couldn't help smiling as they got into the groove
Taking on The Jackson 5's I'll Be There, the group had Nicole and Tulisa in the palms of their hands.
Nicole said: 'I love the song boys, you guys did a beautiful job with it, It was simple. It was honest, good job.'
While Tulisa added: 'Wow, guys what a killer night. Two amazing song choices, two amazing vocal performances. This is your best night. Well done.'
Rave comments: Gary Barlow complimented Josh's vocal talent (R) as he praised the boys
'This is your best night': Tulisa also held the band in high esteem with her comments
Receiving some of the harshest comments of the evening, wild card contestant Christopher Maloney failed to inspire positive comments from Nicole, Louis and Tulisa.
After singing Fernando by ABBA, the N-dubz singer called the performance 'creepy', she said: 'The staging was creepy, I didn’t understand why you were surrounded by people in their swimwear, I didn’t get it.
'I am trying to stop myself from giggling because you want an honest critique but staging wise I did find it almost funny. Vocally I thought you sounded really good.'
On his way out Christopher Maloney failed to impress mentors Nicole, Tulisa or Louis
'Creepy': As Maloney sang ABBA's chart-topper Fernando he was accompanied on stage by several dancers
Disheartened: The 34-year-old put on a brave face as he received cold criticism
Maloney's attempt to switch it up a gear with his take on Lionel Richie’s Dancing On the Ceiling didn't fair any better.
A cut throat Walsh said: 'You sang well, you really sang well and you are working hard. It was a little bit like being in Benidorm or Blackpool in a karaoke bar.'
And Nicole confessed she failed to see enough 'soul' while Tulisa said she felt he struggles to connect with the audience.
Sticking up for the only contestant he has left in the competition, Gary said: 'I am starting to feel slightly uncomfortable with the criticism you are getting, all week long and here at the weekend.
'You have done really well, I don’t think people have appreciated how far you have come.'
Harsh! Louis told Maloney that his second performance, in which he sang Lionel Richie’s Dancing On the Ceiling, was like 'being in Benidorm or Blackpool in a karaoke bar'
'Uncomfortable with the criticism': Gary Barlow rushed to Christopher's defense over the judges comments