Last resort! Gary Barlow, Kelly Rowland and Tulisa to duet with their acts during X Factor final after failing to secure big names
Coldplay turned down option to duet with one of the final acts
Tulisa has said she will “become a member of Little Mix” as she takes to the X Factor stage for the first time
Odds on Marcus Collins slashed following news of duet with superstar mentor Gary
Text voting has been suspended due to the shorter cut-off period for votes
In an unexpected twist, it has been reported that the JUDGES will duet with their own acts on Saturday night”s show.
The news comes after the beleaguered show”s production team failed to secure the big-name artists previously featured in the highly-anticipated finals.
So now it has been left to judges Kelly Rowland, Gary Barlow and Tulisa Contostavlos, who will all take the stage this weekend at Wembley Arena to perform with the finalists.
The pressure is on: Tulisa and her fellow judges will perform alongside their acts in this weekend”s live X Factor final
A show source said: “Once Louis Walsh”s acts were eliminated it became clear the three judges with acts left were all current singers.”
“It”s going to be more pressured thanever. The acts will be singing in front of 10,000 people – and with their mentors,” a source told the Sun.
“The judges will be nervous as well because the song could be the difference between winning and losing.
Breaking new ground: Kelly Rowland and Amelia Lily will perform the rousing number River Deep, while Marcus Collins and Gary Barlow sing More Than A Woman
“Andon top of that, Simon Cowell will be watching from LA. So the judges are almost auditioning for their places on next year”s show as well,” the source added.
According to the Sun, Coldplay agreed to perform on the final, but declined a duet with one of the acts.
And due to continued problems with her throat singer Adele who is at present recovering from surgery has now been forced to pull out of the show.
Kelly and Amelia will perform the rousing number River Deep, Mountain High, while N-Dubz star Tulisa will duet on a mash-up of Alicia Keys” If I Ain”t Got You and Empire State Of Mind withLittle Mix.
Mentors under scrutiny: Because Simon Cowell will be watching from LA, the final may prove something of an audition for the judges for next year”s show
Fashion statement: Lily wore a custom ring for her photo call today
At an X Factor press conference today, Gary and Marcus confirmed that they will be performing the Billy Joel classic, More Than A Woman.
Louis Walsh will sit it out, amidst rumours that the X Factor bosses cooked up the plan only after the music manager”s last act was voted out.
But judge Gary also suggested a song for fellow judge Louis, saying he could sing I Will Survive.
Tulisa has promised to become a “member of Little Mix” on the night.
“A group has never won this competition, especially not a girl group even getting this far in the competition,” she said.
“I”m the youngest judge, it”s my first year and I want to change X Factor history with these little muffins behind me.”
Gary Barlow meanwhile has promised an “emotional evening” when he joins Marcus Collins to perform the Billy Joel song Always a Woman.
The Take That star declared that the final acts were the ones who “had grown the most” throughout the competition.
NO TEXT VOTING FOR LIVE FINAL
X Factor fans have been told via a message on the show”s website they will not be able to vote by text for this weekend”s final.
Text votes returned to the show only two months ago after an absence of several years.
The35p-a-time text option has been suspended due to the shorter cut-off period for votes, meaning any delays on mobile networks could entail thousands of wasted messages.
Text voting was suspended in 2007 after a number of problems, but it returned in October and has been in place since then.
XFactor bosses explained: “Because The X Factor final includes a vote “freeze” and therefore a shorter vote period, it is not possible for text voting to be offered, as delays can be experienced within the mobile networks at busy times which could result in text votes not beingreceived within the period the vote is open.”
Duringthe 2005 X Factor final, 13.9% of votes cast by red button and text arrived too late to be included, although it did not affect the outcome of the show.
A 2007 report by auditors Deloitte found “serious technical issues” with red button and text voting in a number of ITV shows.
“I think they have all moved on incredibly well through the competition and that”s why they are here now,” he said.
Dermot O”Leary, the host of the hit ITV1 show, said it was impossible to pick a winner.
“It”s my first year when we”re going into the final and we don”t really know who the favourite is,” the host admitted.
News of the duets has improved the chances of one act at least, with odds on Marcus Collins to win trimmed from 11/4 to 5/2.
Hills odds suggest this is the closest final in the history of the programme.
Little Mix remain favourites with a slender lead at 6/5, while odds on Amelia Lily are 9/4.
“No disrespect to the other judges but Gary Barlow is the superstar and Marcus is back in the game big time,” said Hill”s spokesman Rupert Adams.
Hills expect to take over 100 bets a minute for the last hour of the Finals show on Sunday, and turnover a seven figure sum on X factor 2011.
Meanwhile research announced today by blinkx, the world’s largest and most advanced video search engine, shows that Marcus Collins and Amelia Lily are trailing behind Little Mix in the run-up to the final this Saturday night, with 27 per cent and 28 per cent respectively to the girl group”s 45 per cent.
Old hand: Gary is a regular on the X Factor stage having performed there many times
The research also revealed that that axed diva Misha B has risen in popularity, since her shock exit last Sunday exit, becoming the second most-searched contestant after Little Mix.
Kitty Brucknell and Frankie Cocozza on the other hand have faded into obscurity, accounting for less than 1 per cent of video searches on the top X Factor contestants.
Louis Walsh has backed Amelia to win, saying this week: “There”s something about Amelia, she”s a ready-made pop star. I love the fact she can sing anything. This girl is a star.”
The judge admitted he has mixed feelings coming into the final however, confessing that he wants to see his close friend Tulisa triumph.
Show them how it”s done: Kelly stormed the stage last week to perform her new single
Ever cheerful, Little Mix tweeted today: “We owe everything to @officialtulisa we”ve become so close and cannot think of a better person to perform with in the final #XFactorDuet xxx”
Clearly excited for the final, they added: “Rehearsing in Wembley Arena! Can”t believe were here 🙂 so who would be your perfect #XFactorDuet xxx”
Not to be outdone, Amelia Lily posted: “OMG!! words cannot describe how excited I am about dueting with@KELLYROWLAND !! Dream come true #XFactorDuet xxxx”
Old hand: Gary performed on the X Factor final last year with Take That
And always upbeat Marcus Collins wrote; “I feel so privileged to be doing a duet with @GBarlowOfficial onthe weekend. He has been such an inspiring mentor. So excited! #XFactorDuet”
Having been a favourite to win until days ago, it appears comeback girl Amelia has run into a fresh spot of bad luck.
The 17-year-old is reportedly suffering from laryngitis and exhaustion- which certainly won”t help her voice to stand up against vocal powerhouse Kelly during their duet.
X Factor favourites: Take That also performed with 2006 winner Leona Lewis
Theduets in the final will be the first time that Tulisa has taken to the XFactor stage, while Kelly performed on last weekend”s results show.
Gary is an old hand, having performed on the show during last year”s final and alongside 2006 winner Leona Lewis.
A spokesperson for the X Factor was unavailable for comment when contacted by Mail Online.
The X Factor final kicks off on Saturday night at 8pm on ITV1.