The finalists got their first taste of the live show experience on last night's X Factor, with Christopher Maloney winning the wild card vote to join as a 13th finalist.

Maloney beat off competition from 16 year-old Amy Mottram, 24 year-old Adam Burridge and boyband Times Red to win the public vote and receive a coveted spot in the live shows, after all four acts got a no at the judges' houses.

The theme of the night was 'heroes', inspired by the recent London 2012 Olympics and a group of Team GB athletes were in the audience cheering on the contestants.

Chris Moloney wins the coveted spot in the live shows

Controversy wasn't far off in typical X Factor style, with Gary Barlow criticising Rylan Clark, calling it an "embarassment" to be sat watching his performance of Spandau Ballet's 'Gold'.

"I wanted to have some fun and I really was having fun until you started singing tonight" Barlow added, before Rylan's mentor Nicole Scherzinger bit back by reminding Gary of his early Take That videos.

Bookies' favourites Ella Henderson, Lucy Spraggan, Kye Sones and Jahmene Douglas all delivered on the night, with Douglas being urged not to "over sing" the notes, but praised for finding some much-needed confidence.

16 year-old Henderson took on the challenge of Take That song 'Rule The World', with Barlow commenting "I’ve got to be honest there is nothing worse than someone singing my song 10 times better than me".

Song choices came under fire, with Louis Walsh admitting he made an error giving Union J Queen's 'Don't Stop Me Now' and Carolynne Poole choosing to sing a country version of Nicki Minaj's 'Starships'. The judges were also split with James Arthur's version of Kelly Clarkson's 'Stronger'.

The live results show, where one act will be sent home, takes place tonight at 8pm on TV3, Leona Lewis and Ne-Yo will perform.