Singer Danny Tetley overcame a throat infection to perform a rendition of Madonna's Crazy For You on this week's X Factor live show.
The 37-year-old had been unable to sing for the majority of the week and it was unclear if he would appear on this weekend's guilty pleasures-themed show.
However the vocalist, from Bradford, Yorkshire, arrived on stage to perform, receiving a standing ovation from some of the audience.
In a video recorded during the week and shown in the X Factor studio, the singer sounded hoarse and could be heard saying: "It's gone completely. To be honest, I'm really scared. I honestly don't know if I will be able to sing. It could be that my voice will come back after some rest."
The clip also showed Ayda Williams, Tetley's mentor, adding: "We just need to get Danny healthy for this week. I mean, he can't sing a single note where we are are right now."
After his appearance on the live show, which saw the former Benidorm singer hit a number of high vocal notes, Tetley turned to the judges.
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Ayda told him it was impressive he had managed to sing after previously being ill.
She said: "Danny, I think you are the best thing to come out of Benidorm since chips on a pizza. I love that you sung a Madonna song. "You had a throat infection all week. You could barely speak."
However the other judges were less complimentary, suggesting his song choice had been wrong.
Robbie Williams said: "Danny, I love you mate and thank god for those big notes because those big notes make that song there.
"Now listen, this is guilty pleasures week and it's the perfect opportunity to let your hair down. I don't think you did there, really.
"You sang really well and I liked the song but I wanted to see something different from you. That performance, I feel guilty because I did not derive any pleasure from it."
Simon Cowell recognised Tetley had been ill but agreed with Robbie, adding: "I know where Robbie is coming from. You did have a couple of moments, and I know you haven't been great.
"I do love the song, I just don't think that is your lane. You're adorable and I hope you stay in, Danny, because I think the show needs you."