The Power of Love proved a perfect match for Sam Bailey on Saturday night’s X Factor.
The 36-year-old Gartree Prison officer sang the classic 80s hit to rapturous applause from the crowd and high praise from the judges.
“You nailed it,” Sam’s mentor Sharon Osbourne told the mother-of-two after the performance.
On Sunday night’s results show both Gary Barlow and Nicole Scherzinger said Sam’s performance had been their favourite of the weekend.
Today (Monday) Sam tweeted from her official Twitter account @SamBaileyREAL: “Hello everyone, what an amazing experience.. I am so thankful for everyone’s comments.. I still can’t quite believe what has happened xxx”
Sam eased into the next week of the competition but things weren’t looking so good for her fellow Over 25s.
Student Lorna Simpson (26) from London, became the first act to exit this year’s competition.
She lost in the sing-off to Shelley Smith, a 34-year-old single mother from Devon, who is also in Osbourne’s over-25s category.
Osbourne abstained from voting.
Louis Walsh said it was an “amazing” sing-off, and said the person he would like to send home was Simpson.
Barlow opted to send Smith home, but Nicole Scherzinger said she wanted to send Simpson home and so her fate was sealed.
Simpson said her favourite memory of the competition was when she got through to the boot camp stage.
Reflecting on the result, her mentor Osbourne said: “For once in my life I’m stumped.”
Pop stars Ellie Goulding and Cher performed on the show.
Meanwhile Barlow confirmed he is to step down from the talent contest at the end of this series, making the announcement mid-way through the live show.
Elaborating on his departure in a statement, Barlow, who is to embark on a solo tour next year, said: “I’ve had an amazing time on X Factor these past three years.
“A show like this needs to stay fresh and exciting so it’s a great opportunity for someone to come in and take the show past its incredible 10-year anniversary.
“Next year is looking to be a very busy year for me and (The X Factor) is a full-time job so it felt like the right time to hand over the baton.
“I’ve loved being a part of the show and have met and worked with some fantastic people but most importantly, more than ever, I want to go out with the winning act this year. Come on the groups!”