The X Factor 2016: Simon Cowell says Gifty Louise was best girl in first live show

Fifth Harmony cover gets his seal of approval

┬ęThames / Syco

Simon Cowell reckons Gifty Louise was the best act from his girls in the first X Factor 2016 live show.

Last night the top twelve - minus Brooks Way - performed live to the nation for the first time, with this week's theme being 'Express Yourself'.

During a viewer phone-in on ITV2 spin-off show The Xtra Factor afterwards, one caller gave Simon the tough challenge of picking who he thought did best from his girls category.

And it was bad news for Emily Middlemas and Samantha Lavery, as he settled on Gifty.

"Okay, that's put me on the spot a little bit!" Simon exclaimed. "I'm gonna get killed for this!

"I'm gonna say it... Gifty. I thought Sam did great, I thought Emily did great, just in terms of where they were..."

Gifty rocked the stage with her performance of Fifth Harmony's 'That's My Girl' - a choice that raised a few eyebrows, as the song hasn't been officially released in the UK yet.

Emily sung The Chainsmokers' chart-topper 'Closer', a last-minute change from Britney's 'Toxic'. Meanwhile, Samantha took on 'Impossible', the Shontelle track covered by James Arthur as his X Factor winner's single.

Viewers are now voting to save their favourites, after bosses confirmed a huge new twist for tomorrow's results show.

Dermot O'Leary will name the three least popular acts, before a four-minute 'flash vote' takes place on the show's app. Whoever gets the most votes will be saved, while the remaining two will face the sing-off.

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