X Factor 2018 recap: Groups, Boys face Judges' Houses, Robbie Williams picks his final four

Who has Robbie put through to the live shows? Latest results revealed

Panda and Burgandy.

Judges' Houses continued on The X Factor 2018 tonight as the Groups and Boys sang to make the live shows - and Robbie Williams revealed his final four acts.

Last week the top 16 began to take shape as Simon Cowell whittled down the Girls at a party packed with music industry heavyweights.

It was back to the States in episode twelve tonight as Robbie whisked the Groups to his actual home in Los Angeles.

Britain's Got Talent star David Walliams helped him face the tough decision of cutting two unlucky acts from the competition.

Louis Tomlinson then took the Boys on a trip to Ibiza, where he was joined by two special guests - fellow One Direction star Liam Payne, and Chic frontman Nile Rodgers.

Catch up with all the action in our recap below…

Robbie Williams and the Groups

The X Factor 2018 - Robbie Williams joined by David Walliams at Judges Houses

After touching down in LA and enjoying a spot of sightseeing, the groups were whisked away to a sprawling pad owned by Robbie himself.

The 'Angels' singer challenged them to a tennis tournament and laid on a barbecue feast - while his wife and rival judge Ayda Williams dropped by to offer the acts good luck.

Soon the fun came to an end and it was down to business. "This is a level playing field, anybody and everybody has a chance of going through," he said.

"Be magnificent, because you were all born to be magnificent."

Performance day began with the hopefuls meeting their guest mentor David - who emerged in leather hotpants with a sort-of Take That tribute group.

"I always thought you were a bit of a Jason," claimed Robbie.

"No, I'm you cause I'm the show-off," David replied. "Look, I've already gone solo!"

LMA Choir - Led by their choirmaster Stephanie, LMA faced the challenge of going first, admitting they found it "nervewracking" to be just one performance away from a place in the live shows. "What a better platform to show your talent and show the world what you can do," said Stephanie, explaining why they entered The X Factor. "Britain's Got Talent?" quipped David. After their rendition of James Bay's 'Hold Back The River', Robbie said they "nearly brought a tear" to his eye. "A lot of your appeal is gonna be in the song choices, and that was a very original choice," observed David.

LMA Choir.
Groups: LMA Choir.

Once they were out of earshot, the funnyman continued: "It's an unusual one for The X Factor, a choir - it's never been done before. The problem you have is that the audience don't particularly connect to them… it's not quite the same as rooting for one person."

Robbie echoed those thoughts as he delivered his verdict the next day, claiming it would be a "risk" for fifteen people to appear together to the live shows - but he chose to take that risk and put them through. "What a pleasure to be able to put you through," he smiled. "I'm just absolutely overwhelmed," said Stephanie through happy tears.

A Star - They may be the youngest act in the competition, and they may have been put together after failed solo auditions, but Aaliyah and Acacia proved they're a force to be reckoned with when Robbie gave them his Golden X at the Six Chair Challenge. "We've been working so hard for this performance today," said Aaliyah. "I wanna make sure that we do each other proud." The teenagers mashed up Soul II Soul's 'Back To Life' with Stormzy's 'Big For Your Boots'. "Something remarkable just happened, it showed me exactly who you are," Robbie reacted. "You really popped."

A Star

Acacia spoke of how they'd "dreamed" of making the live shows - and despite some slight reservations about their age, Robbie made their dreams come true by giving them a yes. After getting the good news, their elated mums ran over for hugs.

Panda and Burgandy - Originally soloists who were sent home by Ayda, Panda and Burgandy only made it to Judges' Houses after Robbie offered them the option of joining forces and transferring to his category. "Today we are going to prove to him that he made a very good decision," vowed Panda. The newly-formed duo belted out 'Ain't No Mountain High Enough', but while Robbie said it was a "great audition", David wasn't quite convinced they work together. "There's still a slight sense that it's two great vocalists together rather than a group," he commented.

On results day, Robbie told the pair they're "infectious, in the best way possible" - but agreed that they weren't gelling together and decided to send them home. Although Burgandy was devastated by her exit, she said the ITV talent contest is "still the best thing that's ever happened" to her.

Vibe 5
Vibe5

Vibe 5 - Vibe 5 is yet another group formed by the judges, but although they'd only been together for a very short time, the lads insist they have a "natural" connection. "We're like brothers, we just get on so well," said Jon Guelas, one of the boyband's five members (hence the name). "Some brothers hate each other!" David helpfully retorted. Keeping it in the X Factor family, they covered James Arthur's 'Say You Won't Let Go'. Robbie complimented their falsetto, but while David felt they have "the potential to be incredibly popular", he mused: "I just worry that they don't quite know who they are yet."

The next day, Robbie told the band that, vocals aside, their act is a "bit of a shambles". However, he also noted that there's "a huge gap in the market" for them, and that he could already see defined roles - so it's no surprise that he sent them to the live shows.

Sweet Sense - The last of this year's manufactured groups, Sweet Sense emerged from the Girls category as Vibe 5 did from the Boys. Robbie gave them a warning, joking: "This is the start of your band, when you all like each other and get on with each other, so enjoy this moment!" David wondered when it "turns sour", to which Robbie claimed: "First single." The five-piece gave a nod to opposing mentor Louis by performing One Direction's 'History'. Robbie praised their "incredible voices", but picked up on a  flaw: "There was a bit of looking at each other nervously, which might be a problem."

Sweet Sense.
Sweet Sense.

While Vibe 5 made it through, it was the end of the road for Sweet Sense. Although Robbie compared them to the Spice Girls, he felt their chemistry needed time to develop. It seems the band may be sticking together, as they said the rejection would only "make us work harder".

Misunderstood - Duo Jeff and Stefan have stormed The X Factor with their ridiculously catchy original songs, but their success has been a long time coming, having tried to break the music industry for nine years. "We want to give it our all and let Robbie see that we've got this," said Jeff. Sticking to their winning formula, they chose to sing 'Girls In London', another of their own tracks, "purely because the girls in London are sick". Robbie branded it "incredible", while David told them:"I like that you're not trying to be anyone else, you're just trying to be you, and that really counts for a lot."

Robbie was perplexed that they'd failed to hit the big time after the best part of a decade together. However, he finally gave the pair the big break they've been looking for with a place in the lives. "To get that yes… words can't even describe, we're so grateful," Stefan said.

Misunderstood

Therefore, Robbie's final four groups are LMA Choir, A Star, Vibe 5 and Misunderstood.

Louis Tomlinson and the Boys

With two categories down, it was time for the Boys to face the music in the exotic hotspot of Ibiza.

After meeting them on the beach, Louis took the lads buggy racing, with Armstrong declaring him and Dalton the worst drivers.

Later they enjoyed dinner at a fancy restaurant, where Louis gave them a pep talk for the battle ahead.

"Naturally this situation is intimidating," he said. "I think the most important thing is just, you're proud and you've left nothing."

"Tomorrow's a big day, just try not to think about it too much and give it everything."

Before the performances began, Louis introduced them to his two guest judges, Nile and Liam - "a legend and an old friend of mine".

Chic, Louis and Liam
Chic, Louis and Liam

"I couldn't be happier with the two guest judges," grinned Brendan. "This feels real now."

Dalton Andre Harris - Dalton has already been on a huge journey on The X Factor, sharing stories of his upbringing in Jamaica and how he's been on his own since his teenage years, and he hopes that journey will continue. "It just has to go right," he said. "There's no option. It has to." He performed the Dreamgirls song 'Listen', because of its message: "Stop talking, listen to me now, this is my time to pursue my dreams". Louis said: "What was so incredible, aside from the unbelievable vocal, was the whole story you told us." Liam claimed: "I will never listen to that song the same way ever again."

Armstrong Martins - Armstrong stunned the judges at his original audition, playing an acoustic rendition of the High School Musical song 'Breaking Free' - and he played a similar tactic at Judges' Houses, admitting: "It is a gamble, but if you're going to go all in, you might as well go all in." That gamble was a stripped-back rendition of the Friends theme song, 'I'll Be There For You' by The Rembrandts. "What you've just done should make you really really proud. Your song choice was clever," remarked Louis. "I think you've got a fantastic voice, you get so lost within the moment of the song," added Liam.

Armstrong Martins.
Armstrong Martins

Once Armstrong had rejoined the other contestants, Louis quietly mused: "It might be a risk to take him to the live shows, there is a nerve factor there."

Thomas Pound - Thomas has been an inimitable force in the competition so far, appearing as both himself and his drag alter ego Lady Frieda Wilde, and fighting to keep his seat at the Six Chair Challenge after almost being sent home. The Welshman has a message - "be different and be you" - which was certainly reflected in his performance: a thumping dance version of 'One Night Only'. "Your unapologetic personality is so infectious," beamed Louis. "His confidence is fantastic, I think that's gonna carry him so far," noted Liam.

J-Sol - Having fought back from the devastating loss of his mother to honour her wishes by entering The X Factor, J-Sol told Louis that he wants to make the live shows so he can "inspire people to carry on going", proclaiming: "I'm ready to just give it everything." For his performance, he chose to sing Rihanna's 'Love On The Brain'. "That to me, that song right there, is a great advert for the type of artist you could be. I think you did yourself proud," complimented Louis. "He is somebody that really brings soul back," observed Nile.

However, J told Dermot that he was dissatisfied with his effort: "I feel like I could have done better, but I gave it everything. My nerves just got the better of me."

Anthony Russell.
Anthony Russell

Anthony Russell - Louis has already mentored Anthony through the personal troubles that forced him to leave last year's series, and now he's the mentor that has the power to put Anthony on the live shows. The Liverpool labourer sang 'Scars' by James Bay, but made a slight slip-up towards to the end. "I know you're thinking about that one little note that just happened about 20 seconds ago, but that means nothing to me," insisted Louis.

Nile was also unfazed, sharing one of his career memories. "I did a song with David Bowie, Let's Dance, and he wanted to change it because he went out of tune," he recalled. "I said 'David, you don't understand, one bad note can feel like raw emotion, and sometimes when we're feeling emotion we can't control what we do'. It's fine, it's cool."

Unfortunately that was where tonight's instalment ended, with those pesky X Factor producers leaving us on another cliffhanger.

Judges' Houses continues tomorrow night at 8.00pm on ITV, when Brendan Murray will get to sing, and Louis will reveal the all-important Boys' results.

It's then back to LA once more, as Ayda Williams chooses her final five Overs.

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