The race to claim The X Factor title looks set to be closer than ever tonight after the three grand finalists each delivered winner's singles that were met with overwhelming praise from the judges.
Over-24s songstress Dami Im and Under-24s Boys contenders Taylor Henderson and Jai Waetford made their last bids for the 2013 title last night, each performing three songs - their original audition song, a song which will be their debut single if they are voted the winner and a final "last-shot song".
Reminding the finalists what could be in store for them in the future, X Factor UK success story One Direction performed their smash hit Best Song Ever in what was their only Australian TV appearance while in the country on their world tour.
Henderson, 20, opened the show with his audition song Some Nights by Fun and later received a standing ovation from all four judges for his winner's single Borrow My Heart.Natalie Bassingthwaighte said the Victorian singer had grown more than anyone else in the competition, while mentor Ronan Keating acknowledged the two had not always seen eye to eye.
However, Henderson later slipped up during his last-shot performance of The Blower's Daughter, temporarily forgetting the words to the Damian Rice song.
Judge Redfoo said the mistake did not affect the overall performance.
"Your emotion was spot-on," the LMFAO star said.
NSW teen Waetford was showered with compliments for his winner's single Your Eyes and original audition number The Only Exception by Paramore.
But it was his self-written song Don't Let Me Go that received the most acclaim, with mentor Keating reminding the screaming crowd that the 14-year-old was the first contestant to perform his own song on X Factor Australia.
Rival judge Dannii Minogue admitted that Waetford was mesmerising.
"Maybe one day you will be writing for other people as well," she said.
Despite the two boys presenting strong competition, it was 24-year-old songbird Im who stole the show with her last-shot performance of And I Am Telling You from the musical Dreamgirls.
The judges all climbed on top of their table to show their support for the Korean-born singer and host Luke Jacobz said it was the biggest reaction he had ever witnessed on the show from the audience.
Redfoo commented it was the best thing he had ever seen in his life while mentor Minogue held back tears. "We really have put everything into this," she said.Im's audition song Hero and winner's single Alive also floored the judges, with Redfoo and Minogue both agreeing the latter could be an international smash.
"It's OK if you win because you are that good, Dami," he said.The X Factor will welcome another special guest tonight when hitmaker Katy Perry performs two chart- toppers before the winner is decided in the show, which starts at 7.30pm on Seven/GWN7.