The X Factor 2017: Simon Cowell and Cheryl send The Cutkelvins, Sean and Connor Price and Rak-Su through to live shows as both girl groups are ditched

Jennifer ruby
Final three: Rak-Su, Sean and Connor Price and The Cutkelvins: ITV

Nicole Scherzinger and Sharon Osborne had the tough task of whittling down their categories to just three acts on Saturday, and on Sunday it was Simon Cowell’s turn.

The head judge recruited X Factor golden girl Cheryl to help him made the difficult decision as he flew his final six groups out to the South of France.

After watching them all perform one final time, Cowell decided to send The Cutkelvins, Rak-Su and Sean and Connor Price through to next week's live shows.

Fans were left shocked when the music mogul decided to ditch both girl bands, despite being impressed with their performances.

Golden girl: Cheryl makes her return to The X Factor (ITV)

The Cutkelvins, made up of three siblings from Scotland, were first up to perform and were far and away the most impressive.

“It made me want to get up and dance with you, it was so good,” said Cheryl. “You’re just so cute.”

“What I think you guys did worked. And if you were to work on that you could become very relevant and different,” said Cowell as he put them through.

“There’s not many artists out there doing what you do. This is was a no-brainer for me.”

Irish duo Sean and Connor Price were also a “no-brainer” for Cowell, who told them that he loved their “charming naivety.”

Viewer favourite Rak-Su were also over-the-moon to get a place in the live shows, after winning a new fan in Cheryl.

“Im taken, sorry,” she said one when one of the band members gave her a wink.

“Trust me, on this show anything could happen,” joked Cowell, alluding to Cheryl’s meeting with now-boyfriend Liam Payne on the show back in 2010.

The new girl band, who still hadn’t found a name, performed Labrinth’s Misbehaving, which Cheryl seemed impressed by but Cowell said needed “work”.

“I think there are a lot of issues here. It didn’t work, you’re not going through,” he told them.

“They still just look like six people, they’re not a group,” he added.

Girl group Lemonade looked shocked when they also got eliminated, with Cowell telling them that it was simply because he didn’t have enough space.

Oxford graduates Jack and Joel did a medley of Get This Party Started and Get Your Freak On, complete with beat-boxing and rap.

“I could listen to you guys for hours,” said Cowell. “I really like you. Very infectious.”

But ultimately they missed out on a place in the live shows, with Cowell putting his decision down to “song choice”.