Sam Bailey is cream of the X-Factor crop again

Sam Bailey been tipped as the public's favourite in past weeks, polling way ahead of her fellow singers. Credit: Doug Peters/EMPICS Entertainment

X Factor finalist Sam Bailey won high praise from the judges as she looks to cement her position as the champion-elect of this year's ITV competition.

The 35-year-old, the only contestant left in Sharon Osborne's over-25s category, impressed the panel with her performance of the Beatles classic Something.

Judge Gary Barlow hailed it as "another incredible performance" by the former prison officer.

The remaining six contestants - two female, three male and a group - received mixed feedback from the judging panel during last night's Great British Songbook-themed episode.

The acts will return tonight to learn who will go through to the next round.