Fight night for X Factor judges
Controversial X Factor contestant Katie Waissel summed up the latest live show when she stormed on stage with her version of Sir Elton John's Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting.
As the remaining hopefuls threw themselves into their performances - each belting out one of the superstar's biggest hits - the judges turned their venom on each other.
Tensions appeared to come to a head after Waissel's lively rendition of the rock song and Dannii Minogue was forced to interject: "It's a night for fighting, isn't it?"
Bickering between the mentors flared up after they were left divided by 19-year-old Paije Richardson's version of Crocodile Rock.
Boss Simon Cowell - who last week hinted at backstage tension between Cheryl Cole and her acts - offered stinging criticism but he pinned the blame on Minogue.
"I would put your chances of winning after that at zero," he said. "I think Dannii has put more work into the other singers, I do, because she wouldn't have Matt singing Crocodile Rock."
The remarks prompted host Dermot O'Leary to remark: "We're up and running with a controversial start."
The sparring continued when judge Louis Walsh criticised Waissel for her "throw away, forgetful performance", and attacked Cole for giving the contestant "a silly song".
"Elton has made 44 albums and you choose this song, Cheryl?," he said. Turning to Waissel, he added: "This could be your last week in the competition and it's not my fault, it's Cheryl's fault."
But the judges appeared to put their differences aside when painter and decorator Matt Cardle stole the show with an emotional version of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, winning all round praise from the panel.