X FACTOR hopeful Katie Waissel was given respite from the sing-off for the first time in three weeks, after a rousing performance of a Beatles classic.
The 24 year-old from Harefield, who was sporting a new 'elfin' style haircut, chose to sing the Liverpool band's 1965 hit 'Help', and her performance was praised by Yoko Ono .
After Saturday's live show, John Lennon's widow posted on her Twitter page: "Cher & Katie - I watched you sing Imagine and Help! on #XFactor and thought you were fantastic! A big hug to both of you, love yoko."
The former Pinner schoolgirl was the first act to be given a pass to next week's quarter finals, where the seven remaining acts will battle it out once again. Next week, each act will have to sing two songs, as opposed to just one.
She has clawed her way back from the brink of elimination four times, and the relevance of the song choice was not lost on the judges.
Louis Walsh said of the performance: "You do need help because people are not voting for you. "I don't know why, because vocally that was incredible.
"We don't want her in the bottom two again, this is a singing competition and you can really sing."
Simon Cowell added that it was 'absolutely genius' and publicly backed the starlet following a slew of negative stories about the singer in recent weeks.
"This is why I'm glad you are still in the competition. This is you stripped back bare, no gimmicks.
"You are a genuinely nice person, you've had a bit of stick and you have taken it on the chin. I loved that performance."
Katie's Mum, Diana, told the Gazette: "We are all so proud of her, and I feel that she has really turned a corner.
"Katie was really touched by Yoko Ono's comments, and it was a fantastic rendition – you can tell it came from her heart, it was beautiful."
Mrs Waissel added that her daughter's new image was 'fresh and angelic', and added: "She is gaining a real following.
"Katie is upbeat after breezing through this round and not being in the bottom two, and I truly believe she has a really good chance of getting to the final. She is really determined to prove herself."
It was the turn of category rival Cher Lloyd to fight for her place in the show, and she prevailed over Paije Richardson, with three of the judges opting to keep her in the competition.