Disco week brought another mauling from Gary Barlow for our man Sam, who performed Relight My Fire – a track once covered by Take That.

The Great Totham singer took to the stage with a boxing themed set, showing off the muscles that have had girls swooning.

But despite putting in an energetic performance, Gary and Pussycat Dolls singer Nicole Scherzinger were not impressed.

“I have to tell you, I hated that performance tonight, I really did,” said the Take That frontman.

“I thought the vocals were really exposed.

“The thing for me is you're not the best singer in this competition.

“The problem for you is everyone else is so much better than you.”

But the judge added that while so far he had not been won over, he did not want to have to criticise his performances every week.

Nicole said: “For me you have so much charisma, so much likeability.

“I see how much you want it.

“But unfortunately that song expose vocally your weaknesses.

“Your voice sounded so much smaller than it is and nasally.”

However there were kind words from Sharon Osbourne, who said: “You always put so much into your show.

“Every time you come out and you perform I can see you really want it badly.

“You did a great performance.”

Mentor Louis Walsh said: “Gary, that was so harsh. Listen Sam, you came out fighting, it was a great song, you gave 100 per cent as Sharon said.

“I wish other people worked as hard as you.”

Sam, 19, visited his former team-mates at Maldon Saints Football Club on Tuesday to pick himself up after receiving criticism from Gary in last week's show.

The teenager, a barman at the OAKhouse in Maldon, was filmed having a kickabout at Promenade Park.

“I have known these boys for ages, they have always been very supportive of my singing,” he said.

“I am really close to my manager Lee, who was just the person I needed to see after the weekend.”

Sam said it was good to see his mates and “get that bit of normality.”

After his performance this weekend, he told the judges: “From day one I have said I have not got the best voice in the competition but I will give 100 per cent, I will continue to work hard.”