Love was in the air as X Factor star Sam Callahan battled it through the second live show of the series.

The nineteen-year-old heartthrob from Great Totham impressed the judges and public alike with his rendition of Jason Mraz’s I Won’t Give Up in this week’s theme of love and heartache.

The teenager, who works at the OAKhouse in Maldon High Street, decided to sing the ballad after his vocals in last week’s performance came in for criticism from judges Gary Barlow and Nicole Sherzinger.

After his performance this week the judges had nothing but praise for Sam.

Sharon Osbourne said: “Great, great song choice. Don’t look so terrified, you did really well.”

Take That frontman Gary Barlow, who described Sam’s vocals as “poor” when he sang Summer of 69 by Bryan Adams last week, said: “You did a song that was very exposing vocally.

“The first minute or so of the song, it was too low for you, it was a little bit out of tune but one you got into your comfort zone, we really started to see a great voice coming from you.

“Massive improvement on last week.”

Mentor Louis Walsh said that Sam was a “ready-made popstar” and “a dream to work with”.

Sam avoided being bottom of the public vote on Saturday night in the new “flash” voting system, but faced a nervous wait until Sunday evening to learn he had made it through.

Despite winning praise from the judges, boyband Kingsland Road, faced the sing-off.

Performing artist students Joe ‘Connor’ Conaboy, 19, and Josh Zaré, 20, of Rayleigh, make up two fifths of the group, who didn’t do enough to impress the public with their cover of Bruno Mars’ Marry You.