The panel discussed the Frankie Cocozza controversy, the twist that will see one of the four eliminees win back their place in the show, and what the possible returnees have to offer.
Read on for the full recap of the press conference:
"Don't worry, I'm here everyone. What a week it's been. I'm still standing...well, sitting. Everyone ready for the weekend!"
Gary on the new twist...
"It's been a very interesting week. It's been sad, it's been negative, but hopefully we'll come out of it with some positivity at least. That positivity is these four people having another chance and opportunity to come back this week. It's exciting and hopefully it's exciting for the viewers.
"They haven't been voted for by the public before and that makes them still eligible for the competition. These are four acts we really believe in. They made it through Boot Camp, Judges' Houses and the live shows. They made our decision incredibly difficult on the first live show and importantly they are all qualified to be here and have a place on the show on Saturday night. We're really, really excited about it."
Kelly on the twist....
"I feel like it's really good that these acts have a second opportunity. I remember how hard a decision it was. We knew these guys off set, we had bonded with them, we had seen their stories, their potential and their passion for music."
Tulisa on her returning act....
"I'm just here today because I want to.... Bring back 2 Shoes! I didn't want to get rid of the girls in the first place. I really think they could bring something different and fun to the show and I think we really need that now considering the mood. They could definitely come back and spice things up."
Gary on Cocozza-gate...
"It's been a really sad week. Particularly for me. As we sit here today, we've all played our part in what's happened with Frankie. I don't think any of us are guilt-free with that. I think it's a shame that he's had to leave. I do wish him the best. I'll be at the end of the phone if he needs me for any advice or help. But that's the way it's worked out. I just hope he's okay."
> 'X Factor' poll: Which returning act should replace Frankie Cocozza?
> Kelly Rowland left speechless by 'X Factor' Frankie Cocozza axe
Kelly on audiences booing Frankie...
"There were people in the audience booing Frankie. People have to remember that could be your brother or your best friend. It could be your uncle. It could be anyone who is really important to you. I just think it's really important that we keep that sacred as far as being in the audience. Opinion is one thing, but flat out boos is not good and we don't stand for that."
Louis on Frankie...
"Frankie was great at the first audition. I loved him. We saw something special there, we all did. It's a pity. It's a pity what's happened, but it's just the way it is. We have four people back and we like them all - the public are in charge."
Gary on his responsibility with Frankie...
"Do you know what, I do feel a responsibility for him. Unfortunately I can't follow him around all week. We try and take care of them when we're in their company. I said to him on a regular basis, 'you're a young guy, enjoy yourself, but work hard at the same time'. And it's hard to watch, it really is.
"In our own ways, especially sat here with the press, we've all encouraged Frankie to not only be good, but to be bad as well. We've enjoyed it, written about it and etc etc. The show has benefited from the amount of publicity we've got out of it, but it's just gone too far out of control of the show to keep him here. I do feel a responsibility and I do feel sorry. I'm sad for him.
"One of the worse things, and I'll always remember this about Frankie, he was constantly told he shouldn't be on the show. He was told he wasn't good enough constantly. Whether the messages were online, on Twitter or in the papers, they all said 'you're not good enough'. Then on Saturday night the audience booed him. I can see where his mind has gone in the last seven days and I don't feel good about it at all. Anyone who has contributed to that shouldn't feel good about it either."
What was the golden rule?
Gary Barlow: "I think because of legal reasons, we can't discuss it."
Louis Walsh: "I would say it was being unprofessional."
Gary's criticism of Louis...
Gary Barlow: "I don't want to isolate it, but I felt, Louis, your comments to Frankie on Saturday night were not encouraging..."
Louis Walsh: "That's just how I felt. I'm sorry guys, I was being honest. I can only judge him on what he does on stage."
Amelia Lily on pressure of being favourite to return...
"It's a huge amount of pressure. Now I've been given this opportunity, it's like 'oh my God!' I just hope that the public want to see more of me, because I know I've got so much more to give. I won't let them down if they vote me back in."
> 'X Factor' phone vote to close during Saturday's show
> 'X Factor' Jonjo Kerr: 'I need to prove Gary Barlow wrong'
Kelly on that Frankie video
"I was completely shocked and like I looked - crazy. The only thing I could think about was the poor guy. I cared for Frankie and he's still a very young man. My heart went out to him. This situation happened to happen, but I still have a heart for Frankie. He's a young man growing up and there's a lot to take in."
On whether it's awkward working with axed acts...
Louis Walsh: "No, absolutely not. These are acts, we all believed in. We put them through at Judges' Houses and chose them in the first place."
Kelly Rowland: "Have you seen Amelia? Hello."
On Amelia's fears of having her heart ripped out again....
Kelly Rowland: "She's ready!"
Amelia Lily: "It was devastating the first time, but I know what to expect now. I'm not going to get my hopes up, but whatever happens, happens. If I'm meant to get through, I'm meant to get through. I'm just grateful to have this opportunity."
Gary on Johnny...
"I loved Johnny, but I think last weekend it became about what this competition should be, a singing competition. Johnny, I do love him, but I do think we've got the best acts left now."
On the twist being unfair on the other acts...
Kelly Rowland: "Being in the music industry is full of different challenges all the time. This is one thing that's happened and now it's just important for everyone to bring their A-game. Everyone needs to put their best foot forward and come out singing. Turn up the energy of the competition. It just brings everyone up a notch."
Gary Barlow: "The public have had five weeks to get to know the other contestants, so they have a five-week advantage over these guys. They have to do a performance that is five weeks as good. That's a real challenge for them."
Gary on what went wrong with James Michael....
"We made our decision based on that first live show. What I took from that was that James's song was too down. If James gets a shot this weekend, I want something with a bit more life to it, something that will show more of his character."
More on Cocozza...
Gary Barlow: "I think it's important to say that he's been silly. He's wasted an opportunity. The bit I have trouble with is that he's an 18-year-old boy. I have children and I have to sit there and take responsibility for this. But he has to live with this for the rest of his life. That's why I feel slightly bad for him"
Tulisa Contostavlos: "Gary did all that he could do. He's not there to babysit him. Gary has only met Frankie a couple of months ago. What more could he have done? Everyone is their own person and Frankie made his own mistakes."
Each judge on their act...
Gary on James: "He's very serious and a real artist. We always talk about selling CDs, making CDs, this guy has a real recording voice. I know he's got a real unique quality."
Louis on Jonjo: "I think you should judge them all on Saturday. We saw something in all of them at Judges' Houses. It's down to the public."
Tulisa on 2 Shoes: "I think there's a big buzz about 2 Shoes and it was hard to let them go. To have them back now would give them the opportunity to show what they can do."
Kelly on Amelia: "It's plain to see why you should vote for her. Great voice, great personality, great understanding of being a team player when it comes to being an artist. She's a strong, strong contender."
The X Factor airs on Saturday at 8.15pm on ITV1
Scroll through pictures from today's X Factor press conference below: