Ashley who? The Risk debut new member Ashford and a 'Thriller' of a performance on the X Factor's Halloween special

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By Emily Sheridan and Kirsty Mccormack

Change of Plan: The Risk welcomed Ashford Campbell into their band after Ashley J Baptiste quit the show but they still put on a great performance

Despite singing with a new member, X Factor boy band, The Risk, proved they've still got what it takes to stay in the competition.

Singing their own version of Michael Jackson's Thriller, the three remaining members: Charlie Healy, Andrew Merry and Derry Mensah welcomed Ashford Campbell with open arms and wowed the judges once again.

Former member Ashley J. Baptiste quit the show this week by telling his mentor, Tulisa Contostavlos: 'This isn't for me. It's the hardest thing I've ever done.'

'When Ash told me I couldn't believe it,' the N-Dubz singer said on tonight's show. 'He had to do what was right for him.'

Following their performance on the Halloween special, the panel praised them for making their new line-up work well.

'Well guys it's a tough song to sing,' Louis Walsh said.

'I always thought you were a good band, welcome back Ashford, you fit perfectly in this band.'

Gary Barlow - who has experienced a similar situation during his career - agreed with the Irishman saying: 'I have always liked you, now I really, really like you.'

New start: Nu Vibe singer Ashford Campbell (left) has joined The Risk after Ashley J Baptiste quits

Stand-in judge, Alexandra Burke also had positive words to say but also gave the boys some advice.

'What a fantastic opening to the show,' she said.

'You need to find that balance at being more organic, but you are a fan vocal group and giving it a little something something.'

And of course their mentor was happy with their performance: 'Gary is so right,' she said.

'You could have sat down and given up, but you have fought your way through this week, but you got it together and completely smashed it tonight.

So long fellas: Ashley (far left) with his former bandmates (L-R) Derry Mensah, Andrew Merry and Charlie Healy

The Risk have been one of the bookies favourites after their strong performances during the live X Factor shows.

Ashley's decision to leave just 48 hours before tonight's live show means the group didn't have long to rehearse with their new member.

Ashley, 22, broke the news to his band mates and Tulisa on Thursday night.

He said: 'It's been a really tough decision but I have decided to leave The Risk. I don't believe my future lies in a boy band and it's not fair on Charlie, Derry and Andy to remain in the band when I am not truly committed to it for the long term.

'I believe The Risk can win The X Factor and I'm backing them all the way. I count them as my friends so I know we'll stay in touch.'

The way they were: Ashford (middle) with his former Nu Vibe bandmates Jordan Higo, Stefan Romer, Bradley Johnson and Richard Milford

The group said in a statement: 'We're gutted to be losing Ashley but we back him all the way in his decision. We're going to miss him but The Risk are going to carry on in the competition and hope we can do our mate and all our supporters proud.

'We're devastated that Ashley has decided to leave but we respect his decision.

'After taking in the news we decided that we didn't want to be a trio, we really wanted another member. We have always liked Ashford, right from bootcamp, and always had a strong bond with him.

'He's mega talented and will bring so many qualities to group. We're so glad he said yes and we can't wait to get rehearsing.'

Preparing for the show: Kitty Brucknell (left) and Misha B (right) were seen arriving at the Fountain Studios in Wembley today

Here come the boys: Marcus Collins (left) and Craig Colton (right) had smiles on their face outside the studio today

Ashford, 16, enthused: 'I couldn't believe what I was hearing when I got the call. I had to speak to the nu vibe boys first and once they gave me their blessing I was straight back on the phone to grab the offer. Its unbelievable and now I've got to work even harder after my break.'

It was only two weeks ago that 16-year-old Ashford - who auditioned as a solo singer and formed Nu Vibe during boot camp - was voted off the show.

But with The Risk themselves only being put together in judges' houses a month ago, the change of members shouldn't be too big an adjustment.
The original The Risk was formed during boot camp comprising of Derry, Ashley, Andrew, Mitchell McPike and Marlon MecKenzie

Inspiration: Frankie Cocozza (left) listened to his iPod for inspiration as he arrived at the studio, while host Dermot O'Leary (right) followed behind

However, Tulisa then changed the line-up again at judges' houses and asked Charlie to leave his band The Keys, while Marlon and Mitchell didn't make it further.

Tulisa told The Sun about the new development: 'I am devastated by Ashley leaving. Basically, he couldn't hack the pressure and this wasn't what he wanted to do. The boys were like, "You absolute d***".

'They think it has ruined their chances. They are very upset.'

An X Factor spokesperson added: 'We're disappointed to be losing Ashley from the competition but we fully support his decision and wish him well for the future.'

The Risk open our Halloween Live ShowClick here