Ruth Lorenzo has missed out on a place in X Factor semi-final after becoming the latest finalist to be voted off the show.
The Spanish senorita – who had been the bookies’ favourite to leave – got the boot after receiving the fewest votes from the public in the show, which saw the five finalists performing Britney Spears‘ songs and American pop classics.
It was the first time this series that the outcome of the show has been decided entirely by public vote, rather than by the judges.
JLS – who survived last week’s sing-off – were the first act to be told they had made it through to next week, with Diana and Alexandra following.
Eoghan was the final act to land a place in the semi-final.
Afterwards, Ruth said that her X Factor experience was “the beginning of the dream”.
“I have fought with all my heart with everything I have, and this doesn’t end here,” she said.
And her mentor Dannii Minogue was full of praise for the 25-year-old. “She has been the most beautiful person to work with. I’m so glad I got to meet Ruth, she’s going to be my friend forever,” she added.
Ruth’s departure means that Dannii has become the first mentor of the series to lose all of her acts, with Ruth becoming the third of Dannii’s performers to be voted out in as many weeks.
Earlier in the evening she had won raves from the judges for her two songs. Cheryl described her as the “rock chick” of the show for her rendition of I Love Rock n’Roll, while Simon Cowell said it was “absolutely brilliant”.
Her second performance of the night – of the Bon Jovi song Always – reduced her to tears, but still wowed the judges. “It was the most intense performance of the night,” Cheryl told her, while Dannii told her it was “fantastic”.
Alexandra also wowed the judges, and was also tearful after their reaction to her second song, Beyonce‘s Listen. “You are the best girl singer in this contest by a mile,” Louis said.
“This is a British competition,” added Simon, “and you make me very proud to be British. That was the best performance of the whole series.”
However it wasn’t such an easy night for favourites Eoghan and Diana.
“It was OK,” Simon said of Eoghan’s rendition of Sometimes. “I think all of the guys are at a disadvantage tonight.”
And favourite Diana was criticised by Louis Walsh for her lack of dancing, although Cheryl Cole was quick to defend her. “She’s not a dancer and there’s no way I’m going to put my artist up there feeling uncomfortable in something she doesn’t want to do,” she told Louis.
And Simon Cowell had other concerns. “For some reason it didn’t work,” he said of her performance of Not A Girl Not Yet A Woman.
The show also featured a live performance from Britney Spears herself, performing her new single Womanizer, as well as a performance from American teen sensation Miley Cyrus.