Claire Richards and Joseph Washbourn have missed out on a place in the Popstar to Operastar final after being voted off in a double elimination.

The former Steps star and the Toploader singer proved unable to fight off the challenge from Joe McElderry and Cheryl Baker, who both made it through to next Sunday’s final after receiving the largest number of public votes.

It was the first show in the series to be decided entirely by the public after previous weeks in which the bottom two faced the judges in a sing-off.

And it was the first time that Claire had found herself in the bottom two – although Joseph’s luck finally ran out after being saved by the judges for the past three weeks.

Afterwards she said, “I’m going to miss it, I’ve loved singing again. It’s nice to show my kids what mummy did before.”

Joseph, meanwhile, appeared unsurprised by the result, having previously predicted that he would be voted off the show this week.

The curly-haired singer thanked everybody who had kept him in the competition until the semi-final and added, “I’m looking forward to getting back to my day job.”

The result now means that former X Factor winner Joe McElderry and Bucks Fizz singer Cheryl Baker will compete against each other in next weekend’s final for the series title.

Last year’s final was won by Darius Campbell.