John and Edward Grimes have been racked with guilt after knocking Lucie Jones out of The X Factor, she has revealed.

Welsh singer Lucie, 18, joined the twins in the bottom two in front of the biggest audience the ITV talent show has ever received, but Simon Cowell elected to decide their fate based on the public vote, leading to Lucie’s exit.

She said: “John and Edward, bless them, they’re the nicest kids… They said ‘we feel guilty’ and I said, ‘why, it’s not your fault’.

“It’s not their fault that they’re still in the competition. They’re still in the competition because people want them to be there. More people wanted to see them next week than wanted to see me, and that’s fine and they should not feel guilty because they deserve to be there.”

She added that she thought John and Edward were upset about seeing her go.

“I really felt for them last night because they did feel bad and it’s just a shame that external sources have made them feel as if they should feel like that.”

She also defended her mentor Dannii Minogue, who apparently slighted John and Edward at the end of Sunday’s show when she said: “I just wish all the good singers good luck in the singing competition.”

Lucie said: “I don’t know the meaning behind it, but she’s not the type of person to have a go at another act when it’s not their fault that they’re there.”