Louis Walsh has defended his decision to eliminate Laura White from The X Factor – claiming she could never have won the competition.

The talent show judge and music manager has stood by his decision to vote her off the ITV1 show despite overwhelming public support in her favour.

Louis, 56, told The Sun: “Laura was in the bottom two – her performance was bad and her styling was even worse.

“She didn’t get the public support and got three votes (against) from the judges. No-one in the bottom two ever wins The X Factor, that’s just a fact. Laura was never going to win.”

Laura, 21, went head-to-head against 25-year-old Spanish contestant Ruth Lorenzo on Saturday night after both received the least number of votes from the public, and the judging panel opted to save Ruth.

But furious fans have since launched a campaign to get Laura back on the show with more than 5,000 joining an online petition for her to get a second chance – or a record deal.

Singer Lily Allen has also spoken out in support of Laura. Lily Allen wrote on her blog: “Laura didn’t deserve to go. I think we were all shocked.”