Cher Lloyd has finished fourth in The X Factor 2010, after one act was eliminated in Saturday night’s final.
The 17-year-old – who had been the bookies’ favourite to leave – lost out after receiving the fewest number of public votes following Saturday night’s show.
Her departure means that Matt Cardle, One Direction and Rebecca ferguson will compete in Sunday night’s results show to be crowned series winner.
An emotional Cher took the defeat graciously. “Thank you to everybody who ever ever believed in me,” she said.
“My highlight throughout the whole of this was standing on the stage with Will I Am,” she added, referring to her duet with the rap star earlier in the evening.
Earlier in the evening Cher performed The Clapping Song fused with the Missy Elliott hit Get Ur Freak On, as well as duetting with Will I Am on the Black Eyed Peas hit I Gotta Feelin’, after performing the band’s chart-topper Where Is The Love.
“That was possibly the best thing I’ve ever done in my life,” she said afterwards.
She also won warm praise from the judges for her performances. “Using one of Cheryl’s expressions I’m going to say you smashed that,” Simon Cowell said after her first song.
“This is why I am happy we put you through. You are my favourite little brat with a heart of gold. My favourite performance of yours so far.”
And Cheryl Cole added, “I saw something in you the second you walked into that audition room. “You are here in the final tonight no matter what controversy you’ve faced and I hope to see you smashing it again.”
Cher, however, had previously expressed doubts about her ability to win the contest.
At a press conference earlier in the week she said, “I do expect to be going. It’s fine. I’ve made it this far and I’m very lucky because I could have gone a fair few weeks ago.
“I know I’m really not gonna win it. Come on, I’m the rapper!”
Prior to the final, she had been in the bottom two twice, and had been saved by the judges on both occasions – a situation no X Factor winner has ever found themselves in.