The X Factor finals have suffered another upset after Laura White, one of the favourites to win, became the latest act to be voted off the show.

The 21-year-old – who was strongly tipped by the bookies and the judges to reach the final – got her marching orders just one week after Austin Drage, another one of the favourites, was eliminated by the judges.

She found herself in the bottom two along with Ruth Lorenzo – and chose to sing Somewhere Over The Rainbow in the sing-off while Ruth opted for Knocking On Heaven’s Door.

And the judges admitted that once again it was a difficult decision. “You were not the worst two singers tonight so I don’t know what went wrong,” Simon Cowell told the pair, “it was a joke. And both of you sung your hearts out just then.”

However, he opted to save Ruth, saying that whatever decision he made would be “unpopular”.

And with Laura’s mentor Cheryl and Ruth’s mentor Dannii both opting to save their own acts, the casting vote once again fell to Louis Walsh.

“It’s an incredible standard this year and that sing-off was unbelievable,” he admitted, “but I’m going to save the person who has the most fight.”

He subsequently chose to save Ruth – who reacted emotionally to the news, grabbing Laura for a tearful embrace.

Laura is the first of Cheryl’s acts to be voted out of the competition. Alexandra Burke sailed through to next week’s show after wowing the judges with her rendition of Without You, while Diana Vickers missed out on this week’s show due to laryngitis, and is set to return next week.

Dannii Minogue is now the only mentor this series who has yet to lose an act. Both her other acts, Rachel Hylton – who was in the bottom two last week, and Daniel Evans – who was once again the favourite to get the boot – were voted through by the public.

The results show featured another performance from Mariah Carey, whose music was performed on this week’s show.

She was joined on stage by all the acts for a special performance of her song Hero. The finalists’ version of the song is currently number one in the charts.