Lucie Jones has become the latest act to leave The X Factor 2009 – after losing out to John and Edward in the sing-off

The Welsh lass – the second of Dannii’s acts to get the chop in as many weeks – found herself in the sing-off for the first time, as did the twins, whose success in the contest so far has been controversial.

After both acts had sung for survival – Lucie opting for Whitney Houston‘s One Moment In Time and John and Edward performing Robbie Williams‘ Rock DJ – Louis chose to save John and Edward, whom he is mentoring, and Dannii chose to save Lucie.

Cheryl then voted to send John and Edward home, leaving Simon Cowell with the casting vote.

But despite all his recent declarations that he would “leave the country” if the twins won the series, he nonetheless backed them – sending the result back to the public vote.

“It’s a tricky one,” he said. “I’m not surprised you two are in the bottom two. Having said that I don’t think either of you can win – Lucie, I think with you there is a ceiling, and John and Edward have given some horrific performances.”

“Having said that,” he added, “who would I rather see again? I’d rather see the boys.”

With the vote at deadlock Lucie was then revealed as having received fewer public votes than the pair – bringing her time on the show to an end.

There were boos from the audience as it was revealed that John and Edward would be staying another week, while Dannii looked on in disbelief.

However, a tearful Lucie spoke out in their defence. “I’m gutted,” she said of the result, “but the boys deserve to be here. They work harder than anyone.”

Dannii, meanwhile, added, “I’d just like to wish all the good singers good luck in this singing competition. Lucie – it shouldn’t have happened, but I obviously did something wrong.”

Lucie denied that she had, before pulling Dannii towards her for a hug.

Seven acts now remain in the competition, with Dannii and Louis down to one act apiece.

Cheryl has two – Joe and Lloyd – remaining – while Simon remains the only one of the judges yet to lose an act, after Olly, Danyl and Jamie all sailed through to next week’s show on the public vote.