The X Factor: One Direction finish third!

One Direction have finished third in the final of The X Factor 2010, leaving Matt Cardle and Rebecca Ferguson to battle it out for the series title.

The five-piece boy band – who Simon Cowell formed during the series from five boot camp rejects – lost out after the vote was frozen for the first time midway through Sunday evening’s grand final.

They had been the last remaining group in the series.

The quintet found it hard to hide their disappointment at being voted off but assured their fans they had not seen the last of them.

“It’s been absolutely incredible, we’ve done our absolute best, we’ve worked hard,” said band member Liam Payne.

“We’re definitely going to stay together, this isn’t the last of One Direction,” added Zain Malik.

Simon Cowell – who had mentored the boys – also admitted he was disappointed at the result.

“I’m absolutely gutted for them,” he said, “but for everyone who’s bothered to pick up the phone over the past few weeks I really appreciate it, and this is just the beginning for these boys.”

The result means that either Dannii or Cheryl will be the winning mentor, with Dannii mentoring Matt and Cheryl looking after Rebecca.

A win for Rebecca would mean a hat-trick of wins for Cheryl, who mentored previous winners Alexandra Burke and Joe McElderry to the title.