Rikki Loney has become the second casualty of X Factor 2009 live shows after finding himself in the bottom two along with Rachel Adedeji.
The 21-year-old Scottish crooner – who had finally made the live finals after narrowly missing out last year – is the first of Cheryl’s boys to leave the competition.
He found himself in the bottom two after singing Aretha Franklin’s Respect on Saturday night’s show – while Rachel, who performed the Beyonce hit If I Was A Boy, had to sing for survival for the second week in a row.
Once again however the vote went in her favour after her mentor Dannii chose to save her following her performance of U2‘s With Or Without You.
Rikki’s mentor Cheryl voted to save him after he had sung Westlife‘s Flying Without Wings in an attempt to stay in the competition.
In Louis Walsh’s absence, the casting vote went to Simon Cowell, who admitted he was “not surprised” to see the pair in the bottom two.
“It isn’t because you aren’t talented but I don’t think you have the right material here,” he told them.
“I liked you both the first time I saw you but I will do what I said I would do and base this on the performance I just watched,” he added, before he chose to save Rachel.
Afterwards Rikki said, “I’m totally gutted but I want to thank everyone for giving me this opportunity.”
Cheryl Cole was also clearly upset by Rikki’s departure – particularly since twins John and Edward made it through to next week’s show on the public vote.
“I’m gutted,” she said. “I can’t believe John and Edward are still here and he’s going home.”
Cole also sang her new single Fight For This Love on the show, while Whitney Houston, who had been this week’s mentor to the finalists, performed her new song Million Dollar Bill.
Next week the 10 remaining acts will face big band week, one of the most popular weeks in previous series.