Stacey Solomon has finished in third place in X Factor 2009 after receiving the lowest number of public votes following Saturday’s final.

The Essex girl lost out to Olly Murs and Joe McElderry after each performed three songs on the show. Olly and Joe will now battle it out for the series title on Sunday.

After the result had been revealed Stacey took the defeat gracefully, saying she was “really proud” to have progressed so far in the show.

“Thanks to everyone who kept me here to the final,” she said, “I’ve loved everything.”

And her mentor Dannii Minogue also spoke of her pride for Stacey’s achievement.

“It’s been an incredible journey, thank you everybody who’s supported her from day one,” Minogue said, “she’s an absolute star.”

Both Olly and Joe were overcome with emotion at learning they had made the final two, although Olly admitted it was “amazing” to have made it

“It could have been anyone tonight, so we’re lucky we’re through,” he said.

And Joe was similarly overwhelmed. “I can’t believe it, I feel numb,” he added.

Both will perform the winner’s debut single, the Miley Cyrus song The Climb, on Sunday’s show, before the series champion is announced.