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There were emotional scenes in the live quarter-final of The Voice on Friday night as the first four of the remaining 12 hopefuls crashed out of the competition.

Alys Williams, Leanne Jarvis, Mitchel Emms and Sarah Cassidy all failed to progress to next weekend’s semi-final following, leaving eight contestants to battle it out next Saturday night.

And it was a particularly emotional moment for rocker Mitchel, who broke down in tears as the news was revealed.

He said: “I never imagined getting this far and of course I’m extremely disappointed, I had so much more to show you guys.”

His coach Danny O’Donoghue was quick to lend his support as he told the audience: “All I know is that there are record companies across the UK right now that are going to snap him up. I absolutely know it.”

Earlier in the show he had won praise from the others for his performance, with will.i.am describing him as ‘electrifying’ and Tom Jones adding: “Your energy was tremendous.”

Meanwhile Alys and Sarah bowed out earlier in the show, with Sarah describing her time on the show as an ‘amazing experience’ before being told by coach Jessie J: “This is not the end.”

Alys was told by Tom that she had the “warmest and sexiest” voice on the show before she made her exit.

And Leanne – who was the last of the four to be knocked out – said: “I have enjoyed every minute. It’s been my dream to do a live show like this and to be given the opportunity is a dream come true.”

The remaining eight finalists are: Ash Morgan, Joseph Astopol, Andrea Begley, Leah McFall, Mike Ward, Karl Michael, Matt Henry and Cleo Higgins.

The Voice will return to Saturday nights from next weekend, and will have the remaining fortnight all to itself with Britain’s Got Talent due to end tonight.