Abi Alton has become the latest casualty of The X Factor after an emotional sing-off which saw her competing to fellow girl Hannah Barrett.
The former checkout girl found herself in the bottom two for the first time following this weekend’s big band-themed show.
But while Nicole Scherzinger abstained from voting after both had performed again – with Abi singing Ed Sheeran’s Lego House and Hannah opting for Miley Cyrus’s Wrecking Ball – the votes of the other judges ultimately sealed Abi’s fate.
Gary Barlow seemed particularly torn between the pair as he said: “I’m just so confused at this point. I honestly don’t know how these two singers ended up in the bottom two…but I do have to choose and based on tonight’s performance the act I’m sending home is Abi.”
Sharon, meanwhile, dealt the casting blow, telling Abi: “Now you show us a connection with the audience. I haven’t seen this passion in you since the auditions, now you deliver and I find it so frustrating.”
The teenager broke down in tears as she was voted out of the show, but later regained her composure to reflect on her X Factor experience.
‘I never in a million and one years anticipated that I would get this far. I’ve had the time of my life and met the most amazing people and I would never change it.
Abi is the first of Nicole Scherzinger’s acts to depart the competition, leaving her with Hannah and Tamera Foster – who made it straight through to next weekend’s show after her brush with the bottom two last Sunday.
Both Sharon and Gary are left with one act each – Sam Bailey and Rough Copy respectively – while Louis Walsh is now the only mentor who has yet to lose an act, after Nicholas Macdonald, Sam Callahan and Luke Friend all made it through on the public vote.
Next weekend’s X Factor will see the seven remaining acts tackle songs by classic British artists, while Sunday’s show will feature performances from both Gary Barlow and controversial chart-topper Miley Cyrus.