Ella Henderson was eliminated from X Factor tonight in what was a “great tragedy” and “one of the biggest shocks we’ve ever had on the results show”.
The 16-year-old last girl standing, who was hailed a “golden goddess” last night, was in the bottom two with the show’s other favourite James Arthur.
With two votes each after the sing-off, the decision was taken to deadlock and moments later Henderson’s fate was sealed as she received the fewest public votes.
Visibly emotional, Henderson’s mentor Tulisa Contostavlos described the young star’s exit from the show as “absolutely ridiculous”, but all judges were in a state of shock when the bottom two performers were revealed.
With the show’s controversial contestant Rylan Clark safely through, with Union J and Jahmene Douglas, the crowd booed loudly when Christopher Maloney was also confirmed for next week – leaving Henderson and Arthur to battle it out for the remaining place.
With the audience’s booing continuing, host Dermot O’Leary said: “Well, you can tell already from the studio it’s a shock.”
Adding: “One of the biggest shocks we’ve ever had on the results show.”
Commenting on the two acts who found themselves in the bottom two, Nicole Scherzinger said: “Whatever happens tonight it will be a great tragedy for the show.”
Louis Walsh said: “I’m in shock. I thought these were two finalists.”
Meanwhile, Gary Barlow, who has often encouraged viewers to vote for the best singers on the show, said: “I always knew it was going to come to this. There isn’t anything between these two acts.”
Having just belted out a version of Daniel Bedingfield’s If You’re Not The One, Henderson said she “loved every minute” of her X Factor experience, adding: “You know what, this year the talent in the show is incredible.”
When asked why she thought her act was now no longer a contender for the crown, an angry Tulisa said: “This is ridiculous. It’s ridiculous. People did not vote. People thought she was safe.”
Earlier tonight, former X Factor contestant and current Xtra Factor presenter Olly Murs performed on the show, followed by global superstar Alicia Keys.