Sam Lavery is the latest contestant to be eliminated from The X Factor

Sam Lavery has been eliminated from The X Factor after judge Sharon Osbourne changed her mind at the last minute about who to send home.

The 17-year-old from County Durham found herself in the bottom two with Ryan Lawrie, but looked to be safe after judges Simon Cowell and Louis Walsh chose to save her and send Ryan packing, and Sharon said she was doing the same.

But Sharon had second thoughts, and sent the vote to deadlock, leaving it up to the public vote.

Sam, who had already been given a reprieve once, when she was brought back into the ITV show as a wildcard, having previously been cut, said she was just thankful for the experience.

After watching footage of her X Factor journey, she said: “Thank you to Simon. After watching that I look like a completely different person from my first audition, but all for the right reasons.

“So just thank you so much.”

The singer found herself in the bottom two after Saturday’s Disco show, where she performed Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive.

Her rendition of Mary J Blige’s No More Drama in the sing-off appeared to impress the panel, but Ryan’s delivery of Oasis track Stop Crying Your Heart Out had all four judges on their feet.

Simon and Nicole Scherzinger chose to save their acts – Simon mentored Sam and the former Pussycat Doll is in charge of Ryan in the boys category – and Louis opted to save Sam.

Sharon struggled with her decision, but eventually implied she would send Ryan home because he had been in the bottom two before.

She said: “I don’t know what to do. I honestly do not know what to do.

“The name of the act I’m sending home, and it is only because he has been in the bottom so many times, but I hate to do this.”

As host Dermot O’Leary pressed her for an answer, Sharon surprised the audience by shouting: “Sam.”

The results show also featured performances from Nathan Sykes and former X Factor presenter Olly Murs.

Olly performed his song Grow Up while children dressed up as host O’Leary and the judges took the seats on the panel.

There was a twist at the end of the show when it was time for Dermot to spin the jukebox to determine the theme for next week, as the all-important spin was carried out by Ant and Dec all the way from Australia.

The pair are Down Under for the start of the new series of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! so they spun the wheel by video link and it landed on movies.

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