Italian Festa first to go in X Factor

Nicolo Festa became the first act to be booted off The X Factor tonight as the series started with a double eviction.

Nicolo Festa became the first act to be booted off The X Factor tonight as the series started with a double eviction.

The Italian, who is studying in London, polled the lowest number of viewer votes so was automatically kicked out of the competition.

Festa, who had said he wanted to be “a legend”, told host Dermot O’Leary: “I feel like crap.”

His mentor Dannii Minogue said she thought he had performed the cover of Lady Gaga’s Just Dance fantastically but it was hard to stand out among 16 acts.

Katie Waissel and boyband FYD polled the next lowest totals of votes and faced a sing-off with their fate decided by the judging panel.

FYD, which stands for For Your Direction, were the next act going home after only their mentor Simon Cowell opted to keep them.

The fivesome tried to save themselves with a performance of Rihanna’s Don’t Stop The Music but their fate was sealed when Louis Walsh opted to send them home.

It was a surprising decision from Walsh who last night told Waissel he had thought she was “more style than substance” at her first audition and had not changed his mind after her performance of Queen’s We Are The Champions.

Tonight Walsh said he was torn between his head and his heart but was going to make “the right decision”.

FYD, who had never performed together until their first audition for the show, said they would stay as a band.

Waissel was a controversial choice to go through to the live finals after she broke down while singing to mentor Cheryl Cole during the selection process.

Cole failed to select viewers’ favourite Gamu Nhengu so many felt Waissel did not deserve the spot and she was the bookies’ favourite to go until four surprise wildcard acts rejoined the show last night.

Viewers voted all four of the wildcard acts – Treyc Cohen, Wagner, Paije Richardson and duo Diva Fever – straight through to the second week.

The show started with a group version of DeBarge’s Rhythm of the Night from all the finalists.

It also featured the return of last year’s winner Joe McElderry, singing his latest single Ambitions which was released today.

There was also an energetic medley of his hits from US star Usher who mopped his face with a towel which he then threw to the screaming audience at the suggestion of host Dermot O’Leary.

Usher said the finalists had a lot of talent and urged them to believe in themselves, adding: “You got here because you were talented, right?”

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