X Factor hopeful Melanie Masson tonight became the second contestant to leave the show after the judges’ vote went to deadlock again.
Gary Barlow and Nicole Scherzinger voted to keep Masson but Tulisa Contostavlos and Louis Walsh saved boyband District 3.
Host Dermot O’Leary was forced to turn to the public vote again and Masson was sent home after performing “Stay With Me” by Lorraine Ellison.
Barlow said he “was gutted” and “really disappointed” that his 44-year-old contestant was leaving the live shows.
This time Walsh was the first judge to announce his vote and, having hesitated after last Sunday's sing-off between Carolynne Poole and Rylan Clark, he spoke quickly and confidently to save his boyband; Michael Parsons, Gregory West and Dan Ferrari-Lane who performed Everything I Do by Brian Adams.
He said: “That was an amazing sing-off, Melanie I love that song and District 3 you sang your hearts out. I love Melanie an awful lot, but I have to save my own act District 3.”
Tulisa was next to reveal her vote. She said Melanie had “one of the most amazing voices in the competition” but District 3 had “one of the most beautiful harmonies”.
“You are completely different areas when it comes to music genres, completely different, but both very talented in your own areas so there is no easy decision, the only thing I can do is go with my heart and, being honest, my heart is with the lads,” she said.
Barlow agreed with Walsh that it was “a great sing-off” but saved his own act, mother of two, Masson.
It was left to Scherzinger to send one act home immediately or take it to the public vote.
She said: “First of all boys, you did an amazing job up there, I know I gave you a hard time yesterday but you showed your true colours today. You knocked it out of the park when we put you in competition at bootcamp and you killed it tonight and I’m so impressed.
“Melanie, I have to go off the save me song that I just saw, and I have to go with my heart. The thing is, you are the oldest in the competition and I know that you have been waiting for this your whole life and I felt it in that performance.
“The act I’m sending home tonight is District 3.”
O’Leary then revealed the contestant who had received the fewest votes was Masson who was known for her big voice and running a music class for under-fives under the name ’Fairy Flutterbye’.
Her husband is Scottish actor, Forbes Masson. Forbes and Alan Cumming co-wrote and starred in the BBC Two series The High Life.
After hearing the final result, she said: “I have absolutely enjoyed every single second of being here and the opportunities it has brought to work with Gary, to work with everybody, it’s just been the best experience, I’ve loved it.”
Last week Barlow stormed off stage when act Carolynne Poole left the competition after Walsh controversially pushed it to the public vote, but tonight he joined his rejected act on stage.
He said: “Gutted, for me Melanie is one of the best singers in the competition, I’m so disappointed, I’m really disappointed for you.”
Last night the Take That star and Walsh shook hands on the live show to try and put their near week-long feud behind them. It was believed the pair had hardly spoken since Poole was booted off.
There had been reports that Walsh was ordered to force a deadlock situation by show bosses after producer Richard Holloway was seen whispering in his ear shortly before he failed to choose which of the two acts should be saved.
But Mr Holloway went on to say that executives never interfere in the voting.