X Factor hopeful Jade Ellis became the fourth act to leave the singing competition tonight after three judges opted to save boyband Union J.
The 25-year-old, who was mentored by Tulisa Contostavlos, said: “To me it’s just been an amazing experience, I thank you guys for all your critique and my life starts from today.”
Contostavlos joined her act on stage and said “maybe” she should have “pulled some more ballads out of the bag for Jade”.
She said: “We took a risk together and I apologise if it is my fault.”
Tearful judge Louis Walsh was the first to announce his vote for Union J after the sing-off.
He said: “Dermot I’m the mentor for Union J, I love them and I don’t want to lose them, I have to send Jade home.”
Contostavlos quickly voted to save her act Ellis but, after deliberation, Nicole Scherzinger favoured Union J.
She said: “Jade, you are a beautiful, beautiful young woman, you are a strong young woman who has been through so much. You are one of my favourite voices in the competition.
“With a tone like that I know no matter what happens you’re going to get a record deal because you are a recording artist.
“Union J, through your performance and through your work you have proven yourself to me so the act that I have to send home, I’m sorry, is Jade.”
Gary Barlow said Union J’s performances so far had been “good” but not “exceptional”.
He said: “I’m excited though to know what’s coming next for you guys. I can see the commitment, I can see the ambition in your eyes.”
He said Jade was a “phenomenal vocalist” but wondered if he “wanted it” more for her than she did and therefore decided to send her home.
During last night’s Halloween-themed show Barlow caused an uproar when he told Contostavlos she had “fag ash breath” after she criticised the song choice of his act Christopher Maloney.
Tonight the N-Dubz star stepped out on stage with a deliberate nicotine patch on her arm in defiance.
The Take That singer blurted out last night: “Tulisa, I don’t know what’s offended me more: what you said or the fag ash breath.”
Moments later Contostavlos interrupted host Dermot O’Leary and said: “Just a note for Gary: lay off the red wine because I can really smell that as well.”
Offering an apology on ITV2’s The Xtra Factor, Barlow said: “Can I apologise to Tulisa; I mean it. You have the freedom to be as personal as you like to me for the rest of the series. Insult me.”
Contostavlos then told the X Factor spin-off show that Barlow had once said he “loved” the smell of cigarettes because it reminded him of the days he used to smoke.
Singer Lucy Spraggan automatically went through to next week’s programme after being unable to perform due to illness.