Sophie was the choice of all four judges as she was eliminated from The X Factor on Sunday night, losing out to shock bottom-two occupant Misha Bryan in the sing-off.
In the Saturday night show, Misha had bossed it as usual with a typically spiky rendition of Tainted Love, while Sophie struggled with Bang Bang, the Nancy Sinatra song made famous by the film Kill Bill Vol 1.
Sophie was consequently the bookmakers’ favourite to go, and her elimination cannot be called a surprise. The big story of the weekend is surely the unpopularity among the public of Misha B, despite the 19-year-old Mancunian being one of the few contestants this year who is not alarmingly out of tune.
Speculation will now centre on whether last week’s unsavoury comments from the judges, accusing Misha of bullying fellow contestants, affected her standing with the public – despite subsequent retractions, and statements from her supposed victims exonerating Misha.
The Sunday sing-off saw a slight improvement from Sophie, whose version of Shelter by 2010 Mercury Prize winners The xx was still a wobbly howl of a performance, but not as disastrous as her Saturday effort. But there was a noticeable gulf in class as Misha B, despite being visibly on the verge of tears throughout, delivered a muted but excellent reading of Use Somebody by Kings of Leon.
In an exclusive and important poll of RadioTimes.com readers, Frankie Cocozza had once again been overwhelmingly the most despised contestant, with an enormous 66% of the vote. This was, however, an improved showing for Frankie in comparison to seven days previously, when 73% of readers wanted Frankie out.
Although most viewers will have been shocked to see Misha Bryan in the sing-off, the two acts in the bottom two were next in the RadioTimes.com voting behind rat-haired teen fornicator Frankie: Sophie received 11% of readers’ nominations, while Misha polled 8%.
After the two sing-off performances, Louis Walsh saved Misha based on her “star quality”, while Tulisa Contostavlos – who said the bottom-two line-up was the “biggest shock of the competition” – also backed Misha for being the act who most represented the “music of my roots”.
Kelly Rowland then voted by telephone from Los Angeles. The girls’ mentor, whose croaky calling-in-sick voice was exemplary, didn’t wait long to choose between her two acts, consigning Sophie to the dustbin of pop history. Asked by Dermot O’Leary who he would have eliminated had he needed to vote, Gary Barlow completed the rout by saying he would have sent Sophie home too.