That’s it, it’s been decided, Ben Haenow, Fleur East and Andrea Faustini are this year’s X Factor finalists and they’ve got the coaches with their faces on to prove it.
It certainly wasn’t an easy route to the final, with tonight’s results pulling in the biggest number of votes for a single elimination of the series so far. But it was Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and Mel B’s acts Lauren and Andrea that had to battle it out in the final sing-off.
Andrea sang Jessie J’s Who You Are, while Lauren sang Faith Hill’s There You’ll Be, a song close to mentor Cheryl’s heart – in X Factor history at least – given it was the song Amy Connolly sang back in 2008, leaving her in tears.
Once the vote went to the judges, Mel and Cheryl naturally stuck by their acts, although both praised the act they sent home. Mel said Lauren had finally “peaked” and Cheryl told Andrea how much she believed in his future.
However, it was Simon Cowell and Louis Walsh who had the casting votes. Louis admitted it was “difficult… really difficult” saying they were both amazing – host Dermot O’Leary probably got ready to tell him to hurry up – but he did make his decision opting to send Lauren home.
Cowell seemed to swing between the two saying Lauren had performed well in the past two weeks – and he’d saved her last week – but he eventually decided to give Andrea the final place saying, “I’m going to go with the person who I think over the whole season has deserved their place in the final and the person I’m going to send home is Lauren, I’m sorry.”
On hearing the news, a gracious Lauren said she wanted to thank her mentor Cheryl, adding that she’s the “most incredible woman I’ve ever met in my life”.
So that’s it. Three left. Two acts are Simon’s. He’s sure to be pretty humble about it. Ahem…
Now all the three finalists have got to do is perform in front of thousands at Wembley, team up with a super star for the performance of their life and win. No pressure, eh?
X Factor continues next Saturday and Sunday on ITV