Janet Devlin now tipped to win X Factor, as Louis boots out own act
Tyrone schoolgirl Janet Devlin is now joint favourites to win X Factor with boyband The Risk after Sami Brookes became the latest hopeful to be booted out of this year's competition.
The 31-year-old's exit was decided by her own mentor Louis Walsh as she faced Kitty Brucknell in the sing-off.
Brookes, from North Wales, failed to impress with her performance of Cher's If I Could Turn Back Time on the show's "rock night", which was dismissed as karaoke and slammed as "boring" by Gary Barlow.
And after performing the Aretha Franklin hit (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman in a bid to carry on in the contest, she was voted off, although she did gain some praise from the judges.
Barlow said her voice was "undeniable", while Kelly Rowland told her "Sami, I absolutely adore you".
However they both failed to save her in the sing-off, along with mentor Walsh who said: "I'm not going to cop out and let it go to deadlock, I'm going to go with my heart, and the person I have to send home tonight is Sami."
Only Tulisa Contostavlos voted to send home eccentric Brucknell, who performed a version of Lady Gaga's hit The Edge of Glory.
She said: "I've got to vote with my heart and the person I love to listen to the most, and the person I most connect with on stage - so the act I'm sending home tonight is Kitty."
Brookes said the experience had been "amazing", telling the audience: "I may not be able to sell one million albums as Gary said, but I'm going to sing for the rest of my life and thank you so much, thank you for the opportunity."
At the start of the show - which featured live performances from Kelly Clarkson, Professor Green and Bruno Mars - an end was put to Saturday night's row over backstage bullying as Walsh apologised to Misha B.
Despite her impressive performance of Prince's Purple Rain, on Saturday the 19-year-old found herself in the midst of a row after Louis and fellow judge Contostavlos accused her of bullying fellow contestants.
Contostavlos told her: "You being so feisty, you can come across quite mean to certain contestants."
Walsh echoed the criticisms, saying one of his acts had complained about being bullied by her.
But the pair found themselves up against Barlow and Rowland, who both insisted what went on back stage had nothing to do with the contest, sparking a row that had to be halted by host Dermot O'Leary.
Last night Walsh apologised to the contestant, saying: "We are all so involved in our acts and we all want to defend our acts.
"I got a bit carried away I shouldn't have used the word 'bullied' to Misha.
"In the heat of the moment I got a bit carried away and I'm sorry."
Brookes's exit last night changed the competition odds, putting boyband The Risk and Devlin joint favourites to win, according to William Hill, at 9/4.
Odds for Misha B are 4/1; Craig Colton 8/1, Sophie Habibis 12/1, and Johnny Robinson and Marcus Collins at 16/1.
Brucknell and girl group Rhythmix are both at 33/1, while Frankie Cocozza is now the outsider, with odds of 50/1.