The X Factor dream is over for Rylan Clark. The spray-tan loving Essex boy was sent home by a trio of judges on the ITV show after ending up in the last two of the public vote.
The 24-year-old novelty act, who has won over legions of fans with his quirky, colourful performances, had a dignified exit, smiling and saying: "It feels so right. I have had seven bonus weeks in this," referring to the fact he thought he would be out much earlier. He also told the audience taking part had been an "absolute pleasure".
Rylan exited after a mixed showing in Saturday night's battle of the final five contestants.
Not blessed with the most outstanding voice, the likeable figure attracted criticism from judge Gary Barlow for his renditions of Abba's Mamma Mia and his Supremes medley. It was "too Eurovision", said the Take That star.
In the sing-off, Rylan sang Athlete's evocative smash hit Wires. Gary described it as one of Rylan's best turns. He told him: "You have been an amazing contestant. That is your best vocal performance."
Rylan's mentor, former Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger was the sole judge to think boy band Union J - also in the last two of the vote - should go. She told them: "Boys that was a very moving performance," before sending them home.
On the fashion front, the pop star brought old Hollywood glamour to the table, looking beautiful in a floor-length pearl-hued gown with caped sleeves and cut out sections. She teamed the Topshop gown with tumbling curls and a lick of bright red lipstick. Completing the look was a pair of gold Charlotte Olympia heels.
Louis Walsh told the statuesque singer: "Rylan you are a fantastic guy," adding "I think you are going to have an amazing career." Meanwhile Gary seemed sorry to vote against Rylan and he told him he they had shared a lot of "fun" together on the show.
The deciding vote fell to Tulisa Contostavlos and she opted not to send the competiton to deadlock and to end Rylan's run in the programme. The brunette judge said: "Rylan you have made me laugh," before adding: "I admire your strength." The 24-year-old was stylish in a midi black dress by Victoria Beckham that featured a patent belt at the waist. She had straightened her raven locks, creating a sleek, polished look.
The programme also featured performances by Rihanna, who sang her new track Diamonds. Bruno Mars also took to the stage to perform his new track Locked out of Heaven.
The competition is down to the final four now – and will be a battle of the boys. Those left in are James Arthur, Jahmene Douglas, Union J and Liverpudlian Christopher Maloney whose success was again booed by the studio audience.