X Factor
X Factor: shock as Ella Henderson is booted out. ITV website

X Factor favourite Ella Henderson has made a surprise and shocking exit from the show after losing out to yet another favourite James Arthur.

Henderson, who was hailed as a "golden goddess" by former Pussycat Dolls singer and judge Nicole Scherzinger, performed You're The One That I Want from the musical Grease but found herself at the bottom two alongside Arthur, with both receiving two votes after the sing-off. But Henderson lost the show when she received the fewest votes from viewers.

Her mentor Tulisa Contostavlos blasted the public's decision and said: "This is exactly when people are voting for the wrong people. These people should be finalists. It's ridiculous, this situation, it's ridiculous, it's ridiculous. People thought she was safe."

Speaking about her time on the show, the 16-year-old said: "This year, the talent on the show is incredible. Everyone deserves to be on this show. I wouldn't be where I am now without this show. (I loved) meeting people, the contestants are great. I love you all. I loved performing on this stage. I've loved every minute of it. I've grown so much."

As the show's controversial contestant Rylan Clark are safely through, with Union J and Jahmene Douglas, the crowd had booed loudly when Christopher Maloney was also confirmed for next week, leaving Henderson and Arthur to battle it out for the remaining place.

Host Dermot O'Leary said: "Well, you can tell already from the studio it's a shock. One of the biggest shocks we've ever had on the results show."

Scherzinger saved her contestant saying: "No matter what happens, tonight is a great tragedy for this show. You two are the most talented to grace this stage. Ella I have no worries about you, but I have to stick with my boy."

Louis Walsh said: "I'm in shock. I thought they were two finalists. Nicole and Tulisa are broken-hearted. Ella you have so much potential. You've got so much more to give in this competition. James you are amazing. You're a readymade act for a record deal. The act I'm sending home is James."

When it was Gary Barlow's turn to vote, he saved Arthur and said: "Finally its serious. People at home, we are voting for the best singers every week. I always knew it was going to come to this. It's about the vocals, it's a singing competition. The act I'm sending home is Ella."

Henderson's was the hot favourite to win the show from the very first audition who sang the cover of Cher's Believe and left the judges (one of whom was Cher herself) in appreciative tears. She had also celebrity fans including the multiple Grammy Award-winning singer Adele who had previously tweeted her support.