Reggie N Bollie, Louisa Johnson and Che Chesterman are the X Factor finalists. Noone seemed more surprised when Reggie N' Bollie's name was called out than their mentor Cheryl Fernandez-Versini.

The duo, who were initially dismissed as something of a novelty act, have been a public favourite since the beginning of the competition bringing the fun factor to the show week after week and defying their critics.

As they and Louisa who has been tipped to win the show, sailed through, it was left for Lauren Murray and Che Chesterman to fight it out in an emotional sing off for the third place in the final. Lauren, who till now had maintained her composure throughout the competition walked out on stage, already with tears streaming down her face. Singing in the face of her obvious upset, she powered through the apt song, Rachel Platten's smash hit Fight Song, in an emotionally charged performance.

Che Chesterman, also betrayed some trepidation as he performed Simon And Garfunkel's Bridge Over Troubled Water. His soulful rendition was as captivating as ever. The pair then faced the judges for their verdict. Hinting at the successes to come for the dentist's receptionist, Nick Grimshaw began by saying: "I never wanted to send you home. You know I'm a massive fan. When you make a record I'd love to have you on my show."

As expected Rita Ora, backed her act. "Obviously I'm going to have to stick with my girl Lauren. Lauren is my baby. This is really hard because I don't want to send anybody home."

It was a sentiment shared by Cheryl. "I don't want to send anyone home and there is no valid reason to send them home. Che, you have one of the best voices I've heard in the competition," she said. "Lauren, its really hard to see you so emotional at this stage and its only going to get tougher from hereon, so I'm sorry I'm sending Lauren home. "

Cheryl's decision left Simon Cowell with the deciding vote. It was clearly not a scenario that the music mogul was expecting. "I like both of you," he said. "I wanted both of you in the final. It's just very difficult. I tell you what I m going to do. I'm going to let the public decide."

With the vote going to deadlock, base don the public vote, Lauren was finally sent home. Regaining her composure she said: "I just want to thank everyone who voted for me everyone who supported me throughout the competition to Rita and everyone backstage."

As Reggie N Bollie, who have caused the biggest upset in the competition, contemplated their achievement, their surprise at the result and their overwhelming sense of gratitude was evident. "We never thought we were going to be here we just want to say a massive thank to everyone in the UK".

For 17-year-old Louisa, who is being hailed as the next British pop star, it was bitter-sweet. "I'm really feeling mixed emotions. I'm so happy, but I'm feeling really bad for Lauren."

Viewers turned to social media also expressing a mixed reaction to the result, with many suggesting the competition was fixed. " Louisa will win, because it has been fixed since auditions. But I really hope Che gets a record deal. His voice is ridiculous," said one viewer.

The three finalists will be travelling across the UK in their own battle buses to canvas the public for votes ahead of the eagerly anticipated final. And while its being described as a one-horse race, Reggie N Bollie might well put another spanner in the works.