17-year-old Middlesbrough girl Amelia Lily was axed for the second time on Saturday night as she was voted off in the first of The X Factor live finals. Kelly's act's exit now paves the way for victory on Sunday night for either the dapper Marcus Collins or the The X Factor's most successful ever girl band, Little Mix.
Amelia Lily's departure in front of 10,000 screaming fans at Wembley Arena was a bit of a surprise as she was the strongest performer on a night that was jam-packed with action. From Dermot's now compulsory and quite elaborate dance routine (featuring the snake-hipped Goldie Cheung - remember her?!), to Amelia's dramatic end, it was a massively overblown night at Wembley Arena.
The centrepiece of the night was the finalists' duets with their mentors. Marcus Collins and Gary Barlow crooned along to Billy Joel's 'She's Always a Woman', Tulisa and Little Mix took on an Alicia Keys medley and the soon-to-be-on-her-bike Amelia Lily and Kelly Rowland hit the high notes of the soul classic, 'River Deep, Mountain High'. It was just such a shame that Louis Walsh didn't have an act in the final. You just imagine him and Johnny Robinson duetting on 'Summer Nights' from Grease. You can also imagine being instantly sick in your mouth and then throwing your television straight out of the nearest window.Onto the action and Amelia nailed Christina Aguilera's 'Aint No Other Man' before her duet with the former Destiny's Child singer, Kelly. Mr. Take That said of her opening song:
“Amazing performance tonight, Amelia. I must say being the youngest contestant tonight I was worried about how you would make the transition from TV studio to Wembley Arena, but you did it beautifully...”And after some bare-faced lies from Kelly Rowland about her supposedly eating and enjoying a 'parmo' (a fried chicken and parmesan dish native to Middlesbrough), the pair of them belted out 'River Deep...' in what had to be one of the performances of the series.
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Marcus, accompanied by a cabin crew for some reason, assured his passage into the final two with a particularly up-tempo version of Outkast's 'Hey Ya'. His mentor Gary said of it:“Marcus well done mate, you have just got better and better. An amazing performance tonight, it’s such a pleasure working with you. Well done!”
Marcus and Gary's duet was a bit of anti-climax, though. In true Barlow fashion, it was a little dull. There was no real style to it. And it was cheesier than a particularly cheesy parmo sandwich made with slices of cheese instead of bread. Still, the public must've loved it.Before she joined the girls on stage for their attack on 'Empire State Of Mind' and 'If I Ain't Got You', Tulisa praised Little Mix after their first song, 'You Got The Love', with this:
“I am so proud of you, I am lost for words. You got yourselves here today and Little Mix fans also got you here. Let’s hope they take you all the way!”We were also treated to performances from an assortment of pop stars across the show. There was a team-up between JLS and One Direction that no doubt put tens of thousands of teenage girls up and down the country into cardiac arrest and Leona Lewis also trotting out to perform 'Hurt', the classic Nine Inch Nails song made famous by Johnny Cash. Michael Buble was the final guest, trying his best to promote his Christmas album. Again.
The (final) final show is on at 8.30pm on Sunday on ITV1. Find out who'll be crowned the 2011 winner and then head back here for all the news and a round-up. And then cackle to yourself when you remember that from now on you can start going out on Saturday nights again...
So it's goodbye to Amelia Lily. Come on, then. Let's have it – who do you think's gonna win? Marcus or Little Mix...? Let us know below.
Take a fun look back at this year's 'X Factor' highlights in our fun video...