Belfast Telegraph

For whom the Belle tolls... girls depart X Factor

Belle Amie's dreams of pop stardom were shattered last night as they were booted off the X Factor.

The girl band ended up in the bottom two with Katie Waissel after failing to impress viewers with their rendition of Shocking Blue’s Venus, famously covered by Bananarama.

Judges Simon Cowell, Cheryl Cole, Louis Walsh and Dannii Minogue failed to choose an act to send home so Belle Amie, the act with the fewest votes, were given their marching orders.

In a bid to stay in the competition they sang Kelly Clarkson's Breakaway.

“They have been a pleasure to work with,” Cowell said.

“I do not think it is the end for this group — they are survivors.”

The four girls, Esther Campbell, Sophia Wardman, Geneva Lane and Rebecca Creighton, entered X Factor as solo artists but were given a second chance in the final stages of Bootcamp when they were lumped together as a group.

They are the sixth act to leave the contest.

Waissel burst into tears after she sang Trust In Me by Etta James in a bid to save herself.

Cowell and Walsh opted to send Waissel home while Cole and Minogue sent home the girl band.

It was the first time on this series the judges failed to choose an act to leave the show.

Meanwhile, former Coronation Street actress Tina O'Brien became the fourth celebrity to leave Strictly Come Dancing after her Argentine tango failed to sparkle.

Clad in a rubber catsuit, she was likened to a “gothic version of Olivia Newton John” by judge Craig Revel Horwood.

The judges' scores left O'Brien and fellow actress Felicity Kendal at the bottom of the leaderboard.

But the combination of the judges' scores and viewer votes meant O'Brien and partner Jared Murillo were eliminated from the competition.

Her technical performance on Saturday night's show received a mixed response from the panel.

Bruno Tonioli gushed: “Gorgeous, you kinky kitten, you go very well with rubber, I can see you in rubber all the time.”

Bowing out from the contest, O'Brien said: “I've had the best time ever, I'm really sorry to Jared, I really wanted to go further in the competition for him. Dancing is now something I want to do for the rest of my life.”

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