Welsh warbler Lloyd Daniels was voted off the X Factor last night in a predictable result which left the four most talented singers in the competition.
On a night when the contestants performed twice — one Take That song and one Elton John number — his out-of-tune rendition of Take That’s A Million Love Songs may have been the ultimate undoing of the 16-year-old’s ambitions.
Certainly it prompted a harsh judgment by Louis Walsh. “Obviously people like you much more than I do. You don’t deserve to be in the last five,” he said.
His choice of Elton John’s I’m Still Standing prompted Walsh to observe: “You’re just about standing.”
On hearing he’d been booted out, Lloyd told host Dermot O’Leary that he had enjoyed every minute of being on the programme. His mentor Cheryl Cole said: “It’s amazing that he has come this far... he’s only 16 now and he’s going to blossom into a little star.”
As for his future ambitions, he told Dermot: “I just want to be recognised.”
With Lloyd and quiffed Irish twins John and Edward Grimes out of the competition, it now seems to be a matter of picking the strongest singer from a line-up of talented voices.
And the judges were last night full of praise for the four wannabes still in the competition, though Simon Cowell dismissed Stacey Solomon’s performance of Something About The Way You Look Tonight as “boring” and akin to a wedding singer.
But he was lavish about her interpretation of Rule The World.
“Very believable. It was the perfect choice of song for you.”
Danyl Johnson was described as “one of the best male singers” ever to appear on the show by Cowell, while Dannii Minogue said Solomon has “really got the star quality we’re looking for”.
Simon called Olly Murs “gutsy, ambitious and talented”.
But the compliments may be somewhat less free-flowing in the semi-final and final over the next few weeks.
The show featured two big performances from US singers Alicia Keys and Rihanna.
Keys gave a faultless medley of three of her songs. But while her musical talent was in no doubt, there were raised eyebrows over her choice of a red leather strapless catsuit.
Cheryl Cole and Dannii Minogue wore one-shouldered dresses in black and pink respectively.