Belfast Telegraph

Five acts remain as Ritchie departs

Stevi Ritchie has been voted off The X Factor, leaving only five acts remaining on the ITV singing show.

The 33-year-old call centre worker survived the public vote on Saturday night despite being criticised by judges for his quirky Egyptian-themed version of Sir Elton John's I'm Still Standing.

Simon Cowell said: "You are going to be remembered for that performance, it's the craziest thing I've ever seen on any of these shows." And fellow judge Mel B said: "There's problems in the house."

During the Sunday night results show, Stevi found himself in the sing-off against Andrea Faustini - and won praise from the judges for his performance of This Is The Moment, from the musical Jekyll And Hyde.

They agreed that it stood up well against Andrea's version of Stop, by Sam Brown, with Mel B saying: "That was a great sing-off, you both sang your hearts out - Stevi, who knew you could sing like that?"

Mel and Cheryl Fernandez-Versini both voted to send Stevi home - but Simon told him: "We realise that you are not the best singer, but you've been great fun and a great entertainer, and people have fallen in love with you. I'm going to stand by my Stevi."

That meant Louis Walsh's decision was critical, and he opted to keep Andrea.

Stevi said: "The whole experience for me has been an absolute dream, I never thought I would get this far. I want to thank you for your support, the production people, the lovely judges, my best friend and mentor Simon."

The five remaining acts are Andrea, the eight-strong group Stereo Kicks, singer Lauren Platt, and singers Ben Haenow and Fleur East.

The show also featured the latest incarnation of Take That, now down to three, who performed new song These Days.

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