Belfast Telegraph

Mic malfunction not to blame: Lola

Lola Saunders, the latest singer to face the X Factor boot, has said a microphone malfunction was not to blame for her exit from the show.

The 20-year-old fishmonger from Newcastle left the ITV competition after her sing-off against boyband Stereo Kicks went to deadlock, following her performance of Aretha Franklin's (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.

Her elimination came after Jack Walton left on Saturday (November 1), after receiving the least votes from the public.

Lola - who was offered a second chance by Louis Walsh as Cheryl Fernandez-Versini's wildcard - made no excuses for her Saturday performance of Gnarls Barkley's Crazy, despite her microphone pack detaching itself from her outfit.

"The mic pack fell off in my skirt, so it was just hanging, and I could feel it... But I've put so much effort into this performance and I really wanted it to be a contrast from last week, so I wanted to go out there and give it everything," she said.

"I thought, 'I'm just going to go for it'. The mic pack was swinging around here and there but I just tried to block it out. So I wouldn't say it affected the performance," she added.

Her performance won praise from all the judges. Simon Cowell told her that it was her "best so far", while her mentor and Mel B both called her a "professional" for continuing through the malfunction.

"It is gutting because everyone wants to stay in right to the end. I felt I was growing as a person and my confidence but I'm glad I went out, not being disappointed with the performance or anything like that. I'm glad I went out happy," she said.

Lola admitted her performance was rather lacklustre, compared to her fellow acts such as Only The Young, who did The Monster Mash, Andrea Faustini - who sported an all-gold outfit and face paint to sing Take That's Relight My Fire - and Stevi Ritchie, who did a rendition of Music Of The Night from the musical The Phantom Of The Opera.

"I think when it came to deadlock, I kind of knew it (I was leaving) anyway.

"I think, if I was back at home and watching it, who would I find boring? I would find myself boring. Everyone was so much entertainment," she said.

"Everything happens for a reason. Everyone was brilliant and I'm just so happy I've got here.

"The competition is so tough... I feel like I could still give one more performance. I just had so much in me to give and it's a shame that I went out this early. I wanted to build up and up, and not give it all straight away. But maybe I should have."

Lola, who said appearing on The X Factor is a childhood dream come true, is proud she left on a high note without shedding tears on screen upon her exit. Viewers saw her being emotional during her run on the show.

"Last night, I've proven to myself that I can hold myself together. At the beginning of the show, everyone saw tears, I couldn't hold myself together, but last night... I had never been so calm in my life," she recalled.

"I just went backstage, got myself together and went out there. For me, that was such a test. I honestly am so happy."

Lola, who wants to continue singing, is looking forward to spending quality time with her family after being apart from them in the X Factor house in Hertfordshire.

"I want to have some time with the family - I haven't seen them in a while and I haven't seen my grandparents," she said.

"I don't have a clue what I'm going to do now, I really don't. I want to be singing. I hope something good comes out of this."

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