X FACTOR: Lorna Simpson becomes first act to face the axe

By Ellyn Peratikou

Following a controversial week in the press, Lorna Simpson found herself in the bottom two on Saturday after failing to impress viewers in the first live X Factor show.

The 26-year-old university student just lost out to white van driver Shelley Smith, 34, after their mentor Sharon abstained from voting, and later admitted: “For once in my life, I’m stumped.”

Lorna, who was competing in the Over 25’s category, came under fire last week after old photos were released to the press, which showed her posing with a rifle. Although the photographs seemed to cause a stir among the public, show bosses made no comment in relation to the pictures and the show continued as normal.

This year, producers chose to scrap ‘deadlock’ and instead introduced a new system, called the ‘flash-vote’. This meant that, at the end of the Saturday live show, voting lines opened for under ten minutes allowing viewers to vote for their favourite acts. When lines closed, votes were counted and verified and the act with the lowest number of votes, Shelley, was told there and then that she was in the bottom two and would face the dreaded Sunday sing-off. Lines then reopened for the remaining acts until Sunday night’s show when the second hopeful, Lorna, discovered she was also in the bottom.

Although all four judges agreed that both contestants sang brilliantly, Lorna was given the boot, with Shelley safe for another week.

In other news, Gary Barlow also announced on Saturday’s show that this series would be his last on the judging panel.

The Take That frontman, mentoring the groups, commended three-piece Rough Copy as they closed the evening with a cover of the Phil Collins classic In The Air Tonight.

“I’m so glad, for my last year on the show, I get to mentor you,” he said. His confirmation follows speculation that this would be his final series as a judge on the show.

Will the show be at a loss if Gary leaves? Not really. Will anyone actually notice he’s gone? Probably not.


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