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Luke Friend through to X Factor final after sing-off

By WMNSteveGrant  |  Posted: December 08, 2013

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Luke Friend

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Devon singing star Luke Friend made it through to the X Factor final showdown after a dramatic sing off.

Luke sang Keane's Somewhere Only Where We Know in a bid to secure a place in the final while rival group Rough Copy performed the BoyzIIMen classic End of The Road.

Take That star Gary Barlow said it was harder than usual to choose, but chose to save the act he mentored Rough Copy. Louis Walsh chose to save Luke.

Former Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger put Rough Copy through to the final, and Sharon Osbourne, under immense pressure from the crowd, chose Luke meaning the competition went to deadlock.

Host Demot O'Leary then revealed that Luke had won the most votes.

Pressure had been building ahead of next week’s X Factor final – with the emotion getting the better of one of the show’s youngest contestants.

Nicholas McDonald, who recently turned 17, wept during his performance of Beyonce’s Halo during the semi-final of the ITV show, making his voice crack in parts and leaving the judges disappointed.

In contrast, Teignmouth’s Luke also 17, left the stage with the praise of the judges ringing in his ears.

Luke sang an Elton John classic and a Beyonce hit on the show on Saturday night and the judges praised the way he had made them his own.

After he sang Something About The Way You Look Tonight and the Beyonce track The Best Thing I Never Had, judge Sharon Osborne told Luke it had been a "really emotional" performance.

"You should be really proud of yourself. It was a really emotional performance and you sang it really well," she said.

Take That singer-songwriter Gary Barlow told the Devon teenager he had done a "good job" with another great performance.

"What's interesting about you is you get your song and you ask how you are going to change it. I really like that, it's individual,” said Barlow.

"The other thing I love about you is that you put your musicality and your artistry first and never go chasing the votes."

Nicole Scherzinger told the teenager: "What's so special about you is that you have a really big heart and that shines through. That is everything. You stripped it all back, you stripped your hair back, it was authentic and real and you deserve to be in the final."

Finally Louis Walsh, his on-screen mentor, said: "You are different. You are not predictable, you always change the songs. You are in this for the music game not the fame. That's what I love about you. You stand out from the crowd, you are original, you deserve a place in the final. So people in Devon lift that phone."

Each of the four final acts, which also included Rough Copy and Sam Bailey, each had to choose a song by Beyonce and one by Sir Elton John to secure their places in the final three.

Scottish singer McDonald appeared nervous and was asked by Osbourne: “Tell your mother everything – now, why are you crying?”

The teenager replied that he was overwhelmed by reaching the semi-final stage, adding: “I never thought I’d get this far.”

Osbourne admitted the performance was “emotional”, but told the singer: “Your tears made your voice crack, little one.”

Emotions were also high after mother-of-two Bailey’s performance of Candle In The Wind, which left Osbourne speechless and almost made Nicole Scherzinger swear.

The former Pussycat Doll quickly corrected herself however, insisting she had been saying the words “shiitake mushroom”.

Scherzinger told Bailey she could not wait to see her in the final, while Barlow described her singing as “beautiful” and “flawless”.

Her first song, Beyonce’s If I Were A Boy, was also well received, with Louis Walsh saying she could win the whole competition.

Luke kicked off the show with Beyonce’s Best Thing I Never Had, following it with Sir Elton’s Something About The Way You Look Tonight. Barlow said he was impressed by Luke’s originality and said he had improved the most out of all of the show’s contestants.

Scherzinger said she thought Luke’s Beyonce performance sounded like a cross between One Direction and Mumford and Sons – but it was not clear if she meant that as a compliment.

The contestants will have to wait until tonight’s show to find out if they have done enough to reach the final.

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