Devon diva Shelley and teenager Luke survive X-Factor live show
Devon diva Shelley Smith survived the first sing-off in the X Factor last night in the opening live show of the ITV talent contest.
Shelley, a 34-year-old delivery driver from Farringdon, near Exeter, was pitched against another act from the over-25s category, Lorna Simpson, in the tense performance before the judges and a live audience.
Shelley knew she faced a sing-off after gaining the lowest public support in a 'flash vote' on Saturday night in which viewers had ten minutes to call in with their votes.
Sharon Osbourne, who was mentor to both acts in last night's sing-off, refused to decide between them, leaving the other three judges to seal their fate. Gary Barlow, who is standing down as a judge after the end of this series, praised Shelley's performance but still voted to send Shelley home. But both Louis Walsh and Nicole Sherzinger backed the Devon mother, whose daughter, Madeline, was in the audience cheering her on.
The other Devon hopeful still in the competition is 17-year-old Luke Friend, a student from Combeshead Academy who lives with his parents in Teignmouth.
He received enough public votes to avoid facing the judges again.
Shelley and Luke, who have both got through the auditions, 'boot camp' and 'judges houses' to make the live shows, have received huge support from the Westcountry.
Luke's schoolfriends from Combeshead have made posters of the teenager. As the contest goes on the tension is certain to mount.