©SYCO /THAMES TV/ITVPaul Akister has become the eighth act to leave The X Factor.

Tonight’s results programme saw Paul and Jay James sing for survival after gaining the fewest number of votes from the public.

In the sing off Paul sang Clown by Emili Sandé, while Jay covered Eric Clapton’s Tears in Heaven.

After each act had performed the judges delivered their verdicts:

Simon Cowell: “We’ve had some lousy sing offs [but] this was the best one we’ve had. I’m surprised that the two of you are down in the bottom but that’s the way it goes. Paul, best you’ve sang in a long time. Jay I’m your mentor you’re a great guy [and] you’ve got a lot at stake here this is kind of your last chance. I’ve got to stand by you. I’m sending home Paul.

 

Mel B: “Based on what we’ve just heard right now, it’s an absolute no brainer.  Paul you sung your heart out with such feeling and what a song. The person I’m sending home is Jay.

 

Cheryl Fernandez-Versini: “It was a fantastic sing off. Jay, great, I love that song. Paul, I think that’s one of the best I’ve heard you sing throughout this competition. I’m going to save Paul. I’m going to send home Jay.”

 

Louis Walsh: “Both guys were incredible. I’ve loved Paul from day one. Jay you really stepped it up there it was really emotional. I can’t decide I’m going to have to take it to Deadlock. The person I have to send home is Paul.”

With two votes a-piece the vote was taken to Deadlock with Dermot O’Leary revealing that Paul had received fewer votes from the public than Jay and would therefore be leaving the competition.

A visibly emotional Paul struggled to find any last words, while an equally shell-shocked Mel said of her departing act: “He is incredible. How can… that is wrong, that’s wrong.”

Tonight’s results show also featured performances by Sam Smith and One Direction.

The X Factor continues next Saturday at 8.15pm on ITV.

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