One of The X Factor's most consistent performers - Natalie Conway - was pipped at the post in last night's nail-biting decider.
Natalie and Mahalia Simpson found themselves in the bottom two despite giving dynamite performances during Monday's live show.
Mahalia is no stranger to singing for her life having survived two prior eliminations. But it was Natalie's first time in the singing showdown.
It was a tough vocal duel with Natalie belting out Sinead O'Connor's Nothing Compares 2 U while Mahalia performed a spine-tingling version of No More Drama by Mary J. Blige.
Chris Isaak and Dannii Minogue voted to send Natalie home while her mentor James Blunt stayed loyal to her. Given their styles are so different, Guy voted to send Mahalia home to force the decision to deadlock. "The beauty of music is that it's driven by people," he said. "For the first time [this series], it's a perfect opportunity to let the public decide and take it to deadlock."
Natalie, 33, received the least number of votes from the public and was sent home. "X Factor has changed my life in ways I never thought possible," she said. "I'm more confident. I've become a better singer, a better performer and I got to experience things I never thought I'd be able to do."
Her mentor James was full of praise for the Sydney songstress. "My job as mentor has been incredibly easy as I've been working with a singer who's far better than myself. She is an angel - it's been a joy for me to work with her."
One act lucky to escape elimination was Big T following his lacklustre rendition of Bruno Mars' Locked Out Of Heaven.
Debate surrounding his performance continued last night. Chris took offence to James likening his style to that of a "cruise ship" singer. "What really fired me up was when I felt people took it too far and were kicking a young singer when he had a bit of bad luck. T's a big guy but he's still a young singer and he's got a heart," Chris said.
James stood by his comments and rejected Chris' accusation he "had it out" for T. "I'm a massive fan. To say anything different is to twist the truth. On the night, I thought he had a bad performance. As a judge I said so."
THE X FACTOR airs Monday and Tuesday at 7.30pm on Seven.