Video: Olly survives X Factor sing-off

IT was a close call for Essex sensation Olly Murs last night after he was forced into a sing-off to stay in The X Factor.

James Hore

IT was a close call for Essex sensation Olly Murs last night after he was forced into a sing-off to stay in The X Factor.

There was a shocked reaction after the Witham wonder was told he was in the bottom two after the public vote and would have to beat Irish twins, John and Edward, better known as Jedward, to make it through to the final five.

Olly sung George Michael's Fast Love on Saturday night and it was widely thought it would be a quick route through last night's results show.

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But it was not to be and he had to dust himself down and pick himself up as the county held its breath for the nerve-racking sing off.

Olly chose Eric Clapton's Wonderful Tonight and it proved to be a good selection with the four judges impressed by his heart-felt rendition, sending him through.

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Speaking afterwards, a shocked Olly said: "It was horrible, but the crowd were great and they spurred me on."

Dressed in a shiny black shirt he added: "I just need to progress this week and give a good performance next weekend."

Presenter and former Colchester schoolboy Dermot O'Leary said it was a "massive, massive" shock to see Olly in the bottom two.

The twins were graceful in defeat, saying they hoped Olly and Essex's Stacey Solomon would reach the final.

Olly, 25, went into the weekend as the bookies' choice to win this year, but was pushed out into second favourite after Joe McEldery's version of Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me won an unprecedented standing ovation from all four judges.

Olly has the backing of the EADT and Saturday's show featured our posters when he returned home to his home town to see his adoring family and friends.

It had initially looked like it was going to be another good weekend for Olly after all-powerful judge Simon Cowell told him:"You're going to have no problem with the chicks when you leave this competition."

And he continued that Olly was just a "normal guy who wants to be a pop star".

But for Olly, it's all about focusing on the prize that could await him in just a few weeks time.

Olly, who worked in a call-centre before getting his big break, said: "I am not really too fussed about the girls at the moment - I am just going to concentrate on the singing and hopefully the girls will come after the show."

Essex's other leading light, Stacey, the last remaining girl, was first through to the final five as "Jedward" said their farewells after dividing the nation's opinion.

They lost the sing-off after their renditon of No Matter What by Boyzone failed to win over the judges.

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