Katie Waissel escapes first X Factor axe

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The Independent Culture

Katie Waissel scraped through to the next round of The X Factor after judges voted to save the controversial singer.

Quirky Katie breathed a sign of relief when judge Louis Walsh voted to keep her on the show despite saying she was "more style than substance".

Dreams of pop stardom ended for Nicolo Festa last night when the Italian was automatically booted off the show with the lowest viewer votes following Saturday's live performances.

Katie and boy band FYD polled the next lowest totals and had to sing again to try to persuade the judges that they should stay in the competition.

Louis was left with the final decision after Simon Cowell and Cheryl Cole backed their own acts and Dannii Minogue said she believed Katie performed better in the sing-off.

Louis had the choice to save Katie or to create a tie to be decided solely on viewer votes and decided to save the eccentric singer despite telling her Saturday's performance had not impressed him.

It was a narrow escape for the singer who was a controversial choice to go through to the live finals after she broke down while singing to mentor Cheryl Cole during the selection process.

Cheryl failed to select viewers' favourite Gamu Nhengu and many felt Katie did not deserve the spot. She was the bookies' favourite to go first until four surprise wildcard acts rejoined the show on Saturday.

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