Joe and Olly through as Stacey leaves X Factor

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The Independent Culture

Stacey Solomon's X Factor dream came to an end as her performance with Michael Buble failed to woo the voting public.

Olly Murs and Joe McElderry will now battle it out for the title, a recording contract and, in all likelihood, the Christmas number one on Sunday night.

The eagerly-anticipated final of the contest will top one of the most lucrative weekends in British broadcasting, with an extended results show creating prime advertising spots in front of an expected audience of 20 million.

The weekend's coverage alone could generate £18 million for ITV1, according to some reports.

Speaking as quickly as ever in her strong Essex accent, Solomon thanked her fans and said: "I'm really proud. I came third in the X Factor, that's really good. I'm really proud."

Her mentor Dannii Minogue said it had been an "incredible journey".

She said "everything" had been highlights.

"I got to stay to the final," she said.

Both Murs and McElderry paid tribute to Solomon and said any one of the trio could have gone out.

But Murs said it was "so great" and "amazing" to be in the final two, while McElderry said he could not believe it.