Union J's X Factor dream ends at semi-final

...as final three contenders James Arthur, Christopher Maloney and  Jahmene Douglas

Boy band Union J were knocked out of the semi-final on X Factor in a public vote tonight.

The three remaining acts are women's favourite James Arthur, over-28 contestant Christopher Maloney and Asda worker Jahmene Douglas.

Union J member Josh Cuthbert, 20, said: "We're so happy about where we've come and we've got so much to thank X Factor for."

Judge Louis Walsh, the band's mentor, said: "I'm a little bit disappointed, but we were ready for it. They're going to have an amazing future. They're the next big boy band."

The band added: "This has been our dream, being here right now performing. We can't describe how amazing it has been, we loved every minute of it."

Bandmates Jamie Hamblett, 24, George Shelley, 19, Jaymi Hensley, 22 and Cuthbert ended the show singing Taylor Swift's Romeo and Juliet.

Douglas, 22, from Swindon said: "I can't believe I've gone from Asda to getting through to the semi-final. Its crazy people think I'm good enough to get here."

Heavily criticised Maloney, 34, said: "I'm just so grateful for everyone that has picked up the phone and voted for me."

Earlier the finalists kicked off the show with Rod Stewart's Merry Christmas, Baby and the rock legend himself joined them on stage in a surprise performance.

Judge Tulisa Contostavlos performed her new single Sight Of You followed by pop star Pink singing Try on her first X Factor appearance.

Tonight's proceedings will be donated to children's charity Together For Short Lives.

PA

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