X Factor 2014 results: Paul Akister axed after vote goes to deadlock

The Lancashire lad heads home after a sing-off against Jay James

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The Independent Culture

Despite impressing the judges last night with his rendition of “Don’t Stop Me Now”, Paul Akister has been stopped in his X Factor tracks after he failed to win tonight’s sing-off.

The 25-year-old, who last week was told by judge Simon Cowell to “lighten up,” had been the bookies’ favourite to leave the competition.

He performed in the sing-off against Jay James, 31, who impressed judges with his rendition of “Tears from Heaven.”

Cowell said it was “the best sing-off” he’d seen so far and expressed surprise at seeing the pair at the bottom of the scoreboard.

The competition went to deadlock after Cowell voted to stand by James, fellow judges Melanie Brown and Cheryl Fernandez-Versini saved Akister, and Louis Walsh said he “couldn’t decide” and plumped for James so the public vote would decide the outcome.


Akister appeared on X Factor last year, but failed to make it to the live shows.

Tonight featured a group song to mark Remembrance Sunday as well as performances by Sam Smith and X Factor alumni One Direction.

The boy band, who were runners-up in the 2010 series but have gone on to achieve massive chart success both in the UK and America, were welcomed by presenter Dermot O’Leary, who said: “You’re part of the family, boys. It’s great to have you back.”

Following tonight’s result Fleur East has become the most popular contest in the betting, aside from hot favourite Andrea Faustini, according to bookmaker Coral.

She is now the 9-2 second favourite to be crowned this year's winner alongside Lauren Platt and Ben Haenow. At the other end of the betting, Stevi Ritchie is still the 66-1 outsider despite avoiding the bottom two.

Regardless of tonight’s outcome Cheryl is likely to be cracking open the champagne this evening after becoming the first British female solo artist to have five number one singles.

The 31-year-old X Factor judges’ latest song, “I Don't Care”, went straight into the charts at the top spot, ousting Ed Sheeran's “Thinking Out Loud”.

Read more: Cheryl Fernandez-Versini makes chart history with five number one singles
Simon Cowell: 'I loathed manufactured boy bands'