X Factor 2013 final: Luke Friend comes third and ratings hit record low

Sam Bailey and Nicholas McDonald will battle to win the tenth series tonight

Luke Friend became the latest contestant to leave ITV talent show The X Factor last night, after reciving the fewest public votes in the first half of this weekend's final.

A duet with "Burn" singer Ellie Goulding failed to take Louis Walsh's act futher than third place, leaving Sharon Osbourne's Sam Bailey and Walsh's remaining mentee, 17-year old Nichoas McDonald, to battle it out in a climactic showdown this evening.

Judge Nicole Scherzinger had joined prison guard Sam for a duet, while Westlife's Shane Filan performed his Irish band's hit "Flying Without Wings" with Nicholas.

After hearing that his X Factor journey was over, Devonshire teenager Luke told host Demot O'Leary: "I know some people thought I was the underdog but I got here, and this is absolutely amazing."

Past series of the show have proven that winning does not always guarantee lasting success, however, with huge pop groups One Direction and JLS both losing out in their respective finals.

 

Ratings for the first part of The X Factor final hit a record low, drawing an average audience of just 8.5 million viewers, including those watching on ITV+1 catch-up.

The figures were the worst since the show's launch year closer in 2004 when 8.1 million people tuned in to watch Steve Brookstein become the first victor and down a million from last year's final.

Regardless, a recent deal between music mogul Simon Cowell and ITV will be keeping The X Factor on our screens for another three years.

Rival reality show Strictly Come Dancing stormed ahead in the ratings, attracting a peak audience of 9.9 million viewers - 43 per cent of those watching television at that time.

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