“I’M STILL so gutted”.
The words of a tearful Carolynne Poole, hours after her dramatic exit from The X Factor.
And the Birkby singer was at the centre of claims of a TV show “fix” as there was fury over the deciding vote of Louis Walsh.
It was Louis who last year rejected Carolynne when he took her to the judge’s house stage.
And this year, he voted for the exit vote to go to deadlock – even though he said he wanted to save Carolynne.
There were claims a show producer was seen whispering to the judges before the votes were cast.
Carolynne was the first to leave the live shows, with the public voting to keep flamboyant singer Rylan Clarke.
“It’s unreal,” said 32-year-old Carolynne, of Birkby, as she contemplated the decision.
“I like Louis and I still have a soft spot for him. You know what he’s going to be like.
“As soon as I heard I was in the bottom two after Saturday’s show I knew it would be difficult. I know the public had given Rylan a hard time but he had become a friend.
“My mentor, Gary Barlow, was fuming about the vote and I still haven’t had the chance to talk to him properly. He was upset and so was I because I thought I had let him down.”
Carolynne tweeted to her thousands of followers last night: “Thank you all for all your lovely comments, really do mean a lot to me & are keeping me focused on the bigger picture. Love ya’s xxx”.
The furore over Carolynne’s exit centred on the final vote cast by Louis Walsh. Barlow and Tulisa had supported Carolynne, while Nicole Scherzinger voted for Clark, who she is mentoring.
Walsh had the final vote and he appeared unable to make up his mind for several minutes.
“Carolynne I love country music and I love what you bring to the competition,” he said.
“Rylan you’re the entertainment factor, I love what you do.”
That left host Dermot O’Leary frustrated and he urged Walsh to hurry up and make a call.
“Who you sending home... we’re running out of time, now Louis,” O’Leary said.
“Louis make the call, I need a name now.”
After several minutes of commotion, Walsh finally said: “It’s a really difficult one. I’m going to go with Carolynne I want to keep Carolynne.”
Walsh, who appeared overwhelmed by the decision, then muttered something inaudible.
“So you’re going to send home Rylan?” O’Leary said. “Who are you sending home Louis, what did you just say?”
Unable to reaffirm that he wanted Clark out of the competition, he said: “I want to take it to deadlock.”
A deadlock means that both performers in the bottom two have an equal number of the judges’ votes and the singer with the least number of public votes will be sent home.
This led to O’Leary opening up an envelope and announcing that Carolynne would be leaving the competition.
MANY X-Factor fans voiced their anger after the controversial votes.
And many insisted the show was “fixed” after the decision to keep Rylan Clark instead of Carolynne Poole.
Julie Horsfield Halloran, of Manchester, said: “It’s a total sham all of it, it gets worse every year, it was obvious who should have gone home and it wasn’t Carolynne. I thought Louis knew what he was looking for, obviously not.”
Clare Louise Mallalieu – Kirklees College, said: “Could you send a message to carolyne poole please ... Tell her welldone and to keep her dream going.”
Maria Itta, Uni Reading: “BIG mistake Louis! Call yourself a music manager and you can’t make an obvious decision? It was a no brainer and you messed with Carolynne’s emotions. If Simon had been sitting on the panel, we know who he would have chosen and Gary was sooo right to walk off.”
Elaine Intranova, “Blame Dermott as well – he kept asking Louis to confirm what he meant until he changed his mind. It’s a fixed show.”
Bailay Dawson said: “Watched it for the last 9 years, but I highly doubt I’ll be watching next week, that was worse thing ever to happen in the history of x factor.”
Tom Penny: “I am not one of those that run Rylan down, good luck to him. But how can people say it is not fixed? Not in vote rigging, but in the fact that there is a problem between Louie and Gary, and that Caroline suffered because of it. The show should be about people’s talent, not about who has the biggest ego.”
Klaire Carter: “It was wrong what louis did last night, he said that he was letting caroline through but then sent it to deadlock. I think his first decision should had been counted towards caroline.”
Pam Arundell: “I think carolynne will go a long way someone out there will see her talent and LOUIS was so so wrong to do that to her, she’s a very talented young lady with a fantastic voice.”
Sarah Humphries: “xfactor is an out and out fix.”