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Fans are calling it The Fix Factor after Cheryl Cole refused to vote in Sunday night's sing-off.
Two of her acts, Katie Waisell and Treyc Cohen finished in the bottom two and it was Treyc whose dreams are over as the result was based on the decisions of the other three judges.
Simon and Louis both voted to save Katie, with Dannii saving Treyc. Cheryl was the second judge to be asked for her vote but said "I don't have to send anyone home. Ask the other three and then come back to me and I'll send it to deadlock."
But they never came back to Cheryl and the deadlock option (which sees the contestant with the lowest number of public votes eliminated) was not implemented.
In a dramatic sing off Katie's peformance of "Please Don't Give Up On Me" saw her sit down, say "sod it" and was hardly able to finish the song. Treyc performed a powerful rendition of Toni Braxton's Unbreak My Heart.
It led to a furious reaction on Twitter and internet forums
Strictly Come Dancing judge Alesha Dixon tweeted:
"I'm soooo confused! What happened to deadlock??? X factor messed up big time!!!"
Belle Amie's Geneva Lane (who left the competition last week) said:
"What the hell happened to dead lock?!"
Bandmate Sophia Wardman said:
"Disgrace! Just to clarify Katie is a good person, and we all like her a lot. but shes been in the bottom2 3 times. TreyC deserved another week."
Other comments include:
Why didnt it go to deadlock as Cheryl suggested she would and have the public vote now everyone considers it a fix.
The fix factor ! Just get rid of cher and kate heared better cats scream in garden!