14/12/2013 23:15 | By Lorna Cooper, editor, MSN TV

X Factor 2013: Luke Friend voted out of the final

The final of X Factor 2013 sees the departure of Devon youngster Luke Friend. He finishes in third place.

X Factor's Luke Friend and Louis Walsh (© X Factor's Luke Friend and Louis Walsh. Image. ITV)

The X Factor grand final will be contested by prison officer Sam Bailey and 17-year-old Nicholas McDonald following the public vote elimination of teenager Luke Friend.

Luke took the news in his stride, showing a maturity beyond his 17 years. When asked by presenter Dermot O’Leary if he thought he’d make it this far, he said: “It’s absolutely mental. I know everyone thought I was the underdog, but I got here.” To loud cheers he added: “I want to keep on writing music for you guys!”

Mentor Louis Walsh was full of praise: “He’s got something unique. He’s going to have an amazing career. Watch this space!”

The night started incredibly - as part of a world exclusive prize, the winner of this year’s X Factor is to support Beyoncé in concert on the UK leg of her Mrs Carter tour.

The finalists were out to impress the public and Nicholas kicked off the solo performances with a rendition of Candy by Robbie Williams. Luke sang Fun’s We Are Young while Sam belted out Lady Gaga’s Edge of Glory. Round one was easily won by Sharon Osbourne’s remaining Over 25 act.

In the duets, Luke got his guitar out for Anything Could Happen with Ellie Goulding. Nicholas was Flying Without Wings alongside Shane Filan while Sam Bailey sang And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going from the musical Dreamgirls - whenever Nicole Scherzinger let her get a couple of notes in. Talk about hogging the limelight! Again, I'm sure Sam pulled in the votes.

There were also appearances by Tom Odell, who sang Another Love, and The Killers who gave the audience great performances of Human and - everyone’s favourite - Mr Brightside.

X Factor pulled a rabbit out of the hat and invited back some of the most memorable and controversial acts for one last group performance. Rylan Clark, Jedward, Wagner, Diva Fever, Johnny Robinson, 2 Shoes and Kitty Brucknell were among the acts that gave the final a definite twist.

The grand final on Sunday will see Nicholas McDonald go head-to-head with Sam Bailey in what will surely be one of the most one-sided X Factor finals in years. Look out for performances by Gary Barlow and Elton John, Katy Perry and One Direction.

The X Factor is on Sunday 15 December at 7.30pm on ITV

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