Durham singer Samantha Lavery's X Factor dream is over

Samantha Lavery's X Factor dream is over after she was removed in the Six Chair Challenge. Pic: Syco/Thames/Dymond/PA Wire.

Samantha Lavery's X Factor dream is over after she was removed in the Six Chair Challenge. Pic: Syco/Thames/Dymond/PA Wire.

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Teenager Samantha Lavery's dream of becoming the North East's next winner of The X Factor is over.

The 16-year-old, from Coxhoe, Durham, was ousted in the Six Chair Challenge stage of the ITV1 talent competition.

Last night's first of two episodes ahead of the Judges' Houses phase saw judges Nicole Scherzinger and Simon Cowell tasked with whittling down acts in their categories - the boys and the girls respectively - to just six.

The ruthless challenge means those who are given a seat must anxiously wait as they face being replaced by another singer if the judge thinks the latter is more deserving of it.

Nerves ran high as the wannabe singers fought for their place in the competition, singing in front of all the judges and, for the first time, a live arena audience.

Cowell didn't have an easy choice, and appeared to want to take everybody through as he quickly filled his six chairs, with several more acts left to perform.

Samantha looks on in the background as Gifty Agyeman waits to be told her fate during the Six Chair Challenge. Pic: Syco/Thames/Dymond/PA Wire.

Samantha looks on in the background as Gifty Agyeman waits to be told her fate during the Six Chair Challenge. Pic: Syco/Thames/Dymond/PA Wire.

Samantha's performance of Jessie J's Mama Knows Best was not well-received by the judges, but Cowell initially said he would "take a leap of faith" with her.

But in a surprising twist, he then opted to remove her from her seat, to give it to Gifty Louise, 20, following her unique take on Gnarls Barkley's Crazy.

Judges Louis Walsh and Sharon Osbourne were shocked at Cowell's decision to take Samantha out of the running, as Scherzinger cried out: "What! Are you kidding me?"

Afterwards, Samantha Tweeted: "Loved every minute of my X Factor journey and so humbled by everyone's support, thank you."

* The X Factor continues tonight on ITV1 at 7pm.