THE X Factor journey may be over for Lola Saunders – but her family say she’s done them proud.
The 20-year-old, from East Boldon, exited the TV talent contest on Sunday night after receiving the fewest public votes, for her rendition of Gnarls Barkley’s Crazy.
Lola, who worked at Whitburn fishmongers Latimer’s while training in childcare, faced eight-piece boyband Stereo Kicks in a sing-off.
After a powerful performance of Aretha Franklin’s You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman, she received the same number of votes from the judges as the boys.
The decision reverted back to the public vote and Lola was sent home.
Her dad Wes, said: “It’s a TV show. It’s a talent contest, and if it just went on voice alone, Lola would be in the top three. We still didn’t hear the best of her.
“It’s not just me and her mam, but her family as a whole feel proud of her. She was just starting to get her confidence.
“They’ve given her the songs every week and she’s done her best, and to us, she was absolutely perfect each week.
“As a family, we’re gutted for her, but that’s just the way it goes and she said she had a feeling this week that she was going.
“The experience for her has been phenomenal. I hope she takes something from is and we know she’ll go far because she’s got a great voice.”
Boyfriend Jordan Rutter added: “Obviously I’m gutted, but she’s done brilliantly and I’m really proud of what she’s done.
“She’s definitely still got a career ahead of her and this isn’t the last that people will see of her.”