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Saturday, 26 January, 2002, 23:55 GMT
'Star performer' Zoe out of Pop Idol
Zoe Birkett
A-level student Zoe Birkett is off Pop Idol
Pop Idol hopeful Zoe Birkett has been voted off the show, leaving just three contestants out of an original 10,000.

The 16-year-old from Darlington was consoled by title favourite Gareth Gates, 17, who earlier denied reports that they were dating.

Zoe was told by judge Pete Waterman that the songs she performed, Whitney Houston's 'I Wanna Dance With Somebody' and Jennifer Rush's 'The Power of Love', were "just a little bit above yourself".

Publicist Nicki Chapman told Zoe: "Last week I thought you did the best performance by far. This week I'm not convinced.

"Whatever happens you are a star."

Viewers

The show differed slightly from previous weeks, with each contestant singing two former number ones.

Zoe was told the time had come for her to leave the show after more than three million viewers voted for their favourite performer.

The final three are Gates, William Young, 22, a student originally from London and Darius Danesh, 21, who is studying English at Edinburgh University.

After an argument last week between judges Simon Cowell and Waterman over Darius' performance both agreed he performed well.

Simon told him: "I thought you were fantastic. Thank god you're in this competition."

See also:

25 Jan 02 | Wales
Pop Idol Jessica's new fame bid
06 Jan 02 | TV and Radio
Pop Idol loser feels a 'winner'
23 Dec 01 | TV and Radio
Jessica voted off Pop Idol
22 Dec 01 | TV and Radio
Pop Idol's Rik bows out
21 Dec 01 | TV and Radio
Last minute decision for Pop Idol Rik
19 Dec 01 | TV and Radio
Idol's Rik waits on voice
16 Dec 01 | TV and Radio
Korben ejected from Pop Idol
17 Nov 01 | TV and Radio
Under-age Pop Idol hopeful rumbled
16 Oct 01 | TV and Radio
Take That manager attacks Pop Idol
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