[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Sunday, 14 December, 2003, 13:55 GMT
Pop Idol loser thinking positive
Mark Rhodes and Michelle McManus
Mark Rhodes and Michelle McManus are the finalists
Pop Idol loser Sam Nixon has said he is "gutted" by his shock exit from the TV show, although not as much as he had expected to be.

The 17-year-old odds-on favourite was unexpectedly voted off the talent show on Saturday night, leaving Mark Rhodes and Michelle McManus to battle it out.

He said he was happy to have made it to the final three, and hoped still to land a recording contract.

He also wished both Mark and Michelle luck in the final.

Natural talent

Judge Simon Cowell described Sam earlier in the competition as "one of the most naturally talented people" they had seen.

Sam said of his defeat: "Of course there's a part of me that's gutted, its just bugging me that I didn't get to the final, but I'm not as upset as I thought I would be.

"It's weird because I wanted it so much. I've got mixed emotions.

"There's just that bit in my mind thinking I was so close."

He said he would take inspiration from the example of Darius, who followed up third place in the show's previous series with a successful recording career.

He refused to be drawn on who he wanted to win, saying: "They both deserve it, they really do."

The two finalists now begin a week-long publicity blitz around the country on their own 'battle buses' ahead of the final public vote.

Bookmakers Ladbrokes have made Michelle, once at 33-1, the new favourite to win at 1-2, with Mark at 6-4.


SEE ALSO:
Pop Idol race down to final three
07 Dec 03  |  Entertainment
Sam odds-on for Pop Idol victory
02 Dec 03  |  Entertainment
Parker attacks Fame 'rip-offs'
05 Dec 03  |  Entertainment
Roxanne's Pop Idol dream ends
23 Nov 03  |  Entertainment
Pop Idols tackle global showdown
13 Nov 03  |  Entertainment
Pop Idol judges criticised by MPs
03 Nov 03  |  Entertainment


RELATED BBCi LINKS:

RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific