Page last updated at 20:49 GMT, Sunday, 6 December 2009

Danyl Johnson voted off X Factor

Danyl Johnson
Danyl Johnson sang Michael Jackson's Man in the Mirror

Schoolteacher Danyl Johnson has been voted off ITV's X Factor, missing out on a place in the show's final.

Olly Murs, 25, burst into tears when hearing he had made it through. He will face Joe McElderry, 18, and 20-year-old mother Stacey Solomon in the finals.

Johnson's mentor Simon Cowell said: "There was nothing more he could have done. He's gone out on a high. He's a gracious loser."

"I have met some best friends for life," Johnson, 27, said.

He said he now planned to catch up with friends and family and play "a couple of gigs".

On Saturday night's show, the final four each sang one Michael Jackson song and were able to choose another song which they felt would secure them a place in the final.

Strong singer

Johnson, from Reading, won acclaim from judges for both his performances, including Whitney Houston's I Have Nothing.

But a video showing polar bears on melting ice caps and the destruction of rainforests which accompanied his cover of Jackson's Man in the Mirror performance left judges puzzled.

"It distracted from Danyl's voice," Louis Walsh said.

X Factor's Danyl: 'Olly to win'

Johnson was considered one of the competition's strongest singers but proved a controversial figure, drawing criticism from the judges for some of his earlier performances.

Stacey Solomon appeared stunned on hearing the result of the public vote.

Her version of Michael Jackson hit The Way You Make Me Feel divided the judges.

Louis Walsh said the song did not suit her, while Simon Cowell called her performance "gimmicky" and "too cabaret".

Hot pants

Cheryl Cole, though, told Solomon, who was dressed in hot pants and a trilby: "Talk about yummy mummy, you look hot.

"You look the best I've ever seen you. And it was lovely to see you moving around the stage and performing for once."

Simon Cowell said her second song, Somewhere from West Side Story, had put her "back in the game".

After Joe McElderry sang the relatively-unknown Open Arms by Journey, Louis Walsh said: "I think if you recorded that song in the morning, you'd have a number one record with it."

Meanwhile, Olly Murs won praise for an entertaining version of Jackson's Can You Feel It.

Louis Walsh said he was an all-round entertainer, while his mentor Simon Cowell said he looked like a star.

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