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Last Updated: Tuesday November 11 2008 14:56 GMT

Judge defends X Factor decision

Louis Walsh (Photo by Joel Ryan/PA Wire)

Louis Walsh has said he stands by his decision to vote Laura White off the ITV1 talent show.

Laura had been one of the favourites to win but ended up in Saturday's sing-off, and Louis cast the final vote which sent her home.

Since then 12,000 fans have signed an online petition in support of Laura, and a politician has said in Parliament he thought the decision was harsh!

But Louis has told a newspaper that he doesn't regret voting Laura off.

Laura was up against Ruth Lorenzo in the sing-off after the two received the least number of telephone votes from the public.

Cheryl Cole
Cheryl Cole was Laura's mentor
After the pair had sung again, the four judges said who they thought should stay on the show, and as the last judge to cast his vote, Louis had the deciding vote.

Some fans have accused him of voting Laura off to give his act, boyband JLS, a better chance of winning, but he insists that's not true.

"Laura was in the bottom two. Her performance was bad and her styling was even worse," he said.

"She didn't get the public support and got three votes from the judges."

Sympathy votes

But speaking on ITV1's GMTV on Tuesday, Laura said she had been quite happy with her performance.

"I can't believe I've gone," she added.

And Laura's mentor, Cheryl Cole, said she thinks viewers are voting for the contestants they feel sorry for.

She said: "I've sat at home and done it myself - voted for people I like, people I've felt sorry for on the evening."