X Factor Cher Lloyd scraped through to the final after a surprise sing-off was introduced in last night’s show, resulting in Mary Byrne’s departure.

Many X Factor fans were furious with the judges’ decision to not have the public vote determine the final four acts. Especially since X Factor host Dermot O’Leary had told viewers on the Saturday show that: “Your votes and your votes alone can get your favourite act safely through to the final.”

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The surprise element was introduced following the announcement that Mary and Cher were in the bottom two and one of them was to be sent home.

Mary then sang a powerful version of James Brown ‘It’s A Man’s World’, and Cher a heartfelt rendition of Britney Spears’ ‘Everytime’.

It’s the first time in X Factor’s history that viewers have not had the chance to decide on who will be in the final, causing many to believe that this year’s show is fixed.

Mary’s mentor Louis gave his full support to his fellow countrywoman Mary while judges Simon, Danni and Cheryl all voted for Cher to stay on the show, ending Mary’s X Factor dream.

And it wasn’t long before Mary-fans took their disapproval online, feeling that the money they had spent on voting for their act had been wasted, and that the reason behind the sing-off was so that X Factor bosses could keep Cher on the show.

The four acts in the final are Cher Lloyd, Matt Cradle, Rebecca Ferguson, and teen boyband One Direction.