The West

Shiane Hawke with Natalie Bassingthwaighte.

In the most nailbiting showdown this season, Darwin teenager Shiane Hawke was booted from The X Factor last night.

The 14-year-old was forced to face off against boy band The Collective when the acts received the least votes and wound up in the bottom two for the first time.

Both Hawke and The Collective had been hot favourites to win the competition at the finale in two weeks and the judges were clearly floored by the result.

In a sudden-death sing-off, The Collective took to the stage first with a rendition of As Long As You Love Me by Justin Bieber.

Hawke sang The Calling's Wherever You Will Go but her emotions got the better of her and she struggled to stay in key.

With Natalie Bassingthwaighte voting to keep her charge Hawke in the competition and Ronan Keating standing by the band, it was up to the neutral judges to decide who would leave.

Mel B and Guy Sebastian both began by praising the two acts but ultimately they agreed that Hawke would be the one sent home.

Sebastian told the teen she had proved many people wrong and should not be upset about her lacklustre sing-off.

"I ask the public to forgive that performance," he said. "You're way better than that."

When Hawke was too teary to speak following the decision, Bassingthwaighte stepped in.

"Shiane did captivate the entire country but she also captivated my heart," she said. "Look out for her in the future."

Last night's show also saw former X Factor finalist Johnny Ruffo perform his new single Take It Home, putting his Dancing with the Stars skills to good use in a choreographed routine before US hitmaker Ke$ha stepped out to sing her latest track Die Young. It was a timely appearance for the star, who acted as a mentor earlier in the series and helped send Hawke through to the top 12.

The West Australian

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