X Factor: Three's a crowd as Olly Murs and Stacey Solomon share a car to rehearsals... and Joe's the odd one out

As the final of the X Factor approaches, it seems Olly Murs and Stacey Solomon are closer than ever.

The pair left the contestants' house this morning in car bound for meetings about their songs for the last show.

Scroll down to watch the MailOnline video report

Olly Murs and Stacey Solomon

Olly Murs and Stacey Solomon leave the X Factor house together this morning - without fellow finalist Joe McElderry

Olly, 26, and Stacey, 20, have been growing closer since the live finals began and she has admitted that she would have quit without the support of the Essex boy.

And while he has denied the couple were anything but good friends, he has admitted he would like to date Stacey under different circumstances.

So it could be a case of three's a crowd in the X Factor house this week after Danyl Johnson crashed out of the semi-finals last night.

Fellow finalist Joe McElderry avoided playing gooseberry today and instead returned to his home town in South Shields with his mentor Cheryl Cole, who grew up in nearby Newcastle.

Olly Murs
Stacey Solomon

Olly and Stacey  leave the house this morning for rehearsal and to pick out their songs for the final this weekend

Fans lined the streets as he paid a visit his former stomping ground, Harton Technology College.

As well as home visits, the trio face a final intense week of rehearsals before the eventual winner is crowned on Sunday night.

Meanwhile Danyl Johnson, 27, who lost the public vote last night, was up early to appear on GMTV.

Despite reports that he has fallen out with Olly, Danyl said he was pleased for him.

Joe McElderry

Home sweet home: Joe McElderry and mentor Cheryl Cole were in his home town of South Shields today

Joe McElderry

Warm welcome: Fans lined the streets to catch a glimpse of the
X Factor favourite

He said: 'The final next week is going to be amazing. I've got to be happy for my boy Olly as I really wanted him to go into the final.

'I think my mum found it hard. But fourth place isn't a bad place to go out. I just want to go out there and play some gigs.'

He said he had tried to ignore the negative reports and added: 'I didn't see loads of it but, at the same time, my first audition was so praised that it had to balance it out.'

Danyl Johnson

Danyl Johnson meets fans outside the GMTV studios this morning

And about being branded 'confident' and 'cocky' he said: 'The judges have their own ideas about what they see and want.  I don't want to say it's game playing but they are to look after their own act.the same way Simon would.

'He would stand up at the end and I'd be like 'sit down!'... you know it's like when your embarrassing uncle stands up.'

Danyl, who had been accused over the weeks of being temperamental and a bully, was dumped in the phone vote just short of next week's final.

The shock dropping of openly bisexual Danyl, who has often been tipped as favourite to win, clearly shocked his mentor Simon Cowell.

X Factor

The teacher said he had gone out to some of the best people he had ever met

Cowell, 50, said: 'There is nothing I would have changed, nothing more he could have done. It is just one of those things. He has gone out on a high. He is a graceful loser. I am genuinely, genuinely firstly upset and secondly I have to say it has been a pleasure working with you.'

Johnson said: 'Simon has been amazing and I have made some of my best friends for life here. I'm looking forward to seeing friends and family and just do a couple of gigs. I'm going to see what happens.'

Johnson had previously been accused of bullying Stacey Soloman and girl band Kandy Rain in the X Factor house - all of which damaged his popularity.
Judge Louis Walsh had allegedly reacted by calling him 'vile'.

Danyl Johnson

The teacher was consoled by Cowell after Olly, Joe and Stacey made it through

Stories about Johnson's sexuality also tended to draw the attention away from his singing talent.

Last night, the teacher from Kent was non-committal about going back to his career in the classroom.

After coming within a hair's breadth of the £1million contract, Danyl said after the result: 'I might have gone out in the semi-final, but I've gone out to some of the best people I've ever met.'

Danyl then performed one last time, reprising his Michael Jackson tribute song from last night, Man In The Mirror.

Olly Murs
Olly Murs

In no particular order, Olly Murs was told first he had made the final three

X Factor

The call centre worker broke down in tears after his name was read out

There were emotional scenes as the four semi-finalists were lined up to be told who had made it through.

In no particular order, call centre worker Olly Murs was told first, and promptly broke down in tears as he hugged his mentor Simon.

Next to hear the good news was Joe, who shouted with delight as he was put through.

Finally Stacey learned she would join the other two boys - meaning that judges Cheryl Cole, Dannii Minogue and Simon will all be rooting for their respective acts next week.

X Factor
X Factor

Next, Joe McElderry was told the goods news and hugged mentor Cheryl

X Factor
X Factor

Stacey Solomon was on tenterhooks as she waited to see if she would make the final and then hugged mentor Dannii when her named was read out

Bookmaker Coral made Joe 1-3 favourite to win the series after the result.

Spokesman David Stevens said: 'Joe has been hot favourite to win for several weeks now, and his latest performances showed why, and it would be the biggest shock since Will Young beat Gareth Gates in Pop Idol if he didn't win next week's final.'

Ladbrokes also gave Joe 2/5 odds, with Stacey in second place with 4/1 odds.

At the start of the results show the four judges were a bag of nerves, as they kept their fingers crossed that their acts would make it through.

Simon admitted it was one of the closest semi-finals he had ever seen, saying: 'I can't call it this time.'

Cheryl said she was 'sick with nerves' and Dannii agreed: 'Everyone's nervous. We just can't hide it.'

X Factor finalists

Dermot O'Leary congratulates finalists Olly, Stacey and Joe

Cheryl wore a Stéphane Rolland lame dress complete with flowing train while Dannii donned a short sparkly Aurelio Costarella dress

The only impartial judge, Louis, who has no acts left in the competition, said he thought Joe and Danyl were spot on last night, but said he didn't like Stacey's first song on Saturday night, Jacko's The Way You Make Me Feel.

The four semi-finalists opened the show with a rendition of Jackson's Wanna be Startin' Somethin', which segued into Rihanna's hit Don' Stop The Music.

There were also performances from Lady Gaga and Janet Jackson.


Judges Louis Walsh, Dannii, Cheryl and Simon at the start of the show

Enlarge   The X-Factor

The four semi-finalists opened the show with a rendition of Jackson's Wanna be Startin' Somethin', which segued into Rihanna's hit Don' Stop The Music

Dannii Minogue

A make-up free Dannii posted a picture of herself on Twitter yesterday, posing a with a friend

The comments below have been moderated in advance.

The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline.

We are no longer accepting comments on this article.

Who is this week's top commenter? Find out now