X Factor contestant Gifty Louise has revealed her heartbreak over the judges' decision to send her home from the ITV talent show on Sunday night. Fighting back the tears, the 20-year-old confessed she believed her elimination was down to "tactics".
"It was influenced," she told HELLO! Online and other reporters on Monday morning. "I personally think it was just 'Let's get rid of the competition' so they voted me out. It's fine, I'll take it as a compliment. They want me out because they perhaps felt like I could beat their artist and that's fine."
The singer, who became the fourth person to be eliminated from the ITV competition after a sing-off with Four Of Diamonds, admitted she hadn't spoken to any of the judges since her surprise departure.
X Factor's Gifty Louise has revealed her heartbreak over the judges' decision to send her home on Sunday
"The judges didn't say a word to me," she said. "I'm quite disappointed about that. I just went back to the house. On stage, Simon [Cowell] just told me that I was going to be fine, I haven't really spoken to him."
"I was most disappointed at Nicole [Scherzinger]," she added. "I personally feel that they just planned to vote me out - it is what it is. I did hear Louis say to Sharon "vote Gifty out" and everybody heard it."
When quizzed over show boss Simon's accidental slip on sending her home, Gifty light-heartedly joked: "That was a kick in the stomach, 'Oh great even my mentor wants me out and thinks I'm rubbish.' But I did think it was a mistake and I laughed it off."
"I personally think it was just 'Let's get rid of the competition' so they voted me out," she said
Despite Simon "blaming" himself over Gifty's shock elimination, the former hopeful wished she was stronger and fought harder to save her place - by having more of an input on her song choices each week.
"The song wasn't what I personally would have done, another Fifth Harmony song," she explained. "It just came across as really cliché by doing songs by a SYCO artist. I personally didn't want to do it but Simon obviously thought it was the strongest song for me - he doesn't want to sabotage me, so I just went with him."
"I don't really blame him, I blame myself, "she continued. "I feel very strongly about not doing that song. I should have pushed for it to change and do I want wanted to do. I blame myself, 'Gifty why didn't you just go with your heart.' But I just trusted in my mentor. I had a number of songs that I had planned. He saw me last Sunday when he found out it was Fright Night. He said, 'Gifty I have the perfect song for you, you're going to love it.' So on Monday, I was like 'Oh another Fifth Harmony.' I mean I like the song, I am a big fan of Fifth Harmony."
On Sunday, Gifty tried to win over the judges with her rendition of Ray Charles' A Song For You
On Sunday, Gifty, who tried to win over the judges with her rendition of Ray Charles' A Song For You, revealed there were no bad feelings towards Four of Diamonds after they were saved.
"I think they are lovely girls and should be given the chance to just grow and shine throughout the competition," she noted. "I think they are fantastic, I heard them in rehearsals and they sounded amazing."
On future plans, she added: "I'm just going to carry on being me and just see what's out there. Conquer the world maybe and just go back to LA and see what's out there for me. I absolutely loved it when I went there for Judge's Houses. Life does not collapse, you've just got to get up and get back out there."