X Factor hopeful Kye Sones said he was surprised he got the boot from the show when "wild card" contestant Christopher Maloney remains in the competition.

He blamed his exit on a lack of community spirit in London, saying some other acts could count on strong local support to keep them in the series.

The Essex chimney sweep, 30, was the latest act to leave the ITV show after losing the deadlock opposite controversial contestant Rylan Clark.

"I'm a little bit surprised that Christopher's still in, but people are voting so good luck to him," he said.

"When you're from somewhere like Liverpool, you have the whole community backing you and you don't really have that in London. So I think people always do well from Liverpool because there's a sense of community, which is fantastic, and it's a testament to the people that they really get behind their own."

He joked: "There are not enough chimney sweeps in London voting."

Sones, who admitted to being "disappointed" with the result, plans to collaborate musically with mentor Gary Barlow, although he hasn't heard from him since his X Factor exit.

"I haven't spoken to him. But he's been brilliant," he said.

"Working with Gary for eight weeks now is amazing. He's an absolute legend and I feel absolutely lucky to have spent eight weeks working with him. He's a real gent.

"Going into the show, I always hoped that, down the line, it would be Gary that I would work with, and I'm looking forward to working with him in the future in the studio."

The singer reckons there are a number of potential winners, noting Jahmene Douglas, Ella Henderson and favourite James Arthur, with even Clark having a chance.

"I don't think you can ever be surprised because, looking around at the final seven, there are a lot of good acts there," he said.

"They are all very different. Anyone could win it. It's very open. It's more of a personal preference about who they like as a person. Rylan is a big personality but it's totally a personal preference. He's very popular backstage. I love him, he's wicked. He's a good mate of mine so good luck to him."

He added: "Chris will probably be in the final because everyone's voting for him. I think Jahmene, Ella or James. I'd love Jahmene or Ella to win."

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  • Rylan

  • James

  • Jahmene

  • Lucy

  • Jade

  • Ella

  • Union J

  • MK1

  • District 3

  • Melanie

  • Kye

  • Carolynne