X Factor dream ends for Swaffham's Cyril

The X Factor dream ended last night for Norfolk's Cyril Grant.The 80-year-old former carpenter who lives in Swaffham had become an internet celebrity after reaching the final 50 out of 182,000 wannabes who first entered the ITV1 talent contest.

The X Factor dream ended last night for Norfolk's Cyril Grant.

The 80-year-old former carpenter who lives in Swaffham had become an internet celebrity after reaching the final 50 out of 182,000 wannabes who first entered the ITV1 talent contest.

But he was voted off following the second part of the boot camp and said simply: “I'm a bit sad.”

Cyril was the oldest competitor in the show and kept his trademark huge smile on his face and remained ice cool while the majority of the other contenders were buckling under the pressure.


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On Saturday night in the first half of the weekend TV double header, he sang Frank Sinatra's “Fly Me to the Moon”.

Last night he was seen singing Amazing Grace and after he had finished, judge Simon Cowell said: “The public will adore him.”

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However, when it came to cutting the 50 performers down to the final 24, Cowell and fellow judges Louis Walsh, Dannii Minogue and Cheryl Cole decided his voice, huge grin and sunny personality were not quite enough.

It ends a remarkable journey to fame for Cyril, who came to England from Guyana in 1954 and has been the show's most unlikely star.

On Saturday an estimated 9.3m viewers saw Cyril say: “I want it more than anything else. I am 80 years old and I am still going strong and I have got another 10 years.”

Cyril has attracted a growing number of devoted fans who regularly post messages of support and clips of him performing on the internet.

Bebo, Facebook and Youtube are littered with comments such as “absolutely love him! Cyril to win!” “he has massive charisma, and he is right to feel younger than he is because he looks younger than he is,” “soon as I saw him I said '80!? He's never 80!'”. "the slight deafness is a weak spot for him but he more than makes up for it with his showmanship and personality. Hope you go far Cyril. Gives the seniors hope!”

When X Factor continues next weekend the final 24 contenders will be in four categories - under-25 boys, under-25 girls, over-25s and groups.

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