Our Caitlyn makes a brave final X Factor stand
GYMPIE X Factor star Caitlyn Shadbolt steered clear of tensions behind the judges' desk Sunday in delivering two outstanding performances, but the singer's last stand was not enough.
The live verdict Monday night saw Caitlyn the ninth contestant to leave the show.
Earlier, Caitlyn had landed in the bottom two with Dean and sung The Band Perry's If I Die Young to persuade the judges to save her.
Judges Ronan Keating and Natalie Bassingthwaighte voted to save their own acts, leaving the decision in the hands of Dannii Minogue and Redfoo.
Both judges opted to send Caitlyn home, but Redfoo had a few soothing words for Caitlyn.
"You've really entertained me, and I think Australia, this whole series," he said.
"I think whatever happens, you will definitely be a star, for sure, no matter what happens here tonight."
The introduction of daylight saving over the weekend meant New South Wales viewers knew Monday night's result an hour earlier than Queensland fans.
Caitlyn was in the partying mood ahead of Sunday's double performance, celebrating her 19th birthday Saturday.
Although away from family and friends on Saturday, Helen had a good "chin-wag" Friday night and exchanged a few text messages during Caitlyn's frantic rehearsals on Saturday.
There was also a small gift sent by express post.
"Caitlyn has always loved sparkly shoes and dresses," Helen said. "We call her princess sparkles.
"We sent down a Pandora bracelet with 'princess' written on the back with a little heart and lots of pink bling."
Helen did not know what to make of the judges' furore on Sunday night but enjoyed Caitlyn's two songs.
Mentor Ronan Keating nailed the song choice, selecting Carrie Underwood's Before He Cheats and, for the curveball selection, Gerry Goffin and Carole King's classic, Will He Still Love Me Tomorrow, originally recorded by The Shirelles.
The only snag from the judges was Redfoo's comment Caitlyn's second performance was "a little flat". It was an opinion discarded by the three other judges, including Natalie Bassingthwaighte, who said Caitlyn produced her "best vocals yet".
Caitlyn was Queensland's final hope Monday night before her elimination. Earlier, Rochelle Pitt joined Caitlyn in flying the flag for Queensland.
Grab Wednesday's edition of The Gympie Times for a full wrap-up of Caitlyn's X Factor journey, including a one-on-one interview with the country sensation and details in the pipeline for a welcome home party to celebrate the singer's Top 5 X Factor achievement.