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Boos as Maria is voted off.

Byline: By LARA GOULD TV Reporter

MARIA Lawson was last night kicked out of the X Factor - leading to a chorus of boos from the studio audience

She was sent home after judge Louis Walsh was given the deciding vote - and chose to save Simon Cowell's group The Conway Sisters.

And that led to fury among the fans in the audience.

Like Louis, The Conway Sisters are Irish. He has known them for years and they supported Louis' band Westlife on a tour.

Newlywed Maria, 30, even postponed her honeymoon to take part in the final stage of the series. The boos turned to cheers for Maria when she took her final bow.

Her mentor Sharon Osbourne said: "This is a travesty. This is about where they're from, not talent. They're not an Irish mafia."

Some unimpressed fans also reckon Louis' decision was designed to inflame Simon - who has privately "had enough" of the girl group after a string of bust-ups.

Maria's eviction leaves seven acts competing for the show's top prize.

Manchester shop assistant Shayne Ward, 21, remains the bookies' favourite to win, closely followed by singing dustman Andy Abraham, 40, and duo Journey South.


Shock...Maria and Sharon last night
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Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Nov 13, 2005
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