'X Factor' presenter Kate Thornton has praised Sharon Osbourne, who acts as a mentor to one of the categories in the show, saying that she is a "fair judge".

Speaking in an interview on the show's website, Thornton said: “Sharon said that she felt The Conways performed better in the final showdown number. It could have looked terribly petty if she'd voted the girls off if they had been the better act. It would have looked like she was settling a score."

"I think she played it brilliantly tonight by being a fair judge,"the presenter said after the show. Osbourne chose to send home soul singer Nicholas Dorsett, saving Irish act The Conway Sisters.

During the previous week's show Louis Walsh also saved The Conway Sisters, but chose to send home Osbourne's singer, Maria Lawson.