Caitlyn Shadbolt's mum thanks locals for support

Ronan's girls: Marlisa Punzalan and Caitlyn Shadbolt with Ronan Keating
Ronan's girls: Marlisa Punzalan and Caitlyn Shadbolt with Ronan Keating Contributed

X FACTOR mum Helen Shadbolt was brimming with gratitude yesterday for the public votes that spared her daughter from elimination on Monday night.

"Hugest thanks to everyone in Gympie and all the fans everywhere," she said.

Helen celebrated the reprieve "in true country style" over a late supper with her daughter after the show.

"You get the result and straight away you are off again," Helen said.

"Caitlyn had a moment of celebration and then was regaining her composure for another week."

Watching Caitlyn dodge the elimination bullet on Monday was a group of the singer's family and friends, including Gympie-based Australian Institute of Country Music education director, Dr Geoff Walden.

Helen has now seen a number of live shows, but the process is not getting any easier. Keen to celebrate "no matter the result", the show built the tension nicely before revealing Rochelle Pitt would go home.

"It was not so good sitting there waiting," Helen said.

"I was thinking how high Rochelle was in the votes last week and that it was going to be all over red rover."

Helen paid tribute to Rochelle, saying the moment was "difficult".

"Rochelle is so talented and beautiful - just wonderful," Helen said.

"We wanted to be respectful as well because the reality is that each week someone must go home."

This week's result has erupted on X Factor's official Facebook page with debate, including accusations of a "popularity contest" despite a weekly popular vote driving the results.

Helen said she had looked briefly at what was being said online but was shaking it off.

"People are entitled to their opinion," she said. "Caitlyn is so strong and mature in handling everything."

Gympie Times

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