MANILA, Philippines -- Modesto Taran, the oldest contestant on "The X Factor Philippines," was eliminated on Sunday night, after three of the judges, including his mentor, Pilita Corrales, voted to send him home.
Taran found himself in the bottom two along with the boy band Take Off and had to sing to get the judges' approval.
Take Off, who had been in the bottom two once before, found themselves in the same spot, despite garnering positive feedback for their rendition of Selena's "Dreaming of You" at the Final 9 performance show the night before.
For the final sing off, Taran performed Lou Rawls' "You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine," once again showing off his clear and booming baritone, while Take Off sang Ruben Studdard's "Flying Without Wings."
But again, the group escaped elimination, after Valenciano, Corrales and Charice voted to eliminate Taran. Judge Martin Nievera didn't even have to cast his vote.
Valenciano, who is the mentor of Take Off, was the first to vote and, as expected, chose to keep his boys, saying Taran can go back to be with his family.
Charice, who took a long time to decide on her vote, also said the same thing. "Mang Modesto, be with your family," she told the 55-year-old security guard from Cagayan de Oro.
But it was Corrales who made the surprising decision to vote against her ward as she fought back her tears.
The veteran singer later on went up the stage to hug Taran. "I have never worked with someone who is as hard-working, but being here, he would always say that he misses his family," she said. "You are now popular everywhere and you will be Mang Modesto to everybody."
Netizens immediately criticized the results.
"In fairness to Mang Modesto, he's really a lot far more deserving than Kedebon (Colim)," tweeted Fifo Prijoles.
"Mang Modesto is more deserving than Kedebon. Argh!" said Monica Liwanag.
"Hayyy Mang Modesto is out and Kedebon still in! I don't know what to say," said Sally Tiempo.
Taran, however, took his elimination gracefully.
"Well, it's fine and I enjoyed it," he told host KC Concepcion. "I'd like to express my thanks to those people who supported me."
"I might run for senator next year," he added with a laugh.
Taran's elimination means only one contestant -- Joan Da -- remains in Corrales' stable of over-25s.
Both Valenciano and Charice have two -- groups Take Off and Daddy's Home, and girls KZ Tandingan and Allen Sta. Maria.
Only Martin Nievera still has a full slate: Jeric Medina, Gabriel Maturan and Kedebon Colim.