ANOTHER week, another stunning lesson in the art of reality show survival by former Pinner schoolgirl Katie Waissel.
Everyone – even her own mum – thought Katie's number was up on Sunday when she appeared in the bottom two of the X Factor for a third consecutive week and fourth time overall.
But instead, it was Aiden Grimshaw who headed home, just the latest now in a long line of contestants who have taken on Katie in the sing-off and lost.
"I can't believe it," Diana Waissel told the Observer this week at the family shop in Pinner High Street. "I did think that was it, I thought she'd go."
But it is a brave viewer who writes off Katie, as X Factor fans are now realising. Dad Maurice said: "For me it was the most exciting week of all.
"Because of the tension of Katie versus Aiden. His parents were sitting behind us, we've got to know them well.
"It was upsetting either way, I was shuddering after they read Aiden's name out. I'm absolutely cock-a-hoop she got through."
And now everyone knows that the 24-year-old cannot be underestimated. Her version of Elton John's Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting sparked fierce disagreement among the judges, who were again divided when it came to Sunday's sing-off.
Katie sang Christina Aguilera's Save Me From Myself, another canny choice which resonated with Simon Cowell and Cheryl Cole, who voted to keep her in.
But after Danii Minogue and Louis Walsh sided with Aiden, it was 'deadlock'. The show's host, Dermot O'Leary, was left to announce that the public had voted Katie above Aiden and our local hero lived to sing another week.
"It is exceptionally hard for her, unbelievably tough, there must have been about 20 million people watching," added Mr Waissel.
"But for the rest of us we just have to keep willing her on."