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Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Perrie Edwards and Jade Thirlwall were in the BBC studios for the final of their reality singing competition The Search.

It was an emotional evening for the Little Mix girls who were forced to go ahead with the live show without their bandmate Jesy Nelson, who pulled out after falling ill.

The trio were reduced to tears after one performance from finalists YChange, before boyband Since September were announced as the winners, and would be going on to support Little Mix when they went on tour.

At the beginning of the show following a stunning performance from their new album Confetti, minus Jesy, host Chris Ramsay addressed her absence.

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He said: "Unfortunately Jesy will not be joining us tonight but she will be rooting for all the bands from home."

The last round of judging was left to Leigh-Anne, Perrie and Jade, as they dished out glowing feedback to the four acts who had made it to the final.

After a particularly powerful performance from band YChange, the girls were left in tears, with Leigh-Anne Pinnock struggling to speak.

She said of the group: "They never disappoint… We said we wanted to cry and I cried. That was just so emotional, and brave and incredible.

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"I don't even have any more words for you guys, you're stars. You were born stars, you are world class!

Jade was set off by Leigh-Anne as she tearfully added: "It was incredible really. It's beautiful to hear your vulnerable side and all your personal experiences."

Perrie added: "I felt like I held my breath because I didn't want to miss anything. It was just so beautiful and show yourself through your music."

It had been announced that the 29 year old singer, who was due to appear on Saturday night’s live final on Little Mix: The Search, had to pull out after falling ill.

A statement shared by the band’s representative read: “Jesy is unwell and will not be appearing on tonight’s final of Little Mix The Search. She will also not be hosting or performing at tomorrow’s MTV EMA’s.”

As well as opting out of the BBC One show, Jesy will not be joining Leigh-Anne, 29, Jade, 27, and Perrie, 27, as they host the MTV EMAs, leaving fans worried about her.

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"Get well soon jesy, we love you and support you, your health comes first. Can't wait to see you again @LittleMix #JesyNelson #LittleMix," [sic] one fan wrote on Twitter.

"As much as we want to see her in the show and MTV, her health is the top priority. Get well soon my bibi. #JesyNelson." [sic]

"I just slept and woke up with the news about jesy, and im really worried that I am about to cry. now all we need to do is stream support @LittleMix as much as we could do and let's pray for jesy nelson. get well jesy, we love you so much [sic]," a worried Little Mix fan wrote.

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