Great Britain's reign as Olympic curling champions came to an end in Pinerolo as the necessary miracle failed to materialise and they were eliminated at the end of the round-robin phase.
Rhona Martin's team kept their side of the bargain with an emphatic 10-4 win over the United States but Canada's dramatic 9-8 final stone victory against Denmark secured the last semi-final berth for the north Americans.
Dejected Martin conceded her team had not shown the required consistency to progress, and once again questioned the wisdom of the team's controversial selection procedure.
Martin said: "I have said all along we have not played enough games together as a team and had we had a month longer to get to know each other it might have been different."
Martin's team had breezed to victory over the outclassed Americans and having wrapped things up with four
ends to spare they had to endure the agony of watching Canada's win from the sidelines.
Watched by the British players, Denmark managed to squeeze the tie into a final end level at 8-8 but Canadian skip Shannon Kleibrink kept her nerve with the last stone to seal Britain's fate.
Selectors opted against picking an already established team and instead pulled together the best performing individuals.
Martin's team had made a fine start to the defence of their title but proved far too inconsistent and even axed under-performing vice-captain Jackie Lockhart for Sunday's programme.
Despite also squeezing through to the semi-finals via the back door in Salt Lake City - when they relied on a Switzerland win to earn a play-off place - it was not to be this time around.
Martin hoped for the best when the lowly Danes led 5-3 after three ends, then pulled back to 8-8 for the final end. But crucially the experienced Kleibrink had the final stone.
Meanwhile David Murdoch's men's team will face Finland in tomorrow's semi-finals. The other last-four clash will be between Canada and the United States.