The mother of X Factor 2012 contestant Rylan Clark has condemned Twitter trolls for targeting her son with death threats.
Judge Nicole Scherzinger's decision to put Rylan through to the live shows had divided viewers, with many believing he does not deserve his place.
Some more extreme reactions have rattled the 23-year-old Essex lad, who claimed he finds going out 'daunting' after some bullies told him they'd bottle him and 'slice his face open'.
But Rylan's mum Linda - who suffers from Crohn's disease - has encouraged him to 'rise above' the threats. Speaking to The Sun, she said: "I’ve been told he’s had death threats, it’s awful. I can’t understand why people would do that.
"Every year there is someone that people have to pick on, I just hope they’ll leave him alone soon, and his personality will win people over.
She added: "I’ve spoken to him about the horrible things being said on Twitter, it is hard for him. But I’ve told him not to let it affect him, and definitely not to answer back as it only gives people ammunition."
Rylan's vocal ability came under fire from fans of the show after his energetic audition and boot camp performances.
But boys' mentor Nicole chose him as one of her top three acts - over Adam Burridge, Jake Quickenden and Nathan Fagan-Gayle - after a stripped-back rendition of Rihanna hit 'We Found Love' at judges' houses.
The first live show of the series airs this Saturday at 8.00pm on ITV1.