The X Factor has denied accusations that Carolynne Poole's elimination was fixed, after Louis Walsh was spotted chatting to a producer during the sing-off.
During tonight's live show, the country singer was sent packing when the Irish music mogul controversially sent the judge's vote to deadlock.
However, suggestions that Louis was told what to do have been flying after eagle-eyed viewers spotted him enaging in a conversation with a member of production as Carolynne performed in the sing-off.
Journalists in the audience have since revealed that the staffer in question was Richard Holloway, who is an executive producer on both the UK and US versions of The X Factor and has been described as the most powerful figure in the show's team other than Simon Cowell.
Responding to the allegations, a spokesperson said: "Carolynne had the least amount of public votes. Producers always chat to judges during the show."
The result riled many fans, with judge Nicole Scherzinger having already faced criticism for putting so-called 'joke act' Rylan through to the live shows.