X Factor boss Richard Holloway has hit back at claims the show is fixed, following Sunday night's results show.
The producer was seen sitting next to the judges' desk, chatting to Louis Walsh just before the Irish music mogul controversially decided to send the sing-off between Carolynne Poole and Rylan Clark to deadlock, resulting in Carolynne leaving the show.
In a statement, the telly chief said: “We regularly chat to the judges during the show, they don’t wear earpieces like Dermot so we have to speak to them on anything from timings to running order changes.
"On Sunday I was telling Louis the order the judges would vote in. We don’t tell judges how to vote.”
Meanwhile Louis hit back at claims suggesting he was told to take the vote to deadlock.
Louis said: “I was torn. I think Rylan’s a great entertainer and Carolynne a great singer. I couldn’t make up my mind.
"So, finally, I decided that the fairest thing to do was to go to the public vote.”
Speaking to the Daily Mirror, a show source said today: “Richard calls the shots but likes to stay behind the scenes, the last thing he wanted was to be shown slithering like a snake alongside Louis moments before he makes a vital decision.
"This could impact on viewing figures. Choosing that camera at that moment was a monumental f*** up and there was screaming and shouting backstage about it. Sunday night was a shambles.”
Carolynne meanwhile admitted yesterday after being kicked out: “I’m p****d off. Last night has done it’s job. I am casualty, but everyone is talking about the show again.”
A show spokesman said: “Carolynne had the least amount of votes so the public’s choice to stay was Rylan.”
The X Factor 2012 continues this Saturday night on ITV1, with the results show following on Sunday night with performances from Taylor Swift and Rebecca Ferguson.
Watch our interview with Carolynne Poole below...