X Factor judge Nicole Scherzinger reckons Gary Barlow is jealous of Tulisa's acts.
The weekend saw Gary and Tulisa get into a spat over Chris Maloney, and it seems that none of the panel are on Gary's side.
Speaking at the Cosmopolitan Ultimate Women Of The Year Awards 2012 this week, Nicole had her own ideas why Gary made his fag ash breath quip.
He teased: "Maybe he’s just a little upset that Tulisa’s contestants are holding their own up there."
She added to the Metro newspaper: "I didn’t even know what was going on because we don’t say that in America.
"Afterwards I slapped him on the hand and said 'Go make sure you apologise to her', and he did.
"And you know what, nobody’s perfect it was just in the moment."
Louis Walsh meanwhile offered his own opinion.
He told the official ITV1 X Factor website: "I would never say that to Tulisa. Mind you, I do always smell cigarette smoke on her.
"I couldn’t believe Sir Gary Barlow said that. He definitely let his Mr Nice Guy mask slip!"
Louis joked: "He wants a knighthood. I reckon he’s blown his chances. We could well be looking at Dame Tulisa instead now!"
[cat c="the x factor"]The X Factor[/cat] continues this Saturday night on ITV1.
The latest results show follows on Sunday evening, which will feature performances from Rita Ora and No Doubt, as well as one more act being given the boot.