X Factor 2012 finalist Christopher Maloney has admitted he's been hurt by Simon Cowell's apparent lack of support.
It's been claimed that Simon fears "dated" Chris winning the show in this week's final, with some tabloid reports suggesting he'll be dropped within months if he does win the record contract prize.
“It does hurt a little bit if Simon’s saying, ‘Don’t let them vote for me.'," Chris said on the Xtra Factor at the weekend. “The general public; it’s their money and they can vote for who they like.”
Simon however took to Twitter last week to insist he'd be behind whoever is crowned winner of the show this weekend.
He tweeted: “On the uk show I do have a favourite but its your vote that determines the winner. Whoever wins will get the backing of Sony.”
And Simon added: “I do think the us and uk finals are going to be close and that makes it more exciting. Especially if a group wins the us show!”
Meanwhile Chris confessed that all the negativity surrounding his experience had made it a lot less enjoyable.
He admitted: “With all that has happened negatively and the negative comments, it has put a damper on the whole experience but I’ve not let it affect me.
"I wish I could have enjoyed it a lot more, you know, but I have enjoyed myself and it’s been everything and more that I could have wished for.
“The judges never picked me, I was picked by Gary as his wild card. The public chose me and have kept me in this competition from the beginning. The support and loyalty have been unbelievable.”
Last night saw Chris back in his home city of Liverpool with mentor Gary Barlow and there seemed to be no shortage of support for him there.
Hundreds gathered to watch Chris perform at his homecoming gig, after arriving in the city via a ferry.
Vote for who you want to win The X Factor 2012 below...
The X Factor 2012 continues next weekend with the live final in Manchester.
Chris Maloney, Jahmene Douglas and James Arthur will be battling it out to be crowned winner, while there will be performances from One Direction, Kylie Minogue, Rhianna and Emeli Sande.