X Factor 2012: Gary Barlow 'so proud' of Christopher Maloney

Chris Maloney (X Factor 2012)

X Factor 2012 judge Gary Barlow has backed Christopher Maloney ahead of the weekend's final.

It's fair to say that Chris has had quite a lot of stick from the press over the past few months, and even Gary has seemingly made some jibes at the Liverpudlian's expense.

However speaking at the Liverpool Empire last night at Chris' homecoming gig, Gary said he was proud of the former cruise ship singer.

Although faced with over 1,5000 pensioners, Gary was unlikely to say anything too nasty!

Speaking ahead of Saturday's final, Gary said: "It’s a big weekend. There were a couple of weeks where I thought we could be in trouble, but not last week.

“I didn’t want to sound too confident, but I was.

"Both Christopher and Jahmene have never been in the bottom two.”

Gary claimed: "I think Jahmene is the big threat, but the two of them are both great.

“I’m proud of the way I’ve handled the stick. This is all I ever wanted to do and regardless of what criticism I get I’ve always come back fighting the next week.

“I’ve tried to take on board what everyone has said, even if it is tough. I do take it all to heart.”

The Take That star said that Chris has proved his haters wrong after taking some of the nasty comments from the other judges to heart.

Gary explained: "He does take it all to heart, it’s been tricky to watch him go through that.

“But he’s proved them all wrong and I’m very proud of him.

“One of the big things as well is how Liverpool get behind their own – that has been heartwarming to see.”

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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.

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