The X Factor 2017: Sam Black admits his return to the show is "a bit unfair"

Viewers complained after plasterer replaced Anthony Russell despite missing the Six Chair Challenge
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Sam Black has conceded that his return to The X Factor 2017 is “a bit unfair” after he missed the Six Chair Challenge.

Sam got a second chance on the ITV talent contest last weekend when he returned at Judges’ Houses as a replacement for Anthony Russell, who quit for “personal reasons”.

Louis Walsh then chose the 20-year-old as one of his top three Boys, alongside Lloyd Macey and Spencer Sutherland.

However, Sam’s comeback proved controversial as he was originally axed at Bootcamp – meaning he skipped the Six Chair Challenge entirely.

Some fans argued that Benji Matthews, the last act Louis cut at Six Chair, should have been brought back instead.

Sam has now admitted to Digital Spy that he “totally understands” why viewers are angry about the unusual situation.

“If I was watching it myself, I’d probably be thinking the same,” he commented. “I’d be thinking, ‘It was a bit unfair’.

“Obviously I’ve been given that opportunity and I’m not going to turn it down. I’ve just got to take it.”

One person that has defended the move is Lloyd, who agreed the judges had “missed a trick” with Sam.

“To be honest, I go with what Louis said, they missed a tricknot putting Sam through,” he told

“Watching it back with Sam’s arena audition, I thought he was fantastic. Louis did say that he saw something in him.”

Both hopefuls were speaking ahead of the first live shows of the series this weekend.

The Boys had been due to perform with the Girls on Sunday’s show, but both categories will now compete tonight in a last-minute schedule change due to the unexpected absence of judge Simon Cowell.

The X Factor 2017 goes live tonight at 8.20pm and tomorrow at 7.00pm on ITV.

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