Viewers were stunned when Simon Cowell accidentally chose his own act Gifty as the one to go home in last night’s tense sing-off.
But his slip of the tongue has now sparked suggestions that X Factor is nothing more than a fix! (Yes, guys ANOTHER fix story!)
After the likes of Honey G had made it through to following week's show, Gifty had thrilled audiences with a polished performance of the old classic A Song For You.
From the sounds of it, it seemed a pretty safe bet that Gifty had safely secured a place on the show the following week, especially when compared to girl band Four Of Diamonds, who sounded like they were finding it hard to hit the right notes during their screechy take on Christina Aguilera’s The Voice Within.
When asked by Dermot O’Leary which of the two sing off acts, he’d like to send home, Simon first of all uttered “Gifty” which had the whole audience and Dermot slack-jawed.
Hastily realising his mistake, Simon backtracked and said: “Oh God, let me be clear. I’m sending home Four of Diamonds.”
Sadly that wasn’t enough to secure Gifty’s place in next week’s show, when the remaining judges Nicole Scherzinger, Walsh and Sharon Osbourne all voted to save her screeching alleycat rivals instead.
And Gifty’s slapped a** face was priceless, not looking happy about it in the slightest.
And neither were viewers, who didn't waste any time at all in deciding that Simon’s faux pas was a definite sign that even before the judges had announced who they had planned to send home, it had already been decided that it was Gifty going home.
You know, just like the time last year when Olly Murs announced Monica Michaels ahead of her subsequent departure off the show.
One viewer CabbyDenny said: “I think Simon Cowell just blew his cover and announced the corrupt Gifty exit three minutes too early.”
While another – Brandon Hodgson – claimed the humiliating slip was proof that the show is fixed: “X Factor, is the biggest fix ever as Simon definitely knew Gifty was going home otherwise he wouldn’t of said her name.”
AdamR also waded into the fix debate, using a pic of a shocked Sharon Osbourne as an illustration of Cowell’s mistake: “That moment Simon lets it slip it’s a fix And he (aka producers) want Gifty home. What a fixed mess X Factor is.’
While audiences couldn’t believe that alley cats Four Of Diamonds had survived another week, neither could Gifty herself, who couldn’t seem to hide her anger and disappointment during the post result chat with Dermot.
Asked why she thought she was in the bottom two, the p*ssed-off diva muttered a dismissive and stroppy “don’t know”.
In a desperate attempt to put a smile back on Gifty’s sour puss, Simon tried to reassure her that she had pull herself together and still look to the future, advising: “When you have an opportunity like this you have to grow from this and get tough and you’re a real talent Gifty and a great person, so do not give up.”
Yeah Simon, easy to say, not so easy to achieve.
However, the music guru has also been heavily criticised for giving Gifty a second relatively unknown song by US band Fifth Harmony, who also just happen to be signed to Simon’s record label Sony.
A few weeks back she sang That’s My Girl, while for Fright Night, she was given I’m In Love With A Monster, which was featured on the soundtrack to Hotel Transylvania 2.
And in fairness to Simon he held up his hands to take responsibility for the dubious song choice.
“It was my mistake Gifty,” he said. “I should never have given you this song. You should not be out of the competition at this point. It’s not you it’s me.”
Well, Simon, we reckon Gifty agrees. Good luck love!