Simon Cowell's defends X Factor sing-off

BGT judge Simon Cowell

Simon Cowell

Simon Cowell has claimed he decided on an 'X Factor' semi-final sing-off weeks ago, while eliminated contestant Mary Byrne has branded the ITV1 show ''a fix''.

Simon Cowell has claimed he decided on a sing-off for 'The X Factor' semi-final weeks ago.

Viewers were left furious on Sunday (05.12.10) after discovering the fate of hopefuls Cher Lloyd and Mary Byrne lay with the judges when in previous years the public had decided which contestants would go through to the final.

However, the music mogul has dismissed claims the show is "a fix", explaining he had no idea whether Mary or controversial Cher had received more votes from the public.

He told The Sun newspaper: "All the artists knew there was going to be a sing-off. Mary and Cher were told last Monday to prepare a song for a sing-off if necessary. There has always been a sing-off when there are five people left in the competition. This is a lot of nonsense about nothing.

"I genuinely do not know the exact placings of the artists - who is top and who is bottom. I never know those details until the series is finished."

Despite Simon's comments, supermarket worker Mary has branded the ITV1 show "a fix", saying he only changed the format to guarantee 17-year-old Cher a place in the final because she is "more marketable" as an artist.

She told the Daily Mirror newspaper: "The show's a fix, of course it is. It's not the show the public think it is. I knew the public had voted for me to stay on, and I actually thought the result would be based just on their vote.

"It was only on Saturday I discovered that there would be a sing-off where the judges decided. It's obvious Simon didn't want me in the final and I get that. I'm not as marketable to him as Cher so he was never going to put me through.

"They fixed it for me to lose. It didn't matter what the public think."

However, ITV1 bosses have confirmed only the public will decide who wins 'The X Factor' in this weekend's final, which will see Cher up against Matt Cardle, Rebecca Ferguson, and boyband One Direction.


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