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No fix, insists X Factor producer
The X Factor executive seen whispering in judge Louis Walsh's ear before singer Carolynne Poole's controversial exit has denied that the show is a fix.
Producer Richard Holloway was seen talking to Louis just before the judges delivered their verdict on the ITV1 show.
Viewers accused the show of being a fix when the judge initially appeared to save Carolynne, before backing eccentric singer Rylan Clark, when they were the bottom two in the public vote.
Louis then infuriated fellow judge Gary Barlow by saying he could not make up his mind and taking the decision to the public vote, which Gary's act Carolynne had lost.
Holloway, who delivered the news to Cheryl Cole that she was sacked from the US X Factor, insisted in a statement that he had not told Louis how to vote.
"We regularly chat to the judges during the show - they don't wear earpieces like (host) Dermot (O'Leary) so we have to speak to them throughout the programme, on anything from timings to running order changes," he said.
"On Sunday night I was telling Louis the order the judges would vote in and that he would be last.
"We don't tell the judges how to vote and, as you saw on the show, Louis hadn't - and couldn't - make up his mind so he decided that sending it to the public vote was the fairest thing to do."
Louis has defended his decision to force the show to an audience vote as "the fairest option".
Viewers and celebrities took to Twitter in disgust after the decision using the hashtag #fixfactor, while Take That star Gary, who stormed off following the decision, tweeted: "Been hard to get motivated today. Carolynne Poole good luck. Anything you need I'm here".