Christopher Maloney may not have everyone's vote in this weekend's X Factor final, but the contestant has hit back at critics who claim he's a 'joke' and shouldn't still be in the show.
As if the scouser isn't facing enough criticism from the public, it seems like even the judges have hinted at a pretty bleak future for Chris, with Louis Walsh hinting that media mogul Simon Cowell has no interest in the cheesy crooner, suggesting that he may go down the Steve Brookstein route.
Chris told The Sun in Manchester ahead of this weekend's final: “You’re joking aren’t you? He’s got his own talent and does his own thing, but I’m completely different.”
He then dismissed claims that Cowell doesn't want anything to do with him.
He added: “Simon does what he wants to do. It’s his show and if he didn’t want me in it I probably wouldn’t be here.”
But judge Louis suggested his notoriously ruthless multi-millionaire pal had no interest in Chris, saying: “Simon is in America working on his own show. I know he loves James (Arthur) and Jahmene (Douglas). But I don’t remember him talking about Chris.”
Louis, who’s been a vocal critic of Chris, added: “He is a good singer, but I don’t think he is a star.”
Fellow judge Tulisa, who like Louis has no acts remaining in the final, said: “I’d prefer James to win but whoever wins wins.”
And amazingly, mentor Gary Barlow has admitted that he's THANKFUL for the abuse that Christopher's been getting pretty much every weekend.
He said, “The stick from Tulisa and Louis has been a good thing. He’s the underdog but he sings consistently well each week. When I was given the over-28s category everyone was thinking, ‘What are you going to do.’ It’s the joke category — here we are in the final.”
Gary and Chris will duet tomorrow night, performing a Take That song to try to secure votes from the band’s huge fanbase.
Tulisa admitted the strategy could work, pleading with fans: “You are voting for the acts, not the judge.”
Chris said he could take criticism but admitted some of it had hurt, saying: “There’s always got to be a pantomime villain every year and it’s just unfortunate this year it’s got to be me.”