Overnight ratings data shows that the X Factor is losing viewers as two judges make bullying allegations live on air.

Many viewers noticed the difference in attitude from the programme last night following newspaper reports that the show was in ‘crisis’. All four judges had become opinionated and at times ‘bitchy undertones’ could be felt. The rock week special fell flat with Twitter users as some questioned what constitutes rock music after songs appeared to be either R’n’B or Pop Ballads. Just over 10 million viewers tuned in last night, way down on last year’s figure and even more worryingly the show was nearly beaten by BBC One’s Strictly Come Dancing. The two rivals do clash this year, last night for 15 minutes, and each time the BBC show has won the head-to-head.

When contestant Misha Bryan (pictured left) performed there was ‘shock’ when judges’ Tulisa Contostavlos and Louis Walsh accused Misha of ‘bullying’ contestants backstage.Tulisa said:  “I think you don’t realise that you do it, but in some ways you being so feisty can come off as quite mean to other contestants and I’ve been told that there’s been mean comments towards them.” Louis also alluded to one of his acts also being ‘bullied’ in a row which erupted between the judges over the allegations. Misha’s mentor Kelly Rowland said that everyone should be judging Misha on what goes on on-stage, not behind the scenes.

The X Factor results show airs tonight at 8.00pm on ITV 1.

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