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X Factor rigged? No, I just couldn't decide says Louis

LOUIS WALSH has dismissed claims that The X Factor is a fix.

Walsh (60) has become caught up in claims that the the show is rigged following his dramatic decision to save 23-year-old Rylan Ross Clarke on Sunday's live show.

A producer was seen whispering in Walsh's ear during the sing-off between Clark and Carolynne Poole, the two acts that finished bottom of the public vote.

Now, viewers, fans and celebrities have slammed Walsh and the show, claiming that the series is rigged.

Flamboyant dancer and reality TV star Louie Spence tweeted that he was "fuming. Louis needs to grow some balls".

Keith Duffy, who was managed by Walsh during his Boyzone days, also waged into the debate saying: "What a fecking joke! That girl is a star."

Fans have questioned whether the show on Sunday night was rigged after producer Richard Holloway was spotted darting into the studio and whispering to Walsh.

"We regularly chat to the judges during the show," Holloway said. "They don't wear earpieces like Dermot so we have to speak to them throughout the programme, on anything from timings to running order changes.

"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."

An X Factor spokeswoman said: "Carolynne had the least amount of public votes so the public's choice to stay in the show was Rylan." Walsh said: "Any talk about a fix is ridiculous because we talk to the producers all the time on every X Factor show."

"I was like a rabbit stuck in the headlights. Rylan is so entertaining and Carolynne gave such a great performance that I was really torn."

And this indecision caused him to make a dramatic U-turn on air, he insisted. After initially stating that he wanted to save Carolynne, Walsh was booed and hissed by the crowd as he said: "I'm sorry, I'm changing my mind -- I want to take it to deadlock."

Walsh later insisted he had no regrets with his decision. "Rylan is a great entertainer, he's amazing," he said.