The X Factor has - once again - found itself at the centre of a 'fixing' scandal after a producer on the show was spotted crouching beside judge Louis Walsh, appearing to relay information ahead of the evening's tense judges' vote.

Country singer Carolynne Pool and the flamboyant, if heavily criticised Rylan Clark, had found themselves in the bottom two on Sunday (Oct 7), forcing them to sing for survival. Yorkshire-born Carolynne offered a reasonably pleasant rendition of Faith Hill's 'There You'll Be', though the talking-point of the performance came when cameras panned over the judging desk where a producer was seen whispering to Louis Walsh. Afterwards, the Irish-manager appeared give Carolynne his vote, though when asked to clarify his decision by host Dermot O'Leary he opted to save Rylan and therefore take the vote to deadlock, where the female singer lost out.

Head judge Gary Barlow appeared so disgusted by the result that he walked of the set, while speculation began to flare online that the plan was always to have Rylan advance to next week's show. Speaking on Radio Aire Breakfast with Rich and Naomi this week, Carolynne said she had noticed the conversation whilst singing, ".it was a bit off putting to be honest..." she added.

Meanwhile, ITV confirmed that the man seen speaking to Louis was X Factor executive producer Richard Holloway. The pair were later photographed leaving a London restaurant together, along with judge Nicole Scherzinger.