Gary Barlow backs James Arthur to win The X Factor, seemingly gives up on own act Christopher Maloney

Last night Gary Barlow did the unthinkable, backing rival X Factor judge Nicole Scherzinger's act James Arthur to win the competition over his own remaining act Christopher Maloney.

Gary Barlow has backed James to win. What about Christopher? Copyright [Rex]

That's got to hurt.

The judge made the admission last night following James Arthur's performance.

After singing an acoustic version of 'Can't Take My Eyes off of You', the Take That singer could no longer hide that he was a fan of James.

He said: "Putting my category aside, and I probably shouldn't say this, but I want you to win."

"If I was at home right now I would be voting for you."

Nicole Scherzinger looked delighted, while James simply looked dumbfounded by the revelation.

Nicole was mildly pleased to have Gary on boards. Copyright [Rex]

Dermot O'Leary meanwhile added: "Oh Barlow you've opened yourself up to a world of pain."

When Christopher took to the stage to sing 'Total Eclipse of the Heart,' he didn't seem fazed by Gary's comment to James.

[Related Story: Little Mix rip apart Christopher Maloney, say he is fake]

[Related Story: X Factor Kye Sones: F*** knows who is voting for Christopher Maloney]

Yet again however, his performance was slated by the judges.

Referring to the giant projection of the singers face on the background screens, Nicole Scherzinger admitted: "It was a little creepy I'm not gonna lie," but did manage to compliment him on his singing adding: "Vocally it was very good."

Was Christopher's giant face hypnotising the public to vote for him? Copyright [Rex]

Tulisa meanwhile said: "I think we've established that I won't be buying the album," but did praise him for trying.

With Gary Barlow not evening bothering to hide the fact that he doesn't think Christopher can win, it's not looking good for the crooner this week.

The X Factor results show returns tonight on ITV1 at 8pm.