Simon Cowell has asked his Twitter followers to use their votes wisely on tonight's X Factor quarter-finals, as a tabloid leak reveals that Christopher Maloney is extending his lead at the top of the votes.
In a thinly-veiled dig at the last remaining act in the Over 28s category, the former judge and reigning executive producer wrote: "Very interesting end coming up for X factor in the uk. I think the final is going to be very interesting! I have my own favourite. (sic)
"To everyone voting in the uk tonight. Please vote for who you believe could be a star next year. It's in your hands."
The tweets came just as the Daily Mirror reported that Maloney's reign at the top of the voting polls has continued to "snowball", despite the best efforts of Tulisa and Louis Walsh to dissuade the public from supporting him.
An insider told the paper: "There are concerns over whether Chris would – to quote Louis – be able to be an international recording artist.
"In the end it’s up to the public. They need to vote for their favourites and not presume they will get through automatically.”
Last week Ella Henderson was controversially eliminated after a sing-off with fellow favourite James Arthur.
X Factor stars at the 'Twilight' premierePaul McCartney Dresses To Impress Johnny Depp
One Direction's Harry Styles' Love History: Caroline Flack, Kim Kardashian, Taylor Swift & More!
X Factor 2012: James Arthur Delivers An 'Incredible Performance'