'X Factor' boss Simon Cowell is allegedly plotting against 'dated and cheesy' Chris Maloney, to the fury of judge Gary Barlow.
According to the Mirror, Cowell has launched a secret campaign to get the other three judges to heavily criticise the 34-year-old Liverpudlian singer in an attempt to convince the public not to vote for him.
Cowell apparently thinks that Maloney, who is reported to have topped the public vote in the first two weeks of the live shows, detracts from the modern, fashionable edge that he wants from the show.
A source told the Mirror: “Chris winning or even getting further into the competition is a disaster for Cowell.
“He wants Chris out and the fact that his mentor is Gary Barlow makes him even more desperate to get him kicked off.”
Barlow has already lost two of his acts, Carolynne Poole and Melanie Masson and seems increasingly frustrated with the nature of the show.
Barlow is said to have threatened to quit if a similar shambles ever happens again.
The head judge is said to want to “put a stop to tricks” and end “pantomime” on the show.