The 'Impossible' singer has come under fire in the last few weeks after he branded an unknown rapper a "f***king queer" in a rap battle.
But despite thousands of angry viewers signing a Facebook petition asking 'X Factor' bosses to remove him from Sunday night's line-up, he still performed his new single, 'Recovery'.
After his performance he told host Dermot O'Leary: "It's been an amazing year for me. There's been some amazing highs but also some lows.
"I've made some very silly mistakes. I want to thank the X Factor for giving me this opportunity.
"I want to say sorry for abusing my position as an X Factor winner because I owe everything to this thing."
However, following his apology, there was a mixed response on Twitter.
One viewer tweeted: "You can't deny his incredible voice, but as a gay man, I can't condone James Arthur's homophobic attitude, even if it was 'just a rap battle'."
Another wrote: "The X Factor should be ashamed of James Arthur after his recent escapades. They dropped Matt Cardle quick enough & he wasn't even a bigot!"
Whilst another tweeted: "James Arthur, that performance was disturbing. But not as disturbing as that interview with Dermot. #XFactor."
Last week James was signed off work by doctors who diagnosed him with "acute exhaustion" ahead of his nationwide tour and the release of his second single.
Meanwhile, Tamera Foster was the latest contestant to leave the competition after losing out in the sing-off with Luke Friend.
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