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'X Factor': Simon Cowell Branded 'Xenophobic' Following 'Xtra Factor' Remark About Italian Singer Andrea Faustini

08/12/2014 11:34 GMT | Updated 08/12/2014 11:59 GMT

Simon Cowell has come under fire for comments he made during Sunday night’s ‘Xtra Factor’, with some viewers branding him “xenophobic” over his remarks about Andrea Faustini.

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The music mogul was, needless to say, over the moon on Sunday night to discover that both of his remaining acts, Fleur East and Ben Haenow, had made it through to the final.

However, he may have let his competitive side get the better of him, when he joked live on air to Mel B about Andrea, telling her: “Good luck with your Italian act, against my two British ones.”

xtra factor

The judges with Sarah-Jane Crawford on 'Xtra Factor'

There had already been an uncomfortable atmosphere between the four judges, with Cheryl Fernandez-Versini looking absolutely fuming that Lauren Platt had been sent home in the sing-off, and Simon’s remarks didn’t exactly help matters.

A number of viewers weren’t too happy with Simon over his remarks, taking to Twitter to voice their complaints.

Andrea had previously tried out for the Italian version of ‘The X Factor’ (which, bizarrely, features Mika on its judging panel) three times, but never even made it in front of the judges, let alone to the live shows.

However, his luck changed this year when he came to London especially to audition for the UK version of the singing contest, sailing through the stages of the competition to secure a place in the live shows.

Despite winding up in the bottom on Sunday night for the second time, he’ll be competing against Fleur and Ben in the live final this weekend.

Sam Smith is one of several acts to be performing this weekend, prompting speculation among fans online that he may be duetting with Andrea, though this is yet to be confirmed.

Other stars taking to the stage will be One Direction, Ed Sheeran and ‘All About That Bass’ singer Meghan Trainor.

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