The 2012 winner returned to the stage for a duet with Anne Marie of their reimagining of ‘Greatest Showman’ track ‘Rewrite The Stars’.
However, many commentators on Twitter noted that James’ vocals were not up to their usual standard.
James later took to the social media site to tell of how a series of technical gaffes from the production team had affected things.
He tweeted: “Thanks for the nice comments about mine and @AnneMarie performance!” he began. “However I don’t know why they had crowd mics blaring throughout and vocal levels all over.. not the mix we would’ve liked you to hear.”
James’ friend and fellow 2012 contestant Rylan Clark-Neal immediately rushed to his defence.
“Knew the second u started you had a problem with ur ears,” Rylan wrote. “Still smashed it brother.”
It is not the first sound problems that have affected ‘The X Factor’ this year. Last month some contestants were left sounding like Daleks due to a behind-the-scenes blunder, forcing bosses to cancel the public vote and re-air all the performances again the following evening.
James and Anne Marie recorded their version of ‘Rewrite The Stars’ - originally performed by Zac Efron and Zendaya - for a new take on the hugely popular soundtrack from ‘The Greatest Showman’.
The album, released last month, features other stars including Kelly Clarkson, Pink, Years And Years and Panic! At The Disco performing the much-loved songs.
Despite his performance not going how he wanted it to, James will return to ‘The X Factor’ on Sunday night to sing with contestant Dalton Harris.
The pair will perform ‘The Power Of Love’ together, with their duet set to become Dalton’s official winner’s single should he win the competition.
‘The X Factor’ continues on Sunday at 7.30pm on ITV.