X Factor's Christopher Maloney quits Twitter amid 'death threats'

Chris Maloney hugs Gary Barlow when he learns he's through to the next round. Photo: ITV

X Factor contestant Christopher Maloney has quit Twitter amid "death threats" posted online from fans of the show who are angry that he won through to the final rounds of the talent competition.

In a message to his fans, among them 88,000 Twitter followers, the 34-year-old customer service advisor asked: "What's the world coming to?"

His decision to abandon the social network comes on the back of threatening messages on Twitter from viewers unhappy that is still competing in the show, while fan's favourite Ella Henderson was booted off on Sunday night.

Fans favourite Ella Henderson was the shock exit from last weekend's show. Credit: ITV

Henderson's departure caused shockwaves after she proved to be the least popular contestant at the weekend, when show judges put the decision to "deadlock". It meant viewer votes decided the result of the sing-off.

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Ello guys, taking a break from twitter for a bit, need to concentrate on my songs for this week. Ope u understand, thanks 4 ur support. xx

The outcome left some fans claiming the show was a "fix", and led to unpleasant comments about Maloney being posted online, including threats and suggestions that he should kill himself.

Maloney posted his own message which said: "It's a singing comp, now getting death threats. What's the world coming to?"

He later said he was going to take a break from Twitter "for a bit", adding: "Need to concentrate on my songs for this week."

Audience votes led to a shock sing-off between Ella and James Arthur. Credit: ITV

Show bosses are understood to be discussing the messages with Maloney and are seeking guidance on what sort of action he wants to take, and if he wishes to refer it to police.

A programme spokesman said: "The welfare of our contestants is always our key priority and we work with them to provide what support is needed."