Simon Cowell says he "felt like a bit of an idiot" after learning Britain's Got Talent winner Jules O'Dwyer used a stunt double dog during the final.
More than 500 complaints have been made to Ofcom after it was revealed a lookalike dog was used to walk the parallel ropes in the act's performance on Sunday.
Cowell, 55, called the incident a "c**k up", telling the Daily Mirror: "The moment I found out I literally put my head in my hands.
"I spoke to a lot of people after, and I did raise my voice. But it was mainly people owning up to it. They felt embarrassed, they felt frustrated, they felt stupid but you've got to man up to this stuff."
The talent show judge urged fans not to target O'Dwyer over the episode, admitting he felt the show had let her down.
"There's a cloud over her and I want that cloud to go. I want people to feel proud of her and that she did well and she should be happy," Cowell said.
O'Dwyer told ITV's Lorraine yesterday that she was "shocked and surprised" by the reaction.