X Factor contestant Christopher Maloney today expressed his dismay at receiving online "death threats" from show fans who are angered that he has continued in the competition.
In a message to his fans, the 34-year-old customer service advisor said: "What's the world coming to?"
Good morning every1, thanks for your continued love,help and support! Its getting me thru this. in rehearsals, can't wait for saturday xxFrom @ChrisMaloney77 on Twitter:
The taunts follow threatening messages on Twitter from viewers unhappy that he has continued to remain in the show, while favourite Ella Henderson was axed on Sunday night.
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" which meant viewer votes decided the result of the sing-off.
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."
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."