X Factor judges Gary Barlow and Tulisa Contostavlos were locked in peace talks on Saturday night after he accused the N-Dubz star of having "fag-ash breath" in front of millions of viewers.
Barlow has said sorry for the comment he made on Saturday night's ITV1 programme as show insiders revealed the pair spent time alone in a dressing room discussing their spat after filming ended.
A show source said: "They were locked in a dressing room for peace talks after the show; just the two of them. Gary apologised a lot. Tulisa was angry but eventually she accepted his apology.
"Gary feels really, really bad about what he said. It was speaking without thinking in the spur of the moment and he didn't mean it."