Christopher Maloney doesn't have the X factor, according to judge Louis Walsh.

Liverpool's finalist will go up against Jahmene Douglas and James Arthur in the three-way decider in Manchester this weekend.

Maloney has been ridiculed for his "cheesy routines" but has won widespread support from the voting public.

He was welcomed by hoards of screaming fans when he returned to Merseyside earlier this week.

The judges and contestants spoke to the media ahead of the final at Manchester arena.

Walsh also suggested Simon Cowell, the show's creator, didn't want Maloney to win.

He said: "He (Cowell) loves the talent. He wants talent to win. He loves James, Jahmene, Ella, Union J.

Asked if Cowell had expressed a view on Maloney, Walsh said: "He did not mention him."

Fellow judge Nicole Scherzinger said she had been in regular contact with Cowell from the United States during the series and revealed he was "very supportive" of her two acts, James Arthur and Jahmene Douglas.

"I think he is a fan of James," she said. "I think he is just really proud of my boys and the work we have done."

X Factor judge Nicole Scherzinger with finalists James Arthur, right, and Jahmene Douglas during a photocall at Manchester Central. Credit: Dave Thompson/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Asked who he would like to win, Walsh said: "I want James or Jahmene.

"You want the talent to win... It is the best launchpad in the UK if you have got the goods and we believe James and Jahmene have definitely got the goods."

Of Maloney, he said: "I just don't think he is an international star. Nice guy, good singer. Has he got the X Factor? I don't think so."

But he wished him luck for the weekend.

He said: "He has done incredibly well to get into the final."

The X factor final is on ITV1 tomorrow 8pm-10pm and Sunday 7.40pm - 9.40pm.