Dermot followed orders over Cheryl
Dermot O'Leary has revealed he was following orders to accept a majority verdict if X Factor judge Cheryl Cole refused to vote, which resulted in the controversial axing of contestant Treyc Cohen.
Cheryl has come under fire for "refusing point blank" to make a choice, which led to Katie Waissel surviving a third sing-off on the show on Sunday.
The instruction to Dermot, delivered during a break, is being seen by some as a plot to fix the show. But show bosses reject anything that suggests the show was rigged.
Cheryl said she did not want to send either Treyc or Katie home. She then asked to cast her vote after the others, but was not given the chance.
Speaking at an event this week, Dermot said: "My producer said if Cheryl decides to opt out we go to majority vote.
"She did decide to opt out and then she said, 'Come back to me and we'll do deadlock'. But you can't do that because it devalues the other two judges' votes. It wouldn't have made sense."
A spokeswoman for the show said judges could exercise the right not to vote. Sharon Osbourne did not vote during one edition of the third series, although at that stage there were only three judges so the voting did not then go to a majority.
The spokeswoman said: "A judge can abstain from placing a vote. Cheryl made it clear on Sunday night that she would not send anyone home and therefore abstained from voting. Dermot went back to her to clarify that it was going to go to a majority vote if she did that."