Simon Cowell has been criticised by X Factor viewers for "bullying" Demi Lovato on Thursday night's results show.
The 20-year-old singer-songwriter saw two of her acts - Paige Thomas and Jennel Garcia - in the Bottom Two, and Simon refused to let her escape from having to pick between the two.
After LA Reid and Britney Spears opted to send Garcia home, Cowell insisted that Lovato vote before he did.
"No, I'm not going to," he said. "I'm going to let Demi pick."
Host Mario Lopez tried a few times to make him vote, but, seemingly oblivious to a shaking Thomas and Garcia nervously awaiting their fate, Cowell remained resolute.
Lovato then tried to bat it back to Cowell, but was unsuccessful. She voted to eliminate Thomas, leaving Cowell to deliver the third and final blow to Garcia.
After the show he said: "It was just fun to see her squirming. She thought she was going to get out of it, and I said, 'You're not'."
Writing online, several fans were unimpressed by his treatment of Lovato and also his lack of attention on the actual contestants.
@mylescura wrote: "Ugh. Badass @SimonCowell. You're such a big bully in the results show. Poor Demi."
@Jumadar added: "Simon Cowell was a bully just then. I've usually thought him a nice guy but that was so wrong. #bully #Cowell #DemiLovato"
Writing directly to Garcia, @AustinVillegas wrote: "he's so childish for what he done to Demi."
Message boards have also been blazing. One particular message said: "I usually watch The Voice but I clicked on X-Factor to see how things were going with Mario and Kloe as cohosts, and then I remembered why I don't ever watch X-Factor...Simon is rude, a bully, and acts like a fool..."
A YouTube comment reads: "I disappointed with Simon here ! :("
But whilst a huge amount of fans have blasted the mogul, some have praised his decision, arguing that Demi needed to "suffer" for her "poor mentoring" of her acts.
What did you think?
Watch the drama again below:
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