The Cher Lloyd backlash has kicked up a gear following Mary Byrne's exit from the show semi-final last weekend
Her tomboy fashion and rap-style singing has always had her dividing critics, but Cher Lloyd has become the subject of a vicious online hate campaign since she won out against Mary Byrne in the X Factor semi-final.
Having found herself in the bottom two with Mary on Sunday night, the judges voted to save Cher, and take her through to the final next weekend.
Within hours, the phrase ‘Hate Cher’ became a trending topic on Twitter, with angry viewers complaining about the judges’ decision – making it one of the top Twitter terms in the world at that moment.
The phrase has since become the fourth most-Tweeted phrase of all time on the social networking site in the UK.
Furious fans also took to Facebook, with the group ‘I Hate Cher Lloyd’ attracting over 12,500 members and counting.
Cher returned to Malvern, Wolcestershire where she saw her family, visited her old school and performed in front of hundreds of fans at an open-air gig.
Controversy continues to surround the decision to take the X Factor semi-final results to a sing-off last weekend – as in previous years the outcome has been left solely down to the public vote at this stage in the competition.
Show host Dermot O’Leary clearly stated to viewers on Saturday night: ‘It’s your votes, and your votes alone that can get your act safely through to the final.’
But a last minute change in formatting meant that it went back to the judges for the final decision, by the time the Sunday night results show aired.
Since her X Factor exit, Mary has spoken out about the format change, suggesting that it was done purely to keep Cher in the competition.
‘It’s a fix,’ she told The Mirror. ‘It’s obvious Simon Cowell didn’t want me. It’s not the show the public think it is.’
‘I’m not as marketable to him as Cher so he was never going to put me through. They fixed it for me to lose.’
Fix allegations and Twitter trending aside, the decision remains, and Cher will join fellow contestants Matt Cardle, Rebecca Ferguson and One Direction in the X Factor final this weekend.
Who do you want to see crowned as winner of X Factor 2010? Do you agree with the Cher Lloyd online hate campaign? Let us know your thoughts in the comments box below!