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Cowell gives Kelly 48 hours to return to UK

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    Posted: 30 Oct 2011 at 14:33

'Tulisa and I have no relationship. The show has become a living hell' says Kelly Rowland... as Simon Cowell gives her 48 hours to return to the UK

By Holly Thomas

Last updated at 10:44 AM on 30th October 2011

  • Kelly flew to the US following bust up with Tulisa
  • The singer then claimed that she was 'too ill' to fly back and appear on The X Factor this weekend
  • Kelly was replaced by former X Factor winner Alexandra Burke on last night's live show
  • Simon Cowell has given Kelly 48 hours to return to the UK
  • Meanwhile ratings continue to plummet as Strictly Come Dancing drew more viewers than the X Factor for the first time since 2007

Kelly Rowland has 48 hours to return to the UK as Simon has given her an ultimatum as to whether she wants to keep her place on the judging panel.

The singer has insisted that wants to retain her position on the show, but needs to consult her doctor to see if she is well enough to fly, as she has been grounded in the US due to a severe throat infection.

Kelly has said that rows with fellow judge Tulisa Contostavlos are making her life 'a living hell.'


Excited: Alexandra Burke makes her grand entrance on the X Factor tonight and said she couldn't wait for the evening to begin

Meanwhile the ratings freefall continued as the X Factor pulled 9.9 million viewers to Strictly Come Dancing's 10.2.

Alexandra Burke stepped in last night to cover for Kelly following a 24 hour crisis as to who would take her place for the live show.


A show insider told The People last night: 'Kelly has been told it’s time to make her mind up. Everyone is supportive of the fact she is ill but other bosses are annoyed at the situation.'

'She doesn’t want to quit. She is adamant that she isn’t worried about the row she had with Tulisa and wants to return but she has to give the ­producers her word – and fast.'


Ultimatum: Simon Cowell has given Kelly 48 hours to return to the UK if she wants to keep her place om the X Factor judging panel

If Kelly does return her presence will make for a tense situation on set however, as the Destiny's Child star has confided in friends that she feels she will have to change her place on the judging panel to avoid sitting next to Tulisa.

'Tulisa and I have no relationship. The show has become a living hell. I don’t know how long I can tolerate this for,' Kelly admitted, according to a friend speaking to The Mirror.

'None of ­Tulisa’s acts go anywhere near Kelly on set,' the friend continued.


Gone for good? Kelly Rowland touched down in LA on Monday for what she claimed was a long-planned business trip, but has been unable to return due to a throat infection

'Kelly was told to ‘stay out of it’ by Tulisa when she ­offered advice on her acts two weeks ago and it’s been frosty between them ever since. Kelly’s just not used to this infighting and biatching.'

'She’s feeling ­extremely ­uncomfortable with ­Tulisa and doesn’t feel like she can ­approach her to make amends – it’s like ­Dannii Minogue and Sharon ­Osbourne all over again,' added the friend.


The Take That ­frontman Gary Barlow, 40, spoke to The Mirror about the feud that erupted over the Misha B bullying row.

He said: 'For anyone who thinks last week was all for the ­cameras, then they’re wrong. Tulisa is very young and what she came out with shocked me, to be honest.'

'I couldn’t believe it had been brought to the stage, but she’s one of those people, who when she sees something she’s got to say it, so fair enough.'

'Maybe it’s a case of Kelly and me against Louis and Tulisa.'

'I do like Kelly. I don’t know why Tulisa did it. But she is the kind of person who only does stuff she believes in. She’d probably defend it if you talk to her. Tulisa’s not one to back down.'

'We all feel very protective towards our acts. In Tulisa’s eyes she was ­defending her bands, but then on the other side of the coin Kelly’s there with one of her bands being looked at like a trouble maker.'

'If anything I think Misha’s chances will have improved. I think people will have felt sorry for her.'

'If you flip it round she was ­actually being bullied. I don’t think Tulisa bullied her, but ­Louis took it too far.'

Kelly has reportedly even had talks with Simon Cowell over how the Tulisa situation can possibly be resolved.

'Simon has been calling Kelly and trying to calm her down but she hates the way Tulisa is ­portraying her in the press and the way she’s creating an awful atmosphere backstage,' The Mirror's source said.

'The past two weeks have been hellish. Simon has had to work hard to stop her jacking it all in.'

'But Kelly is no pushover, and can easily look after herself.'

When it became clear that Kelly was not going to return for last night's show X Factor bosses went into crisis mode to find a replacement within 24 hours.

Speculation was rife that X Factor US judge Nicole Scherzinger, 33, would be drafted in.

According to The People however Simon Cowell refused to deploy Nicole for the task, fearing it would 'downgrade' her star status having been such a hit on the US version of the show.

Former judge Cheryl Cole was reportedly floated as an option briedly, but negotiations broke down early in proceedings.

Alexandra Burke instead returned to the X Factor as a judge - and she certainly made sure her opinion was heard.

Sitting amongst Louis Walsh, Gary Barlow and Tulisa Contostavlos, the singer was there to fill the shoes of an unwell Kelly Rowland.

'I’m really looking forward to it,' she said as she arrived on the show and took her seat.

'I'm here to back the girls, here for Kelly’s girls and ain't taking any nonsense from this one over here,' she added, pointing to the Irishman.


Divide: Even Gary Barlow has admitted that it has become a case on he and Kelly versus Louis and Tulisa on the judging panel

No doubt Kelly would have been proud of the young star fighting her corner, but would also be glad to know that her fellow judges were thinking of her.

'She's going to be gutted about the show, said Gary. 'Plus she missed your dance routine Dermot.'

Her female rival, Tulisa, also referenced the U.S. singer by saying: 'We all want to send our love to Kelly, we hope she gets well and is back for next week live and kicking.'

Flustered at being asked to deliver the message however, she stumbled over her words and apologised 'Sorry Dermot, I got lost there for a second.'

Alexandra was chosen to step in within the last 24 hours after Kelly flew to Los Angeles following a bust up with Tulisa Contostavlos.


Temporary replacement: Alexandra joined the three judges on last night's show and certainly made sure her opinion was heard

ITV told the Daily Mail: 'It is true that Alexandra is replacing Kelly tonight, but we have no further information at present.

A statement read: 'Kelly is devastated she won't be here for this weekend's show. She is extremely ill with a viral throat infection and her doctors aren't permitting her to fly.

'Kelly will be returning to the show as soon as she has recovered. The girls have been in touch to wish her a speedy recovery and they can't wait for her to get back. More news as we have it.'


Making her feelings known: Alexandra wasn't afraid to take on Louis Walsh

Kelly also told The Sun that she is suffering from an 'extremely rare' illness, and has been in tears about her situation all week.

She explained to the paper: 'I'm so sick - I have no idea what is wrong with me, but I have the worst sore throat.

'I've been in tears all week. It got so bad that I stopped eating and drinking and got so dehydrated the doctor put me on a drip.

'Even now I can't swallow anything - not even my own saliva. The doctors don't even really know what's wrong, either. They say whatever I have is extremely rare.'


'No nonsense': The Bad Boys singer had a friendly dig at Louis Walsh and offended him during her comments on Kitty Brucknell

A spokesman for Miss Rowland said: 'She’s really sick. Her doctor is not permitting her to fly. She won’t be here for tonight’s show. She has a viral throat infection. She is really, really sick.

'She has not gone AWOL. She will be back. She’s been in contact with the girls. She’s been on intravenous drips. Her doctor will not permit her to fly. She tried to get on a flight today but her doctor wasn’t letting her.'

An X Factor insider has said: 'Kelly is turning into a real diva, she’s been on the phone to all the producers all week moaning about Tulisa’s antics.'

The N-Dubz singer, 23, had accused one of Miss Rowland’s hopefuls, Misha Bryan, of being mean to her own wannabes.


Tension: Kelly Rowland had a falling out with fellow judge Tulisa Contostavlos on last week's show before jetting off to Los Angeles

Fellow judge Louis Walsh then waded into the row by calling Misha, 19, a 'bully' - and was then forced to apologise to the viewers.

Miss Bryan, 19, from Manchester, had received positive comments from the judges for her performance of Prince's 'Purple Rain' on Saturday’s rock-themed show, but Walsh sparked a war of words when said he feared she was too ‘over-confident’.

He told her: 'You’re very confident, you’re a very confident performer. I hope you’re not too over-confident.'

Miss Contostavlos, who is mentoring the groups, then inflamed the situation, saying: 'There is no doubt about it, when it comes to talent you are way up there.


Cross words: Miss Rowland is still not speaking to her fellow judge Miss Contostavlos after the pair fell out live on air last weekend

'Most people they come into the competition and they need to be built up and progress, but you came as a whole package and you are definitely the star of the show.

'But I do have one negative this week. I think you are very competitive and I’ve seen a different side of you backstage and you don’t realise that you do it, but in some ways you being so feisty can come across as quite mean to certain contestants and I’ve been told by a few this week there’s been a few mean comments towards them.

'I’m not putting you down but take that feistiness and energy when you get on the stage and leave them all behind. Put aside the attitude.'


That's my girl: Kelly defended Misha B via her Twitter page after the row

Miss Rowland insisted: 'We leave things backstage, backstage, but you brought it on stage and you brought it clean and clear and on fire tonight. I am so very proud of you, continue to work hard and you’re supposed to be confident when you go on stage.'

She then turned to Walsh and said: 'I think some of your categories should get some more confidence.'

Walsh, who is looking after the Over 25s category, then interjected: 'One of my contestants has complained about Misha bullying her backstage.'

Afterwards, Miss Contostavlos remained defiant, saying: 'I feel like if you are going to portray a certain person on stage, it should be the same person that’s backstage.


Absent: Former Destiny's Child star Kelly has been away all week, missing mentoring sessions with members of her group

'I feel like when it comes to energy, it’s a different character but when it comes to who you are, if she’s being someone else backstage and said a biatchy comment to one of my acts then I’m going to express it.'

But Miss Rowland hit back: 'I think that deserves to stay backstage, I think there is a time and a place for everything and we were here tonight to judge them for what they did onstage and not for what is going on backstage.'

Miss Rowland added to The Sun that while she hasn't yet forgiven Tulisa for her comments, they are not what's keeping her away from the show.

She said: 'I still disagree with Tulisa, but in the heat of the moment the passion gets to us and we are all extremely passionate about what we do as mentors.

'Misha will continue to shine and she will learn from this experience and use it to master herself as an artist as we all learn to do.'


Speculation: Nicole Scherzinger, who sits on the X Factor USA panel, was rumoured to be a possible replacement for Kelly

Edited by Bren - 30 Oct 2011 at 14:36
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