The X Factor finalist Alexandra Burke has been told to put a sock in it this week because she’s suffering from a sore throat.

The 20-year-old singer was feeling under the weather after belting out her Whitney Houston number as she rehearsed for last week’s live show, so she’s been ordered not to speak.

An X Factor house insider said: “Alexandra has been ordered not to speak this week unless necessary and is also under orders not to sing until Saturday night, meaning her only way of communicating with the house is by writing notes on a pad.

“The problems with her voice are due to her having no previous vocal training and using her voice ‘unwisely’. So vocal coach Yvie Burnett has spent time stripping Alexandra’s singing back to basics, and is re-educating her on the best way to use her voice through vocal exercises.”

But while Alexandra has been keeping quiet, it seems another X Factor contestant has been making enough noise for everybody in the house.

The source revealed: “Austin has found an annoying new instrument to play, after driving everyone mad last week with his guitar… A harmonica.

“After being given the harmonica by a friend, Austin, who can only play one tune on it, has driven everyone mad in the house and now he’s threatening to play it on one of the live studio shows… For the viewers’ sake let’s hope Simon makes him see sense!”