Simon Cowell and Cheryl Cole are reported to have fallen out – apparently blaming each other for Gamu Nhengu being axed from X Factor.

Insiders say relations between the pair are strained following a wave of public anger over the ‘unfair’ result, which Simon has blamed solely on Cheryl.

Viewers watched last Sunday as note-perfect Gamu was rejected at Cheryl’s judges houses, while Katie Waissel and Cher Lloyd were put straight through to the live shows, despite messing up their auditions.

A source told The Mirror: “It was her choice and her choice only. All this is completely her own doing.”

But Cheryl is said to be unhappy about the way Gamu’s rejection has been handled – and thinks she’s been made a scapegoat in a bid to boost the show’s ratings.

Newspaper reports this week suggested that Cheryl was advised by producers to drop Zimbawe-born Gamu from her final three because of visa problems.

A production source told the paper: “Cheryl has found to her cost how ratings come first and your personal reputation second.

“She feels she was just following instructions and now is being cast as the villain of the piece.”

ITV has received almost 1,000 complaints while 240,000 fans have signed up to a Facebook page called Gamu Should Have Got Through.

But it’s been widely reported that Cheryl has chosen TreyC Cohen as her wild card contestant – thought to be the ‘surprise’ for Saturday night’s show.