Kelly Rowland has reportedly pulled out of this weekend’s X Factor shows, amid speculation that she is suffering from a throat infection and is too sick to travel.

The Sun reports that the Destiny’s Child singer went down with the illness just hours after flying to Los Angeles following last Sunday’s results show.

And the paper says that she told Simon Cowell she would not be appearing this week with just 24 hours to spare – leaving show bosses with the task of replacing her at short notice.

Nicole Scherzinger, who is a judge on the US version of the show and who is due to perform on Sunday’s results show, is being tipped to step into the hot seat although this has yet to be confirmed.

A spokesperson told the show’s official website: “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.”

Speaking to The Sun, the singer said she was suffering from an “extremely rare” infection which had left her unable to even eat or drink.

“I’m so sick – I have no idea what is wrong with me, but I have the worst sore throat,” she said.

“I’ve been in tears all week, it got so bad that I stopped eating and drinking and got so dehydrated the doctors put me on a drip.”

Kelly’s illness comes after she and Tulisa fell out very publicly on last Saturday’s show, after Tulisa accused her contestant Misha B of ‘bullying’ other acts backstage.

The pair have not spoken since the incident, and Kelly admitted she was still cross with Tulisa.

‘I still disagree with Tulisa, but in the heat of the moment the passion gets to us and we are all extremely passsionate about what we do as mentors,” she said.

“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.”

The Sun has also reported that Kelly’s absence has thrown the show into “total chaos”.

“People thought it was a wind-up when they first heard she wasn’t coming,” a source told the paper. “When it sank in producers were running around screaming, trying to work out what to do.”

“Kelly must really be knocked for six if a sore throat has done her in,” the insider added. “This is a huge show and the judges are handsomely rewarded. You could argue she could have struggled through a few hours of live TV.”