X Factor‘s Rikki Loney has revealed that the boys felt like they were mentoring Cheryl over the weekend as she was so nervous about her live performance.

The Scottish singer – who was kicked off the competition on Sunday – told The Sun that they had to comfort her before she previewed her new single Fight For This Love on the show.

Rikki told The Sun: “I felt like I was mentoring her. She was really, really nervous. She kept saying, ‘I can’t believe how nervous I am’ and we kept reassuring her.

“She said she couldn’t believe that we were telling her it would be OK – like we were being her mentor.”

Rikki also explained that he should of chosen guest mentor Whitney Houston’s advice over Cheryl’s when the American singer told him to ditch Aretha Franklin’s Respect as his song for the weekend.

He said: “I should have listened to Whitney. They advised me to change.

“I’d have liked to, but there just wasn’t any time. It was literally 24 hours before the performance.

“I couldn’t do it. Too much work had gone on – days had been spent working out the routine.”

The singer added: “I knew Respect was a massive risk. It didn’t pay off.”

Simon Cowell also criticised the song choice telling both Rikki and fellow hopeful Rachel Adejedi: “I don’t think you’re getting the right material.”