X Factor finalist Alexandra Burke has been ordered by doctors to quit rehearsals for the show due to a throat bug, according to the papers.

The Sun reports that the 20-year-old – who has made it to the finals after narrowly missing out in 2005 – was distraught after being told that she risked damaging her voice if she continued to sing.

“Alexandra’s very emotional,” an ITV1 source said. “She has an extremely sore throat and doctors told her she couldn’t rehearse. It’s been very hard for Alexandra but she can’t take the chance of ruining her voice.”

As a result she will take to the stage tonight without having done any vocal preparation.

Despite this setback Alexandra is still the bookies’ favourite to win the series. She currently has odds of 3-1, ahead of Laura White and Austin Drage.

Meanwhile, all-female quartet Girlband are the favourites to get the boot in the first live show on Saturday night.

Bookmakers Paddy Power are offering odds of 2-1 on the band making a swift exit from the finals, with former Pontins Bluecoat Scott Bruton second favourite at 4-1.