Joe warns Little Mix: ‘Stand up to Simon!’

Little Mix shouldn’t be afraid to voice their true opinions to X Factor boss Simon Cowell, former winner Joe McElderry has said.

The 20-year-old, who won the TV talent show two years ago, said the new champions would impress the music mogul more if they stood up to him.

Joe, who was dropped from Simon’s Syco label in April, wrote in the Daily Mail: “You are in control of your own destiny. I know people think Simon Cowell is in control, and yes, sometimes you have to follow what the record company says, but Simon likes people who can stand up to him, who say: ‘I don’t want to do this’, or, ‘I like that song.’

“He’s a very busy man and spends a lot of time in America, so most of the time we’d chat on the phone, but now and again I’d go into the office and he’d be there and we’d chat about songs. I’d say: ‘I’m not keen on this one and I really like that.’

“He’d say: ‘Can you try this?’ It’s about building a working relationship, not who controls who.”

The Popstar To Operastar winner, who was guided during The X Factor by former judge Cheryl Cole, said both Little Mix and runner-up Marcus Collins should keep in touch with their mentors, Tulisa Contostavlos and Gary Barlow.

He added: “(Cheryl and I) still speak. I loved working with her. She always had an amazing work ethic and said it’s all about being professional, being on time, representing yourself as a professional artist.”