Simon Cowell apparently stormed off The X Factor set after labelling the disco show an ‘absolute disaster’.

The judge criticised most of the performances on the show – and later made his feelings very clear to ITV2’s Xtra Factor host Fearne Cotton.

“I wasn’t in a great mood and I’ll tell you why,” he said. “Disco week has been an absolute disaster. The contestants are better than what I saw. And my frustration was that nobody, including my own acts, performed their best this week.

“Everyone let me down. I’ve seen better performances.”

He confirmed that the planned Motown show was being dropped: “We are changing Motown week to love songs. We would have had two old themes in two weeks and by doing love songs, it means the finalists can give modern performances. The trouble with Motown is it’s so narrow in your choice.

“We’ve got to give them a theme where every one of them can show the best of their capabilities. I think there are two or three in the competition who could sell a lot of records.”

Despite Simon’s disapproval, the public switched on in droves, with 8.5 million tuning into The X Factor on Saturday night, just narrowly losing to Strictly Come Dancing in the ratings.