Anton Stephans has said The X Factor judge Nick Grimshaw was ‘unkind’ on Saturday night’s show.
The backing singer clashed with the BBC Radio 1 DJ following his performance of One Sweet Day.
On Sunday, the 44-year-old was voted out of the ITV competition after landing in the bottom two and losing the sing-off to teenager Che Chesterman.
“Living in this wonderful country where you’re allowed to have opinions, and have different opinions, and that’s what wonderful – people have fought and died for it.
“But what you can’t do any more, I think, is be unkind. What’s ugly is to say your opinion, and offend. I was unhappy with what was said and I made that very clear,” Anton told the Press Association during his exit interview.
In his critique of the singer, Nick said he was not an artist he would listen to on the radio or a singer whose albums he would buy.
“There’s something that I still feel that feels like an act to me,” the DJ added.
The pop star wannabe insisted he was not ‘fake’. He was told not to be ‘aggressive’ by DJ Nick.
When asked if the disagreement had cost him his place in the competition, the Londoner said: “No. I don’t think he’s that powerful at all.”
He admitted: “It’s difficult for me to look back at that without still feeling a slight sting.”
Anton went on to explain how he felt about the incident.
“It’s one thing, if you play records and you present records and you have pop star friends and you live in that world, that’s one thing.
“But to go on stage and perform is quite something else,” he added.
“Now the three judges who absolutely understand that – Simon, of course, has managed global superstars so he gets what it takes to do that. Cheryl is a dancer, performer, singer and chart-topper herself, so is Rita, so they get what it means to do that.”
He continued: “The wonderful thing about The X Factor is what it’s done, it’s given me a pair – I’ve grown a pair since I’ve been on there.
“If you say something I don’t agree with, I’ve got the mogul himself as my mentor who said, ‘Believe in yourself and stand up for yourself’. I turned around and said, ‘No, actually I don’t agree with that and you can’t say that about me because that’s not true’. I’ll stand up for myself.”
Deciding to do @TheXFactor was the best idea I’ve ever had I will be forever grateful to all the incredible unbelievable people involved ❤️
— Anton Stephans (@AntonStephans) November 23, 2015
The singer gave his theory as to why he had been seen as ‘aggressive’.
“If you look like me, often if you raise your voice, you might be perceived as being aggressive and I’m sick to death of that stereotype because I am not an aggressive person,” he insisted.
“I am passionate as hell and I’m never going to change that. But just because I look like me and I raise my voice, does not mean that I’m going to hurt you or that I’m going to be aggressive.
“What I will do is put you straight and put you right and we can carry on being friends.”
Anton, who was in Simon Cowell’s Overs category, is determined to be positive.
“Regret leads to sadness and sorrow and bitterness. I don’t live in that place, I try and live in the centre of things, to feel the moment of things.
“Do I feel sad about not being in The X Factor? Of course, I wanted to win! You don’t enter a competition to lose. But at the same time, I came sixth out of millions of people, I was the very last Over left and I had Simon Cowell as my mentor.”
He laughed when reminded of the headbutt he inadvertently gave The X Factor supremo.
“It was absolutely an accident and headbutting him will go down in history as the funniest and most awkward thing ever. But he’s a gentleman and we’re very good friends now, of course, and we laugh about it. I got a message from him saying ‘At least no one’s going to headbutt me this week!’”
In a final dig at Boys mentor Nick, Anton insisted: “Regardless of what everyone says, I’ll be played on the radio and Radio 1 because one person’s point of view isn’t the whole. It’s just one voice and there are hundreds of others that say nay.”