X Factor contestant Danyl Johnson has claimed Whitney Houston “absolutely hated him” for singing one of her unreleased songs on the show.

The 27-year-old teacher said the American pop star, who mentored the contestants for one week, disliked him for singing I Didn’t Know My Own Strength, which is yet to be released in the UK.

Asked who was his least favourite celebrity guest on the show, Danyl said: “Whitney absolutely hated me.”

He then added, sarcastically: “She loved the fact I was singing a song she hadn’t released yet.”

He went on: “She was actually still quite nice but sort of didn’t like the fact I was singing the song, but there you go. That was the worst one.”

He later clarified: “I was singing a song she hadn’t released in the UK yet so she wasn’t very happy.”

His remarks came prior to a secret gig in London, held by X Factor sponsors TalkTalk, where the four remaining contestants – Danyl, Stacey Solomon, Olly Murs and Joe McElderry – sang for a select group of fans.

Danyl also addressed criticism he has faced throughout the competition, which includes suggestions that he was arrogant.

He said: “At the beginning when I first auditioned it was a bit massive and over-hyped so I think it’s balanced itself out. I’m back in the middle and that’s fine. The other contestants have been really sweet about it.”