X Factor returned for the first live show of the series on Saturday.
And Alesha Dixon stood in for injured head judge Simon Cowell as he was forced to miss out on the second live show and seeing his acts perform on Sunday, as fans questioned why Cheryl wasn’t asked to fill his seat.
Sunday night’s show saw Nicole Scherzinger’s Overs category of Matt Linnen, Tracy Leanne Jefford and Kevin Davy White perform, with the former Pussycat Doll bringing back Talia Dean, 32, for her wild card.
Host Dermot O’Leary said: ‘Sadly Simon is still not well enough to be here’ before introducing Alesha and saying ‘how many hours notice did you get?’
Alesha said ‘ About five! I was chilling out on the couch with my daughter and I got the call.
‘Simon and I share the same birthday but we are very different. Don’t you start with me Louis. I need to be here for them. I genuinely hope you’re OK Simon. I won’t be as nasty.’
Though Simon was a no-show, his partner Lauren Silverman and son Eric, three attended the studio, with Lauren staying for the live show.
A representative for Simon said: ‘Alesha has stepped in for Simon whilst he continues to recuperate at home. It was decided he shouldn’t be on air tonight – after doctor’s advice today.
‘He’s just resting up and recuperating at home – and, of course, watching the show.”