X Factor contestant Rylan Clark entered a war of words with Gary Barlow by blasting the show's chief judge.
He hit back after Gary - who mentors former cruise ship entertainer Christopher Maloney - is said to have deemed him "absolute s***e" during a gig in east London.
Rylan, who is known for his flamboyant routines on the ITV1 show, has faced repeated criticism from the Take That star for his vocal limitations.
In tweets which were later removed, the 24-year-old from Essex said: "I'd rather be "absolute s***" than just stand there and sing the same old stuff every week on the spot....... #boreme @GBarlowOfficial."
He added: "And I entered the x factor.... NOT the voice..... Cheers."
Gary reportedly told the audience at a Mencap Little Noise concert: "I'm serious. What are we going to do about Rylan? I might have to be honest on Saturday night and go, 'Rylan, I thought that was absolute s***e'."
Rylan and Liverpudlian contestant Christopher have come under fire for remaining in the contest when judges' favourites such as 16-year-old Ella Henderson have exited the show.
But Rylan, who is gay, told Twitter followers some of the abuse he has received online has been "absolutely disgraceful".
"Some of you should be locked away for your comments regarding my sexuality," he added.
"I TOTALLY understand I haven't got the best voice in the competition but have proved that I can just stand there and sing... I look forward to the day when people see that I have been honest and genuine throughout and polite to everyone during this process."