X Factor host Dermot O’Leary couldn’t help but make a dig at Anthony Russell tonight after a controversial week for the singer.
Labourer Anthony was almost kicked off the show just days before the final because of his links to convicted killer pal Michael Sands.
And after Robbie issued him with a stark warning, Dermot made a dig at the singer.
He told him: "You’re trending on Twitter now."
Noticing the worried look on Anthony’s face, Dermot added: "In a good way!"
Following his performance on the show today, Robbie praised his "absolutely amazing" performance.
"This show was made for people like you," Robbie continued. "If there was a stick of X Factor rock it would have ‘Anthony Russell’ all the way through it."
But he added: "Now listen, what you’ve got to do now is to stay on the path of the righteous. The world is opening up to you Anthony and you’ve got to be there to greet it.
"I believe in you, we believe in you and the country believes in you."
Last week the Mirror alerted ITV bosses to a picture of laughing Anthony larking around with brutal killer Sands in a photo where he marks their long friendship by posting: “Nice day with the fellas my man Mike day oner!!!!”.
Sands had been jailed for battering defenceless 18-year-old Neil Murphy in Liverpool in 2010. The victim suffered brain damage after being punched and kicked in the head in an attack the trial judge described as “without mercy”. He died days later.
A source said: “Producers weren’t aware of this at all and only found out today. They are absolutely furious with Anthony for not telling them about this.
“He has put his whole career at risk, not just this weekend at the X Factor final but if he wants a future career in showbiz, by going back to Liverpool and posing with this man.
“He was hanging around with someone guilty of a horrendous crime. It’s deplorable behaviour.
“Granted Sands is one of his oldest friends. They have known each other since he was eight. But it looks terrible and producers, including Simon, are furious the show’s reputation has been put at risk. Anthony has been severely reprimanded and told that hanging out with ex-convicts like this man is inappropriate.
*The X Factor returns tomorrow at 7.30pm on ITV
X Factor 2018
When is the 2018 final?
Where are past X Factor winners now?
Most shocking auditions