Rylan Clark: Christopher Maloney to win X Factor

The latest contestant to be booted off the ITV1 talent contest has hailed Maloney despite sniping about the former cruise ship singer last week

Axed X Factor star Rylan Clark is now tipping Christopher Maloney to win the TV singing contest.

Despite sniping about Maloney's abilities last week in a series of online messages, Clark reckons the former cruise ship singer could triumph at the final in just under a fortnight.

Flamboyant Clark was given the boot from the show last night after judges chose to save boy band Union J in the sing-off.

He told ITV1's Daybreak this morning: "I think Chris Maloney might take it, he's got such a great following."

And Clark joked that he would like to see his former rival teaming up with another cruise veteran, Loose Women presenter Jane McDonald. He suggested the two of them should perform together in the final which takes place over the weekend of December 8 and 9.

Clark said: "Do you know what though, I've got to say I would love to see a duet with Christopher Maloney and Jane McDonald.

I think it would be immense. Get Jane McDonald in that final."

And McDonald - who has championed Maloney - said she would be more than happy to accompany him.

The presenter, who found fame in BBC docudrama The Cruise, said on Loose Women today: "If Chris Maloney wants me to sing on the duet of X Factor with him, I will do it.

"I would be very proud to sing alongside him. I think he's had a rough ride."

"He's had a lot of criticism. I am proud of him standing up every week and doing as well as he's done."

Clark, who won fans more for his colourful performances than singing talent, said he had been shocked to get so far in the competition. And he predicted that if he had won, he may have undermined the credibility of the competition and could have sparked the end of the series.

He told Daybreak: "I was totally ready to leave the competition. There's four great acts still there and I'm just so, so shocked that I managed to get as far as I did and I'm just so pleased that I did.

"I got a chance to stand there and sing like everyone else, and hopefully I proved myself to a lot of people out there that thought I can't really sing, and I went out on a high."

He added: "If I'd have won it, there wouldn't be an X Factor next year. It would have put a lot of people out of a job."