The former Girls Aloud singer returned to the stage to perform her new track Love Made Me Do It on Sunday night's results show.
The routine, which saw Cheryl power through a choreographed dance and lick her hand on one occasion, was slated by fans who were left “cringing” over the “sexualised” performance.
One viewer tweeted: “Cheryl basically using the production, her moves etc to throw people off her ‘singing’. Should have just lip-synced. Terrible.”
Another commented:” Cheryl’s performance on X Factor, which totally relied on sexy moves and outfit.”
A third added: “This is actually s***. Why did she lick her hand at the start there?”
Cheryl coles dancing made me cringe horrifically and what was that hand lick 😬— krp. (@keeleypage_) November 18, 2018
Did anyone else cringe when Cheryl licked her hand? . . . 🙈 x #xfactor2018— lorna fraser (@fraser_lorna) November 18, 2018
#XFactor Just watching Cheryl's performance (plus channel) is it me or is it really weird? Out of tune vocals and the dancing is out of time to the music. Lots of squats? #cringe pic.twitter.com/T7CwXDtfx7— TwoKingsVintageEmporium (@TwoKingsVE) November 18, 2018
Cheryl Cole Versini etc hang your boots and close your legs while you are on national TV ,that performance it’s cringe worthy #XFactor 😂— Nicole (@PDubsNicole) November 18, 2018
According to The Sun, the mother-of-one left show bosses concerned the performance would lead to OfCom complains over it being “too sexy for viewers”.
A source told the publication: “Cheryl wants this performance to be remembered and it will be.
“She has been in rehearsals for the last few days and the routine will see her writhing around on the ground with 12 hot men dancing around her.
“At one point there were fears the male dancers may even have their bums showing but now it seems they will be more covered up.
“No one has told Cheryl what to do, but they’ve been keeping a close eye on the creative team so the routine is suitable for a family audience.”
Standard Online has contacted representatives of Cheryl for comment.
On Sunday night, viewers also blasted the singer's live vocal, branding it "awful."