It’s been another tough week for this year’s flagging X Factor series. After early favourites Misunderstood were eliminated on Sunday, Little Mix announced a shock split from Simon Cowell’s record label and X Factor was hit with the lowest ratings in its 14 year history.
And Saturday night’s episode was dealt with yet another blow – new judge Robbie Williams was absent – for the third week running.
While Williams tours in South America, Chic co-founder Nile Rodgers has been in his place, and as last week demonstrated, many viewers were left unimpressed and perplexed by the stand-in.
And this week seemed to be the final straw for the show’s fans, with many seemingly irate that Williams was a no show yet again.
One viewer wrote on Twitter “Why did Robbie sign up to be a judge if he was going to be away for weeks on end?” and another “Robbie is having a laugh. He’s not even there for his acts.”
Why did Robbie sign up to be a judge if he was going to be away for weeks on end? Pointless!! #xfactor
— Ayeshah (@AyeshahRose) November 17, 2018
Robbie Williams is having a laugh. He's not even there for his acts. Unprofessional. Get your act together. Don't start something you can't finish. #XFactor
— Lady Kym Watson (@Positiveday2Day) November 17, 2018
Is there really any point of Robbie being there anymore? He’s missed nearly 3 weeks?😂 #XFactor
— Amyellis♡ (@Horan1993xo) November 17, 2018
— Craig Spencer (@spencer_craig) November 17, 2018
So lame Robbie’s not there for half the live shows 🙄 why book a judge that can’t commit to the dates & support their acts 🤷🏽♀️ #XFactor
— Sophie Alcock (@SophieAlcock) November 17, 2018
Viewers were also left amused and surprised that Williams brief appearance on the episode consisted of him video chatting with his one last remaining act – Acacia and Aaliyah.
The teen girls, who were in the bottom two and sing-off last week, were forced to rely on Williams mentorship via what appeared to be a FaceTime call.
ROBBIE VIDEO CALLED THEM LMAOOOOOOOOOO #Xfactor why can’t the judges all be a bit more like Louis
— 𝐧𝐚𝐭𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐚 ◟̽◞̽ (@iheartlouxx) November 17, 2018
Yes Robbie, you’re right behind them. About 7000 miles behind them. #XFactor
— Teddy Misog (@TeddyMisog) November 17, 2018
Meanwhile, Robbie Williams wife, actress Ayda Field, was criticised by some of Saturday night’s viewers for making ‘constant digs’ at X Factor veteran judge Simon Cowell.
Indeed, a pattern has seemed to have emerged over recent weeks. Field will poke fun or even insult Cowell as she provides feedback to his Girls contestants.
Tonight it was Bella Penfold’s turn. Field told her that she didn’t like the song choice, but that she would blame Simon because ‘it’s more fun.’
And while some viewers saw the funny side at her ‘dig,’ others appear to have had enough of her continual swipes.
Ayda: I don't think that was the right song for you, Bella. But I'm not gonna blame you, I'm gonna blame Simon – more fun#XFactor 😂👌🏻👌🏻
— ◟̽◞̽ Alicja 🌸 (@alice0five) November 17, 2018
Ayda is doing my head in stop mentioning Simon all the time in her feedback to the performances #xfactor 🙄🙄
— Marie Anthony 🏴 (@mlawelshgirl) November 17, 2018
#xfactor Anybody else getting quite tired of Ayda's digs towards Simon every week?
— Blueberry Simmer (@BlueberrySimx) November 17, 2018
…And is anyone else getting bored with Ayda digging simon out ALL the time #xfactor
— Becky Moll (@Bex_moll) November 17, 2018
X Factor will announce the next acts to be eliminated on Sunday at 8pm.