Alesha Dixon has weighed into the row over X Factor voting, claiming judge Louis Walsh was mistaken sending Laura White home.

Laura, 21, left the ITV1 talent show on Saturday after judges opted to save Spanish singer Ruth Lorenzo when the two faced each other in a sing-off.

Thousands of people have signed an online petition to have Laura - a favourite to win the show - reinstated while the likes of Lily Allen and culture secretary Andy Burnham have expressed their shock at her being voted off.

And now Strictly Come Dancing champion Dixon has said Walsh is to blame for Laura's controversial exit.

"He should not have picked out of Laura and Ruth, he should have taken it to deadlock. You should let the public decide," Dixon told BBC Radio 1's Breakfast Show.

Walsh's fellow judge Cheryl Cole has alleged Walsh voted against Laura to improve the chances of his act JLS winning the series.

And former Misteeq singer Dixon, speaking ahead of the launch of her debut solo album The Alesha Show, agreed, saying Walsh was "just being spiteful" towards Cole.

Earlier this week Walsh laughed off Cole's remarks, saying: "Laura was in the bottom two. Her performance was bad and her styling was even worse."

He added: "She didn't get the public support and got three votes from the judges."

Diana Vickers, the 17-year-old favourite to win the current series of The X Factor, is expected to return to performing this weekend, after being the last show due to laryngitis.

Footage shown on ITV2's Xtra Factor had depicted Diana shouting at a fireworks party last week, sparking speculation that she may not have been as ill as depicted.

The young Blackburn singer has since issued a statement clarifying the extent and development of her illness.

"I felt under the weather all last week but didn't want to miss out on the fireworks display, "she explained, adding that she was diagnosed with laryngitis last Thursday.

"Up until Saturday afternoon, I was still hoping and praying that I would be well enough to perform but the producers spoke to the Doctor Who made it clear that I could risk long-term damage to my voice," she continued,

"I was absolutely devastated to be told I couldn't perform on Saturday night and disappointed not to be able to meet Mariah Carey. I am due to see the doctor again on Friday so fingers crossed I will be able to take part in this Saturday's show."

13/11/2008 09:13:23