X Factor contestant Rachel Hylton has denied tabloid reports that she has sacked her mentor Dannii Minogue and plans to work alone for the rest of the series.

The mother-of-five was voted into the bottom two on Saturday night's episode and is reportedly unhappy with Minogue's song selection.

The Mirror newspaper had claimed the pair held a crisis meeting after Rachel's underwhelming performance on last weekend's show.

But Rachel, 26, has issued a statement denying reports of a split.

"Dannii and I talked yesterday and I don't have anything against Dannii at all and she is still very much my mentor," she said.

"I respect her opinions, all I want is a little more control over my performance and styling, which she is allowing me to have. But I am a fully fledged member of Team Minogue."

Minogue added: "Rachel and I have not fallen out and there has never been any discussions that she wishes to leave Team Minogue.

"I have, as always, spent lots of one-on-one time with Rachel this week and have even organised a personal shopping trip so she feels more confident about her look."

Rachel was one of the early favourites to win the fifth series of the ITV1 talent show with judges marvelling at her powerful voice and moved by her troubled background.

She gave birth to the first of her five children at 13 before drug problems led to a spell in prison and three of her children being taken into care.

But despite her compelling story, Rachel was left in the bottom two on Saturday night, allegedly causing a row between her and Minogue.

An X Factor spokesperson said: "Being in the bottom two last week knocked Rachel's confidence and the pair have agreed that Rachel will have more ownership over her song choice and styling of the performance this weekend.

"But she is still very much part of Team Minogue."

05/11/2008 12:17:59