Music mogul Simon Cowell is embarrassed about leaked documents which revealed contestants on his hit U.K. TV talent show The X Factor are banned from criticising him - calling the order "ridiculous".
Papers detailing rules imposed on the aspiring pop stars were made public earlier this week (begs08Dec08).
One clause orders contestants not to verbally disapprove of Cowell in public or on air.
The documents also reveal the winner of the reality contest receives a recording advance of $225,000 (GBP150,000) - not the $1.5 million (GBP1 million) frequently touted as the show's big prize.
But Cowell has now hit back at the conditions - admitting the contract makes him look a hypocrite when he has built a reputation as TV's 'Mr Nasty'.
He says, "It's slightly embarrassing when any commercial contract goes out. I wasn't aware I was one of the clauses. You can't be horrible about me? That's probably the most useless clause in the history of contracts, because everybody does talk horribly about me, and you know what? I don't care.
"It sounds ridiculously hypocritical for me to slate loads of people who come on the show and then say, 'You have to be nice about Simon'."
Cowell also defended the size of the recording contract handed to the show's eventual winner, adding: "It's GBP150,000 to the winner and that's a lot of dosh (money). Add in the recording costs of between GBP300,000 and GBP500,000, videos are GBP200,000, GBP250,000 for advertising and GBP150,000 for marketing. We make a GBP1 million commitment to the winner."