Louis Walsh did not have his boyband fast-tracked through the Britain's Got Talent auditions, ITV has said.
The claims of a fix came after Hometown, a boyband put together in Dublin by the Irish X Factor judge, were voted through to the second round by Simon Cowell after a shaky first performance, according to the Daily Mirror.
But ITV has said Simon was unaware that Hometown had anything to do with his pal Louis when he chose them to continue on in the competition.
An ITV spokesman said: "Hometown went through the same audition process as all other acts and to suggest they were given any advantage is ridiculous.
"Simon had never met the band before their audition and was not aware who their manager was until the boys revealed it on stage after their audition.
"As with all other acts the band were auditioned on the merit of their performance on the day."