By SARAH BULL
Cosying up: Cher Lloyd and One Direction's Harry Styles cuddled as they sat backstage after the live show last night
They are two of the hottest young singers in the music industry at the moment, so it's no wonder X Factor's Cher Lloyd and One Direction's Harry Styles have struck up a close friendship.
But the pair were looking like more than just friends last night, as Harry was seen with his arm round Cher just hours after she narrowly escaped eviction from the ITV show after judge Louis Walsh voted Paije Richardson off instead of the 17-year-old.
Harry, 16, was pictured cosying up to Cher backstage after last night's live show, during which Cher revisited Shakespears Sister's Stay for her sing-off performance.
It's not the first time Harry and Cher have been romantically linked.
After a picture of the two cuddling was posted on Twitter, Harry was forced to come forward to deny reports of a pairing.
He said at the time: 'Cher's not really my type. She's a great girl. We've become good friends but that's it.'
Just 'good friends': It's not the first time the pair have been romantically linked
Romance: The two teenagers have a lot in common, and can share experiences on the show
But, after these new photographs, it seems there might be more to the rumours than just speculation.
Positive: Cher smiled for photographers as she headed home last night
However, Harry may find himself with some stiff competition, after it was revealed Cher has another male admirer, in the form of The Wanted singer Nathan Sykes.
After meeting at the X Factor several weeks ago, the pair have been texting each other ever since.
A source told the Daily Mirror: 'They have arranged to meet up. He made the first move.'
Cher found herself in the bottom two last night after the judges clashed over her performance of The Beatles' Imagine on Saturday night.
While Cher's mentor Cheryl Cole said the ballad was the perfect vehicle to showcase the teenager's 'underestimated voice', Louis called the performance 'lazy' and asked why she hadn't included one of her now trademark raps.
And Simon Cowell was also not too impressed, questionining Cheryl's decision to have Cher sit on a giant staircase to sing the song.
He said: 'Part of the problem is what Cheryl did with the half staircase.
'There's nothing you can do with that. It was a ridiculous thing to sing on.'
But Cheryl contended: 'You've performed in every single way possible and I thought it was beautiful the way you just sat there and sang.
'When we strip it back, it just shows that your voice is not to be underestimated.'
Heartthrobs: Harry (centre) with the rest of One Direction on The X Factor
However, despite the criticism from some of the judges, Cher appeared to be in good spirits as she left the television studios last night safe in the knowledge she had survived another week.
Wearing a grey knitted jumper, jeans, a blue tracksuit top and a belt bearing the slogan 'Swagger' in silver diamantes, Cher smiled widely for photographers as she headed back to the X Factor house with her fellow contestants.
And it seems the teenager's positive attitude has continued today, as she tweeted this morning: 'New day, fresh start. Keeping my chin up :)'
Narrow escape: Cher was in the final two alongside Paije Richardson, but was saved when Louis Walsh chose to send home Paije
Criticism: The judges clashed over Cher's performance of Imagine on Saturday
Monday, 22 November 2010
More than just 'good friends'? Cher Lloyd cuddles up to One Direction's Harry Styles after narrow X Factor eviction escape
By SARAH BULL