Calvin Harris has returned to The X Factor despite trying to make a mockery of the “terrible” show seven years ago.
The chart-topper, who once accused show boss Simon Cowell of having a “frightening stranglehold” on the charts, appeared alongside judge Nicole Scherzinger as her guest critic.
The mogul was thought to have banned the Scottish DJ, who at the time branded the double act Jedward as “pretty much down there with the worst”.
As he returned from exile on Sunday night there was a similar show of dismay over the decision to promote a 35-year-old owner of a recruitment firm-turned aspiring gangster rapper to the live shows.
In 2009 Harris interrupted a live performance by Jedward when he stormed the stage and danced around with a pineapple in imitation of their unusual haircuts.
He then said: “I was just inspired to make a mockery of the show. Because it is a music competition, it is a joke and I think it should be treated as such, so when people were saying ‘John and Edward, maybe they deserve to stay in this week’, I was like ‘are you watching what I’m watching?’
“It’s terrible, it’s terrible ... For the greater good of the nation I wanted to go out there and make an idiot of myself and sort of just bring the whole show into another kind of area in which it’s treated as kind of a joke.”
Harris criticised the twins John and Edward Grimes for being “knowingly funny”, but said he wanted them to win The X Factor because it might undermine the competition’s future.
Asked what he thought of the twins, he said: “As entertainment goes it’s pretty much down there with the worst.”
Yet Harris joined former Pussy Cat Doll Scherzinger in the south of France as the judges’ houses round concluded on Sunday.
It is believed he was invited back this year thanks to his chart success over the intervening years. There was no reference to his 2009 stunt, although he cheekily tweeted a pineapple emoji during the show.
John and Edward Grimes, the spiky-haired twins who were at the receiving end, replied by tweeting: “Hey @CalvinHarris You are Fantastic” along with a picture of the fruit.
Any joviality among fans on Twitter was wiped away, however, with the decision by Sharon Osbourne to put one of her less conventional acts through to the live shows.
Honey G, real name Anna Georgette Gilford, was sent through by the judge after she decided to take a “risk” on the 35-year-old.
The hip-hop singer impressed Osbourne and even guest judge Robbie Williams with her rendition of Coolio’s Gangsta’s Paradise.
“I was born to perform,” said the rap fan, suggesting she could be “the next big recording artist”.
Honey G, who is a contestant in the over-25s category, has sparked speculation that she is not genuine because of her amusing dance moves, outfits and attempts at street slang.
Osbourne’s decision provoked anger among fans on social media who believed she was wrongly promoted ahead of other acts who were sent home.
On Twitter reality TV tycoon Lord Sugar asked if The X Factor was “taking the P out if the public”.
Comic Miranda Hart said: “V clever television to get us all talking about Honey G. BUT if she isn’t a comic creation I’m not sure it’s right. Am I missing something?”
Football pundit Robbie Savage tweeted: “Don’t know what is the worse, Gareth Southgate England squad or honey g going through”.