Pop singer and X Factor judge Dannii Minogue has apologised after making a joke about a contestant’s bisexuality.

On Saturday night’s show, bookies’ favourite Danyl Johnson sang Jennifer Hudson’s song And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going. He changed the pronouns as if he were singing to a woman.

After praising the performance, Minogue said: “Changing a girls’ song into a guys’ song but if we are to believe everything we read in the paper maybe you didn’t need to change the gender reference in it.”

As the crowd sat in silence and Johnson looked tearful, his mentor Simon Cowell said angrily: “What did you say? What did you say? What did you say?”

Minogue then repeated her comment and turned to the audience to say: “No, don’t believe it.”

Many viewers called for her to be sacked for the gaffe, although some suggested she had been questioning why gay or bisexual singers have to conform to ‘straight’ song lyrics.

The singer, sister to gay icon Kylie, issued an apology soon after.

She said: “I’d like to apologise to anyone offended. It was never my intention.

“It was meant to be a humorous moment. An openly bisexual guy singing a song that is lyrically a ‘girls’ song’. Danyl and I were joking about the very same thing in rehearsals on Friday, so it carried on to the show.”

She went on: “I spoke to Danyl straight after the show last night and he wasn’t offended or upset.”

Johnson said: “‘I was not at all offended by Dannii’s comment. We’re completely cool about it and chatted after the show. I wasn’t upset, it’s just so overwhelming being up there on the stage and hearing Simon be so positive!”

Minogue apologised again for the remark on last night’s show, to which Cowell responded: “I’ve got to say I probably overreacted a little bit. You get very protective about your artists.

“I can say this on behalf of Dannii, she is the last person in the world who would ever do anything offensive like that.”

Another judge, Louis Walsh, missed last night show because he was grieving over the death of Boyzone star Stephen Gately.

Walsh was the band’s manager.

See below for the video clip of Dannii Minogue’s comment: