LORD Sugar took to Twitter to voice his opinion on South Devon's X Factor hopeful Luke Friend.
After his performance of the Police song Every Breath You Take, the Teignmouth teenager was kept waiting until the last minute before discovering that he had gone through to the next live show.
But Lord Sugar, star of TV's The Apprentice, wrote: "The little kid with mad hair might be a lovely person BUT HE CANT SING!"
The 17-year-old singer replied to say 'thanks for your opinion man, respect that' and added one of his You Tube videos for him to watch.
Luke's mum, Sue Potts, said: "Everyone is entitled to their opinion."
But she said she was hurt by the comments.
She said: "Does Lord Sugar realise that Luke is only 17?
"This could really have had a detrimental effect on his confidence.
"Luke was left until last before the person who got the lowest votes, Lorna Simpson, was called, but I have been assured by The X Factor team that Luke was nowhere near the bottom of the votes that night.
"It was just the way that host Dermot O'Leary read them out which was in no particular order.
"I think that Lord Sugar thought that Luke was the next in line to go and therefore used him in his comments, quite erroneously.
"Also, Lord Sugar should be applauding a youngster who has spent years working hard and honing his craft so that he doesn't end up jobless and does something he loves and that gives pleasure to others."
The Coombeshead Academy student, now in the final 11 acts, will battle it out in the love and heartbreak themed X Factor weekend.