'She started the party early': 'Tipsy' Nicole Scherzinger almost topples over moments into the X Factor final before breaking down in tears... as viewers accuse her of drinking on-duty

Nicole Scherzinger somewhat stole the limelight from her act on Sunday night, as viewers accused her starting the party early.

Moments into the X Factor final, the vocal coach almost tripped over her tricky fishtail gown before breaking down over her finalist, Matt Terry.

Viewers commentating from Twitter were quick to suggest that the brunette had enjoyed a tipple during the show, after risking a topple at the very start of the show.  

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Awkward: Nicole Scherzinger almost toppled over her own dress moments into the X Factor final on Sunday night and had to cling to fellow judge Simon Cowell

While  Nicole certainly wowed the crowds in her exquisite ensemble, she suffered an immediate wardrobe malfunction when she struggled to walk onstage.

The 38-year-old former Pussycat Dolls frontwoman flashed her incredible figure in the stunning sheer gown, yet the mermaid shape prevented her walking with grace.

She laughed off the gaffe as she arrived to support her act Matt when he was due to face off against fellow finalist Saara Aalto.

Grand arrival: Nicole was joined by fellow judges (from left) Simon, Sharon Osbourne and Louis Walsh when her dress restricted her movement

Hold it in! Nicole was sobbing her way through the praise she lavished on her charge 

As she flashed every inch of her incredible figure from beneath the gown, she clutched onto Simon with a hand for support.  

Meanwhile, shunning her usual gothic head-to-toe black, Sharon Osbourne opted instead for festive glamour - in a colour scheme which perfectly suited her trademark red tresses.

Later that night, musician Nicole broke down as she thanked her contestant Matt for his hard work.

Good evening, Wembley! Nicole looked absolutely stunning as she addressed the crowd

'You are the reason I came back to the UK for The X Factor,' she said to her contestant before bursting into tears.

The duo have consistently drawn attention to their close bond, with Nicole working particularly to mentor her act through to the final.

But Nicole's behaviour on Sunday night had fans agreeing that she had perhaps enjoyed a few drinks.

'Is it just me or does Nicole look drunk on Xfactor?' commented one concerned fan, from home.

Did she start the party earlier? Nicole''s hilarious antics were quickly met with a wave of questions over whether she had enjoyed a tipple before the show

'Nicole Scherzinger looks absolutely her tits #xfactorfinal' said another, with another adding: 'Can't decide if Nichole Scherzinger has had to many shots this final or just high.'

'Seriously like wtf is wrong with Nicole Scherzinger she's either a mixture between high or still drunk #XFactor #XFactorFinal'

'Nicole Scherzinger looks like she's drunk af'

'Scherzinger is off her face again! #XFactor,' said another, with one adding: 'Nicole Scherzinger looks like she's smashed on the X Factor!' 

Another said: 'Nicole Scherzinger looks absolutely battered on X factor tonight.'

'Nicole Scherzinger looks absolutely hammered #XFactorUK2016' said another, with one saying: 'Nicole Scherzinger looks smashed #XFactor'

'And btw Nicole Scherzinger is absolutely off her tits #XFactor'

Sending love: Sharon Osbourne sent her love as she arrived onstage

Salute: Simon Cowell kept things simple with a salute to the fans

Peace: Louis Walsh shot a peace sign when he joined the judges for a spectacular arrival



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