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So Simon Cowell will not be happy to learn that his latest protégée has been secretly dating behind his back.

According to the Sun today, X Factor finalist Cher Lloyd has been seeing Essex socialite Karim Roundi since the final of the show last month.

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The tiny singer from Worcestershire was introduced to Roundi backstage by his friend and Cher's fellow contestant Paije Richardson.

And according to friends of the pair, Cher, 17, and Roundi, 20, hit it off instantly, swapped numbers and have been seeing each other ever since.

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