Everyone said the right things after LeAnn Rimes and 'X Factor' contestant Carly Rose Sonenclar finished singing the country superstar's 1997 hit 'How Do I Live.' But it was clear during the duet that there was concern for what was happening on stage. The day following, Rimes is being called "unstable," "out of it" and worse by internet news and tabloid sites.

The 13-year-old Sonenclar said Rimes made her feel very comfortable during their performance, and the 30-year-old star clearly appreciated the contestant's talent, wrapping her in a big hug afterward. Facial expressions and body language (including a "What the heck?" stare by judge Britney Spears) told a different story. Instead of melting into one voice, the pair battled like singers would on 'The Voice.'

The Hollywood Reporter reports that Rimes was hoarse due to being sick before the show aired. On Tuesday, the singer tweeted about having a cold that was getting worse. "Leno was fantastic and I was and am SO sick," she shared after an appearance on 'The Tonight Show.' "Thank you GOD for pulling me through and talking w/ jay was was always fun!!!"

If an illness was to blame, the singer isn't saying, but she's laughing off accusations that she was drinking before the 'X Factor' performance. “I mean are some people for real … what a joke," she tweeted, according to RumorFix.com. That message has since been deleted.

Truth be told, there seemed to be troubles before Rimes joined Sonenclar on stage. In the clip, the young singer looks thrown off during her first lyrics. Throughout the song their vocals lacked balance, making the performance seemed unrehearsed.

Rimes tells TMZ that she thought Sonenclear was having difficulties with the song and she was trying to help the teen contestant get through it. "I was trying to help this 13-year-old girl who was having some trouble with the song," she said. Her lawyer, Larry Stein, added, "LeAnn was not performing the way she would normally perform, because she was on stage with a young girl."

Viewers will find out if Sonenclar, country singer Tate Stevens or Fifth Harmony wins the $5 million prize on the 'X Factor' finale on Thursday (Dec. 20).

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