An unnamed finalist was recently quoted as saying he "could not be any more different off camera" and "is actually quite big-headed", while eliminated singer Carolynne Poole said she was "surprised" to see a "confident, bold" Maloney suddenly become nervous on stage.
"It's extremely tough this week," Maloney told journalists including Digital Spy. "There's stuff being written about us in the papers, like things I've done in my past. I've never lied about it. I've [worked] on a cruise ship that lasted six weeks.
"It's just a bit negative. It's hurtful and they're saying hurtful things about my family. It's part and parcel I guess, but I've still got feelings. It's not that I'm upset, it's just you can't really defend yourself when you're in this position.
"They're saying that I've been faking my nerves and stuff - try and sing in front of all them stars and sing in front of 60,000 people in your hometown and [have] people telling you that you're crap and you're not good enough to be on The X Factor. It's terrifying.
"All my nerves just roll into one and I'm still nervous now. I just feel like my confidence is being knocked back again. In my whole life I've never put myself forward. I'm quite a vulnerable person anyway. It's a shame that people say stuff.
"I'm doing my best, I'm the same person that I've always been. I've not changed at all. This year, contestants have had record deals, they've been in bands before. After a couple of cruise ships with 12-week periods, people seem to think it's a big deal - it's not."
Speaking of allegations that he is a diva backstage, which first surfaced after comments made by Louis Walsh on The Xtra Factor, Maloney revealed that Walsh later apologised and confessed he'd been put on the spot during the show.
"I don't really like that. No hard feelings though, he was put on the spot and he was a little flustered and unfortunately my name popped into his head," he explained.
"But then there were rumours of me not getting on with other contestants. It was just that comment that Carolynne made that I was faking my confidence. When she sees me I'm confident, I'm in a social situation, but getting on that stage, my knees turn to jelly."