X Factor judge Cheryl Cole's 36-hour round trip to LA has caused panic among programme bosses, who now want to keep tabs on their stars 24/7.
Cheryl "nipped" over to Los Angeles on Wednesday, but assured bosses that she would be back in time for this weekend's shows.
She was greeted by dancer Derek Hough and she took the opportunity to meet record company executives.
But her sudden show of independence, taking off without permission, has apparently caused consternation among X Factor bosses, who have clamped down on the show's stars travel.
An insider said: "It's getting ridiculous - Louis wanted to nip out to buy a copy of the Irish World and the Irish Post yesterday.
"It was just a half-hour stroll round the newsagent and back but Simon went berserk, wanting to know where he was.
"Then Dannii had to pop round the supermarket to get some nappies and other baby stuff. Simon sent a studio hand with her to make sure she didn't take longer than an hour.
"The craziest was when one of the contestants went to the loo... she didn't tell anyone and Simon was getting ready to send out a search party when she emerged.
"It was a bit embarrassing really."