Saturday 27 May 2017

X Factor axe for singer Shirlena

TV bosses have axed contestant Shirlena Johnson from The X Factor over fears about her health (Ken McKay/ITV)
TV bosses have axed contestant Shirlena Johnson from The X Factor over fears about her health (Ken McKay/ITV)

TV bosses have axed contestant Shirlena Johnson from The X Factor over fears about her health.

The wannabe singer caused a stir during her first appearance on the hit ITV1 talent show on Saturday evening with an eccentric routine.

And show chiefs have now decided that she should not continue in the series, in the interests of her welfare.

On Monday she was given the chop from this year's Miss Great Britain contest - which she had also entered - after organisers discovered her real age when they watched her TV audition. Shirlena told organisers she was 28, but on The X Factor she said she was 30 - over the cut-off point of 29.

More than 12 million viewers saw Shirlena, a single mother, get through to the boot camp stage of the X Factor on Saturday night. She performed, in leopard skin leggings, a bizarre rendition of the Duffy track Mercy.

But now programme bosses acted to stop her continuing after fears about her mental health were raised.

A spokesman for The X Factor said: "The welfare of contestants is of paramount importance, and for this reason, it has been agreed that Shirlena Johnson should not continue in the competition."

It is understood Shirlena was given the news in person by programme executives afternoon with a psychologist to hand. The programme's medical experts consulted the hopeful's own doctor before a decision was made.

Contestants are asked to declare health issues during the audition process but it is thought no issues were brought to the attention of show staff.

After her audition, judge Simon Cowell told her: "I have to say I love you - you're completely crazy, but I like that. You are fantastically nuts."

Press Association

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