Belfast Telegraph

More X Factor trouble as secrets of wannabes are exposed

Two X Factor contestants have got themselves into hot water after being rather economical with the truth on the hit show.

Katie Waissel, the young Madonna lookalike who wowed the crowd on Saturday night, claimed to be a hair salon receptionist but is actually a professional singer with US recording contract.

And Shirlena Johnson has been thrown out of this year's Miss Great Britain contest after organisers discovered her real age, revealed during her X Factor audition.

The two contestants’ woes follow the controversy over the show’s use of ‘autotuning’ to make the hopefuls sound better.

Saturday’s ITV1 show, the first of the new series, drew a record 12.6 million viewers but has been blighted by bad publicity since it aired. Furious viewers filled internet forums with complaints about the programme’s use of sound enhancement techniques to correct pitch and off-key mistakes.

Autotuning wasn’t required for Ms Waissel, who showed some nerves singing Etta James’ At Last but is actually an experienced performer who records under the pseudonym Lola Fontaine.

Meanwhile Ms Johnson, a single mother, fought her way through to the bootcamp stage after she performed a bizarre rendition of the Duffy track Mercy.

She told the show’s judges that she was 30 — which is too old for the Miss GB competition.

Johnson had claimed to be 28 on her application form, and was due to compete in a regional heaton Saturday.

Miss Great Britain chief executive Liz Fuller said: “It's such a shame to lose Shirlena, though she did apologise.”

Johnson is unlikely to lose her X Factor place as a result but Waissel may now be disqualified.

Belfast Telegraph

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