Belfast girl Katrina Lee has spoken of her X Factor heartache after failing to make it through boot camp.
The 23-year-old music graduate said she was “absolutely gutted” to be booted off the show without the public getting the chance to hear her sing.
Katrina’s first and second auditions were not included as part of the X Factor footage, although the programme-makers did show her breaking down in tears after being told she was going no further than the boot camp stage.
Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph last night Katrina — who has since been struck down with swine flu — described her experience as “an emotional rollercoaster” that had left her physically and emotionally exhausted.
But she said that she had no regrets about doing the show — and would definitely do it all over again.
“I watched the programme with my mum and dad on Saturday night and was in floods of tears,” she said.
“When they didn’t show my first round audition I was sure they would show the second one, when I sang with the band Harmony Hood and a girl called Treyc. I got great comments from the judges and was delighted when all three acts were put through to the next round.
”But the audition was never shown, even though we did really well. They showed footage of me getting off the bus, all smiles, and then when I’d found out I hadn’t got through to the final 50 they showed me crying and taking the news really badly.
“I feel like the girl with no voice. People know what I look like but they haven’t heard me sing. It was heartbreaking enough not getting through boot camp, but then for my auditions not to be shown was equally bad.
“I’ve no idea why they weren’t shown and I was really devastated not to go through, especially as Harmony Hood and Treyc did.”
Viewers on Saturday night saw 200 contestants being whittled down to 100 after being asked to perform in groups of three. Those 100 hopefuls were then divided into four groups of 25 and each sent to a room to await news of their progress. Yesterday the final 50 were shortlisted to 24.
Katrina said: “As I looked around the room and saw how good some of the others were who were in there with me, I was sure we were going to get through.
“Harmony Hood and Treyc were in a different room and I was convinced we were all going through. But when Dannii Minogue came into our room, I don’t know why, I just knew it wasn’t good news.
“When Dannii told us we were out I went to pieces, I was devastated. People were coming over to me and hugging me, saying they had really thought I was a contender. But I guess things happen for a reason.”
This was the second time Katrina had auditioned for the X Factor. In 2004 she tried out for the show but was criticised by Simon Cowell who told her he loved her voice but wished it was in a different body.
Katrina said: “I had a bit of a makeover, dyed my hair red and revamped my image a bit.
“But I want to be known for my voice, and not as the girl with the bright red hair.
“I’m going to take time out to think about my future and where I go from here, but I don’t regret going for the X Factor at all, even though it was the toughest thing I’ve ever done.
“In fact, I definitely wouldn’t rule out giving it a go again.”