Belfast Telegraph

Akister: Mel B as emotional as me

Paul Akister has said his X Factor mentor Mel B found him being voted off the show as devastating as he did.

The singer, 25, lost out to Jay James in the bottom two over the weekend, when the vote was taken to deadlock after the judges couldn't decide which contestant to keep, and Paul revealed Mel was so upset by his tears afterwards that she couldn't even stay in the same room.

He admitted: "I was gutted, crying like a little baby.

"I went to her dressing room and had a little chat after, but I couldn't really speak much and she couldn't really talk to me because I was in bits. So she was just hugging me and then she went because she couldn't take it. It's hard, but she's been amazing.

"I'm going to keep in touch, as long as she wants to. I've got her number and she's been texting this morning to say she's been thinking about me. She's really nice."

On Saturday's show, head judge Simon Cowell had implied that Paul had been argumentative and ungrateful behind the scenes, but Paul, who has insisted that is not true, said they had buried the hatchet.

He explained: "It's his opinion on a person and [the judges] are allowed that. If I'm stood there giving it a miserable face, he's going to say it. He's been really nice since."

Paul added that he had no hard feelings towards Stevi Ritchie, who has said he feels guilty that he was not in the bottom two this week instead of Paul and Jay James.

He said: "He deserves it as much as anyone else. He's a great guy, so much fun - in the house he keeps the spirits high - and he's just doing the best with what he's been given."

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