Stacey Solomon has urged X Factor bosses to give axed hopeful Gamu Nhengu a second chance, joining a chorus of disapproval about her treatment.
More than 165,000 people have signed up to a Facebook group protesting that the singer should have been given a place in the talent show's final 12.
Cheryl Cole told Gamu she could not take her any further in the search for a singing star but fans have not given up on the 18-year-old student, who left her native Zimbabwe for Scotland five years ago.
Stacey - who reached the final of the show last year - gave her backing to the teenager, saying: "I think she should get a second chance, and everyone thinks it. But we'll see what happens. Everyone loves her, she was brilliant."
At least one of the rejected contestants will be given a lifeline at the weekend as a wild card on Saturday night's programme.
Stacey told the Press Association: "I don't want to say too much, because apparently there's a big twist. I'm like, 'It's so unfair', but who knows what's going to happen?"
Fans of the rejected singer have signed up to a Facebook page called Gamu Should Have Got Through.
Show bosses have denied reports that Cheryl was influenced by fears Gamu's visa will shortly run out. A spokeswoman for the ITV1 talent show said: "Gamu's visa being processed was not the reason that she didn't make the final 12."
Bookmakers clearly think will get a second chance. Paddy Power is offering odds of 11-2 on her winning the show - better odds than the 18-1 offered on Katie Waissel, who got through at Gamu's expense.