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X Factor 'exploiting' contestant

A singing coach who worked with failed X Factor contestant Ceri Rees has accused show bosses of "exploiting" the 54-year-old.

Viewers saw Rees, who has auditioned for the show four times, struggle through an audition on Sunday's show.

The seven-minute section of the programme showed her being rejected by the judges after tuneless performances of I Dreamed A Dream from the musical Les Miserables and I Will Always Love You.

Vocal coach Amanda Roberts told the Sun she tried to persuade producers not to feature Rees.

She said: "The show just wants someone to ridicule. The producers and judges should hang their heads in shame - they are exploiting a vulnerable woman."

The clip of Rees, from Bridgend in Wales, was also criticised online by celebrity fans of the show and mental health charities.

ITV presenter Lorraine Kelly tweeted: "Uncomfy to watch ceri on x factor - she's a poor wee soul."

Singer Lily Allen wrote: "They shouldn't have aired that audition, she's clearly ill."

Mark Davies, director of communications at the charity Rethink Mental Illness, said: "While we can't speculate on the state of Ceri's mental health, she does appear vulnerable and it was clear she had been set up to fail."

A spokeswoman for the show said: "The X Factor is open to everybody to apply and we regularly welcome back contestants who want to audition again."

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