Fleur East says X Factor needs warning for stars on ‘pitfalls and hardship’

X Factor star Fleur East has weighed into the growing storm around the TV talent show – blasting the “risks” contestants face.

The 2014 runner-up believes the ITV series should come with a “warning” for hopefuls dreaming of stardom.

And she said successful contestants needed to be given stronger guidance about the pitfalls of the music business.

Fleur told how she was “put on a shelf” by show creator Simon Cowell’s Syco in 2017 after just one album.

She hit out amid former contestants’ claims of bullying and harassment – although she was not referring to those unproven allegations, which are denied by both ITV and Syco.

Fleur East
Fleur East won the second place in 2014

Fleur, 33, told us: “I think it needs to come with a warning.” When asked if she meant X Factor or Cowell himself, she replied: “Well both.

“I think from the start you need to be told of the risks involved. A lot of young contestants don’t really know of the pitfalls and the hardship. When you get signed you think you’ve made it. They don’t realise that’s only the beginning.”

Fleur signed for Syco in 2015 and released LP Love, Sax and Flashbacks.

Fleur East
The singer has spoken of ‘pitfalls’ and ‘hardship’

But she said she didn’t feel supported by the label and there “wasn’t enough love and nurturing and I was put on a shelf – I knew I had a lot more in me.”

Fleur, now a Hits radio host, was speaking at the Aria awards where her show was second to Radio 1’s Greg James.

She says she uses her public platform to help protect younger girls dreaming of fame from being bullied.

Simon Cowell
Fleur also spoke about Simon Cowell

“I tend to Direct Message people,” said Fleur. “I always help them as I know how tough it is.”

Irish twins Jedward have alleged X Factor contestants were poorly paid.

Another show star Rebecca Ferguson, 34, reported alleged bullying to police during the 2010 series.

And fellow contestant Katie Waissell, 35, claims she was assaulted.

Fleur, now shooting musical film Tomorrow Morning, says: “My sister, my family and a strong partner – everybody around me had my back,” she said.

Rebecca Ferguson
Singer Rebecca Ferguson reported alleged bullying to police

“I was 26 and I’d written stuff. As soon as I got to Syco I knew I wanted to write and be very much involved. My experience was really different. But I wouldn’t be doing all the amazing things I’m doing now if I hadn’t been on that show.”

On Rebecca Jedward’s and Fleur’s claims, an X Factor spokesman said: “Duty of care to our contestants is of the utmost importance to us. We have measures to ensure they are supported.”

On Katie’s claims, Syco Entertainment said at the time: “We asked Katie to lodge a complaint and detail the allegations. We wanted to help.

“We suspended the person accused but Katie chose not to make a complaint so we had to accept his denial.”

Originally from https://www.mirror.co.uk/tv/tv-news/fleur-east-says-x-factor-24211753

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