Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Rebecca Ferguson fears X Factor has been 'geared up for Cher Lloyd to win'

By Sara Nathan

Doubts: Rebecca Ferguson, pictured at the Narnia premiere in London last night, fears Cher Lloyd is being set up to win The X Factor

She is a clear favourite to make the X Factor finals - and has been praised for her ‘beautiful, distinctive voice'.

But Rebecca Ferguson broke down in tears following the results show on Sunday night - and told show producers she feared the show is being geared up for Cher Lloyd to win.

The pressure of the ITV talent show had clearly taken its toll on the mother-of-two after she gave a rather subdued performance on Saturday that prompted Simon Cowell to say he could ‘see the nerves'.

Miss Ferguson, 24, was then pictured weeping as she left the studios in Wembley, North London, and was comforted by ousted Katie Waissel.

A show source told the Daily Mail: ‘Rebecca was in absolute tears backstage, I’ve never seen a contestant so upset before.

‘She really feels that Cher is getting preferential treatment over her and that this is going to ruin her chances of winning.

‘Rebecca’s put everything into this competition and she’s finding it extremely stressful. It’s very hard for her to see Cher get so much attention from their mentor Cheryl. She thinks the show is being geared up for Cher.

‘And besides which, Rebecca was very close to Katie and now that she has gone, she only has Cher left, and she can be very hard and cold.’

Determined to win: Cher Lloyd, pictured at rehearsals on Monday, has bounced back from being in the bottom two

The situation was only aggravated after Miss Lloyd, 17, was given the plum spot of performing last on Saturday night – which keeps the performance fresh in viewers minds before they vote.

Miss Ferguson performed her version of U2’s I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For – only to be told by judge Dannii Minogue that she wanted to see ‘more performance’ from her and not ‘always just standing in the middle.’

Cowell said: ‘Once again, as next week is semi-finals, I can see the nerves, that was a little bit stiff in some parts of the performance…having said that you have the most beautiful distinctive voice.’

However, Miss Lloyd - who has struggled with performance anxiety and panic attacks throughout the series - was praised for her rendition of Walk This Way by Aerosmith.

Tears: Rebecca is comforted by Katie Waissel as they leave the X Factor studios on Sunday night

Mixed reviews: Rebecca was told she was a 'little stiff' on Saturday, while judges universally praised Cher's sets

Cowell said: ‘I think you’ve had a fantastic night tonight, you’ve reminded us this is not a karaoke competion,’ before declaring: ‘I absolutely love you.’

Mrs Cole added: ‘We have never seen anyone like you on The X Factor, and you’re not everyone’s cup of tea, but you’re my cup of tea with two sugars in it.

‘That was dreamy and I believe in you, that you have a future and a credible future as an artist after this show.’

Miss Ferguson tried to shrug off her tears by saying that she was simply missing her children, Lilly May, five, and son Karl, four, who have been cared for by relatives at home in Liverpool during the competition.

A mother's love: Rebeca kisses her five-year-old daughter Lilly May goodbye on Sunday night

She wrote on Twitter: 'I was upset leaving the studio tonight because I miss my kids.

She added: 'Gonna do my best Sat just been reminded of why I'm here.'

Rebecca said during the audition stages of the show that she wanted to give her son and daughter the best possible life.

The semi-finalist had been awarded plenty of visits with her children during the live shows.

But her participation has required that she move from Liverpool to the finalists' house in North London.

Call the fashion police: One Direction members Louis Tomlinson (left) wearing a OnePiece playsuit and Harry Styles in a trench at rehearsals yesterday

Eyes on the prize: Niall Horan (left) and Zayn Malik wrap up warm yesterday

Meanwhile, Miss Lloyd looked ecstatic after avoiding the bottom two, smiling and waving as she left the studio.

Her father Darren Lloyd insisted yesterday she was determined to win and said: ‘It’s more important than ever that people pick up the phone and vote for her if they like her performances.

‘She had a feeling that she was going to be in the bottom three on Sunday night, so we were all delighted when she made it through.’

Dapper: One Direction traded their winter woollies for smart suits as they attended the Narnia premiere

Out on the town: Recent X Factor reject Katie Waissel at Shoreditch House in London last night


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