X FACTOR mentor Tulisa Contostavlos has paid tribute to Sheffield’s Lucy Spraggan after the singer was forced to pull out of the competition due to illness, writes Graham Walker.
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After missing last week’s show, host Dermot O’Leary announced on Saturday’s show that Spraggan was still not well enough to perform and had decided to take herself out of the running.
Tulisa, her mentor, said it will not be the last people will hear of the 20-year-old.
The judge said: “She’s just an amazing person to work with. I’m going to miss her very much.
“We are still in touch, this is not the end of Lucy or the last you are going to see of her...big, big things to come. I just want to send her all my love.”
The first performer of last night’s show, controversial contestant Rylan Clark, made a shout out to Spraggan during his rendition of Madonna’s number one hit Hung Up.
“This one is for you Spraggan, I love you,” he said mid song.
Judge Gary Barlow said: “I did enjoy your shout out to Lucy, well done for that, but I have a feeling that may be your last performance on the X Factor.”
Spraggan pulled out of last weekend’s shows and was given a free pass to this week by show bosses.
But since she was still not well enough to perform this weekend, the singer said she felt it would be unfair to accept another free pass.
In a statement from the show’s organisers, she said: “I am gutted not to be able to continue on this journey but I’m not well enough to perform.
“To accept another free pass having missed last weekend would not be fair on the others in the competition.
“I wish them all well. I would like to express my thanks to everyone who has supported me. There is no way that this setback will prevent me from fulfilling my ambition. You’ll be hearing from me again very soon.”
Spraggan, who hails from Buxton, Derbyshire, writes her own songs and has played guitar for years. She works as a portrait seller in Sheffield.
In September, she said: “For a long time in my life, I tried to be whatever everyone else wanted - and as soon as I stopped doing that, things started happening for me.”
Spraggan will not be replaced in the competition and one act will leave the show this weekend, organisers said.
Boy band District3 received harsh criticism for their performance of Taio Cruz hit song Dynamite with female dancers.
Tulisa said their mentor Louis Walsh had got it wrong this week with his song choice.
“You just looked awkward and like you were struggling, but I saw you give the best with the circumstances,” Tulisa said. Walsh kept saying “no, no, no, no” over Tulisa’s criticism.
Barlow said the band had lost touch with who they were.
He added: “You were a vocal harmony band, very technical, very good singers. Somewhere that has got completely lost...guys, I don’t know who you are any more.”
Fellow judge Nicole Scherzinger said their performance did not cut it for X Factor and agreed Walsh had made a mistake with their song choice and the decision to have dancers perform with the band.
“No, baby, no...if we were at the Mickey Mouse club, this would be “schmazing” but this is X Factor where they eat you alive,” she added.
However, Walsh had a more optimistic opinion of their performance. He said: “I thought it was fantastic and people at home are going to vote for you guys.”
The final performer of the night, Christopher Maloney, became teary after his performance of Eric Carmen’s classic All By Myself but the judges gave mixed reviews.
Walsh said Moloney hit all the notes but he may not have international appeal.
The judge said: “We’re looking for someone who is going to sell records internationally and I don’t think that’s you.”
Scherzinger said Maloney did an amazing job and that he hit “money notes”.
“Why you crying right now...because you felt like you put everything into that performance,” Scherzinger asked. “That’s what it’s all about baby...enjoy it and embrace it.”
Tulisa said for the first time she loved Maloney’s song choice and his vocals but his sound performance was “five weeks too late”.
After a public vote, the bottom three will be revealed on tonight’s show. The acts will then have a sing-off after which the four judges will decide who will be booted off the show.