Shirlena's 'X Factor' axe

Shirlena Johnson

Former 'X Factor' contestant Shirlena Johnson

'The X Factor' hopeful Shirlena Johnson has been axed after it was discovered she had failed to tell ITV1 bosses she had been diagnosed with serious mental illnesses.

'The X Factor' hopeful Shirlena Johnson has been axed over her mental health issues.

Judge Simon Cowell admitted he was forced to take the "heartbreaking" decision after the 30-year-old failed to tell ITV1 bosses she had been diagnosed with serious mental illnesses.

Shirlena - who has a three-year-old daughter, Mariah - had been described by medical professionals as a "ticking timebomb".

The singer made it through to the second round of the show after a bizarre rendition of Duffy song 'Mercy', which was a hit with both viewers and the show's judges - which alongside Simon, include Louis Walsh and Cheryl Cole.

The decision to drop Shirlena is said to be for her own good.

Simon said: "I really feel for her. I'm very upset and disappointed.

"The advice I'm given is she can't do the show. But there's another argument that we're depriving her of the chance to make some money."

He added to Britain's The Sun newspaper: "Even if she didn't win, she could have picked up money for personal appearances.

"On the other hand, if we don't take the advice we're irresponsible."

Shirlena's problems are said to include needing taking pills to combat long-term stress.

The singer's mother has now hit back at the show's decision, claiming 'The X Factor' bosses knew her daughter was at risk.

She told Britian's Daily Mirror newspaper: "It's cruel the way they have built up her hopes only to dash them again."

Sources at 'The X Factor' claim a mandatory medical report - asked of each contestant before they progress to a certain level in the competition, to prove they can cope with the stress of the show - from Shirlena's doctor arrived late. When they found she had health issues, they say they acted immediately.

Meanwhile, 'X Factor' favourite Gamu Nhengu, 18, has revealed she fled 'X Factor' auditions four times before her incredible performance last Saturday.

Gamu, who is already favourite to win after her rendition of Katrina and the Waves' 'Walking On Sunshine' almost backed out of this year's show too.

She said: "This year I was like, 'No more excuses, just audition for it and see how it goes.'"


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