Wednesday, September 26, 2007
London (ANI): Contestants participating in Simon Cowell's 'X Factor's" boot camp were bullied and subjected to hours of "mental torture", if reports are to be believed. While the judges had promised the aspiring singers a fun-packed experience, the contestants revealed a darker side behind the scenes, likening their time at Heythorpe Park Hotel in Oxfordshire to jail.
As per the rules laid down for the contestants, they were neither allowed to use mobile phones nor to leave the hotel grounds, they said. The contestants also revealed that fifty black-shirted "prefects" kept barking orders at them. They further said that they had to stage a protest after being denied food and drinks, and upon being banned from using the toilet or going outside for hours.
Dr Joy Philippou, a contestant, said that she feared suffering a heart attack when she and the others were woken at 3am after just two hours sleep. "It was absolutely horrific, it was physical and mental torture and everyone was acting on Cowell's orders. We called him the Fuhrer," the Daily Mail quoted her as telling the Mirror.
While the contestant slept in repulsive rooms, Cowell and the fellow judges—Dannii Minogue, Sharon Osbourne and Louis Walsh—enjoyed their stay at 360-pound a-night suites. Fellow contestant, Kim Marrero was so flustered with house"s conditions that she walked out on the second day. "I was told I couldn't use the toilet because it didn't fit in with the filming timetable. After two hours I was so desperate to go, I just stormed out," she said.
She even claimed that the show was a fix-up, and the crew gave special treatment to the contestants who had already been "chosen" to win. When asked the film production to comment on the prevailing situation, an ITV spokesman said: "It is a long filming process which can be stressful, but we work hard to ensure that all their needs are met and they are kept as comfortable as possible. This is a process that all contestants go through and we receive very few complaints."