Former The X Factor finalist Rebecca Ferguson has admitted that she found it tough being rejected from talent shows before her eventual triumph.

The singer – who finished second to Matt Cardle in the 2010 series of the show – had previously applied for the series in 2005 and 2006 but was rejected, and she also fell at the first hurdle on Britain’s Got Talent and P Diddy’s Starmaker in 2007.

“Getting those rejections was hard,” Rebecca said. “The first time was really hard, because I thought I had talent and could do it.”

“It was tough, but I went back again, and got knocked back again,” she added. “I still thought they were wrong, but with the third and fourth knock-back, I started to doubt myself.”

The mother of two – who recently released her debut album Heaven – said that she had made every effort to realise her singing ambitions. “I didn’t just dream of becoming a singer,” she pointed out. “I was really active in trying to make it happen.

And she also admitted she had no regrets in openly discussing her foster home past.

“My childhood was hard, and I was in foster homes, but it’s no different from what thousands of kids are going through today. And me talking about it might help someone,” she said.

“I could shut up about some things – and you have to keep some things back – but a child in foster care could see me and think ‘She’s doing OK, maybe there is hope?’ and that’s great.”