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The X Factor’s latest casualty Shelley Smith says ear and viral infections hampered her final performances and could have cost her her place.

The Exeter mum of one impressed the judges in the early X Factor shows with her soulful, Aretha Franklin-inspired singing, but she admits her health cost her dearly in the latest rounds when she sang Beyonce’s Single Ladies and Sam Brown’s Stop!

“I felt so ill, on the Thursday I passed out. I was rushed to the doctor,” she told whatsontv.co.uk. “I’ve got an ear infection and a viral infection, I was really not in a good place. Vocally, I’m really proud of my performance because it’s quite a run around on the Saturday and I did everything I was supposed to do… so I was quite proud.”

Shelley, 35, feels no bitterness towards Miss Dynamix, who had a bye to the next round because one of their members – SeSe Foster – also had a trip to the hospital.

She said: “She had a panic attack… She’s pregnant, you know, so they have to be very careful with her… It’s fine.”

Watch the interview with Shelley Smith: