The X Factor has come under fire after devoting more than seven minutes of Sunday’s show to a cruel audition featuring contestant Ceri Rees.
The 54-year-old, who has auditioned for the show four times, was shown struggling to sing in tune and was rejected by the judges.
The clip of Ceri, from Bridgend in Wales, which showed her singing I Dreamed A Dream from the musical Les Miserables and I Will Always Love You in front of the panel was criticised online.
ITV presenter Lorraine Kelly tweeted: “Uncomfy to watch ceri on x factor – she’s a poor wee soul.”
Singer Lily Allen wrote: “they shouldn’t have aired that audition, she’s clearly ill.”
Richard Madeley said: “Loads agree that last two acts on X Factor last night should never have been featured, certainly at such cruel length. Bad end to show.”
A Mind spokesman said: “We want people with mental health problems to participate, but need programme-makers to be responsible.”
Viewers saw an upset Ceri leave the stage, saying ‘stuff it’, after her rejection.
A spokeswoman for The X Factor said: “The X Factor is open to everybody to apply and we regularly welcome back contestants who want to audition again. Ceri has been taking singing lessons since she last appeared on the show and she wanted to have her vocals judged by a new panel as she hadn’t been successful with the previous line-up. Her audition was the same length as the other key stories we have featured in the series and Ceri has assured the team today that she is happy she auditioned for the show.”
The show employs psychologists during the auditions to help programme makers and asks contestants to ‘declare any health issues’.