X Factor judge Kelly Rowland was reportedly left in turmoil after one of the girls she chose for the judges’ houses stage of the show was revealed to have a criminal record.
According to the Mirror Sian Phillips – who appears briefly in Saturday’s boot camp show – initially made it through to the final eight of Kelly’s category, only to be dropped at the last minute after it became apparent her conviction would leave her unable to get a US visa.
As a result she could not travel to Kelly’s house in Miami for the semi-final stage, and was replaced by another contestant just days before the girls were due to fly out.
An insider told the paper that Sian’s abrupt departure had caused “absolute chaos”.
“The show is being re-edited right up to the last minute because she went through and then Kelly’s plans were thrown in the air,” the source said.
“One girl arrived in Miami without any preparation. And Sian is being virtually airbrushed from the show.”
Liverpool native Sian, who served ten days in jail for affray when she was 22, told the paper she was “absolutely gutted” to have been dropped from the competition.
She added that the criminal charge came at a bad time in her life after she had lost her home and ended a long-term relationship, causing her to “go off the rails”.
“It was the worst thing that ever happened in my life, but in some ways it turned out to be the best as it gave me the shock I needed to get my life back on track,” she said.
An X Factor spokesman told the Mirror, “Unfortunately the visa could not be obtained in sufficient time for Sian to join the other contestants in the USA.
“We have a system to complete criminal and welfare checks for every contestant from the Boot Camp stage onwards.
“At the discretion of the producers, certain convictions or pending criminal proceedings may result in someone being axed from the series. Each contestant is looked at on a case by case basis.”
A double bill of bootcamp shows begins on ITV1 on Saturday at 8pm.