Gary Barlow “mocked” failed X Factor contestant Ceri Rees after her audition flop on Sunday’s show, it has been claimed.
Viewers saw Ceri, who has auditioned for the show four times, being rejected by the judges after tuneless performances of I Dreamed A Dream from the musical Les Miserables and I Will Always Love You.
Gary reportedly spoke to Ceri after her performance, but the scene was not included in the show.
One audience member, Ashlei Swain, told The Sun Gary sat with Ceri on the stage steps before going through her handbag which she had brought on stage with her.
He said: “She had her handbag so Gary was going on about why it was so special. He started rifling through it and found her passport. He held it up and mocked her and tried to get the audience to laugh with him. But people were booing.”
Her appearance on the show has been criticised by mental health charities.
Mark Davies, director of communications at the charity Rethink Mental Illness, said: “While we can’t speculate on the state of Ceri’s mental health, she does appear vulnerable and it was clear she had been set up to fail.”
A spokeswoman for the show 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.”