Axed X Factor hopeful Shirlena Johnson has been offered the chance to perform as a guest during the live finals, according to The Sun.

The single mum from East London – who made a big impact on the judges with her wacky version of Duffy’s Mercy – was dropped from the competition a few weeks ago amid concerns for her mental health.

However despite the decision not to allow Shirlena to continue in the competition, Simon Cowell is keen for her to appear on one of the live shows following overwhelming support from readers of the paper.

“I’m really frustrated for her,” he said. “She is obviously upset and wants to do everything she can to come back.

“I would love to see her on the show again – I don’t know exactly how. But as The Sun has proved, viewers would like to see her again.”

Shirlena, meanwhile, has spoken of her sadness at not being given another chance to take part in the competition.

“It’s disappointing,” she admitted, “but if I had the chance to appear on the live shows that would make me happy and encourage me in my career.”