The X Factor hopefuls go shopping
Show insiders have made no secret of
their concerns about Cher Lloyd's ability to cope with the pressures of
The X Factor.
But as the
stick-thin teen filled up with a fruit
salad and caffeine-filled energy drink today, it seemed the worries may
have fallen on deaf ears.
supermarket worker and fellow contestant Mary Byrne, 50, will make sure
the size six 17-year-old gets a balanced meal.
Hardly filling: Cher Lloyd went for lunch
during a break from the recording studio today, but only bought herself
a Red Bull energy drink and a low-calorie fruit salad; meanwhile Mary
Byrne stocked up
Single mother Mary stocked up with two large bags of supplies
including sandwiches, boxes of
Pringles and snacks.
lunch comes just days after
viewers saw Cher struck down with tonsillitis at the crucial judges'
houses stage of the show, leaving her future in the competition in
Cheryl Cole went
with her 'heart' and backed her early favourite.
That's not going to fill you up! Size six Cher
ate this for lunch
But with weeks of
gruelling rehearsals and draining live shows to come, Cher will need to
keep her strength up if she is to repay that faith.
Cheryl admitted putting Cher
through to the next stage was one of the
'hardest decisions' she had made on the show, as the teen was overcome
decision sparked fury
amongst X Factor fans, who felt that the judgment should have been made
on the performance that was screened at the weekend.
were also concerns that the wannabe was too emotionally fragile to cope
with the pressures of continuing on the show after she was seen to
break down before Cheryl and her friend, Black Eyed Pea's Will.I.Am.
Claude Knights, director of charity Kidscape,
said: 'She's too vulnerable - further exposure seems quite risky and
came as the 32 hopefuls were whittled down to 12 ahead of the live
shows, which begin next week.
The teenager, who is fighting a
throat infection, began speaking the words of an R Kelly song before
We're in! Cher leaves a recording studio today
with 1Direction's Harry Styles, Zain Malik, and Niall Horan
On Saturday's show, Cheryl could be seen
comforting Cher before asking her if she wanted to try again later.
But show producers had to subtitle
the young hopeful's response as she whispered back: 'I am done now, I am
Despite being the bookies' favourite
to win this year's contest, her failure to perform left her future in
But on scenes screened on Sunday
night, Cheryl opted to put her through to the final based on her earlier
Hopefuls: Scottish singer Storm Lee
from the 'overs', Matt Cardle from the 'boys' and Cheryl's
controversial choice Katie Waissel, who broke down during the judges'
houses stage of the show
Before giving Cher her
verdict, she explained: 'When I go back to the first time I ever saw
you perform I instantly thought you were fantastic, I was really
excited to see you again and I get here yesterday and it's like you've
fallen apart and you weren't the girl that I'd seen before.
'It is one of the hardest decisions
I can genuinely say I've made in the three series that I've done,
because my heart and my head are pulling in completely different
Show insiders admitted Cheryl has
an 'affinity' with Cher and sees similarities with herself when
she first appeared on ITV's Popstars: The Rivals in 2002.
Like the Girls Aloud singer, Cher, from
Malvern in Worcestershire, comes from a troubled background
and has been in scrapes herself in the past.
Several of her relatives have had
brushes with the law, and the aspiring singer was suspended from school
at 14 after getting into a fight.
Cher said: 'I have made mistakes in the past
too but I believe everyone deserves a second chance.'
Hopefuls: Rebecca Ferguson, Aiden
Grimshaw and Sophia Wardman out in London today; the group are now
living together as they prepare for the first live show
But many fans commenting on online
message boards felt that the teenager should not have been put through
to the finals because she is simply not up to being in the competition.
A concerned viewer said: 'This young girl seems so emotionally fragile.
It really did make for uncomfortable viewing.'
Another said: 'I don't think Cher is
ready for all this. I
feel she is not emotionally strong enough and doesn't have the
self-confidence to enter a music career.
'She should have given it a few
years, matured a bit, then entered.'
Others voiced concerns that Cher was being
given preferential treatment despite her poor
performance because she had won over Cheryl early in the competition.
One said: 'She wasn't very good but
is clearly going to sail through because she is Cheryl's pet.'
Emotional: Cher and mentor Cheryl broke down as
the teen learnt she would be going through to the live finals
Another commented: 'It wouldn't be
fair if she was put through to the live shows even though she messed up
at this stage, because that means they were planning on putting her
through the whole time which isn't fair for all the other contestants
at the judges' houses.
'They'd be basing it only on her
previous singing from the beginning.'
A spokesman for The X Factor
insisted it was within the rules for the judges to select candidates
for the live finals regardless of their most recent performance.
But it is understood to be the first
time a contestant has failed to perform during the judges' houses stage
and still been put through.
A show source insisted producers would keep
be keeping a close eye on Cher to make sure she is coping with
the rigours of the show and her new-found fame.
An ITV spokesman said: 'The welfare of
contestants is of paramount importance and we are keeping a close eye on
the young ones.
'There are members of production in
the house with the contestants at all times and there is a counsellor
available to them.'
the boot camp auditions fears had already been raised that Cher
wouldn't be able to cope with the strain of the show.
A source told the Daily Mail: 'Everyone was
worried about Cher, she was extremely nervous and shaking at some
'She is quite
bolshy on stage, but she sat by herself at
lunch. She didn't eat much and looked frail and vulnerable as she was
accompanied by a member of production.'