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X Factor race row: Derry speaks out

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    Posted: 02 Nov 2011 at 10:49
X Factor 2011 race row: Derry speaks out on claims Kitty Brucknell racially abused him

X FACTOR hopeful Derry Mensah has been left shocked, hurt and “ill with stress” after allegedly being racially abused by rival Kitty Brucknell.

The 21-year-old singer with boyband The Risk claims Kitty called him an “evil black b******” – comments she vehemently denies making – after his singing woke her up.

Talking about the allegations for the first time, Derry told the Mirror yesterday: “She went nuts and just lost it. I am still in total shock at what she said. It was very hurtful.”

Going on to describe what sparked the row in the rehearsal room in the show’s Wembley studios, he continued: “She was sleeping but I came in to do my vocals.

“Then she snapped and went off on one and called me a black b******. She was upset that I woke her up and she looked like she was going to cry. She apologised afterwards. But we don’t speak any more. It’s bad because she goes around saying she used to be bullied and then she says stuff like that to me.”

Derry, whose band is mentored by judge Tulisa, said all the stress was taking its toll.

He said: “I’m not well at the moment. I lost my voice just before my performance on Saturday and the whole thing has caused a lot of stress. I don’t know if Tulisa knows about it – she won’t be pleased to find out about it. We’ve resolved it, but it’s still not right.”

Meanwhile, Kitty, 26, is furious at the suggestion she made the racist comment. And on top of the recent ruck over her voice being altered, it could be the last straw. Friends say she is on the verge of quitting X Factor, saying her chances of winning are being “sabotaged”.

Kitty believes the other contestants are “out to get her” and tearily told pals: “I am being trashed. It’s clearly personal.”

One friend said: “She finds it so hurtful Derry would say all this. It’s the last thing she needs after a terrible week. She doesn’t know what his problem is.

“As far as she is concerned Derry is making the whole thing up.”

Kitty, who is mentored by Louis Walsh, is still reeling from a backlash after digital effects were used to alter her voice on Saturday night.

Show bosses admitted tampering with her vocals for the first 20 seconds of her performance of Sweet Dreams, but denied they had used Auto-Tune. Kitty insisted she knew nothing about it.

She said: “I didn’t know they were going to add effects to my voice. It wasn’t my decision... I am going to insist they don’t change my voice with any effects next week.”

But both experiences have made her question whether or not to continue.

A friend said: “Kitty is really down about all these accusations.

“She just wants to concentrate on the music, away from all the backstage bickering.”

A spokesman for X Factor confirmed: “There was an ­argument that was looked into by ­production. The matter was resolved.”

Meanwhile, Sunday’s results show pulled in the highest ratings so far this series.

The one-hour programme was watched by a peak audience of 13.8 million and averaged 12.2 million viewers – up almost one million on last week.

And Downton Abbey which followed also drew its biggest audience, with an average of 10 million viewers watching the ­penultimate episode of the second series.

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