It would seem that Susan Boyle hasn’t been the only casualty of reality TV Simon Cowell style. In a revealing interview with the Daily Mail former X Factor star Niki Evans has told of how she felt exploited by the producers of the show.
Niki’s dad died shortly before she auditioned for the show, a fact which she feels the producers played a lot on.
‘They spent three hours literally shouting at me to sing Dance With My Father Again live on the show, with the instruction to cry in the middle of it,’ Niki said.
‘I was in floods of tears, saying: “You can’t make me do this. It’s sick.” I would have completely broken down on live television, in front of millions of people, if I’d sung it – but that was what they wanted.
‘At the end of the day, it’s all about making money, encouraging the public to vote. It isn’t about talent or the people taking part. I don’t think Simon knows half of what is going on, even though it is his show.’
‘One time I refused to say on camera that I was desperate to win,’ she added. ‘The producer shouted at me: “Well, f***ing pack your bags then and get out.”
‘It was intimidation of the worst kind, and I think people ought to know what goes on behind the closed doors.
‘The aim is to make your story as emotional and tear-jerking as possible, and with me they would spend up to two or three hours trying to make me cry. There was an agenda every week, and they knew what they wanted you to say – it is all manipulated.
‘They even took me back to see my father’s grave, and I was just in pieces. I was so overcome I couldn’t breathe, but they got the film they wanted. I used to shout back “I’m not crying today, don’t make me”, but they would keep on at me.
‘Sometimes when I came off after singing, they would say: “Don’t you think you’ve let your father down?” They knew just which emotional buttons to press.’
Niki also spoke at the complete abandonment she felt when she was voted off the show.
‘The morning after the show, at 9am, I left the house which the competitors shared and that was it,’ she explained. ‘There’s a guaranteed record contract for the winner, but for everyone else you are just booted out and forgotten.
‘Thanks to the support of others, I am going on tour in October and I have a new album out. I have survived, but The X Factor nearly broke me.’
The big question here is why didn’t Niki pack her bags and leave? She is not a child but an adult and a mother. She could have set an example and walked from the show, her doing this may have made producers think twice before treating someone in this manner again.