X Factor’s Stephanie Nala says Simon Cowell “turned” during live shows

“Simon actually said you’re much better alone. So when it came to live shows and he kind of turned, it was hard to take”

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Stephanie Nala had a taste of working with Simon Cowell after her time on 2013’s Britain’s Got Talent with four-piece band Luminites, but the eliminated singer feels that the music mogul’s support turned during X Factor’s live shows.

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“I didn’t actually want to go solo, we got dropped,” Stephanie says of Luminites’ deal with Sony after coming fourth on 2013’s BGT. “It was actually a really difficult time for me. When we got dropped I was really down. It was more of a self-challenge [going solo] to see, can I do it? Simon was really supportive, he was happy I went by myself.

“Simon actually said you’re much better alone. So when it came to live shows and he kind of turned, it was hard to take.”

During this weekend’s ’80s-themed shows Simon said that Stephanie’s performance of Call Me was better than the first week, before adding, “It’s like you’re kind of half asleep. Even when you talk and when you perform. That’s my slight problem.”

Cowell went on to add that he felt like Stephanie didn’t believe that she could win, rather looking to “survive” a week at a time.

“It’s very odd what happened when it came to live shows,” Stephanie muses, saying of Cowell’s judging style, “If he’s negative, he’s negative”.

But actually, Stephanie said leaving the competition wasn’t all that bad.

“Because I went out with Chloe, it didn’t make it sad. I’ve been close with Chloe the whole way. It made it fun, in a weird way. Maybe it hasn’t hit us yet that we’re actually out.

“I think we’re both very different. It’s not what X Factor is used to maybe. Just looking at the people that have gone – Blonde Electra, me, Chloe – it is something that’s quite different for X Factor. The public may not connect with it.”

Stephanie has also suffered criticism from outside of X Factor, with stories surfacing from her hometown describing her as a bully.

“I think it was quite disappointing, especially when they were so supportive when I was on Britain’s Got Talent,” Stephanie explains. “It kind of felt like a personal attack. People were out to get me for no reason. If you were to ask anyone in the house ‘Is Stephanie a bully?’ they’d probably laugh because I’m so weak.

“I think people definitely saw me break a bit. The other contestants could see it.”

Laughing that she’ll have to wait and see if she’s called for the X Factor tour, Stephanie says she’s keen to continue as a solo artist. “I think there’s opportunities that have come along for me to be by myself. The band has kind of moved on.”

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The X Factor continues Saturday and Sunday at 8:00pm on ITV