Anthony Russell returns to The X Factor 2018 after pulling out of Judges’ Houses last year

The singer withdrew last year owing to 'personal reasons'. Now, he's back after being helped by Louis Tomlinson

Anthony Russell on The X Factor 2017

Anthony Russell is back to audition on The X Factor 2018.

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It will be the third time the budding singer has appeared on the show. After first auditioning in 2007, he returned last year and impressed so much that he made it to Judges’ Houses.

However, he made the decision to pull out of the show for ‘personal reasons’. At the time, a source close to The X Factor added: “Anthony has been going through some personal issues for some time – as he sang about at his audition. Those issues were still affecting him. So everyone has urged him to concentrate on getting himself better right now.”

Now, Simon Cowell has revealed that Anthony back this year – and for the past 12 months he has been mentored by new X Factor judge Louis Tomlinson.

“I knew that Louis had reached out to help him with his demons a long time ago,” Simon said. “I think it says a lot about the kind of person Louis is: he doesn’t brag about it, he doesn’t talk about it, it’s a very personal thing for him.

“He called me when he saw Anthony’s audition last year and said his story had really touched him and he wanted me to put him in touch with him. Louis genuinely looked after him. Louis didn’t know Anthony was going to come back to the show this year, he just did it because he liked him.”

Last year, a source told RadioTimes.com that “production are all very fond of him and think he has really potential so have told him, if he straightens himself out, they would love him to have another shot at X Factor next year. That is the perfect incentive for him to get his life back on track”.

Watch his audition from last year below:

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The X Factor airs Saturdays and Sundays on ITV