I’m a Celebrity 2018 contestants: Fleur East
Famous for: A popstar and Being robbed of an X Factor win by Ben Haenow in 2014
Phobias: Creepy crawlies and heights. Fleur East took a course with London Zoo to help cure her arachnophobia earlier this year – but it remains to be seen whether it will really help her with any eight-legged beasts out in the jungle.
Is Fleur East single? Nope. She’s been seeing French fashion designer Marcel Badiane-Robin since 2011.
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She says: "I have got quite a wild imagination and so I think I will create some weird games to entertain everyone.”
Biography: While we may all know Fleur after she came along and absolutely smashing it when she performed Mark Ronson’s Uptown Funk in 2014, her X Factor journey actually started in 2005 when she auditioned as part of poorly-named girl group Addictiv Ladies.
Addictiv Ladies (who were pitchy at best, forgettable at worst) were mentored by X Factor head honcho Simon Cowell, and were unceremoniously booted out of the first live show after losing the sing-off to Chico Slimani.
But despite being eliminated so early on in the competition, and the Addictiv Ladies disbanding, Fleur was not deterred at pursuing a music career.
She met with DJ Fresh (of Rita Ora’s Hot Right Now fame) in 2011, which saw him hire her as a vocalist, with Fleur providing the vocals on track ‘Turn It Up’ for his album Nextlevelism. If you want a listen to it, it’s here:
The pair then toured for the majority of 2012, with Fleur having her first taste of the pop star lifestyle performing at V Festival and the iTunes Festival.
Her success then saw her first signed to record label Strictly Rhythm, where she released tracks Broken Mirror and Turn The Lights On. She also featured on Drumsound & Bassline Smith’s One in a Million, which entered the UK Singles Chart at number 53.
Fleur even features in the music video – have a look:
Fleur released her debut EP She for free download, financing her fledgling music career with waitressing and doing part-time work as a fitness model, but by early 2014, her music career had more or less dried up – with Fleur battling with depression.
“I was at my lowest point,” she revealed in an interview to The Mirror in 2014, “I was waking up at whatever time and watching repeats of Friends in my pyjamas all day, every day.
“There was nothing in my diary – no gigs, nothing going on. I was like, ‘what am I going to do with my life?’
“There was no motivation in me – there wasn’t even any drive to get up in the morning because what’s the point? I was definitely depressed. Looking back, I’m like, ‘who was that?’”
But with the encouragement of her family of friends, Fleur took a punt at auditioning for the X Factor again in 2014 – this time, easily making her way to the finals.
Her stellar performance of Uptown Funk (hailed by Cowell as one of the show’s top three performances ever) reportedly forced the song’s original producer Mark Ronson and singer Bruno Mars to bring forward its release after Fleur’s version dominated the iTunes charts.
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While she was the bookies’ favourite to win, she narrowly missed out to Ben Haenow in the final, taking 34.3% of the votes to Haenow’s 57.2%.
Despite placing second, she was signed to Simon Cowell’s Syco label, releasing debut album Love, Sax and Flashbacks, with the lead single Sax peaking at number 3 in the UK Singles Charts in 2015.
But while the album did receive generally positive reviews, follow-up single More and More failed to set the world alight, and the singer was eventually dropped from her Syco label in 2017.
A source told MailOnline: “Fleur had some great times with Syco but it was felt by both sides now was the time to go down different paths. She will always remain a friend of the label – because everyone’s really fond of her.”
Now, Fleur is thought to be putting the finishing touches to her second album after signing to Hunter Corp Records, with the singer hoping a stint in the jungle will relaunch her music career.