A former Big Brother contestant-turned-X Factor hopeful has accused the show of treating him “like an animal” during the audition process.
Simon Gross – aka Mr Showbiz – has issued a stinging attack on Simon Cowell’s music behemoth after making it through to boot camp this year.
The 48-year-old accused the show of expecting hopefuls to film for up to 17 hours a day and leaving them in hot, stuffy rooms with no food or drink.
He raged to Daily Star: “I was waiting for 12 hours to audition and I didn’t eat anything or drink anything and you’re in a hot room all day.
“I felt like I was being treated like an animal.”
A rep for X Factor, however, has responded to Simon’s allegations by insisting the show places the contestants’ well-being as a priority during filming.
In a statement, the programme said: “We work hard to ensure all contestants’ needs are met and kept as comfortable as possible during all stages of filming.
“Contestants are welcome to take breaks and leave the holding room in between filming as well as being provided with water and being made aware as to where food is available.”
This was Simon’s second attempt at X Factor success: he first auditioned for X Factor back in 2014.
Chatting to Metro recently about why he had returned, the aspiring singer said: “I wanted to reinvent myself, I’ve always been a performer, I trained as an actor.
“I’ve worked 30 years in showbusiness and what I wanted to do was retrace my journey back as an entertainer by going back and having a stab at the X Factor.”
Simon also said he didn’t want to just be remembered as Mr Showbiz from Big Brother, following his stint in the famous house two years ago.
Poor Simon famously only managed a few hours inside the BB house in 2015 before being evicted as part of a shock launch night twist.
He was seen giving X Factor another go earlier this year, standing out from the crowd in a gold suit with leopard print trim.
A source told The Mirror at the time: “Most people know him for just shouting ‘Showbiz’ and appearing on Big Brother but he hopes to be able to show his real talent which has been hidden until now.”