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Thursday 12th December 2019

X Factor contestant removed from show after reportedly taking drugs

Simon Cowell noticed the contestant's erratic behaviour

Anthony Russell, 27, made it to the X Factor's Six Chair Challenge this weekend – but his dreams of stardom were then swiftly cut short.

He was reportedly asked to leave the singing competition after taking drugs.

"Contestants are closely monitored by the production team," a source told The Sun. "They were alarmed by how erratic he was during filming and decided to confront him.

Anthony had been hoping to turn his life around (Credit: ITV)

They were alarmed by how erratic he was during filming and decided to confront him.

"He admitted he was a drug user and a decision was made quickly to remove him."

Simon had also sussed that something was not right with Anthony's behaviour, noting that his performance of Beyonce's Running was "manic".

"Try and keep still for one moment, please," he said.

Anthony, a dad of one, had turned up for his first audition this year with a black eye, having been attacked after one of his gigs.

Anthony was bouncing around on stage (Credit: ITV)

Read more: Security reportedly rush to protect Simon Cowell at Judges' Houses

He initially won the judges over, moving Sharon to tears.

"I really, really loved it," said Sharon.

"You're as awkward as hell, you really are, but I really felt what you were singing."

Added Louis: "You've got soul and you sang from here. I loved all your little oddities, I love the way you perform. You come alive when you perform."

Said Nicole: "You don't have the best voice but you've got heart. You with your shiner."

Read more: Simon Cowell "not happy" as X Factor star signs up for The Voice

Simon said: "I like you a lot, people are going to get this."

He'd previously auditioned for the show 10 years earlier, and there's a chance he could be back on our screens again.

X Factor bosses understand that Anthony has personal issues, so feel he needs time to get his life back on track. He'd previously admitted to losing his job in April.

"Production are all very fond of him," a source told The Sun. "If he straightens himself out, they would love him to have another shot at X Factor next year."