“The X Factor” U.K. 2011 finalist Misha Bryan has spoken out after being described on TV as a backstage bully by “The X Factor” U.K. judges Louis Walsh and Tulisa Contostavlos in the episode that ITV aired on October 22.
After the remarks ignited a huge controversy with viewers, Walsh apologized in the “The X Factor” U.K.’s October 23 episode. Contostavlos did not express remorse for her “bully” comment, but she acknowledged in the October 23 episode that Bryan gave one of the best performances in the previous night’s episode.
Speaking on the October 23 episode of “The Xtra Factor,” Bryan broke her silence about the “bully” accusation:
“Saturday’s experience will make me stronger. I really looked up to Tulisa and the way she has goes on about girl power, but I feel the situation could have been dealt with a lot better. Being called an ‘X Factor’ bully on national TV was not fair. I know I am not a bad person.
“Tulisa hurt my feelings because there’s always two sides to the story. I’m here for the music. Things do get heated backstage, but I’m going to take on board what they’ve said and take it in my stride.”
Bryan also told the Daily Mirror in an interview that was published on October 24:
“At school I was bullied – and I did bully people myself, but I am a different person now. When I was younger, the stuff that I had to deal with was tough. You make mistakes and learn from them.
“I got into arguments and I used to get called to see the headteacher. I got into situations where there was a lack of communication and a lack of understanding. Sometimes I would get sent home just to take time out. At any age you get into conflicts …
“Everyone has a past and people make mistakes – I’m proud to say that I’ve learnt from mine and I have moved on. I want to thank everyone who has supported me and believed in me so far and I hope I can continue to do them proud.”
“The X Factor” U.K. judge Kelly Rowland (who is Bryan’s mentor on the show) was quick to defend Bryan on the show and on “The Xtra Factor.” Rowland also posted this message on Twitter on October 22:
“I just want everyone to know that @MishaBRYAN is one of the most gracious and humble girls I know, as are @JanetJealousy [Janet Devlin] and @sophiehabibis!”
Bryan, Janet Devlin and Sophie Habibis are the remaining finalists in the category that Rowland is mentoring (female solo singers under the age of 25). The other remaining “X Factor” U.K. finalists for 2011 are Kitty Brucknell, Frankie Cocozza, Marcus Collins, Craig Colton, Rhythmix, The Risk and Johnny Robinson.