Former X Factor contestant Janet Devlin says she was dressed in “provocative outfits” on the ITV show.
Devlin, 25, appeared on The X Factor in 2011 when she was 16.
She said of her image at the time: “I just knew what I did not want.
“There were times where I was put in these provocative outfits and I’d have to be like, ‘Yes. I don’t want to be the bearer of bad news, but I’m 16. So, can we please take these stockings off my legs? Thank you very much.’”
Devlin said she was “just a baby deer in the headlights” when she appeared on Simon Cowell’s hit series as a teenager.
“(I) didn’t know who I was. I was just really shy, so insecure. I had a lot of mental health issues and stuff before TV,” she said.
She told X Factor runner-up Fleur East’s podcast series, The Reality Of Reality TV, that she had problems long before signing up for the programme.
“By the age of 12, I was a self-harmer, and by the age of 14-15 I was a full-blown anorexic. And I suffered with mental health my whole life,” Devlin said.
But she said she wanted to also give “credit” to the show for inspiring her to focus.
“I learnt my biggest life lesson… I was able to be, ‘No. This is what I want. I want to be a singer and I want to work really hard’,” she said.
And she revealed the show got her therapy after she told producers: “I need a therapist… I’m so broken.”
She added: “And they were like ‘Oh, that’s cool’ because basically, everybody else was in therapy.”
Devlin, who finished in fifth place on the singing contest, said it was hard to bond with her mentor Kelly Rowland.
“I was very shy, I was very introverted,” she said. “And here I am with a global superstar… who is so confident, owns herself, knows what she wants, and I’m obviously sat there going like, ‘We are two different people’…
“But we really tried our best. I did take on a lot of her advice.”
She regrets losing her “teenage years, because when I left that show, I couldn’t go outside…”
She added: “A part of me is sad that I lost those fun years.”
The Reality of Reality TV with Fleur East is available from all mainstream podcast providers