X Factor's Fleur East defends "horrible" six chair challenge

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Fleur East has defended The X Factor's controversial six chair challenge.

The brutal elimination stage has faced controversy ever since it was first introduced a few years ago, with even host Dermot O'Leary wanting it gone.

But Fleur - who appeared on the show in 2014 - reckons it's a perfect test for the contestants despite describing the experience as "horrible".

She told HuffPost UK: "It was horrible, being involved, but [the Six Chair Challenge] prepares you for the industry, it’s very competitive and it’s realistic.

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“Speaking from first hand experience, it makes you want to fight even harder, and it makes you appreciate your position once you get through that stage, and then the real competition comes out."

Fleur added: “That’s the thing, a lot of people thrive or crack under pressure, and the industry has a lot of pressure, so if you can survive ‘The X Factor’, you’re ready for the real world!”

Following the six chair challenge, Fleur went all the way to the final of The X Factor in 2014 where she finished as runner up to Ben Haenow and was signed by Syco.

She now has plans to drop a second album by the end of the year following her first release back in 2015.

“One of my New Year’s resolutions was to learn to play the piano so I’m working on that now because I love to write but usually I’m sitting in with musicians," Fleur revealed last month.

She told the Daily Star newspaper: “I wanted this record to be more instrumental focused, and incorporate some instruments I wouldn’t have before.”

Fleur East

And Fleur also teased she's been looking to her Ghanaian family history as inspiration for the songs.

The Sax hitmaker explained: “I have been taking influences from my mother’s hometown – she’s from Ghana and I grew up listening to that kind of music so that’s influenced me quite a bit.

“It makes people feel good and people just want to be happy at the end of the day don’t they?”

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