Zara McDermott's emotional reason for signing up to Celebrity X Factor

The Islanders

Zara McDermott has opened up about why she's taking part in the Celebrity X Factor.

The Love Islander has formed a four piece group will fellow stars of the ITV2 series, Wes Nelson, Samira Mighty and Eyal Booker.

Ahead of the first episode tonight, Zara has taken to social media to discuss her personal reasons for signing up.

She explained: "I have had severe stage fright since I was around 14 years old. I’ve been singing & taught myself how to play the piano when I was around 11 years old. My dad was an incredible musician and we have a recording studio built into our house, so music is and always has been my first love. I know so many people say this, but for me it is so true.

"However, when I was 14 I performed a song that I wrote with a friend at school during a music class. Those who were in my class will probably remember. I got laughed at throughout my whole performance, to the point where I came off stage and swore that was the last time I would ever perform.

"I was bullied for years before and after that about a variety of things that I won’t go into. However I felt in that moment that my passion for music, and what felt to me was the only thing I was good at, was ripped away from me by those nasty kids in my class. I became introverted when it came to my music. I was too scared to even sing in front of my dad."

Zara continued: "I wrote so many songs, I would get home from a horrible day of being taunted at school and play the piano for hours, because it was my escape. However, 8 years on and I was still struggling to sing in front of anyone. I sang within the four walls of my bedroom or in my studio and that is it.

"The thought of singing in front of my own parents scared the living daylights out of me. I was able to put a few videos of my singing on Instagram over the last few years, In the hope that this would give me some more confidence. However due to online trolling since I came out of Love Island it actually made my fear even worse.

"Despite this, I started working on writing some of my own music earlier this year which I recorded some demos and showed some close family and friends."

Zara went on to reveal how she originally said no to The X Factor: Celebrity before her dad convinced her to sign up.

She recalled: "I walked into the audition room and attempted to sing one of my own original songs. However, as soon as I got there, I broke down. The words couldn’t even come out of my mouth.

"However, the producers saw something in me that I never even saw myself. And I can’t thank them enough for believing in me. I can’t wait to share with you all about the ways I overcame my stage fright, and I will be talking publicly about this soon, as I know it’s something so many people suffer with.

"It was a long process but I got there eventually with my AMAZING bandmates by my side ❤️ Even though I was still petrified by the time I got to judges houses, I forced myself on that stage, it was the scariest thing I have ever done in my life to say the least. But the moment I got off stage, I realised how much I had accomplished and how proud 14 year old me would be!"

You'll be able to watch Zara perform with her Love Island bandmates when The X Factor: Celebrity launches this Saturday night.

The X Factor: Celebrity begins tonight (Saturday, October 12) at 8:35PM on ITV.

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