X Factor 2011: Janet Devlin and Sophie Habibis defend Kelly Rowland!

Sophie Habibis

X Factor 2011 hopefuls Janet Devlin and Sophie Habibis have defended mentor Kelly Rowland after she flew out to LA for the past week. The US singer only returned yesterday, but the girls revealed they had been in touch with Kelly constantly throughout her trip.

We caught up with the girls backstage at today's rehearsals and they didn't have a bad word to say about the Destiny's Child songstress.

"Kelly is great as a mentor," Janet told us, "If she's not in the house she's ringing and tries to get us to text or email her constantly."

And asked about whether Kelly's trip this week had left the girls at a disadvantage, Janet insisted she, Misha and Sophie had all been in contact with the US star "every day".

Meanwhile Sophie dismissed reports suggesting she was being secretly mentored by Tulisa having been ‘abandoned’ by Kelly.

"I get along with Tulisa fine, I respect her, but Kelly’s my mentor," Sophie explained to us at the studios earlier today. "I spend a lot of time talking to her. I love Kelly!"

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