Eliminated X Factor contestant Sophie Habibis has refused to blame mentor Kelly Rowland for her exit last night, saying the US singer had been "such a good mentor" to her. Kelly however has faced criticism for being absent at the start of the week due to a US trip, and failing to return for the weekend's live shows because a sore throat.
Speaking to DigitalSpy, Sophie said: "As much as everyone said that she didn't talk to us and that she wasn't there, she really was. She had time for all of us. I want to give her praise, because she's such a good mentor. She really helped me a lot."
But sophie did admit it was "tough" coping without Kelly for the weekend.
"It was tougher than I thought it would be," she said. "My main concern was Kelly's health and I want her to be well and better. I don't want her flying over when she's not well. The thing is that we all need to be able to do this on our own. I can't always have Kelly there in my life. I need to support myself and do it myself as well."
The teenager added: "I think what's meant to be is meant to be. It wasn't Kelly's fault. It just happened. You've just got to deal with it."