ANTHONY Russell impressed Simon Cowell and the rest of the judges before being thrown off The X Factor for taking drugs.
The troubled 27-year-old delivered a jittery Boot Camp audition but he managed to do enough to get through to the Six Chair Challenge.
Before his performance of Beyonce’s Running, he told cameras: “I’m not gonna let the judges down, I’m gonna sing like my life depended on it.”
However Simon cut his singing short when he was disturbed by his “manic” performance.
He told him: “Anthony this was so manic, why don’t we heard the chorus just on your own, a cappella.”
The dad-of-one belted out an a cappella version, and despite clearly impressing, Sharon worried that he wouldn’t be able to handle the competition.
Desperate Anthony responded: “I’ve got so much going on, I’m here to try and make Liverpool proud, do myself well and change me life.”
After deciding he did have potential, Nicole told him he was through.
She said: “You’ve got great likability and I think if you focus you could do really well here, so we’re gonna put you through to the six chair challenge.”
“He’s a good kid,” said Simon.
To which Nicole replied: “Everyone wants to root for him.”
However shortly after Anthony’s time on the show came to a dramatic end.
A show insider told The Sun: “Contestants are closely monitored by the production team. They were alarmed by how erratic he was during filming and decided to confront him.
“He admitted he was a drug user and a decision was quickly taken to remove him.
“It’s a shame, as he was hotly tipped to make the live shows.”
His axing came after he turned up to his first audition with a black eye.
Anthony told the judges he got the injury after he was attacked by a gang in Liverpool after one of his gigs.
But luckily for Anthony, it might not be the last fans will see of him.
An X Factor source said: “Anthony has been going through some personal issues for some time – as he sang about at his audition. Those issues were still affecting him. So everyone has urged him to concentrate on getting himself better right now.
“Production are all very fond of him and think he has really potential so have told him, if he straightens himself out, they would love him to have another shot at X Factor next year. That is the perfect incentive for him to get his life back on track.
“Everyone hopes he will come back next year healthier.”
And I wouldn’t be surprised if he returns, as he also auditioned ten years ago when he was just 17.
An X Factor spokeswoman said: “Earlier this month, due to personal reasons, Anthony withdrew from the show. We are sad to see him go and wish him all the best for the future.”
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