X Factor star Scarlett Lee took break from music over trolling

The singer is making a comeback in American Idol after a mental health battle over cruel online comments.

Scarlett Lee came second in The X Factor in 2018, and was congratulated by host Dermot O'Leary and judge Simon Cowell. (Shutterstock/ITV)
Scarlett Lee came second in The X Factor in 2018, and was congratulated by host Dermot O'Leary and judge Simon Cowell. (Shutterstock/ITV)

What did you miss?

X Factor star Scarlett Lee has told how the trolling she suffered after appearing on the TV show led to a battle with her mental health that forced her to give up music for a while.

In 2017 and 2018, Lee took part in the ITV singing contest but was targeted with cruel comments on her appearance which she said sparked problems with anxiety and depression.

Now, Lee is back on the TV talent search circuit as a contestant in American Idol, where she has wowed judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan.

What, how, and why?

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 23: Scarlett Lee performs d at X Factor Live Tour 2019  at SSE Arena on February 23, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Jo Hale/Redferns)
Scarlett Lee found fame on The X Factror. (Redferns)

This Morning presenter Dermot O'Leary had a reunion with an old X Factor pal on Friday's show as Scarlett Lee joined him to talk about her comeback career.

Lee, a make-up artist who appeared in the 2017 and 2018 series, is now impressing as an American Idol contestant in the US but told how it had been a long road back to confidence after being trolled over her appearance.

As O'Leary asked the singer why she had not been making music for a while, she explained: "I had a battle with anxiety, went through a tough break up. (On The X Factor) I went to bed with 100 followers and woke up with 100,000, my life changed overnight. It was absolutely incredible, but with that comes the downside.

"I had to deal with online trolls and 'oh, she looks like this,' body image, it was just a lot to deal with. So I had a battle with anxiety and depression and that's why I didn't do music for some time."

Despite being sent home from the brutal six chair challenge by Sharon Osbourne in her first X Factor appearance, Lee won support from Simon Cowell when she returned the following year - but admitted of her success: "I still don't get it."

Scarlett Lee on The X Factor
The singer was targeted by cruel trolls. (ITV)

This Morning host Josie Gibson brought her to tears as she said: "Do you know what, I do. I do, Scarlett, because you've got a magic about you. You get those knock-backs in life, you get people telling you no, and it's how you react to those people telling you no.

"Like Dermot said, you've got yourself stronger and you've come back fighting. You're a real inspiration."

Lee cried and said: "Thank you so much, I didn't think I was going to get emotional. Thank you so much Josie, that means a lot."

What else happened on This Morning?

American Idol judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan were bowled over by Lee's audition singing Emeli Sande's hit Clown, sending her straight to the Hollywood round with a golden ticket.

But Lee admitted: "I feel like the luckiest girl to have performed in front of those three icons. It was a dream. I didn't care if I was getting a no."

Watch: Scarlett Lee: Huge audition moment of Clown by Emeli Sande

"I really wanted to live that American dream," she added. "Idol is so full of so many great, talented people. Seeing all these people go in and moving the judges, I was like, I hope I can have that touch on the judges as well."

Despite being starstruck by the US judges, Lee shared that her family were still huge fans of O'Leary.

She said: "Dermot is such a big part of our household, my mum and dad love him. There's pictures of him everywhere, it's like the hall of fame of Dermot."

This Morning airs on ITV at 10am on weekdays.

Read more: American Idol