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Page last updated at 17:13 GMT, Monday, 24 November 2008
Rachel 'relieved' to be off X Factor

Rachel Hylton

Has it sunk in that you've left X Factor?

Yeah, it has sunk in that I've left the show and there's no bitterness. At the end of the day I feel God has a purpose for my life and I left the show when I was meant to leave. And as I said, there's no bitterness - I'm happy.

When Dermot said your name on Saturday you were smiling, almost like you were relieved it was over.

Um, yeah - ha ha! I'm not even gonna lie - yeah. To be honest, yeah I was.

You must be disappointed too I guess?

I was relieved and disappointed at the same time. But as I said, I believe in my heart it was the right time to leave. It was getting to the point where I personally don't think I was getting judged on my performances anymore. I was getting more judged on my past. The last few weeks, the tabloids went to town on me and a lot of people do believe what they read. I personally believe it had an effect on how the votes went.

So you don't feel you had a fair chance?

I'm not gonna say I didn't have a fair chance because the mere fact I ended up on the X Factor shows meant I was given a fair chance by Simon and the other judges. I wasn't allowed a chance to enjoy my second chance, the media were just relentless.

Rachel Hylton
Rachel is in talks with an unnamed record company

They did not stop and they sort of marred my performances, and I think I was week four or five when I was emotional and had a little teary breakdown. That was the thing that made me say 'Oh my gosh, is that what I'm really allowing people to do?' And it was really heartbreaking because I know I'm not the first person to go on X Factor who's had a past with drugs and other issues.

How much influence did the judges have on what you were doing on the show?

You're not gonna get on with everyone you meet, but sometimes you're stuck with people you have to work with, and that's what it was with me and Dannii... I'm one of those people - I wouldn't call myself 'difficult', but strong-minded and I know what I want.

But that can sometimes get misconstrued as being arrogant, aggressive, ignorant or difficult. I was none of those things... Me and Dannii are fine and it's perfect. She sent me some text messages sending her condolences and hopefully we'll work together in the future.

On to Mr Walsh - I'm very disgusted with him. At 56 years old he should be much maturer - he knows how the rota system works and he had no right to degrade Dannii in front millions of viewers. It was wrong for him to demean her like that and I'm disgusted... Saturday night I lost respect for Mr Walsh.

What about after The X Factor tour - what would you like to do in the future?

Hopefully get signed... I know I've had ups and downs but I hope I've done enough to let some decent producers out there know that I've got a voice... You've heard of Mary J Blige and Gil Scott and Angie Stone - you know how they sing, very jazzy - as long as I can make an album in that genre, I think it will do well. Those are my plans... I have got an interview with a record company... that's gonna take place at the end of the week, so fingers crossed for that.

Is there anyone you're backing left on the X Factor?

I'm backing Owen - only because he's a sweet boy... He's come up every week and he's gone against all odds and shown confidence that even I should have had at times.

Rachel Hylton was talking to Newsbeat's Jonathan Blake.

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