Little Mix have taken a not-too-subtle swipe at Simon Cowell and The X Factor – claiming that the hit ITV series failed to give them much aftercare support after they won the show.
Bandmate Jesy Nelson even said the savage arena-based audition format used on the show left her so terrified she can’t even remember singing for the judges.
Little Mix became household names overnight after N-Dubz singer Tulisa guided them to win The X Factor in 2011.
However, despite landing their record deal with Syco Music and being transformed into the biggest girl band in Europe they say, looking back, more could have been done to help them in terms of their mental health.
Speaking ahead of their new rival talent show Little Mix: The Search, the girls say one of their main objectives when it came to creating the show was to create a more relaxed and friendly formate than they were greeted with on The X Factor.
Jesy, who previously has spoken frankly about being left suicidal after cruel trolls mocked her appearance following Little Mix’s X Factor win, continued: “Yeah 100% we wanted to make it more relaxed.
“We have experienced first hand exactly what it feels like walking into an audition and we didn’t want it to be anything like that for them on our show.
“I think instantly the contestants felt at ease anyway because it is us and I think we instantly put them at ease.
“It was so important for us to make it relaxed as there is nothing worse than walking into an audition… it’s just… honestly, I just think it’s the worst experience ever.
“It is true… I am sure the other three will agree with me it is f***ing terrifying to the point where with my first audition I don’t even remember it as I was that scared.
“It was so important to make the contestants feel as relaxed as possible and I think you can see that when you watch it.”
Meanwhile, Leigh-Anne Pinnock added: “Having contestants’ lives in our hands is a massive responsibility and you can’t prepare for that.
“It is intense. Saying no is like snatching their dreams in the last second.
“We really do give constructive criticism even if they don’t get through.
“We didn’t really have that [aftercare and support] on the show that we came from so it was so important to make sure that we had that in place.
“We have all had no’s in our lifetime and it really does affect you.
“We want to encourage them to try again and come back as it’s not over.
“It does not mean its the end of the journey. It is really important that we put that aftercare in place definitely.”
A rep for X Factor has been contacted by Daily Star Online for comment.