Finalist on Britain’s X Factor Realized She Was a ‘Joke Act’ and Quit

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - NOVEMBER 11: Simon Cowell is sighted leaving The Dorchester Hotel on November 11, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Sylvia Linares/FilmMagic) Photo: Sylvia Linares/FilmMagic/Getty

Simon Cowell's X Factor may have just launched Stateside — to less-than-expected fanfare — but it's been a long-running franchise in his native U.K. and around the world. Now a mini-scandal in the British version is casting light on a fact well known to most viewers but apparently novel to talent-show contestants: Many contestants are kept around for the laughs, not for their talent. Goldie Cheung, a 49-year-old mother of two who had just recently passed on to the finalist round, has backed out of the show after coming to a similar realization. When tracked down by the Daily Mail, she did deny the reports, though an X Factor spokesperson confirmed her departure for "personal reasons," while sources close to Cheung said it was because she felt like a "joke act." While perhaps a revelation to Ms. Cheung, it seems most of Britain was well acquainted with her risqué outfits and all-out performance gimmicks, including rolling around on the floor, lying on a piano, and trying to kiss one of the judges. [Daily Mail UK]