'X Factor' reject 'fears firing squad if deported'

Rejected 'X Factor' contestant Gamu Nhengu claimed today she will face the firing squad if she is forced to return to her native Zimbabwe.

Rejected 'X Factor' contestant Gamu Nhengu claimed today she will face the firing squad if she is forced to return to her native Zimbabwe.

The 18-year-old singer, who faces deportation after her mother wrongly claimed state benefits, was not among the four wildcards picked to join the final 12 by the show's judges.

Speaking from a secret location in Scotland, the student told the News of the World her relatives in Zimbabwe had already been approached by men she feared to work for the country's president Robert Mugabe.

Nhengu said: "I've been in the public eye now and people there know I've fled Mugabe's regime. They will punish us if we go back. They're going to know where we are.

"There's a firing squad waiting for us there and they're putting me in front of it."

The singer added that she had not been contacted by Simon Cowell or Cheryl Cole although she had heard Cowell's lawyers were "trying to help".

Last night, contestants Treyc Cohen, Wagner, Paije Richardson and duo Diva Fever had their hopes of pop stardom revived after being selected as wildcards to join the original 12 finalists for the live show.

Despite more than 250,000 people signing up to a Facebook group calling for Nhengu to be re-instated, the idea appears to have been rejected by 'X Factor' producers.

Last week, it emerged Nhengu and her family faced deportation after the visa application of her mother Nokuthula Ngazana was turned down because she had wrongly claimed benefits.

Ms Ngazana's lawyer Frances Farrell said she planned to contest the decision at an immigration tribunal despite the family being told they would have no right of appeal and they must leave the UK by their own accord or face deportation.

The live studio shows were kicked off last night by boy band FYD who covered Travie McCoy's 'Billionaire', adding a reference to Simon Cowell into the lyrics.

Next up was painter and decorator Matt Cardle, singing David Guetta's 'When Love Takes Over'. Cowell said his version was "genius" and would be "a monster hit" if he released it as a single.

Meanwhile, Cher Lloyd, 17, showed no sign of the throat problems which left her in tears during the judges' homes stage of the selection process.

She sang, rapped and danced her way through a version of The SOS Band's 'Just Be Good To Me'.

Cowell, who turned 51 on Thursday, told her: "You are exactly what we were looking for which is a new little star and you should be unpredictable, that's what pop music is all about."

Diva Fever was the first wildcard act to perform and they stripped off their glittery suits during the performance of Boney M's 'Sunny' to reveal bright cycling shorts.

Katie Waissel, who was selected instead of Nhengu, also impressed three of the four judges with her performance of Queen's 'We Are The Champions'.

But Louis Walsh told her he thought she was "more style than substance" at her first audition "and I haven't really changed my mind".

Voting lines opened at the end of last night's show and two acts will leave the show tonight, which will also feature performances by last year's winner Joe McElderry and American singer Usher.

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