She’s public enemy number one in the UK, but for 24-year-old part-time receptionist Katie Waissel, the strain of the British media is taking it’s toll. Suffering numerous panic attacks, moments of exhaustion and more recently viral death threats, is seems the negativity is endless, with Waissel battling her way through what has since become an unpleasant chapter in her young life.
Deciding to audition for the popular talent show The X Factor back in the Summer of 2010, Katie Waissel, along with her family were as excited as the next auditionee to take centre stage in front of thousands of people, along with four of the most influential personalities on TV; Simon Cowell, Cheryl Cole, Louis Walsh and Dannii Minouge.
Performing at last by Etta James, Waissel made it through to boot camp, and was later selected to progress further to the judges houses, where along with 7 other hopefuls would fight for her place in the live finals in front of X Factor judge Cheryl Cole and Black Eyed Peas vocalist Will.I.Am.
Grabbing a spot in the final twelve with Rebecca Ferguson and Cher Lloyd, it was from here on that Waissel became Britain’s number one enemy. As uproar hit the national papers, after a controversial selection process, the hatred of 24-year-old Katie began over night. As headlines slated both Cheryl Cole and Waissel, it wasn’t soon before the verbal abuse kicked in, with thousands of fans branding the show as a ‘fix’ and planning to boycott Waissel’s first live performance, which they would hope would land her in the bottom two.
Right as they were, the first week saw Waissel land herself in the bottom two, yet managed to escape elimination thanks to the vote of the judges. As the weeks have developed Waissel has seen herself land in the bottom two on four separate occasions, yet has controversially managed to come out on top every-time.
With a vocal range of great tones, and quirky personality that makes her cutting edge from the rest, Katie Waissel DOES in fact have an excellent voice. Belting out strong ballads in every survival song, and adding fun and excitement to the show also, Waissel needs to be given a chance. Carrying out no harm what so ever to the British public, whom has a right to be on the show as much as the other remaining acts, it is hard to believe that a talent of such greats is being put to waste. The British public can’t see talent if it hits them in the face, and voting X Factor reject Wagner through on a weekly basis without fail easily proves this statement.
As more and more news scandals hit the press on a daily basis, surrounding only one girl, it seems Waissel is not even allowed to walk out on the streets without being penalised. Yet through the death threats, masses of media attention and slander from all four corners of the media industry every week, Waissel is back and on top form, improving every Saturday night she sings.
Speaking exclusively to The Daily Mail this week, Waissel said: “I’m hoping people will see it has gone too far now; someone hurled a banana skin at me in Covent Garden the other day; I was booed on stage in front of 17 million people. It’s too much,” she added: “It’s horrible for my family. And I haven’t done anything wrong. It just feels like unnecessary drama. I do have passion, but it’s not like I think I’m the best thing since sliced bread. I am actually quite shy.”
Having to go to the extremes of a new image, simply to try to win back the hearts of the nation, Waissel is hoping she will be saved from the chop once again on Sunday, after performing on Saturday’s show. Emerging as a great singer with huge potential, the time to start backing those who deserve their place not only on a talent show but in society needs to be seriously considered. Taking criticism and retaliating is the norm, yet Katie knocks it all on the head and goes by her daily struggle with the mass media. Until death threats are issued to a person individually, only then can you realise the true scale of the hatred for you. If it were any everyday person in society, all of this would have stopped. None of us wish this type of behaviour upon anyone, especially ourselves, therefore why treat someone who has exactly the same rights as me and you in this way? Leave the girl alone, giver her a chance, and stand by her.