X Factor contestant Ariel Burdett has passed away at the age of 38. The singer, who gave one of the most memorable auditions on the 2008 series, was found dead at her home in Leeds on 12 November, according to reports. Her cause of death has yet to be confirmed but an inquest will be held later this month.
Ariel – real name Amy Burdett – has gone down in X Factor history after she clashed with Cheryl, who was a judge on the show at the time, over her unique original song. Ariel, who called herself a "holistic vocal coach", made a memorable entrance as she arrived in front of the judges and ripped her label off, saying she was a "human being, not a number". Ariel told judges Cheryl, Simon Cowell, Louis Walsh and Danni Minogue that her self-penned track was "an academic construction," and she was a "specialist not a generalist."
Ariel gave a very memorable audition
After her audition, Cheryl told a then 26-year-old Ariel: "If I came to you for holistic vocal [training] I would be scared of you. You're actually really quite scary. By the way you walked over to me I thought we were going to have a scrap." After she received four no's following her audition, Ariel told Cheryl she was "stupid" before she was escorted out of the studio by security.
Cheryl didn't quite know what to think of Ariel
Friends of Ariel have since taken to social media to post their condolences. One wrote on Facebook: "It is with great sadness that I post this, as I have only just found out myself. A sometime member of the moot, Amy Burdett aka Arabella Starchild passed to the Summerlands earlier this month." Ariel had changed her name to Arabella Starchild after her famous audition. Another posted: "I can't believe that she died... rest in peace, Ariel Burdett."
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