The X Factor's Chico says the show 'uses and abuses you' and says artists are 'naive and silly' to expect a long career

THE X Factor star Chico Slimani said the show "uses and abuses you" but that he used his 15 minutes of fame as a "platform".

The star — who shot to fame on the ITV show in 2005 with his catchy song, It’s Chico Time — says artists are "naive and silly" to expect a long career in the music industry after appearing on the show.

Chico, who now lives in Portugal and runs a wellness retreat, says he used the show as a "platform" to "go on and do other things."

"It gave me the chance to earn a good living, I've been around the country entertaining the masses, so much has come from that," he said on Late night with Cristo on talkRADIO.

"I can't complain because I again, I knew what it was, they use you, or abuse you, and you use that platform to go on."

Chico's comments come after Jedward, Matt Cardle and Rebecca Ferguson have all alleged they witnessed unacceptable and exploitative behaviour behind the scenes.

"They don't care about you," he added.

"You're a commodity, you are as good as the money you're going to make them. That is it.

"You are completely replaceable and as I said it's a conveyor belt. if you're not going to do it, someone else will take your place to do it."

An X Factor spokesperson told The Sun: “Duty of care to our contestants is of the utmost importance to us.

"We take welfare very seriously and have measures in place to ensure that they are supported.”

Chico made his name on the second ever series of The X Factor in 2005, introducing himself in his audition as a “Moroccan ex-goat herding stripper”.

He charmed viewers with his infectious charisma, good looks and, of course, his catchphrase “It’s Chico Time” – which saw him finish fifth in the series.

He also turned his catchphrase into a No1 hit single, the first non-X Factor winner ever to top the charts.

Meanwhile, former X Factor stars have alleged they witnessed unacceptable and exploitative behaviour behind the scenes.

And Rebecca Ferguson has called for an independent body to regulate the business after hitting out at “powerful” agents and managers.

The Liverpool-born star, who came runner-up to Matt Cardle and has had four Top Ten albums, tweeted: "I was once told that @Aiden {Grimshaw, from 2010 series] was taken out of circulation which meant he no longer was allowed to get work etc because they wanted space for another.

"The live agent was sad about this but had no power to stop it. However a call was made to him to 'take him out of circulation'"

Backing Rebecca up on Twitter, Jahmene, 30, said: "This hits home for me.

"People assume you’ve just given up or couldn’t make it, when really certain people in the industry are actively & intentionally holding you back, closing doors & basically telling you NO at every turn; Regardless of talent or success. It’s soul destroying."

This week Jedward — consisting of twins John and Edward Grimes — launched an attack on The X Factor and its creator Simon Cowell online.

They took aim at SyCo and Modest Management, who were responsible for the careers of several X Factor stars after the show ended, including One Direction, Little Mix and Olly Murs.

In posts on Twitter, the novelty act labelled Cowell “nothing but a bad facelift” and said their time on the 2009 series was “the biggest regret in life” and that they “should have told the judges to f*** off”.

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