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Tulisa Contostavlos: Her 'X Factor' career in showbiz scandals

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The X Factor: Tulisa

© Ken McKay/Thames/Rex Features

Tulisa Contostavlos today (May 21) shocked precisely nobody by confirming rumours that she will be leaving The X Factor after two series, tweeting that she is off to "do something different" and will make "a very exciting announcement soon".

She may not have been around for long, but Tulisa certainly managed to cause fireworks during her short stay on the panel, becoming a regular feature of Digital Spy's showbiz section from the moment she was hired.

As she gets to work clearing out her dressing room, we chart Tulisa Contostavlos's controversial X Factor journey below...

Tulisa flips over Cheryl Cole barb



Starting as she meant to go on, Tulisa couldn't make it through the first episode of her X Factor career without a Contostavlos Controversy...

When Tulisa was announced for the new-look X Factor panel in 2011, everyone wondered just how the former N-Dubz star was going to possibly compete with 'nation's sweetheart' Cheryl Cole. All this chatter didn't seem to bother Tulisa though, as she gave interview after interview stating that she wasn't about to live in the former judge's shadow.

Still, the comparisons had to be playing on Tulisa's mind, as all it took was a bit of prodding from contestant George Gerasimou about her being a cut-price Cheryl for her to go full-blown Camden on his ass, yelling, finger-wagging and table slapping as if she'd just found out Chicken Cottage were out of fries. Now, don't get us wrong, we're not sticking up for George. He was a total loudmouthed douche. But the fact that Tulisa rose so quickly to the dimwit's pathetic jibes didn't quell fears that she might have a bit much 'tude for Saturday night TV.

Bully-gate



Oh yes, you remember this one! 'Bully-gate' erupted during the closing moments of the third week of X Factor 2011 when the 'Young' singer and her co-judge Louis Walsh decided to air their concerns about Misha B's backstage behaviour in front of the entire nation.

Although it was Louis who actually mentioned the word 'bully', Tulisa bore the brunt of the subsequent firestorm by simply being the first to bring up Misha's alleged "mean comments". Was her decision to speak out unprofessional or necessary? Was she thinking more about her acts or the headlines she'd generate? Whatever her motivation, Tulisa managed to spark off probably the biggest X Factor controversy seen by the 'new generation' of judges, leading to...

Kelly Rowland - not a fan

Judges Tulisa Contostavlos and Kelly Rowland disagree on 'The Xtra Factor' . Shown on ITV2 HD
England -

© WENN



Every year there's rumours of an X Factor judges' cat-fight, but in 2011 at least it was true! Tulisa confirmed in an interview that Kelly Rowland had stopped talking to her after the Misha B row, and she didn't care one jot.

Kelly, meanwhile, accused Tulisa of ruining Misha B's chances in the show, apparently pulled a sickie the following week and admitted they had a bit of a "tiff", which we can only assume is showbiz speak for a major slanging match.

Both girls would claim to be back "on good terms" for the remainder of the competition, but the tension was so obvious that Tulisa and Kelly couldn't even hug without (justifiable) accusations that they'd been forced into it.

The Female Boss gets an official warning

Tulisa shows her The Female Boss tattoo on The X Factor

© Rex Features / Ken McKay / ITV



As well as winding up the people watching her and the people working with her, Tulisa also managed to give the people in charge of monitoring her a headache during the 2011 X Factor. We're sure Tulisa's given more obscene gestures in her time than a weird arm salute deal-ey, but Ofcom was still plenty offended by her signature move at the start of every live show, as it showed off a tattoo bearing the words 'The Female Boss', which also happened to be the name of her new perfume.

Ofcom soon launched an investigation, but Tulisa - who explained that 'The Female Boss' was a long-standing nickname - refused to back down, sticking it to the suits by scrawling a message on her other arm in a subsequent show.

In the end Ofcom issued Xtra Factor host Olly Murs, not Tulisa, with a slap on the wrist for giving "undue prominence" to the fragrance, but we can't help but notice Tulisa kept her arms very firmly by her side during the 2012 series.

Tulisa cocks up



The ultimate Tulisa scandal! Just like with the moon landing and when Kennedy was shot, everyone remembers where they were when they discovered that Tulisa had been caught on camera giving her ex-boyfriend MC Ultra a rollicking good time.

Not only did Tulisa now have to put up with everyone making innuendos of everything she said or did, but she could very well have blown it with The X Factor, which is still very much categorised as a feel-good, family show.

Although Simon Cowell stood by her, and she got some form of vindication by successfully suing MC Ultra while winning rave reviews for her spunky, blonde 'do, Tulisa later admitted that in between violently sobbing over the sex tape she had genuinely feared she'd be fired from The X Factor.

"It felt as though there was a massive axe swinging above me head," she wrote in her book, Honest. "I'd suffered for months. I was moody and tearful, constantly afraid I'd get fired from The X Factor." Man, that must have sucked.

Fag Ash Breath



Tulisa's departure from The X Factor suddenly made a lot more sense after we realised that basically her only contribution to the last series was to stink up Gary Barlow's face. 'Fag Ash Breath' was a truly epic moment in which Gaz Baz, a 42-year-old with an OBE, responded to Tulisa's criticism of Chris 'Me Nan' Maloney with a comment that would even seem a little too childish for the playground.

Barlow did apologise in the next show, but the damage was done. #fagashbreath exploded all over Twitter and Tulisa found herself in the unenviable position of being mocked for what came out of her mouth, as well as what went into it.

Tulisa VS Lord Sugar

Tulisa Contostavlos, hair, Sony Radio Academy Awards, Grosvenor House Hotel in central London

© David Fisher/Rex Features

Tulisa Contostavlos reveals her new hair

The Apprentice 2013:  Lord Alan Sugar

© BBC / Boundless

The Apprentice 2013: Lord Alan Sugar



Named one of our most baffling Twitter spats of last year, Lord 'Bladdy' Sugar decided to pause his feud with online enemies Piers Morgan and Donald Trump and take aim at someone a bit more current, declaring that Tulisa "talks nonsense on X Factor".

She responded by telling her followers: "That t**t has been bad mouthing me since last year," and later, when Sugar called for her to be axed, described the Apprentice boss as "an ugly hobbit" and a "miserable old man". Tulisa may have won the battle, but with her exit today, it looks like Lord Sugar has won the war.

Will you miss Tulisa on The X Factor? Leave your comments below!

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