“ Popstars ”
Shock as "Popstars" finalist walks out on show
Popstars: The Rivals finalist Nicola Ward has quit the show, just one week before the ten girls make their first live performances to the nation.
"They are trying to make us sign our life away. The contract is outrageous. If we win we have to sign up to an agreement which means they own us. They can use our faces on mugs or duvets, and God knows what," the 19-year-old told the Sunday Mirror today.
"And we'll only get £1,500 a week for touring while they're raking it in. They'll be making profits from ticket sales, T-shirts and TV interviews and paying us a pittance. It's not worth it. I'm going to concentrate now on getting a solo career and find a company that won't try to control my entire life."
She added: "I just couldn't stand being forced to live without my fiance Daniel. Walking away from the show has lifted a huge weight off my shoulders. I'm free again. It was like a prison. I made my choice - it was either the show or Dan. At the end of the day when you look at what's happened to Hear'Say - the last band produced by this programme - I don't think I'm giving up too much."
Millionaire Daniel, 34, launched an attack on Geri, saying that she walked around their house "like she owned it."
"Dealing with these people has been a nightmare from start to finish," he told the newspaper. "Even when Geri Halliwell came round to tell Nic she was through to the last 10 I felt she was looking down her nose at us. She strutted in and was walking around the house like she owned it - and asked me who I was. As she left she turned to me and said snidely, 'You're never going to see your girlfriend again'. She didn't explain herself, just walked out. She wasn't friendly at all. I'd rather be poor than like her, rattling around in a big house with no one to love.
"The whole set-up was worse than Alcatraz. The show made our lives a living nightmare. One night, a week after Nicola moved into the Popstars house, she phoned me in floods of tears. She just cried, 'Come and get me out of here'. I jumped in my car immediately. Nicola climbed out of a window and we drove back to mine and watched TV together. It was great just to be doing something so ordinary with her. We kissed and cuddled but were too emotional to sleep together. We just wanted to talk and talk. At around 6am I dropped her back because she said she'd give it one last go. No one on the show even realised she was missing."
One source on the production team said that Nicola had been a troublemaker from the start.
"It was obvious from the beginning Nicola was very unhappy," the source said. "She's not a team player and point blank refused to join any of the washing up or cleaning rotas. She also ruined a photo shoot by refusing to get into a swimming costume. The rest of the girls were lounging sexily around the pool while she sat on the side in a towel and T-shirt.
"Nicola told the photo-grapher she wasn't getting paid enough to take her clothes off. She had a bad time. The others felt sorry for her when she had food poisoning. She was throwing up all day last Friday. Daniel caused real problems and it's possible his influence would have stopped her going any further anyway. They are not looking for another Kym Marsh."
There is no word yet on whether Nicola will be replaced.