Misha B opens up about facing racist bullying on X-Factor.

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Misha B.

As of 2011, X-Factor was still a big thing, a huge dream for almost every young up and coming talented artist hoping to get on the big stage. 

Misha Amber Bryan, known by her stage name Misha B, a British singer, songwriter and lyricist who was born and raised in Manchester, was a contestant on the show’s season 8. Where she was a semi-finalist.

I remember watching Misha B during that season and my first thought was, wow! This is a huge talent right here! Misha B is by mile one of the most multitalented people I have seen, at least the UK has had to offer. She is not just vocally powerful, but her fashion and artistic sense is breathtakingly out of this world. I thought, this girl right here, she’s got this easily. How naive I must have been. 

Last night,  the star took to her Instagram to tell it all accusing the show producers and two judges – Louis Walsh and Tulisa of bullying and being racist to her as he shared her experiences through intermittent tears.  

The then 19-year-old contestant alleges that the X-Factor show producers completely made up bullying allegations against her for drama and ratings as well as manipulating other contestants against her. 

Misha’s words echo what the show judge, Gary Barlow of Take That band, wrote in his 2018 autobiography that the show’s producers regularly manufactured fake drama during his time on the series. “About half an hour before the show goes live, the producers would come in and they’d go, ‘Oh my God. That Misha. She’s a bully. Can’t believe it. She is such a bully. In fact, you know what? You should say it. You should say it on air. She’s bullied everyone all week’,” Barlow wrote.

She says, from nowhere, she was accused of bullying and talking trash about other contestants to which she requested a face to face meeting to get to the bottom of the accusation. But her request was met with cold shoulders. The young talent recalls how she was left mortified and broken save for Kelly Roland and a few other ladies backstage (makeup artists)  who held her. She remembers Tulisa and Louis Walsh avoiding eye contact with her and saying things that never happened to her. 

The tipping point for her was when after her live performance, the judges Tulisa and Louis again picked on her in front of millions of viewers accused her of “bullying and being mean”.

On the live show, Louis Walsh was heard alleging that contestants in his category had come to him with complaints about her behaviour, and also, suggesting that she had become “overconfident” as a performer. 

Tulisa, on the other hand, accused  Misha of occasionally coming across as “feisty” and “mean”. Speaking on her tell it all via her Instagram, Misha who was left broken could feel the coldness from other contestant and everyone on set. She says, backstage, she received a halfbaked apology with no sorry in it from Tulisa, who simply said, “I don’t mean no harm for you.” To which Misha noted that the damage had already been done. 

Subsequently, as a result of the incident, Misha was dubbed “Misha Bully” in the tabloid press, with the story following her throughout her time on the series. It was at this point that she realised with hindsight this had been all set up way before the live shows began. She recalls the producers advising her to rebrand to Misha B for the live show, and at the time she was not aware of what that was being set up. 

Following the incidents and bullying that went on against the teenager, she once felt suicidal and tells of having to pack her things and ran out of the show house in the night and her sister having to drive down from Manchester that night. “I remember thinking of ways to end my own life,” she said. “You don’t even know. I remember thinking of ways I could just end the pain. We arrived back at the mansion and all I could think about was running away, just getting out of there. Because to me … people stood by and didn’t say anything, or a damn thing when they knew it was wrong and they knew it was lies.”

Misha reveals during her Instagram tell it all last night that she had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder in the wake of the series. Even then, she was conversant with that. She recalls that that was something soldiers that’d gone to war had. 

 “What I didn’t understand was that that experience, that trauma, had changed me as a person,” she said. “It changed me. I didn’t trust anyone. Everyone asks me, ‘Misha, where have you been? What’s been going on?’ I’ve been battling. I’ve been healing. I’ve been working on self. I started therapy in 2012. I’m still having therapy now.”

Misha B, said.

Concluding the singer, songwriter sends her utmost gratitude to her therapists who she said with them, she would have been a totally different person now. “Shout out to all my therapists, you’re the greatest, honestly. If it wasn’t for your patience, kindness, understanding and your services… life would be very different right now. You’d be looking at a different Misha B right now.”

Faustina Anyanwu
Faustina Anyanwu
Faustina Anyanwu is a features writer focusing on people's stories, entrepreneurship, start-ups, social media marketing, and profiling. Follow her on Twitter - @fauntee Official Website: www.faunteebon.com Mantra: Real Women Think Legacy.