Anthony Russell might have made it to the final of The X Factor, but his murky past has been coming back to haunt him.
He was in the competition last year but withdrew because of a drug addiction.
The 28-year-old came to his first audition with a black eye and during the show Simon Cowell commented on the dad-of-one’s "manic" behaviour.
He was later kicked off the show for doing drugs and returned this year after Louis Tomlinson put him through rehab.
He originally made it to judges houses after the Six Chair Challenge, but was replaced with another hopeful.
We take a look back at his past scandals…
Anthony Russell is in The X Factor final
Anthony first appeared on The X Factor in 2017 but was kicked out after it emerged he had been taking drugs – while on the show.
"Contestants are closely monitored by the production team," a source told the Sun.
"They were alarmed by how erratic he was during filming and decided to confront him.
"He admitted he was a drug user and a decision was quickly taken to remove him.
"It’s a shame, as he was hotly tipped to make the live shows."
He had become well known for his erratic performances but viewers were shocked to discover the drug scandal.
After he was given the boot, he tweeted: "Thanks for all the kind words. @TheXFactor have been brilliant and all the judges. Best of luck to all the acts this year. #xfactor #ARMusic’. [sic]"
He’s championed by Louis Tomlinson
After the show new judge Louis Tomlinson got in touch and paid for him to go to rehab.
When he returned for his first audition this year, Simon Cowell explained: "I knew that Louis had reached out to help him with his demons a long time ago.
"I think it says a lot about the kind of person Louis is, he doesn’t brag about it, he doesn’t talk about it, it’s a very personal thing for him.
"He called me when he saw Anthony’s audition last year and said his story had really touched him and he wanted me to put him in touch with him. Louis genuinely looked after him."
Anthony said: “I’d be dead now if it was not for him."
He’s been to rehab
Laura from Liverpool claims Anthony Russell has harassed her by sending her phone images and texts of a sexual nature
(Image: Julian Hamilton/Sunday Mirror)
Bombarding a mum with X-rated texts
Anthony also apologised after bombarding a mum, 28, with X-rated texts, pictures and videos during his latest stint on the show.
The singer sent a string of lewd messages, pornographic pictures and X-rated videos to the 28-year-old woman even though she told him to leave her alone on numerous occasions.
He continued to send the unsolicited messages after the shocked mum twice told him they could be viewed by her young children.
She told the Sunday People: “He’s out of order. I told him at least three times to stop but he just kept on sending them. It was disgusting.”
Anthony said: “I’m sorry if I’ve upset her or caused any offence, that was obviously never my intention.”
Anthony Russell talking on FaceTime with a convicted criminal in prison
FaceTiming a lag
Yesterday, Anthony was caught having a video chat with a prisoner who was using a smuggled mobile phone behind bars.
Anthony was at ITV studios when he spoke to Michael Trevillion on FaceTime, who later posted a screengrab on Facebook.
The lag, once dubbed “Merseyside’s most wanted”, is serving four years for burglary.
Trevillion, 38, appears to be using an account under the name John Smith.
He also wrote in an October 14 update: “Just had a belter chat with my mate Anthony Russell an [sic] he’s got the X Factor xxx”
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A source said: “He set up a Facebook profile under a fake name so he can use it while in prison. He’s a well-known burglar in Bootle.”
The source claimed Anthony, from Liverpool, knew Trevillion from parties.
The source added: “Everybody knows everybody around here.”
But a source close to Anthony insisted he did not know who Trevillion was.
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The source claimed: “This guy called out of the blue through Facebook Messenger and Anthony answered. Anthony had no idea that he was in prison using an illegal phone.”
The John Smith account, which was opened in September, features photos of Trevillion in his cell and on the landing of a prison.
The John Smith account, which was opened in September, features photos of Trevillion in his cell and on the landing of a prison
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The Ministry of Justice was approached for comment.
Anthony joins Dalton Harris and Scarlett Lee in the X Factor final at the SSE Arena, Wembley, this weekend.
A Prison Service spokesperson said: “Anyone found behaving this way can expect to spend significantly longer behind bars.
“We have invested £2 million to detect and block mobile phones to prevent them being used in the first place.”
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