This wannabe has been asked to leave the competition

The X Factor 2017 is barely underway but already the show has been hit with drama after one contestant was forced to LEAVE by bosses.

Anthony Russell – who had been a favourite with the judges and viewers alike – has reportedly been kicked off the show due to concerns over his behaviour.

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A spokesperson for the show says: ‘Earlier this month, due to personal reasons, Anthony withdrew from the show.

‘We are sad to see him go and wish him all the best for the future.’

Liverpudlian Anthony had a memorable audition when he showed up with a black eye, telling the judges that he’d received it after being beaten up by a gang at a recent gig.

He then performed a moving rendition of Issues by Julia Michaels after mentioning his own problems and brought Sharon Osbourne to tears.

‘Anthony has been going through some personal issues for some time – as he sang about at his audition,’ a source tells Metro.co.uk. ‘Those issues were still affecting him. So everyone has urged him to concentrate on getting himself better right now.

‘Anthony has always said he will never give up on music. The public support really did help him to believe in himself.’

Another insider has claimed that Anthony confessed to being a drugs user, with the source telling The Sun: ‘Contestants are closely monitored by the production team. 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.’

Dad-of-one Anthony had previously auditioned for the show 10 years ago whilst still in his teens and managed to get through to bootcamp.

And it sounds like there’s a chance he could be third time lucky, as production have reportedly encouraged him to try again next year.

‘If he straightens himself out, they would love him to have another shot at X Factor next year,’ a source says. ‘That is the perfect incentive for him to get his life back on track.

‘Everyone hopes he will come back next year healthier.’

This weekend viewers will see the next stage of the competition play out as this year’s hopefuls battle it out at bootcamp.