Tamera Foster’s “X Factor” U.K. audition in front of the show’s judges is set to premiere on ITV on Sept. 1, 2013. Just hours before the audition was scheduled to be televised, the Sunday Mirror reported that Foster’s old Twitter account is filled with tweets of her bragging about smoking marijuana and PCP.
According to a Sunday Mirror article dated Sept. 1, 2013, the incriminating tweets from her Twitter handle @DiorTee go back to December 2012. Foster (who is 16) has since set up a new Twitter account but the Sunday Mirror reported: “This week it was simple to find her ‘secret’ account. By Googling her name you are directed to an Instagram account through which she uses the same handle as the controversial twitter feed … Tamera set up another account – @TeeUnoIgotIt – a few days after finding out whether she had progressed to the boot camp round of the talent show.”
Foster also tweeted photos of what look like marijuana joints with a few of these messages, which reference “zoom,” which is slang for a marijuana joint laced with PCP. Here are some of her drug-related tweets, according to the Sunday Mirror:
“Woiiii I just woke up :O that zoom last night put me to sleeeeeep garddd.” (Dec. 27, 2012)
“Time to fly high with my sis @livvsparkerx.” (December 2012)
“This would please me right now.” (Jan. 13, 2013)
“Flying sky high with my homie Presh. Just look at my eyes mate.” (Jan. 15, 2013)
“In hale that good s**t exhale the bulls**t. “Riding that morning wave with @LivvsParkerx & The Sweet Sweet Mary Jane.” (Jan. 21, 2013)
The Sunday Mirror reported: “She has posted numerous other pictures – of herself and the same friend – which she references with smoking marijuana. All the posts were still online [on Aug. 31, 2013] as X Factor bosses prepared to screen her first appearance on the show. She tweeted a friend, asking her to follow her new account and saying: ‘I’m doing something next week that said I have to go through all my tweets and delete “inappropriate” ones.’ When the friend asked if she was referring to X Factor, she replied: ‘Yeahhh tryna keep it quiet while I can though xx.'”
According to the Sunday Mirror, Foster and her 22-year-old friend Jerrie Diller originally auditioned for “The X Factor” U.K. as the duo Silver Rock. “But the judges unanimously decided to split them up because of a lack of chemistry before asking them to audition separately … Tamera then sailed through to [the] second audition round. She will sing Whitney Houston’s ‘I Have Nothing’ and judge Gary Barlow tells her: ‘You have potential beyond belief.'”
In 2013, “The X Factor” U.K. judge Nicole Scherzinger is mentoring the Girls category (female contestants ages 16 to 27). Scherzinger and Foster have not commented on Foster’s alleged use of illegal drugs, but an “X Factor” source told the Sunday Mirror: “Tamera has been spoken to. However, bosses realize she was young and impressionable and don’t want to ruin her chances on the show because of this.”
“X Factor” contestants are required to disclose past arrests and/or criminal convictions in their applications for the show. Contestants who are caught lying could be disqualified from the show.
Contestants on “The X Factor” could be disqualified from the show if they are caught using drugs during the time that they are contestants on the show. This is what happened to Frankie Cocozza in 2011, when he was kicked off of “The X Factor” U.K. after he admitted that he used cocaine when he was a contestant on the show. Cocozza, who was 18 at the time, was in seventh place on “The X Factor” U.K. before he was disqualified. In 2012, he became a contestant on “Celebrity Big Brother” in the U.K. and came in second place. Cocozza released music independently after he appeared on “Celebrity Big Brother,” but he has basically faded back into obscurity.
“The X Factor” U.K. had another drug-related scandal with a Top 12 contestant when in 2010, Wagner Carrilho (who was 54 at the time) faced elimination when he was accused of buying marijuana inside the “X Factor” TV studios. After an investigation, Carrilho was allowed to continue to be a contestant, and he ultimately came in sixth place. He too failed to have a hitmaking career and has since joined the long list of former reality-show stars whose 15 minutes of fame are over.
UPDATE: In an interview with the Sunday Mirror, Foster commented: “I’m upset and ashamed by my actions and realize how stupid I was. I never meant to encourage or endorse the use of drugs. It’s no excuse, but this was several months ago and I’ve done a lot of growing up since then. I really want to move on from this and focus on my passion, music, and doing well in the competition. The support I’ve had since my audition went out has been brilliant and I’m really overwhelmed. I don’t want anything to get in the way of me achieving my dream.”
(Click here for more details about Foster’s “X Factor” audition.)