Ariel Burdett, a former X Factor contestant, died earlier this month at the age of 38. Burdett reportedly died at her home in Leeds on November 12. Her friends announced her death on social media.
“It is with great sadness that I post this, as I have only just found out myself… Amy Burdett aka Arabella Starchild passed to the Summerlands earlier this month,” one of her friends announced on Facebook.
A cause of death was not revealed.
Friends and fans have been paying tribute to the singer who gave one of the most memorable auditions on X Factor in 2008.
RIP to queen Ariel Burdett, the eternal holistic vocal coach. She never got past the first audition but she’s been remembered and talked about more than the majority of the acts that have made it to X Factor live shows. This classical composition needs to chart at number 1! pic.twitter.com/57W5WULpiE
— Pete Burns’ Confiscated Coat (@harrisonjbrock) November 25, 2019
ariel burdett is finally floating high and cannot feel the floor. rip legend pic.twitter.com/C9hIo8ACcM
— ryan ✨ (@crymatica) November 25, 2019
RIP to the greatest pop singer of the century, Ariel Burdett. For all those who didn’t like her, she wasn’t someone to be liked, she was someone to be understood from an academic perspective. pic.twitter.com/j1faPUDpe0
— Jo Frosts unasseptable behaviour! (@unasseptable) November 25, 2019
Ariel, whose real name was Amy, caused a stir when she walked into the audition room and shocked the judges by ripping off her label, saying she was a “human being, not a number.”
She described herself as a “holistic vocal coach.”
She sang several songs with a different voice and style to demonstrate her vocal range but the judges were left confused by her seemingly discordant performance.
Ariel tried to defend her act by arguing that every line of her performance was “a different style.” She argued that she was not a “specialist” but a “generalist” and that her performance was not meant as “something to be liked.” She said that her performance was best assessed from “an academic perspective.”
She was not a number
but a human being
she was a generalist
not a specialist
— Jean Slater’s Sausage Surprise (@slaterscandal) November 25, 2019
I can't believe that everyone's favourite generalist holistic vocal coach Ariel Burdett has sadly passed away. She produced one of the most memorable auditions and became one of the most iconic contestants X Factor UK ever had.
R.I.P Ariel Burdett 😥pic.twitter.com/0WQvrX5buL
— Danny 🇬🇧🇨🇾 / 🇨🇾🇷🇸🇧🇬🇸🇪🇱🇻🇲🇹🇩🇪🇦🇺 (@EscDannyj) November 25, 2019
But her explanation did not impress the judges and she did not make it past the auditions.
X Factor judge Simon Cowell reacted to Ariel’s unconventional performance, saying, “That was a complete and utter nightmare.”
X Factor judge Cheryl Tweedy described her as scary and said she would be scared of her if she had to attend her “holistic coaching.” Ariel responded that she thought Cheryl was “stupid.”
The exchange became testy and Ariel ended up telling the judges to “shove a bit of metal up your ***.”
She was finally escorted out of the studio by security.
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