Entertainment & Arts

Simon Cowell claim accepted at tribunal

Simon Cowell
Image caption Simon Cowell did not like Ms Czikai's performance

A former Britain's Got Talent contestant has launched an employment tribunal claim against the show's creator and star Simon Cowell.

Emma Amelia Pearl Czikai, who suffers from cervical spine neuritis, sang on the ITV1 show last year and claims she was discriminated against.

She says producers knew about her condition and made a "fool" out of her. Mr Cowell has declined to comment.

A pre-hearing review has been scheduled for July.

The judge will then decide whether the claims, which also names Mr Cowell's production company Syco and Fremantle Media, should go to court.

Unfair conditions

Ms Czikai said her condition causes severe neck pain and headaches.

When it comes to performing, she claimed the sound levels need to be balanced carefully.

"I'm very particular about the bass. I feel it in my neck and if I get that vibration, it aggravates the condition."

She first appeared on the show in May 2009, where she was seen singing You Raise Me Up in front of the three judges.

"They put me on at 10 o'clock at night. They had me standing outside in that cold snap immediately before I went on stage. That traps the nerves, so immediately that aggravates the condition.

"It's almost as if they wanted me to fail," she said.

She said in a fair environment she can sing "probably better than anyone else they've ever had on the programme and I proved it when I performed live on Britain's Got More Talent".

Ms Czikai has insisted the conditions "were unfair" and asked producers not to show the footage, which they did not agree to.

Instead, they invited her to appear on the ITV2 spin-off show Britain's Got More Talent.

Ms Czikai said producers had agreed to make an explicit link between that performance and her original audition on the show's website, but failed to do so, which is why she has made her complaint.

She acknowledges that she signed a contract with the producers but argues it became "void the minute they breach the law".

Mr Cowell and Fremantle Media have declined to comment.

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