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Sunday, October 30, 2011

X Factor 2011: Ashley quits The Risk... and is replaced by Nu Vibe's Ashford



The Risk have been one of the bookies favourites after their strong performances during the live X Factor shows.
However, the group has been dealt a huge blow after bandmember Ashley J Baptiste has decided to quit.
Rather than continue as a three-piece in tonight's show, the remaining members Charlie Healy, Andrew Merry and Derry Mensah have asked Nu Vibe singer Ashford Campbell to join.
All change: Nu Vibe singer Ashford Campbell (left) has joined The Risk after Ashley J Baptiste quits
Ashley's decision to leave just 48 hours before tonight's live show means the group don't have long to rehearse with their new member.

Ashley, 22, broke the news to The Risk bandmates and their mentor Tulisa Contostavlos on Thursday night.

He said: 'It's been a really tough decision but I have decided to leave The Risk. I don't believe my future lies in a boyband and it's not fair on Charlie, Derry and Andy to remain in the band when I am not truly committed to it for the long term.
'I believe The Risk can win The X Factor and I'm backing them all the way.
I count them as my friends so I know we'll stay in touch.'
 So long fellas: Ashley (far left) with his former bandmates (L-R) Derry Mensah, Andrew Merry and Charlie Healy
The group said in a statement: 'We're gutted to be losing Ashley but we back him all the way in his decision. We're going to miss him but The Risk are going to carry on in the competition and hope we can do our mate and all our supporters proud.
'We're devastated that Ashley has decided to leave but we respect his decision.
'After taking in the news we decided that we didn't want to be a trio, we really wanted another member. We have always liked Ashford, right from bootcamp, and always had a strong bond with him.

'He's mega talented and will bring so many qualities to group. We're so glad he said yes and we can't wait to get rehearsing.'
Ashford, 16, enthused: 'I couldn't believe what I was hearing when I got the call. I had to speak to the nu vibe boys first and once they gave me their blessing I was straight back on the phone to grab the offer. Its unbelievable and now I've got to work even harder after my break.'
It was only two weeks ago that 16-year-old Ashford - who auditioned as a solo singer and formed Nu Vibe during boot camp - was voted off the show.
 The way they were: Ashford (second from right) with his former Nu Vibe bandmates Jordan Higo, Stefan Romer, Bradley Johnson and Richard Milford
But with The Risk themselves only being put together in judges' houses a month ago, the change of members shouldn't be too big an adjustment.
The original The Risk was formed during boot camp comprising of Derry, Ashley, Andrew, Mitchell McPike and Marlon MecKenzie

However, Tulisa then changed the line-up again at judges' houses and asked Charlie to leave his band The Keys, while Marlon and Mitchell didn't make it further.

Tulisa told The Sun about the new development: 'I am devastated by Ashley leaving. Basically, he couldn't hack the pressure and this wasn't what he wanted to do. The boys were like, "You absolute d***".
'They think it has ruined their chances. They are very upset.'

An X Factor spokesperson added: 'We're disappointed to be losing Ashley from the competition but we fully support his decision and wish him well for the future.'
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